Friday, July 29, 2005

Almost Starting Cycle # 8

Not meaning to gloat here - but I am about to have a perfect 29 day cycle.

Last night (Day 28) I saw the first breakthrough of watery blood - my period is arriving soon. Yeah fucking-doo.

When I was young - I never want my period to come. I hoped and pray that I will not bleed on the day I wear my white uniform for sports day. I wished so hard that when I was 14 it actually stopped for a whole year. In hindsight I do believe that was a sign/promise that I am destined to have women/fertility problems.

Then when I got older - I wished for my period to be regular so I know which days I can wear tight pants.

Then when I met Ape-man - and things got a little saucy - I wished for my period to have further gaps apart so we can fit in more sex.

Then when we started to try for a baby - I wish to get my period more regularly so I can fit in more fertility/IVF cycles.

And now - I am at a point in which I am finally happy. I make egg every month, then I make a nice endoemtrial lining, body temperature rises, the lining gradually thickens so my left boob hurt, body temperature dips on the last day of cycle and I bleed (and sulk). Cycle starts again.

I just need to fall pregnant to end this maddening cycle. God help me.

Am going to wait for the full force of my period - then give the new clinic a call and order a Frozen Blastocyst Transfer thanks, (probably call on Sunday). The plan is for Ape-man to inject me with a little Puregon daily to prime myself for the FBT.

The baby story of the day is I had to internally ring this girl up for information - only to be advised that she is on maternity leave. But please call this other lady up because she will have what you need - and yes - she is also pregnant and is at home waiting for her water to burst. So best to go fuck yourself and park yourself back in your work-station and whinge about infertility.

I nearly dug my eyes out.

Am just looking forward to start this cycle #8 and see what tricks nature has up on her sleeves this time. Am going to be optimistic.

I NEED to be optimistic.

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

The Infertile-land

Was reviewing my latest edition of the Madison magazine - and was reading the `Letters to the Editor' section - and came across this lovely lady's comments about an article from the previous issue.

The article in question was a debate about whether to have a baby whilst you're young - or maybe have a career/travel first - then have the baby when you are older. The lady in question just had a baby and find it necessary to defend her childless friends - there is not always a fine line as depicted by the magazine.

The article basically depicts two extreme scenarios - a young model in her early twenties with a son conceived accidentally with her ex-partner, and a television high-flyer who got married in her late 30's and is currently pregnant with her second child at aged 42.

She find it stereo-typing that people find it necessary to condemn women who are in a relationship - but childless - because people think they are putting career/travel/shoes in place of starting a family. She said some of her freinds are challenged in the baby-making department and therefore ended up childless - it is not by choice but by circumstances. So why should they be judged?

Also some of us don't get to `choose' when we can have babies. I wanted to have a baby when I was 26. Now I am 31 and still working on it.

I was asked last year by a nosey fucker if it was because I prefer the money from working better (so I can buy more shoes) - so therefore I am putting off starting a family (and she wasn't joking). I said yes. No need to clarify my situation with her. I share my IVF stories with people who genuinely care.

Yes - I guess to some people, after six years of marriage with no children is a little odd - maybe they presume I don't like children - and that I enjoy my 9 to 5 job so much that I am delaying motherhood. However I do find it necessary at times to defend myself to some family (who doesn't know about my IVF problem) - because they feel it is my duty to breed.

Well done to that lady who stood up for people like me - the reproductively challenged.

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Panic (About Ovulation Or Not)

I panic about everything - all the time - and lately I have learnt to tone it down a little. Well, just a little.

That's why this cycle I have chosen not to do the daily blood tests - so basically I am supposed to not `give a fuck' about whether or not I have ovulated. I have been absolutely paranoid about it since they took my ovary away. Ovulation to me is an indication of `normalness'. To me, anovulation is a dirty word - it goes hand in hand with things like `mid cycle spotting', `cramps', `heavy period' - all of which I used to suffer severely prior to surgery. Some days I just want to die - after three fucking weeks of non-stop bleeding and estrogen hovering the low 200's is not good.

But then of course it doesn't stop me from charting my basal temps daily (first thing in the morning - before Ape-man kisses me good morning - he is not allowed to touch me until I temped myself - don't want his body heat to ruin the accuracy of theresults). Also I look out for mucus change, softness of vagina, and most importantly - my left boob's condition.

I was getting worried that I am not ovulating this month - so yep - off I went to see my naturopath - who assured me everything is `okay'. I think about the possibility of an ovulation daily - I keep freaking myself out - oh shit what happens if I don't ovulate this month? Fuck is something wrong with the remaining ovary? Am I growing a fucking cyst? OH FUCK FUCK FUCK!!

And then, it happened. Was told last thursday by my bee's knees new clinic that I ovulated (blood tests done as a part of pre-IVF screening). In fact it happened approximately 6 days ago. As if on cue - my left boob started to hurt, it began to hurt more and more and by today I swear it is going to fall off!

The moral of the story is - I am insane. If I stop trying to conceive maybe I will be normal again.

