The 1st session (Antenatal Depression Counselling)

*Backdated post from 8th July (14.5 weeks pregnant)*

So as mentioned in my last post, I have been diagnosed with Antenatal depression. The midwife I spoke to in EPU (Early Pregnancy Unit) was fantastic and managed to sort me with counselling literally days after I was diagnosed.

To say I was sceptical about starting the appointments is a HUGE understatement. I have never got on with the whole counselling process. All the affirmations of learning to love yourself, respect yourself, look in a mirror and list 5 things you appreciate about yourself malarky from complete strangers that know nothing about you has always made me want to puke. I don’t mean to cause offence for those it has worked for, but I guess I am just a hard nosed bitch, not good with the “nicey nicey”, “softly softly” approach. Personally, I have always been more comfortable with tough love, bluntness and brutal honesty.


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I was overjoyed when the midwife at MAU asked me what sort of chatting approach I would relate best to. I am grateful she gave me this choice, as had I spoken with someone else, I don’t think I would have come as far as I have. I would have got frustrated half way through my first session and knowing me, probably walked out (like I have in the past).

The day of my first appointment was here before I knew it. I promised Prawn and my parentals I would stay open minded and not disregard the help until I had completed at least two sessions. I got to St Heliers early and my mood instantly darkened, why was I here?! This was going to be a waste of time like it always had been in the past. I started to get a tad frustrated when 10 minutes after the start of my session, my counsellor still hadn’t shown. I know this was wrong, seeing how the sessions were being offered to me free via the NHS, but as a say, I was unfortunately coming into this with a pretty negative state of mind. The slightest problem that came up, my brain was willing to make into a big issue.

My counsellor, lets call her Mrs X, arrived looking pretty over it and took me into a small room. She offered no niceties, no apology… but bizarrely, rather then annoy me, this got me interested.  I guess I’m strange, but quite like the fact she wasn’t instantly coming across as my best friend and instead was practically ignoring me. We sat down and she huffed and puffed about what a bad day she was having, before looking me squarely in the eye and asking to explain why I was there. I found it odd she had no notes and hadn’t been briefed, but hey, what did I have to loose… I decided to roll with it.

I loosely filled her in on the situation and she just sat staring at me. It was hard speaking about something so personal and pouring your heart to someone not overly responsive. But bizarrely, this again kept me interested. Mrs X asked why I was stressing about something that was out of my control. I looked at her like she had lost the plot and started to feel quite angry. What did she know and how dare she make my issues sound so blasé and laughable. I may have got a bit attitudey at this point and behind angry tears, explained that after trying this long for a baby I was petrified of suddenly loosing them. I was scared of having my heart break in a way I had never experienced before. I explained that I had been told the chances of miscarriage were high and I didn’t know how to deal with that. I was almost hysterical as I said that this baby is all I have wanted my entire life, since I was a little girl and my baby sister came home from the hospital. I could hear my voice getting higher and more wobbly as the anger and hurt poured out of me, but again, Mrs X just sat there looking at me. I got my tissues out my bag (I came prepared as thought I may get a bit snotty and that teamed with running mascara is never a good look) and tried to regain a bit of dignity.


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I looked up at Mrs X sitting there, still so silent… “Talk woman!!” I screamed in my head, “You’re supposed to be helping me!”. But no, she just carried on staring at me. I think I may have actually said “Well…?!?” as at this point I was getting very frustrated, but again… she was still holding my attention.

Mrs X wrote some stuff down, met my probably quite scathing gaze, and simply came out with one line. This line froze me to my core but bizarrely started the cogs in my dark, cotton wooled brain turning. “You do realise stressing won’t stop you having a miscarriage”.

I sat there baffled by the bluntness of how she had phrased that sentence, but I knew it was true. She went on to say that “Stressing would also not prepare me for the possible event of having a miscarriage”.

I wasn’t sure what to say, what can you say to something like that? I mentioned I was aware that stressing and over analysing the situation wouldn’t prepare me as such, but if I didn’t allow myself to truly believe I was pregnant, I couldn’t get too carried away with it all and be disappointed if/when it went wrong.

At this point she softened and the dynamic between us changed massively.

She slowly put her notepad down and said that I wasn’t going to want to hear what she was about to say, but it was the honest truth and she would not be doing her job unless she said it how it was… again I respected this. I didn’t want “There theres”, I wanted a new perspective so I could change my mindset for our little Planky.

Mrs X softly told me that no matter how much I tried to “prepare” myself for the worst, the process would be pointless. She said “No amount of preparation can even allow you to slightly comprehend how empty, hurt, raw and angry you feel when you miscarry”. She asked me “If you were to miscarry tomorrow, how would you feel?” I was shocked by this, but said I would feel exactly like she said, sad, empty, very angry and extremely bitter. I said I would probably hate myself and my body for the rest of my life for destroying the little life I longed for all this time (by this point I had started crying again, not angry tears, but just exhausted, drained tears). She looked at me and said, “Thats not even close to how you’d feel”.


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I thought about this for a while and though initially her comments had frustrated me, I started to really respect the way she was being so brutal with me… I actually started to feel a tad naive and selfish. Man what a turn around.

What she was saying is true. So what if I did miscarry tomorrow?! Of course I would never be able to prepare myself for that, who was I trying to kid? Currently I was having a few glitches with my pregnancy, but compared to some ladies who’s problems had gone undetected, I was in a good position. I was being monitored, I had great staff supporting me and I was in the best possible hands for this to happen for me… theres no reason why I couldn’t be a mum with all the support I was receiving.

Mrs X said the depression and anxiety could actually cause harm to Planky, so indirectly, from another angle I could look at it that I was being a little selfish and the one causing potential problems for them. She said through stressing, I would only have myself to blame for more things going wrong with the pregnancy. Again, this was a tad blunt, but massively triggered something in my mind that made me want to change for the sake of the little life inside me.

The session came to the end, and I was happy to note it had run over 10 minutes to make up for the delay in starting. I was given homework which though bizarre scared the bejeezes out of me… I had to meet with my mum for a coffee out in public. It sounds so trivial, but the concept of what I had to do, physically made me shake. I called up mum as soon as I got home and put a date in the diary, she was so proud of me, as was prawn, it was the first step I needed. I decided at that moment that I would give this counselling my best shot. I would go back next week, having gone out with my mum as per my homework and do all I can to try and fix myself.

It would take baby steps, but this woman, Mrs X, bizarrely had my respect. She wouldn’t be everyones cup of tea, but I like the fact she sugar coated nothing, made no pointless small talk and didn’t faff about before hitting the nail on the head. Though a tad unorthodox, her approach worked for me.

Here’s to not having a panic attack when out in Costa with mum, and to next weeks session. In a perverse way I’m quite looking forward to seeing what else Mrs X is going to throw at me…

All my Love

I.B x


Mental health in Pregnancy – Antenatal Depression

Hey, the lives of I.B and planky have been quite full on recently so I am aware I have a hell of a lot of catching up to do… as always, I apologise! I shall be posting the next few pieces in fairly quick succession as am ironically due any time in the next 5-8 weeks!! Eeeek I know, time is flying now!

As always, this is a backdated post due to my paranoia forcing me to stay schtum in fear of jinxing the pregnancy… Anyway, lets get on with it. This is an important post, close to my heart, I want all to be aware of.

I was in two minds whether to write this or not, due to the delicate nature of what’s to follow, but at the same time, if for some reason you are unfortunate enough to be in a situation like I found myself in, maybe reading this, you won’t feel so alone and the stigma still associated with Antenatal depression shall hopefully diminish.