I found myself hovering outside a shop in town on saturday night - it was rather sad - I stared into the plastic dummies with attractive bellies - outfitted in beautiful lycra gear. I found myself wishing to be that dummy - even for a moment, even if it means I will be headless and not able to move - at least I will get to experience the feeling of having a belly full of baby.


Thursday, July 21, 2005

A Fresh Start - And More Gard-Damn Blood Tests...

....And the doctor was nice.

He is alot nicer than I expected - he's funny, a bit younger than I thought he will be. Probably the only drawback is he is not as good a listener as my old doctor. I miss my old doctor already (in a way).

The new clinic is fantastic - they are so organised, the sitting room is a lot spunkier, and the nurses seem to know EXACTLY what they are doing. Which is refreshing! Doctor had a half hour discussion with me and Ape-man - going through both our history - discussing everything from when I got my first period, our sexual history, and our conceiving history together.

One of the first conclusions he made was - it doesn't look good. In fact he used the word `grim'. Which is not what I want to hear.

He said you have a pretty good profile here, no major problems encountered with getting eggs and embryos - and after 7 cycles with more than 10 healthy embryos put back and still no pregnancy is not a good sign.

But remember I had my dream last night - my baby dream. I am feeling optimistic.

I asked about antibodies, I asked about `uterine receptiveness' - everything I learnt from Dr Beer's website in the US. My new doctor said Dr Beer's findings is debatable - he is more concerned about more important things such as chromosome abnormality within the embryos. I will therefore need to get a pre-implantation genetic screening when we do a fresh cycle. My doctor said apparently in the Eastern States, a woman just completed her 26th transfer (yes, fucking 26th! Mind blowing - good on her!), unfortunate for her - it failed - again. They screened her next batch of embryos for PGS - and found abnormalities in ALL of them - which means none of the embryos were destined for full term pregnancies nor can they be implanted. I didn't ask what she did next because the possibility of it scared me to death - but my doctor voluteered the information anyway - he said that couple are just not destined to have babies together.

Anyway on that dark note - they have taken fucking 12 tubes of blood from me and another 8 from the Ape-man - standard pre-IVF screening. Am looking at doing a frozen embryo cycle next month as soon as period arrives using embryos I have in storage from the old clinic. Fingers crossed.

Genetic problems or not.

My Melody

My intention today was to whinge about the minor set back I had last night when I was going through my IVF records. But then I woke up smiling this morning - because for the first time for as long as I can remember - I saw my baby's face (in my dream).

I had quite a few baby dreams before - it is always like one of those horror movies - I gave birth in a hospital, the nurse gave me my baby to hold for the first time, I looked down and the face is always blank. A variation to this dream is people from my dream keeps my baby away from me by holding his/her all the time - and I cannot see his/her face. But I saw her last night. It seemed so real.

I returned home from hospital with my baby. Ape-man keeps calling my little girl `Melody' - which is not the name we had agreed on. It's actually Mxxxx. (Don't want to jinx myself here!). So anyway I looked at Melody - she looked so incredibly beautiful - the chubbiest cheeks I have ever seen and I started to cry (tears of joy of course!). I can really see her face for the first time. Then I was showing Melody off to all the friends and family - then I remembered maybe I shouldn't expose her to so many people because I figured she probably need to build her immune system up first. Then I laid her down on her pram. And then suddenly it hit me - of course! Her name should be Mxxxx - the same name I call out to every night before sleep during my IVF cycles. She's the one. I told Ape-man about it and we named our little girl Mxxxx. And we lived happily ever after. Then the alarm clock went off.

I am still smiling as I write this.

Quite a turnaround from last night - I was going through pages and pages of clinic records. There's the `natural cycles', the IVF cycles, the shitty `cancelled cycles'. All with `NOT PREGNANT' written on them. With the exception of the one `CHEMICAL PREGNANCY' back in mid 2002. And this chemical pregnancy was achieved with my estrogen hardly climbed past 400! (I used Progynova).

I then came across this one particular cycle - which when I read it, it hit me like a tonne of brick:

Cycle: Clomid 150mg Protocal
24/3/05 - E2 = 180
26/3/03 - E2 = 170
27/3/03 - E2 = 220
28/3/03 - E2 = 340
29/3/03 - E2 = 260
30/3/03 - E2 = 420
31/3/03 - E2 = 230
1/4/03 - E2 = <150
*Cancelled temporarily*
7/4/03 - E2 = 260
9/4/03 - E2 = 340
11/4/03 - E2 = 460
12/3/03 - E2 = 470
13/3/03 - E2 = 560
14/3/03 - E2 = 670
15/3/03 - E2 = 850, LH = 9
16/3/03 - E2 = 1100, LH = 24
LH surge detected - ET scheduled for 20/3/03
19/3/03 - Embryos (x2) did not survive.
*Cycle Cancelled*

I was cooking dinner when they called to let me know after 16 blood tests later, my embryos arrested in the lab the night before transfer and therefore the cycle has to be cancelled. I remember standing there and wanting to die on the spot. I think I howled, and ended up having a panic attack in the kitchen and Ape-man rushed in to catch me. It really was the worse experience in my life - worse than any `real' IVF failures I've had, worse than my chemical pregnancy. I hope it doesn't happen again. I don't wish it upon my worse enemies.