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As you are probably aware from previous posts, I have suffered with mental health issues throughout my life, mainly Anxiety, with the odd spell of depression. I was on Amitriptyline when I was 16 and though my GP swore it would be of help, it in fact made my condition a lot worse with an almost devastating conclusion (to which I am not proud).

It has taken me a long time to get my head round it all (as I have become very “anti medication” for anything surrounding my mental health issues), but I believe I have come out stronger as a result. I still suffer terribly from anxiety, but my depression I have much better control over… until I got pregnant, well more accurately, until we got the news of our 9 week scan.

Now, DO NOT GET ME WRONG, I cannot stress this strongly enough, I am so stupid excited to be pregnant! I wake up every day feeling blessed for the little life inside me and I cannot wait to be a mummy and hold my child knowing the long journey we have been on to get there. Unfortunately, my brain and hormones aren’t singing off the same hymn sheet and as a result, are conflicting.

I am now 14 weeks (backdated) pregnant and I would say for the last month and a half (basically since my 9 week scan when I found out about the sac issues) I have been suffering from quite extreme depression. The worst part of this is the guilt I am experiencing for feeling like this, which has led to my next problem… I haven’t spoken to anyone about it, not even Prawn.

I am embarrassed to feel this way which is why I have been unable to confide in anyone. I feel embarrassed and paranoid that people will assume because I am suffering from mental health issues that I won’t be a good mummy. I feel embarrassed that I look weak. Embarrassed that I have wanted this for so long and that we have been through so much to get here, yet I spend every day whilst Prawn is at work crying for no apparent reason.


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I have become a recluse as am scared of people realising I am pregnant incase something goes wrong. I also bizarrely have become even more conscious of other peoples thoughts and opinions of me, a problem that first occurred whilst bullied in my teens, then again a few years back with a group of Prawns friends (which I still am struggling to deal with).

This situation has reached a new low during pregnancy. I am now avoiding all my close friends and family as have it in my head I will loose them if they see what I am like. My self esteem, though always bad, has never been worse. I’ve been scared to celebrate and put things on public media like most people do about being excited and pregnant, incase one of either of the above “groups” of individuals somehow sees or gets wind and I hear a negative response.

I have been trying to hide my current state of mind from everyone, but over the last few weeks it’s got too much and I’ve been crying daily. My Mum could tell something was wrong, but couldn’t work out what. I kept agreeing to meet her, but then would cancel last minute. She did everything to try and get me out the house but I came up with every excuse under the sun, pretty good ones infact, to avoid the physical meeting. I became a pro at telling white lies. Prawn thought I spent my days socialising with mum, friends and my sister, my mum and sis thought I was cancelling due to nausea and tiredness with the pregnancy. On the outside it was a perfect cover, but in the mean time, I was sitting at home, huddled sobbing in my dressing gown, talking to my tummy begging my little bubba to stay put.


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It’s not that I didn’t want to see people, especially not my close friends and family, but my brain was playing tricks on me, making me feel so worthless, I didn’t want others wasting their time on me.

This whole pregnancy and TTC malarky is a mind shag… one minute specialists are telling me that despite endless drugs, they can’t get me to ovulate and due to my uber thin lining, I won’t be able to conceive naturally. So we get help with funding from my wonderful parents, and book in for our 1st IVF procedure at Lister. I then appear to ovulate for the first time in a year (tracked with OPK’s), but according to my GP, my blood progesterone levels are too low so the whole thing is a false alarm. Then 4 days before our IVF appointment, all our dreams and wishes come true and I get that positive pregnancy result! I start taking my daily progesterone pessaries, see a heart beat at the 6 week scan, slowly start to fall in love and believe this is real, only to find out at our 9 weeks scan that the baby is growing 2 weeks faster then it’s gestational sac. I am told miscarriage chances are high and my world falls apart…

For anyone unfortunate enough to be going through all this, the experience would be a whirlwind, but if you already struggle to deal with your emotional issues, all this can completely drown you. You paddle and paddle to stay afloat, to be brave, to try and see the glass half full, but there’s only so much you can take, you are after all human.

Recently I’ve had the added emotion of guilt. The infertility community on twitter has always been extremely supportive but since getting pregnant, I have lost many close friends. I have been made to feel guilty that I got pregnant without physically going through the IVF (despite everything else I’ve had to endure with the PCOS that they haven’t). It’s almost as though they now think I am less deserving of mummy-hood in their circle. Never mind the fact I’ve been black and blue from injections, I’ve had both a Laparoscopy and Hysteroscopy, I’ve spent a small fortune (worthy of a few 5 star holidays or Louboutin’s) on treatments and specialists and become closely acquainted with the discomfort of dildocam sessions a few times a week over a 4 month period, but no, somehow some still make out I have not done enough to be a mum. With some it’s almost become a competition of sorts, with only the IVF elite allowed to come out triumphant. It’s all so shallow and childish, but this psychological bitchiness has again heightened my anxiety and added to my low mood.

In a nutshell, it has all got too much. I am already so in love and emotionally involved with my little Planky that if anything was to happen to him/her I don’t think I could go on. I am trying hard to do everything right, but I am starting to realise I need help as I am not coping… at all. I guess when you have had such a long journey, the concept of suddenly loosing it all is crazy overwhelming. You could blink and the dream is gone again.


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I admitted defeat and drove myself round the parentals yesterday whilst Prawn was at work. Mum was amazing and just cuddled me as I snotted everywhere and cried… and cried and cried and cried and cried. Once I started I couldn’t stop, it was like a burst dam of guilt, pain, worry and shame. She persuaded me to talk to Prawn and suggested I saw the midwife the following day, as thought all the emotion and stress was unhealthy for Planky.

I know I have taken the first step, by admitting I don’t have to try and be superwoman and that it is ok to feel like this. I still feel utterly embarrassed and a complete let down, but after talking to a few other brave ladies online, I realise that a mental health issue such as anxiety or depression is not a reflection of you or your potential love for a child. It is simply an unfortunate chemical imbalance in the brain, that some of us have triggered in times of stress and worry.

I know I will make a great mummy, I just need to speak to someone and have a little help to be in the correct mind set so I can be an even EVEN better mummy.

I have been diagnosed with Antenatal Depression, something I had never heard of till now. I have my first counselling appointment booked for a few days time and though apprehensive (I’ve not had much success with counselling in the past), I have promised my parents and Prawn to go into it with an open mind and heart. I shall let you know how I get on.

I would really love to hear from others who have experienced Antenatal depression and how you felt about it at the time. Stay strong my lovelies.

Big Love to you all

I.B x

Planky’s 12 week scan & Nuchal Test

*Backdated post from the 24th June*

As you can imagine, the last three weeks have not been a fun time in the Prawn and I.B household…

The slightest twinge, the teeniest bit of nausea (oh yes that has now come on with vengeance!!) has had me panicking that something is wrong with Planky. I am trying to stay calm and keep my mind set positive, but unfortunately, that’s not how my body is wired.


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You could say I am one of lifes pessimists, a pretty bloody good one at that, but unfortunately, this is not a trait welcomed when going through periods of stress and anxiety. It’s bizarre, as when I address others problems I come across positive and helpful, forcing them to see the light through the clouds. I hate seeing those I love miserable, so would give my right arm (or left if they prefer) to do all I can to make things better for them even if it goes against all I would feel in my own situation. Maybe I need to start applying the same tactics to my own issues, or at least try and tackle them head on, with a slightly more balanced perspective? Meh… who am I trying to kid? If it was that easy I surely would have changed my thought process by now?! Anyway, as these things don’t happen over night, lil miss “glass half empty”, has instead proceeded to shut herself off from the world whilst she tries to come to terms with the possibility of her 12 weeks scan showing no heart beat.

It’s strange, but during this time I found it hard to even open up to Prawn and my family. It’s nothing personal, I just needed to be alone to hypothetically “prepare” myself for what I saw as the inevitable conclusion to our miracle… after all… this is me! Miracles don’t happen to me… do they?

The infertility & PCOS communities online have oddly become my rock. It is so much easier to talk and express my feelings as I hide behind the mask of the irritable blonde so no one knows me. I am not afraid to ask questions, pour my heart out and cry in front on them, showing how truly raw and vulnerable I feel. The fact is, as much as these people are virtual strangers, they also totally get me. This instantly makes them friends, not strangers to me. We can relate to each other in a way noone in my direct circle can. They understand a pain and worry others could never even start to comprehend.



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I feel like I’m moaning or come across melodramatic when voicing concerns to my close friends and family, all of who appear to be amazingly fertile, haha always the way! The “stay positive”, “relax” or “everything happens for a reason” comments frustrate me even though I know they are meant with all the best will in the world. To be honest I’d much rather a blunt response like “Oh my god, thats so shit!”, “Yes that happened to me too”, “I can unfortunately relate, I lost my bubba in similar circumstances to yours” or even ” You know, I was told the same at a scan and Oscar is now a yr old”. All these responses, though not all up beat, I can relate to and can therefore use to start up a conversation… unfortunately a “there there” though loving, just makes me feel awkward that I’m offloading on people that feel uncomfortable and don’t know what to say. Prawn is often fronting the group of “there there” peeps, through no fault of his own. He is also struggling with all the recent news and hates the nervous wreck of a shell his wife has turned into. I actually feel really bad for him as I know I am shutting him out, but its how we work… I shut peeps out, he doesn’t talk about things… bizarrely at times like this it can be a match made in heaven as we leave each other to their own devices.

The 12 week scan is tomorrow. Not only am I stressed to see if bubba is still there, wriggling away, but also this scan’s a biggy as they perform the Nuchal test for Downs Syndrome. You can therefore imagine that for someone with anxiety, the wait for this particular scan is almost unbearable.


So again, here we are, six weeks on, sitting in the same waiting room of St Heliers hospital, in the same seats, with me perving enviously at all the ladies with their beautiful, big bumps. I have teared up a few times, despite going to the toilet to try and pull myself together. Eventually my name is called (I really should look into asking them to change it to my marital name….awkward!) and we make our way into the scanning suite.


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The room is slightly different to before, definitely bigger and cleaner, so huge progress from the previous 6 week scan, phew! We are greeted by a smiling girl, in her mid 20s with a South African accent. “Ok” I think to myself “this must be a good sign” (after all Prawn is a saffa). My nerves were clearly visible so I explained the circumstances as to why I was such a wreck. She was lovely, reassured me that if I was still feeling rotten it was probably a good sign, and had me hop onto the bed. I lowered my jeans and raised my top. The warm goop was squigged onto me and slowly the scanner was pressed firmly against my almost non existent bump.

We both held our breaths… it was all fuzzy. Just lots of white, grey and black shapes. Why was she moving it around so much?! “Just keep it still for gods sake!” I kept thinking, I need to see, I need to check, I want to know… and then I saw it, flickering away, clearly visible. Our bubba was still fighting.

Yup, you guessed it, I started crying AGAIN, but this time it was more from relief then anything else. I know we still had to have measurements taken for the “Nuchal Translucency” (Downs Syndrome test) where they measure the fluid at the back of bubbas neck, but I’ll be honest, I wasn’t fussed. Though initially I was nervous about finding out the probability of our child having a disability, I knew at that moment, that whatever was thrown at me, I was going to fight to keep and love the little miracle that was wriggling up on the screen before us. I honestly cannot describe the emotion I felt for our bubba, I truthfully can’t… they were still here, they were still with us!

How? How if the statistics three weeks previously were for an 80% loss had we done this? How did we even manage to conceive this mass of wriggling arms and legs? How, when it was proven I had not ovulated naturally for a year and we needed medical help? How?!? It’s then I realised Planky had every intention to keep proving us wrong and fighting on regardless of what was thrown at him. I couldn’t have been a prouder mummy… this was really happening, but was I going to finally allow my guard down and start enjoying it?

The appointment was quite a long as so many measurements had to be accurately taken. I had to wriggle a few times to have him shuffle into the correct position, but the whole appointment was a bit of a blur… I just was transfixed by the little thing I was looking at on the screen. No longer were there arm buds, Planky had limbs, LIMBS! Wow! How much our little bub had changed in the space of three weeks. They looked like a little person, my little person…

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Planky was now measuring 86mm, their heart beat had slowed down to 160 beats per minutes and statistically the chances of them having Downs Syndrome (after lots of various data was taken), turned out to be 1 in 2186!!! We were both over the moon and couldn’t believe how positive this scan was turning out to be. I was initially classed as high risk for issues because of my health problems, but they (for once) seem to have not affected things.

We paid for 3 images of our little one and were given a cheeky 4th. I clutched those images like they were a winning lottery ticket, but to me it was so much more.

In the car Prawn asked when I would go public with the news, but I still wasn’t ready… not yet. I know some peeps can’t wait to tell everyone at 12 weeks, but to me things were still very much in the air as the sac size had only increased a little. No, I would maybe tell a friend or two tomorrow, but I was definitely not ready to go public. Prawn respected my decision and didn’t push it.

We got home, framed our favourite scan pic and put it in our bedroom opposite the bed. I love it being there, its the first thing I see when I wake and the last thing I see before I go to sleep. Gosh I love this little gift inside me, I feel so lucky.

We are finding out the sex privately at 16 weeks, partly because we are nosey, but mainly as it allows us to have another check in on Planky’s gestational sac size. Because of how the pregnancy has progressed so far, we both feel Planky could be a girl (so a future shrimp like her mummy!). I initially thought I wanted a boy, but have now got my head round having a girl too (even if I’m not particularly girly myself). Prawn would very much like a girl for personal reasons, so from that point of view I hope he gets his wish… I for one don’t really mind so long as they are healthy and carry on fighting. I can’t wait to hold them, love them and hopefully be a fantastic mummy teaching them all they need to enjoy a happy fulfilling life. When you imagine all of that, surely a small detail like sex isn’t really important? The fact you have a child of your own is bigger then what they’ve been given between their legs.

I shall keep you updated… place your bets… boy or girl? Team pink or Team Blue?

All my Love




A “not so perfect” 9 week scan

Hello peeps,

So again this is a slightly backed up post from the 2nd June. Apologies once more for the deceit, but after reading this, I hope you understand why I had concerns going public with our news too soon.

In typical I.B style, I was getting quite impatient between the non-descript, “6 week viability scan” and my upcoming 12 week scan, so decided to look into having a cheeky 9 week scan privately at my old fertility place in Farringdon. I can’t explain it, but I obsessively needed to see lil planky’s heart beat going again to confirm all was ok and I really was pregnant. Added to this, my horrible anxiety and control freak nature was convincing me that something was going wrong… unfortunately for once, my pesimistic paranoia was justified.

Pregnancy to this point hadn’t actually been too tragic. Though I had the obligatory nausea, (with one horrific day over my porcelain throne), I was fortunate that my only other symptoms had been extreme tiredness and severe cramps. This is pretty good going considering my mangey bod, though I am very much aware I still have over 6 months for my symptoms to progress!

I am conscious that good friends, (you know who you are), thought I was avoiding them. I was just so scared people would work out our news and to be honest at the time, I wasn’t ready for anyone to know… I could barely believe it myself and with all the complication,s was petrified of jinxing it.  I hope that through you guys reading these posts, all will start to make a little more sense. Again, I do apologise for any deceit, it’s just been a pretty huge roller coaster emotionally as you will go on to read.

The evening before the 9 week scan I was a bundle of nerves. I wanted the hours to fly by, but at the same time, I was very aware we may receive bad news.


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I met with Prawn at Farringdon station and we made our way, like jittery teenagers, to the clinic. We were warmly greeted like old friends as we arrived, something we very much needed. The huge smiles were most welcome from all of the team and we enjoyed the hugs and congratulations surrounding our happy news. Any doubts I had about the expense and coming back here for the scan quickly dissolved. That said, my heart couldn’t help but sink as I saw the reaction of the other couples sitting there, numb, staring blankly through us. They had that look, the look of longing and slight envy towards us, the exact same feelings I had always felt previously. Now I was one of those “bastards” that was getting closer to the dream, I was on the other side, and I couldn’t help but feel embarrassed.

We waited in the seating area, amongst the others. I wanted to scream at them and shout not to envy us, that we still had so far to go, that nothing was a done deal yet and that a miracle could happen for them too, but I just felt cold. A guilt had wafted over me and I was both angry and confused for feeling this. I deserved this, they didn’t know my story and what I’d gone through… who were they to pee all over our joy?

We sat for what seemed like an eternity before our favourite senior nurse called us to the scanning suite. Gosh! I forgot how luxurious this place was compared to the dingy, grotty, cramped room we were in previously for our 6 week scan. This room was so familiar… it’s where I started my infertility journey, with my PCOS diagnosis and here I was, lying on the same bed, about to (hopefully) see my little one in the process of their 9 month journey.

I was initially surprised the scan was preformed internally. The last one had been done externally, but goodness what a difference the internal made. The image was so much clearer and you could see Planky from a much better angle… also I didn’t need a full bladder to get the image so wasn’t on the verge of having an accident all the way through! Result!!

I felt bizarrely nostalgic becoming acquainted with dildo-cam again (thats what us ladies call the internal scanner) and he did me proud when all of a sudden, our beautiful bubba came into view. I honestly cannot describe how gorgeous our little blob looked. That fat tummy, perfectly round head and those tiny little arm and leg buds, wriggling round like crazy! I looked at Prawn and didn’t even realise I was crying until I was passed a tissue. Planky looked perfect, so so utterly perfect. We had done this, despite the odds, despite being told it wasn’t going to happen naturally, despite not ovulating even with drugs for a year, somehow, we had done it. I looked at that screen in complete and utter awe… we had made a baby, I was to be a mum.


As if the nurse wanted to highlight the point, she subtly turned on a monitor and next thing we know the galloping sound of plankys heart beat (at 184 bpm) rang out in the room… If I hadn’t been crying before, I sure as hell was now. I couldn’t even blame the hormones! She was almost in tears as was my amazingly, supportive, Prawn. It felt so special for the three of us to be sharing this moment together in a room that has housed so much hurt and pain over our journey.

Unfortunately the elation was short lived. I could tell our nurse had become slightly more subdued, so I asked if all was ok. She has always been fantastic at explaining everything in detail, but has also always been brutally honest and frank with me. She moved dildo cam around, highlighting the placenta, umbilical chord, the two pieces of skull starting to form on bubbas head and the egg sac that had pretty much disappeared. She measured Planky and said they were measuring 9weeks 2days, pretty much on target, yay! She then explained that she had to do a few more measurements on the gestational sac as compared to Planky, it appeared a little small. The gestational sac measured 7weeks 2days. She said that though this was quite a big difference in size, to try not to worry as there was nothing that could be done. We simply had to let time tell what would happen. She said the most important thing was that Planky them-self, was measuring perfectly, so to take positivity from that… but I wasn’t convinced. I could tell the sac was more of an issue then she was letting on and my heart slowly began to sink.

Prawn and I decided to celebrate Plankys strong heart beat, post scan, by going to Byron burger. It’s crazy as I’m not a huge burger/meat fan, but since getting pregnant I cannot get enough!!! Though I had to have it well done (one of the major downsides of pregnancy lol) it was delicious and the mild hysteria that had been forming in me started to dissipate.

I could have stayed with Prawn all day, but alas he had to go back to work.   He dropped me off at the station giving me a big hug and kiss, I was still so scared and had so much I wanted to ask him but it wasn’t the time. I watched him walk away and made my way to the platform. As I sat on the train staring at the beautiful ultrasound images in my hands I felt such a strange array of emotions. On the one side I felt so blissfully happy but at the same time I still had that horrible niggle about the gs (gestational sac) measuring so small.

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I thought I would calm myself down by researching on google. In the wds of pretty woman “Big mistake, big mistake… HUGE!!!!” All of the sites unfortunately said the same. If the sac measured with less then 5mm difference between bubbas size and its, then there was an 80% chance of micarriage. Our difference in measurements was only 1mm!!! Damn you Dr Google! I was so angry at myself. What did I think I was going to see once I started researching? I knew the news was bad and had been told not to worry or stress, but reading this had now put my anxiety in overdrive. So a little tip ladies… during pregnancy, AVOID Dr Google at all costs!

I was so distressed with what I read, that I completely buggered my train journey home, ending up in a completely different station to which I intended. Luckily mum (who I was due to be seeing) picked me up and laughed at my baby brain. I tried to hide quite how agitated I was about the whole difference in size and instead played on the happy news of how amazing it was seeing Planky. Unfortunately my mum knows me better then I sometimes know myself, so I wasn’t fooling anyone.

She sat me down, made me a cuppa and pretty much mirrored what the nurse said to me. She said there is nothing I can do so as hard as it was, I had to try not to worry about it as the stress will be bad for Planky. I don’t know how people can say don’t worry when they haven’t been in the situation, after all this is about a little miracle I’ve wanted my entire life, but I thought I would try and stay positive as stress really wouldn’t help the situation.

I decided to email my nurse in Farringdon and tell her what I had read on my journey home. She agreed the situation was not good, but again said that all I could do was play it out and no medical intervention could help us at this stage. I had to carry on taking my high dose of progesterone and wait until our next scan.


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Those words hit me like a lead balloon… Planky was with us but could so easily be gone before our next scan. I had this little miracle in me but through no fault of my own it could be taken away with no warning what so ever. Worst still, I would not know Plankys outcome until my scan a long 4 weeks away?!? It was then I started making promises with the big dude in the sky. I wanted this baby more then anything, we had both gone through so much to get to this point… please please let my baby survive.

As always please keep us in your prayers, I shall write more after our 12 week scan… I wish with all my heart Planky keeps fighting.


All my Love

I.B x

6 Week Viability Scan

*Postponed post from 13th May*

So, after almost no sleep, Prawn and I headed down to St Heliers hospital to have our 6 week, viability scan.

I honestly don’t know who was more nervous? I was a bumbling wreck sitting there, fiddling with my fingers, biting my lip, with anxiety levels sky high! I couldn’t help but stare at all the waddling ladies with their beautiful big bumps. I wished so so hard I may be like that soon… but do you know, my usually sarky and cocky Prawn, was also pretty twitchy, gripping my hand tightly just as much for his benefit, as mine.

We waited in that room for what seemed like forever but finally, it was our turn. It’s always a tad surreal when NHS hospitals or dr’s call my name… under our Farringdon fertility clinic, we both used Prawns surname. Unfortunately, I haven’t legally changed my name yet (it didn’t seem important until we had a little one), so on the NHS I am still using my maiden one. Hahah, I bet they thought “Oh god, another un-married Pol using our NHS system!!” But to be honest, I didn’t care… I just wanted to get in there and see if our little Planky had a heart beat.


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As some of you may know, Prawn acquired his name as he is South African and my brother in law once referred to him as a “Fookin’ Prawn”. Now, though my bro in law is pretty gobby at the best of times and not shy to give his opinion, he wasn’t actually being disrespectful. He was instead taking the mick out of the terrible film District 9 (if you haven’t seen it, don’t, it’s dire!). I found the name bizarrely endearing and it has ironically stuck ever since. He soon after became my Prawn (not a fookin’ one unless he’s being a git!), I was his shrimp and any future kiddies would become Plankton ie. Planky. Once we knew the sex Planky would magically transform into a shrimplet or prawnlet …I know… we are a weird couple, but what can I say?! Anyway… I digress!

So yes, once I was called (the unmarried pol!), we made our way into the tiniest of rooms for the scan. The sonographer was a little bemused when I started undoing my jeans and asked if I should take them off. Haha, her shocked, almost petrified face still makes me giggle writing this, but please hear me out with my logic. I’m so used to the regular internal scans I was having at my old place, that I thought it would be normal procedure to have it here for this early stage of pregnancy too. I thought Planky would surely be too small to see via an external scan, but apparently that’s not the case (providing your bladder is full). She told me to come over to the scanning bed, lower my jeans to my pubic bone, lie back, lift my top and relax… easier said then done!

The sonographer squirted some warm goop on my tummy and I held my breath as she slowly but firmly (ouch!) moved the scanner across my lower tummy. There it was… though brief, I saw a crazy little white fluttering and knew it was my Planky. I instantly welled up and asked if what I’d seen was a heart beat. The lady said yes, to which I started giggling and sobbing like a complete moron. She thought initially I was under 6 weeks pregnant, but after measuring Planky at 1/2 a cm, she agreed I was looking around 6 weeks.

(BTW for anyone interested, Planky is the teeny white circle in the black balloon structure below)

planky 6 weeks

The lady we saw was very sweet but if I’m honest I was a little disappointed. I don’t feel I got many answers, in fact, I got none at all. I wasn’t given a due date (though my phone ap states early to mid Jan, yay!) and none of my concerns about being classed as high risk and what it means were really addressed. I was hoping for some sort of reassurance, anything would have done, but I received nothing. Maybe it was due to my lady simply being a sonographer so not wanting to get too involved with medical chat, but I was hoping for a little more information. We were lucky to be given a copy of the scan on leaving (something that normally would be a fiver!) but I have to admit the whole experience wasn’t quite what we expected.

I guess we have to be realistic… All my fertility issues previously have been dealt with privately so I have had very good one on one care and support. My lil sis had great pregnancies with both my nephews at St Heliers so I really REALLY hope that as time progresses I start to feel a little more confident with the hospitals ability. It may just be my anxiety messing with my head, filling it with concerns, but I have to admit Prawn wasn’t overly filled with the staffs confidence either. In my heart I know the unit will do all they can to help safe proof my pregnancy, I guess this appointment was just so quick it almost seemed a pointless venture.

I am well aware I have been spoilt with my fertility care previously, but the in depth explanations, lengthy appointments, smiles, TLC and patience has always proved a winning combination for me. Naively, I assumed this would continue at my NHS appointments due to our particular circumstances, but as yet that doesn’t appear to be so. I have chosen to go back to our old clinic in 3 weeks for a 9 week scan. We both hope to get more answers and have a better examination of Planky and my health, along with checking to see if the 400mg Progesterone pessaries I’m taking daily are helping sustain the pregnancy.

Again, please keep us in your thoughts and prayers… Planky appears to have implanted well but as we all know, there is still a long, uncertain journey ahead of us.

All my Love

I.B x

The best day of my life… my BFP

*Postponed post from April*

Hello lovelies!

Ok I really REALLY apologise on the slight deceit but I do hope you understand. I actually got my faint BFP (Big fat positive) on the 23rd April but I had so many risks I wanted to postpone saying anything due to the fear of miscarrying. I am now 16.5 weeks, so feel am in slightly safer territory… though still a long way off feeling 100% confident with it all.


So lets go back a little. You may have seen in previous posts RE: Ovusense and Accupuncture where I posted my OPK showed positive for ovulation (yay!) but then mentioning I got a negative preg test in that cycle… well… that wasn’t exactly true.

I was absolutely over the moon when after a month of using OPKs, I slowly started to get a second line… omg?!! Could the Acupuncture make me ovulate?!? But I stayed grounded and carried on peeing on those flimsy lil sticks each morning until low and behold, I got a lovely dark second line!! Woohoo!!! My body had FINALLY ovulated on its own!!! No meds (which didn’t seem to work anyway) just me, my healthy life style, acu and supplements! I was delighted and we both got to it like rabbits, using our trusty conceive plus gel. In the run up, We had been trying to nookify every 2 days, as my body wasn’t letting on what it was doing. All I can say is, although we are over any physical contact now hahahha, all our hard wk paid off :o)

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So I apparently Ovulated on the 13th April! Woohoo! I was scared to believe it so went to drs for a Progesterone blood test at 7dpo (7 days past ovulation). My bloods came back at 25, which wasn’t ideal. You realistically need a strong result of 30 or more to show that you have ovulated, but my gp said that due to my pcos she didn’t want to dispute it completely so she would put a wary question mark on if I had or hadn’t. I was a little bummed if I’m honest, I was so excited, but with a reading like that, I wanted to stay grounded and not expect too much… after all even if I had ovulated, what were the chances this magical ovulation (first since june last year!) would allow me to get pregnant. I carried on as normal… but I was curious….

I felt strange… I can’t put my finger on it but I was more dappy and clumsy then usual and I was so tired. I stupidly did a pregnancy test at 9dpo and got a nice blank box stare back up at me… why do I do this to myself I thought?!? Why?


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I berated myself and called myself a lot of harsh things, but the niggle was still there… I tested again at 11dpo and there is was… faint, but none the less there! I didn’t know what to do, I wanted to throw up, I wanted to scream, I wanted to open my flat windows and shout to all the traffic below, but instead I got back into bed, wrapped myself in my duvet and giggled happy soggy tears into the covers. If there had been a fly on the wall it probably would have thought I needed to be sectioned but I didn’t care. I had never felt so deliriously complete in my life…

I looked at the test again… yes it was faint but it was definitely there. The giggle crying mania started again and I found myself talking to my bubby (grandma) and grandad above, thanking them as my guardian angels for helping me through this. I booked a blood test that morning to have my HCG levels checked and it was then that I suddenly thought of Prawn… he had no idea! How do I tell him?


I didn’t want to tell him at work… that’s a bit bleurgh, and txting was a no no… hmmm come on think of a plan. I went to tescos and had a look around the baby aisles, but being superstitious was scared to buy a mini white outfit, so instead settled for a card. I wanted to keep it short and sweet so bought a card saying “I love you” … inside I put “I love you even more now you’re going to be a daddy”. Those few hours were the longest in the world. Eventually I heard the door downstairs close and heard him walking up the 3 flights of stairs to our flat… don’t make it obvious I told myself.

I had subtly put the pregnancy test into the back pocket of my jeans so flinched a little as he gave me a hug… didn’t want him feeling  the petruding stick and he does like to give my bum a grope when he cuddles me (not that I’m complaining). I could tell he was surprised I pulled a way a little, but there was no way my bum was to get his affections today. I tried to be blasé and he went to get changed out of his suit. He came in and I said I saw something earlier today that made me think of him and handed him the card. He had recently been promoted at wk so it was safe to assume he thought it would be a congratulation card.. haha fooled you!!!

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He looked at the card, his eyebrows shot up, he looked at me, then at the card again and I saw his eyes well up… it truly was the most AMAZING thing I have ever witnessed for us as a couple. It beats the proposal, our wedding day, all of that fades into insignificance compared to this moment we shared. The disbelief, the excitement, the love, the everything he had in his eyes at that moment made my heart soar! I started crying as he asked does this mean what he thinks it means… I pulled out the pregnancy stick and handed it to him through blurry snotty tears. We stood there hugging, giggling and blubbing and time stood still. I was deliriously happy and so was he. Though early early days we had done it. We had beaten all odds and we were currently experiencing our very own miracle (especially as we were due to start IVF procedures with Lister a few days later!!!).

The blood test came back the next day and the HCG level was 43 at 11dpo… this wasn’t bad. I was nervous because of all my complications so had another done privately 15dpo and it was a brilliant 507.4! What an awesome increase in numbers!

Now, as a say I am writing this in true time (though you are reading it about 2 months on) so I am still very excited and nervous with how our journey will go. I still feel very tired and my boobs have enlarged crazily, but I fortunately have not started to get morning sickness… hoping it is something I won’t experience… eeeeek can you imagine?!? Morning sickness with IBS and reflux issues… gulp!


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I am now officially (according to ovulation calculations) 5 weeks and 5 days pregnant. Each day is a psychological struggle until we have our scan and I can physically see the heart beat… that will be our first large milestone. I am praying daily we get to this point but I am aware that there could be issues. My GP has referred me as a “complicated case” to my midwife what with my crazy hormones, small uterus and thyroid issues. I have my first scan on wednesday (in 5 days) at St Heliers and shall find out more about the plan they will put in place for me then.

So far I am loving pregnancy. I feel very chilled, calm and above all happy. I am so blessed that this has happened against all the odds and over a year of trying. I guess it shows that all the hard work, devotion to diet, keyhole surgery, injections, my supplements, meds and acupuncture haven’t been a waste of time. I honestly was loosing my mind at points, but you know what… I would do it all again to feel as fantastic as I do now.

Please pray for us and our lil planky (aka plankton).

All my Love

I.B x

Acupuncture and Me (My ovulation journey)


Sorry I’ve been quiet, I’ve not been feeling too good recently (infact that is an understatement!), but I promise to make up for it in the upcoming weeks.

I have been thinking about future posts and thought it could be helpful if I told you a few of the processes I have tried, to kick start my body into ovulating again. I see many of you ladies struggle with regular cycles and I totally feel your frustration. As you may (or may not) be aware, through reading my previous blogs, I will literally put myself forward as a human guinea pig and try anything and everything to get my little ovaries functioning again.

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I have to admit that though I have tried to make light of my situation, at times I’ve been extremely close to throwing in the towel and just heading down the surrogacy path.

All those bastard hormones, the injections, the heart ache, tri-weekly scans, sickness, bruising, not to mention the intense change of lifestyle, was it all worth it or would I just end up even more disappointed? My healthy diet got to the point I was unhealthily obsessed with it (it took over my life) and I went to quite vast extremes trying to keep it. Cutting out caffeine and my beautiful glasses of malbec, though initially the hardest part, quickly became the easiest bit of the diet.

I can honestly say I’ve tried almost everything with 100% commitment to kick start my body back to normal, but I think I have finally uncovered the things that work for me. I hope that by writing them on here, they may possibly help you lovelies too?

Fertility medication didn’t work for me… at all. I tried to stay open minded through each new cycle and see the bigger picture (whilst filling my body with crap), but after a while it got hard to keep optimistic. I turned out to be Clomid resistant, and though Gonal F shots worked for me the first time, they unfortunately had little affect the second. I even attempted a ten day course of menopur injections following the second round of Gonal F, but apart from severe bruising (think my tummy versus tyson!), I had nothing to show for it in ovulation terms.

The drugs made me feel awful so after three months of taking them, back to back, I decided to investigate a more natural approach. As mentioned previously, my diet had already been drastically altered to make it healthier since I was diagnosed with PCOS in November, but I wanted to do something more then just being religious with my food intake.

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(image from the Huffington Post)

I have always been interested in alternative medicine and holistic approaches to illness, so was curious when I came across reviews on Fertility Acupuncture. I found the reports mind blowing. How could needles have such a positive affect on an individual when strong medication did nothing? I decided to research a few well known acu fertility specialists in both London and surrey and shortlisted three. I emailed all and waited for the responses, one in particular touched me and I knew instantly I wanted to work with this lovely lady.

Samantha Hamilton-Stent was not only an amazing acupuncturist, offering me a tailor made service for my PCOS, lack of menstruation, uterine lining issues and anxiety, but she also listened and gave me advice from a wellbeing point of view. After we had our hour and a half consultation with Prawn, I decided to embark on a course of specialist Fertility electro acupuncture with her. The course involved two sessions for the first two weeks followed by one session for the following eight weeks.

Though I am used to needles with all my thyroid blood tests, I have to admit I was nervous about the idea of acupuncture… I imagined looking like the guy from Hellraiser with masses of needles coming out of every possible pore on my face, head and body. Luckily, I can vouch that it turned out to be nothing like that.

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The electro fertility points around my tummy and pubic bone were a little ouchy going in, but once in and connected to the current (low current hahah, don’t worry no mains electricity here!) they were very relaxing. I loved the sensation of the non electro needle points in my ears and head along with a few points on my fingers. Apparently the fewer points you use, the better results you get. I guess this is so it doesn’t cause too much confusion with your bodies different channels.

Samantha not only helped me to reboot my cycle and ovulate naturally after nine sessions! That’s right! Acupuncture alone helped me ovulate, with not one medication, pill, hormone or syringe in sight! But she also helped calm my anxiety with the whole ttc (trying to conceive) malarky. Prawn said I became a lot more “human” and less obsessed with trying for a baby. I have to agree as the calming affect of acupuncture helped me come to terms with my potential infertility and the need for IVF in a healthy way.

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I asked Samantha to help me out with a paragraph on how acupuncture works, so in her very expert words, here you go…

“Acupuncture works by influencing the Qi (energy) of the body to bring about a rebalance in the body’s systems.  In simple terms, when Qi is out of balance, stuck, or deficient, the body can suffer ill health.  With regard to fertility, acupuncture has a positive effect on reproductive hormones and improves blood flow to the uterus and ovaries therefore helping restore ovulation and create better conditions inside the womb for conception.  Acupuncture also helps greatly in relieving the stress associated with infertility and this is important as stress can, and often does, interfere with the body’s delicate hormonal balance.  In specific conditions such as PCOS,  energetically pathogenic factors obstruct the Qi of the ovaries giving rise to the formation of multiple cysts as well as disrupting the body’s hormones.  Acupuncture for PCOS is designed to dissipate these pathogenic factors and improve Qi flow as well as tackle systemic issues the body may have been experiencing for many years.  PCOS is a tenacious condition and in order to tackle it effectively, women get most benefit by having very regular treatment with acupuncture over a number of weeks.  Following dietary and lifestyle advice according to the principles of Chinese Medicine is also a must.  In many cases a resumption of the menstrual cycle and ovulation is achieved and this enables women to go on to achieve a pregnancy.  Acupuncture is a very effective and safe form of treatment that the vast majority of women really enjoy.”

I couldn’t put it better myself!

I don’t know what I would have done without Sam’s patience, knowledge and expertise. Please feel free to check her out for yourself at her below website:

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I truly believe Acupuncture has helped me and started to get things working again, I hope it can for you lovelies too. It’s still a long journey ahead for us but I feel the first hurdle has been crossed.

Please do keep me up to date with your stories too ladies, either on here or on twitter, I will be curious to see if there are any other fans of acu out there.  Good Luck!

All my Love

I.B x

My BEST Banana Bread Yet!


Coconut Oil -This is seen as possibly the no. 1, top superfood. Its unique combination of fatty acids have profound positive effects on health including fat loss, improved immune system, better brain function and cholesterol maintenance.

Bananas -High in Potassium, Magnesium and fibre. Bananas also contain tryptophan, an amino acid that is suggested to play a strong role in preserving memory and boosting your mood.



200g Wholegrain Self raising flour

95g Virgin coconut oil (plus extra for greasing)

80g Soft brown sugar

2 Ripe bananas

2 Eggs

1.5 Tbsp Desiccated Coconut

1 Tsp Vanilla extract

2 Tbsp Maple syrup

1 Tbsp Icing sugar for dusting (should you wish)

*This makes a small loaf so will easily serve 4-6 people*

TIP: The desiccated coconut is optional. You can use white self raising flour if you prefer, but I like the texture using wholegrain… it’s healthier too!



I have made infinite versions of this banana bread using everything from rice flour, ground hazelnuts, honey, ginger, etc, but I feel this version is the best. The course ground almonds didn’t suit the traditional banana bread consistency, nor did the very thin rice flour. Also I found the ginger a little too over powering when teamed alongside the delicate vanilla and banana. Please do leave feed back and let me know what you think of this recipe… I hope you enjoy it as much as us!

* Preheat your oven to 180 degrees

* Take a loaf tin and grease with your excess coconut oil (I find this easiest to do by applying the oil to some kitchen roll and wiping it through the tin)

* In a bowl mix the main quantity of coconut oil, sugar, vanilla and eggs thoroughly

* Mash your bananas (I tend to do this with the back of a fork, but so long as you have a good pulpy consistency, any way is fine)

* Add the bananas along with the flour to your bowl and mix well

* Fold in the maple syrup, trying to keep as much air in your mixture as possible

* Transfer your mix to the greased loaf tin

* Bake in the centre of your oven for one hour (or until you can pull a clean skewer from your banana bread)

* Leave your loaf to cool down before removing it

* Sprinkle with a light coating of icing sugar (should you wish) and serve… enjoy! A healthy yummy banana bread the whole family can enjoy!

All my Love

I.B x

My PCOS Gadget – OVUSENSE (Part 2)

Hello Peeps,

I think you will remember I posted a blog in February regarding my new gadget (aka the foof doof) to help me with my ovulation, or should I say LACK of ovulation adventure. I was pretty excited to have this new contraption and was convinced it would work, after all it does for the majority of you lovely bunch of “Cysters” out there, why wouldn’t it work for me…. right…?!?

I am fortunate, that I was approached by Ovusense to trial the product for 50% off the original price. I said that though it sounded fantastic, all my money was going on fertility appointments and tests, therefore due to our financial situation, the gadget just wasn’t a feasible option at that time. The product is £295 full price and it was an extra expense we couldn’t justify as it was the equivalent of 3 internal scans or 10 shots of Gonal F. Ovusense were very sweet and came back to me saying that I could have it for free in return for some blogs, relaying my experiences with the product. I was delighted and said I was more than happy to do that for them.

As you peepsicles are aware, my mission with my blog has always been to be brutally honest (despite the backlash), so I can help all the ladies out there like me. Unfortunately, my honest approach may frustrate Ovusense a little, but everything I am about to write is STRUCTUAL criticism as a user, to help make the product better.


Right… So this review is going to be a bit of a muddled one. On the one hand, I feel this product could be an absolutely outstanding piece of kit for ladies with PCOS. On the other, I feel it still has a fair way to go before it can truthfully say it is accurate for 99% of those using it.

I was so excited to start using Ovusense, or my “foof doof” as Prawn’s always referred to it haha, but the product has unfortunately caused me more heart ache and stress then good.

Anyone who is unfortunate enough to be diagnosed with PCOS, especially as a result of not being able to conceive, is in a very vulnerable position. If they are like me, they will literally try anything in the hope it will help them become a mummy. As mentioned previously, my AMH levels are crazy high and I have not ovulated naturally since June last year. The idea of having this gorgeous little gadget tell me how things are ticking away down below was fantastic and from day one, almost naively, I put all my faith into the product.

I started using the Ovusense a few months ago but had to stop due to my withdrawal bleed from my last round of pre prescribed Progesterone. Ovusense advise that for hygiene reasons, you don’t use the device whilst bleeding, which I agree makes perfect sense. I started using the product again post bleed and was delighted (though utterly bemused), when only 17 days later I was told I was in my “Ovulation window”… for real?! How could I be suddenly ovulating, out the blue, on my first attempt using this product?! I was a pretty baffled but rolled with it, after all, I had no reason to believe otherwise… it was 99% accurate after all.


Prawn and I refrained from nooky that day and day after (so he had two days for his little swimmers to mature and be strong) but we were gutted to receive a confirmation from the machine almost a week later saying that I had actually ovulated when we first got the message saying we were in our ovulation window! Hmmmmmm now by my calculations that’s not a 99% accurate machine. If It was 99% accurate, surely it would have told me a lot sooner I had ovulated?! How could it possibly have delayed the news for so long that’s not helpful!

We were both pretty bummed (and a little pissed off tbh), but as his fantabulous little swimmers can live for roughly 5 days, we hoped that maybe there could be a few alive from the previous week and if I had actually ovulated, that was pretty monumental news!


As mentioned, this device is meant to be 99% accurate as stated in the Ovusense Manual: “Ovusense has been rigorously developed and tested in extensive clinical trials against gold standard ultrasound follicle measurement. It is 99% accurate, comfortable and easy to use”.

I was therefore wary to doubt it, but I knew in my heart, there was no way I had ovulated. I had no pain, no bloating, nada, but again, I didn’t want to doubt the product so tried to stay optimistic.

The support page, though slightly misleadingly named “PCOS Fertility Support” is (on the whole) a lovely community to be part of. The majority of the women that help and offer advice are well informed and knowledgeable as they have been through infertility and PCOS themselves. That said, there are also a few admin members who have appalled me with the advice they have given. Comments such as “I don’t think you have to be too accurate with what day of the bleed you start taking clomid” and “Get bloods to check your progesterone on the day of ovulation to see if you have ovulated” were a few of my favs. Sorry if that’s a tad bitchy, but it is CRUCIAL that correct info is being given out to these vulnerable ladies as it is such an important time for them. Advice like the above is appalling, especially when you consider that some places only offer women 3 rounds of Clomid, so taking it at the wrong time is a waste. That said, the majority of admin are great and it’s just a few who I think have never suffered with infertility or PCOS that let the side down.

There’s a fun group started up by one of my favourite ladies called the “2ww club” (two week wait club) which I was delighted to become a member of so soon on my Ovusense journey. The two week wait is the amount of time it takes to get a strong positive pregnancy test, so I loved liaising and chatting with the other ladies who were going through the same nerves and excitement I was, in the build up to taking our pregnancy tests.


Well I got to 10 days… and naughtily did a preg test… but big surprise! It was a BFN! (big fat negative- pregnancy talk for a dud result on a preg test) But my graphs temperature kept rising. The rise in the graph post ovulation is a good sign of pregnancy as it shows a strong leuteal phase. The ladies were so supportive keeping my spirits up and telling me to stay positive that my graph was still rising. 10 days turned to 2 weeks and it kept rising… 2 weeks turned to 3 and my graph kept rising, unfortunately, there was no positive pregnancy test either.

The stress was really starting to get to me and I became borderline obsessed with the machine. I would wake up around 6 each morning to take out the foof doof and log the info in the graph to see if it had risen or dropped. It was emotionally draining as I was 3 weeks on and had no sign of my period arriving yet knew I couldn’t be pregnant either as the tests were coming up negative. It was suggested I go for a HCG (pregnancy blood test) as sometimes the tests don’t show you you are pregnant with PCOS. This of course came back negative, which caused more heart ache still.

Each time I voiced my concerns to the admins about how my graph was not normal, my concerns were brushed away (particularly by one) saying that the machine was definitely correct and I should be pleased I had such a good leuteal phase. I also kept being told how pleased I should be that I ovulated, but it didn’t stick. I knew I can’t have ovulated, so I went to speak to my specialists and GPS and they agreed from other tests, that there was no way I ovulated at that time. I voiced this to Ovusense on the support page and was completely ousted and made to feel like a social lepper and trouble maker.


Now this is where I have issue. So long as Ovusense works for you, they love you, are friendly, supportive, etc. As soon as you voice concerns about the product detecting your ovulation late, or your sensor stopping working, etc, these posts are swiftly deleted and disappear off the groups news feed, even if you are writing on that thread or are following it. I find this a little deceptive. I put up concerns on the product a few weeks ago and the thread went AWOL. I had friends accused of being bullies and other ladies that said they had similar problems were blocked from the group. I found the whole thing extremely upsetting as I wrote the post in good faith asking for advice, after all that’s what the page is therefore, but it became so childish and petty I felt like I was at school with people taking sides?! How old are we ladies? 5? or in our late 20’s, 30s, 40s?

The product needs to realise it is fairly new so will go through teething problems. They should embrace these and learn from them not hide from them. Isn’t transparency the key to a good business? Ovusense have an amazing customer response team headed by  Lucinda and they do respond to queries very quickly once emailed, so why not show this on their page?  Surely this is a massive positive of the brand as it shows any potential buyers that Ovusense customer service is prompt and brilliantly dealt with. Also as it is a new product, rather then shun people like myself who it doesn’t work for, learn from us! We could make this an amazing brand for ALL ladies with PCOS not just the majority.

I have seen a few ladies, who have had difficulty with the product like me, blocked from the group for voicing their opinions?! For all I know, I may be too after writing this post, but if that is the case so be it, I stand by all I write and I feel sad that there is almost a bully like culture towards those that question the products information.

A perfect example is my last graph… does this look correct to you?


How on earth can you see anything or gain any information from this graph? How can you see if there is a rise or dip pre ovulation? How do I know when to time nooky following the “Ovusense Trends”? I voiced concerns over the fact my graph was flat lining and asked if there was a possible error. The response stated in no uncertain terms that the product was fine and there were no errors I just had high readings… ok….noone else seemed to have these high readings, but fair enough. The temperature up the side of the graph goes up to 37.5 degrees, I was flat lining at the top! Prawn saw the stress this was causing me so suggested I stop using it.

I asked to speak to the CEO of Ovusense as was getting a little tired of the constant reassurances that the product was correct, etc, and was also getting upset that ladies like myself were being made to look like trouble makers when they were simply voicing concerns about their potential ovulation. I’m lucky, as previously mentioned, that I didn’t pay for this product, but there are plenty of ladies that did. Unfortunately those ladies I could no longer talk to as they had been blocked from the group for asking questions that I assume were making the product look less reputable! Eurgh, it was all becoming a horrible, stressful, psychological mess.

I suddenly was being advised to go to the dr and get checked as my temperatures were unusually high… hang on a minute? I thought previously my temps were high and it was all good, now I’m being told that I could be ill?! What was I supposed to think?!

Here is a snipet from the email convo I had with the CEO, Robert Milnes, on the 9th April, after voicing my concern about the product for me and other ladies with high readings.

We are planning a new software at the moment and I believe we should look at 
introducing the facility to see higher (and lower) temperatures than the graphing 
limit. Most crucially of all you will of course want to know if OvuSense is going to 
help you get  pregnant - I think it's too early to say, but maybe it is probable 
you're ovulating.


So Ovusense seems to be aware there are problems and the product may not work for individuals like me, so why are they hiding this fact on the support page?! It’s such a frustrating situation. The chat with the CEO was really good and I really respect the time he gave me, but even he hasn’t guaranteed the product was correct in saying I ovulated. So why can’t the support page admit that?

Most worrying was the graph I was sent of my actual temperatures after I sent head office my device so I could physically see what my readings are. The graph (below) shows my temperatures are up to 39 degrees!! That’s a fricking fever and dangerously high, yet I feel absolutely fine and am not ill in any shape or form.


I have to be honest, despite seeing Ovusense work for most ladies on the group (though often telling them they have ovulated a few days after it initially implies), the product in it’s current state does not work for me.

I have been using OPK’s (the pee sticks that detect LH) which I initially slagged off in my last Ovusense post, but do you know they have been my saving grace. I have used them daily for a period of just over a month and they have been brilliant. I also tracked my cervical mucus, body aches and emotional state to get an idea of patterns I may have.

I am absolutely delighted to say that I got my first ever positive OPK the other weekend and officially ovulated for the first time in a year! Unfortunately I got a BFN so no bubba yet, but regardless, I am delighted that my body is finally getting to where it needs to be.

Sorry if this has been a little ranty, I just wanted to give an honest review on an expensive product that is so so close to being fantastic. Ovusense have a great opportunity here to help many women like me but are shooting themselves in the foot by not being more transparent over their current products failures.


All My Love

I.B x

Healthy but Yummy, Coco Bean Cake


Coconut Oil -This is seen as possibly the top superfood. Its unique combination of fatty acids have profound positive effects on health including fat loss, improved immune system, better brain function and cholesterol maintenance.

Cocoa Powder -Cocoa contains the substance phenethylamine, which is a neurotransmitter found in the brain that acts as a mood elevator and natural antidepressant, it is therefore thought that cocoa can give you the endorphin boost to alleviate depression and anxiety.

Kidney Beans -These contain a huge amount of flavonoids which represent one of the most important groups of antioxidants. Kidney beans are also high in Folate and Fibre, which contributes to heart health.



75ml Melted Coconut Oil (plus extra for greasing)

1x tin (400g) Red Kidney Beans (drained and blended)

3x Eggs

50g Rice Flour

50g Ground Almonds

50g Good Quality Cocoa Powder

75g Soft Light Brown Sugar

1.5 Tsp Baking Powder

2 Tbsp Maple Syrup

1 Tsp Vanilla Extract

*This makes a medium size cake, using a round, 11 inch baking tin*

Tip: Feel free to add 3 Tbsp of desiccated coconut or walnuts to the mixture, both work really well!



I got the idea for this cake from one of Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstalls River Cottage recipes. Hugh’s recipe contained too much sugar for my PCOS diet and I also wanted to reduced the rice flour content. My version of this recipe can be made using 100g of Ground almonds instead of 50g/50g with the rice flour. This said, rice flour gives the cake a smoother, velvety consistency then the grainier almonds.

As mentioned, the 125g of sugar was a little much for my PCOS, so again, I adapted this by using a mixture of Maple syrup (natural) and almost half the initial light brown sugar. I really hope you enjoy this cake, the kidney beans and coconut oil along with the eggs give it a high nutritional content and makes it a treat that is only a little bit naughty but ever so, ever so nice.

* Preheat your oven to 180 degrees and grease a round baking tin

* Fully blend your kidney beans in a bowl until they form a thick paste and there are no obvious lumps or pieces of skin

* Place all your dry ingredients in a separate bowl and mix

* Make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients and add the eggs, vanilla essence, maple syrup and coconut oil

* Mix thoroughly, trying to make the mixture as airy as possible, this will help add a light consistency to the cake

* Pour the mixture into your greased baking tin and place in the centre of the oven for 22 minutes (I have tried 20 and 25 but 22 works perfectly every time)

* Once the cake has cooked, it should be slightly cracked on the surface

* Let the cake cool before taking it out the tin

Voila! A gorgeous, healthy-er chocolate cake! I bet you can’t even taste the kidney beans… let me know what you think!

All my Love

I.B x