In hindsight - I think that experience made me stronger - it goes to show how `prepared' you need to be mentally for IVF. I am heading off to visit my new clinic soon. Hope the doctor is nice.

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Prime Yearling Beef

Somebody at work just offered to go halves in a slab of prime yearling beef – to be freshly slaughtered end of July. Tastefully the seller has attached a picture of the poor bugger – he has a smooth dark brown coat – a pretty cow. I had the choice of either taking the forequarter or the hindquarter.

Look, I am a meat eater, I don’t do bloodied steaks – but I DO eat beef. But I can’t possibly eat something I can put a face to. It is just too heart wrenching. I turned the offer down immediately of course. Prime yearling or not.

Ape-man just rang to let me know he has picked up my records from my old clinic – (I need to do a show and tell for my new doctor tomorrow). I asked him was it in one of those A4 yellow envelopes. He said no – it’s more like a folder.

Tonight I am going to spend some time reminiscing about my IVF track records wearing my comfy PJ’s sipping warm honey water. Surely it must be better than the TV crap they show on Wednesday nights.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

So Busy - or was it??

I have been so incredibly busy the last week or so I have no time to write in my diary. Fucking work is killing me - but according to my naturapath (the psychic one) - work is not affecting my fertility at all.

Well whoop-dee-do.

And since this month I was supposed to `take a break' from making babies - I didn't go into the clinic for any blood tests to `chart' my hormones. So I suspect I haven't ovulated because my basal temperature is all over the show, my cervical mucus has too much variety in it so I cannot tell if I have ovulated, and my left boob doesn't hurt at all (usually when it hurts - it means an ovulation occured - no shit!!).

Ape-man saids you shouldn't think so much about whether or not you have ovulated. We should have sex whenever we want. You are making yourself sick thinking about babies all the time.

I can't help it. I've been trying for a baby for five fucking years. Every twitch or twang in my pelvic means something to me - so I can't help but think about it all the time.

Yesterday - despite my recent optimism - I fantasised about escaping the country - maybe use a fake passport - get myself a new identity, and live a new life by myself in a foreign country. I don't want my family to find me - so nobody knows how old I am, how long have I been trying for a baby, etc. Then I will have lots of sex with lots of foreign men (not gang-banging type, but serial one-night stand type). Then maybe I will get pregnant that way. Usually when you are most messed up you ended up falling pregnant. I got that idea because one of my fertility friends' friend, who is in a unstable relationship, and doesn't want children, ended up getting pregnant to her boyfriend who abuses her. Now she is contemplating abortion.

Am seeing new doctor on thursday. Excellent stuff. I have something to look forward to. I am most excited about it (and sadly) because I am new to the clinic - so I won't be an `old' face.


Saturday, July 09, 2005

The War of the Doctors

So here's my post IVF talks.
First talk is with my IVF doctor.
Second talk was with my *psychic* naturopath two days later.

I believe I am a smart girl - and smart girls always have a back-up plan.

I methodically described to IVF doc the details of my previous three cycles - of how everything seems to be in good order with excellent hormone levels and good blastocysts - but no pregnancy. Apart from suggesting maybe I should try injecting myself with HCG during my two week wait to `support that lining' - there really is nothing much else we can do because it seems I don't need anything else. I am apparently freakishly normal - but just not getting pregnant.

I related to him about my sadness of returning to the same fertility clinic - everybody there greeting me by my first (and sadly, second name), and keep seeing fresh faces in the clinic because the women who are not there anymore either have gotten pregnant already or have moved on. It is depressing and I don't want to be in that place anymore. I don't want to be strapped down to the same meat block for transfers, I don't want to go for shitty blood tests with the same bunch of nurses (bless them) telling me that yeah, this one is it. I want to move on. I verbally diarrheaed these words with tears all over my face.

So - I have temporarily bid my goodbye to my trooper doc - who is so kind and so generous and a skilled surgeon. I have an appointment to see a new doctor in a few weeks time - and will be using a new clinic.

Then I saw my naturopath - I went for my check-up - to make sure my body is in good nick - and to get some vitamins for myself and the Ape-man so he can make super sperm.

I woke up at 5:45am this morning just so I can be outside the Naturopath's surgery at 6:30am to line up for the 7:30am opening - and already there were 9 people ahead of me waiting - that's how good this guy is. We were all freezing our arses off but everyone agreed it is worth the wait.

Naturopath says - you are in excellent condition, hormonally you are absolutely perfect - better than last time I saw you - so he doesn't understand why I even need IVF. Your left side is in pain. (Yup - was confirmed by my IVF doc that I may have developed some more adhesions at the bowels over the left hand side as a result of removing the ovary), so I have been suffering from left back pain (fucking endometriosis). And I am have too many negative thoughts and is too caught up with trying to get pregnant. He said I am letting this pregnancy thing ruining my life. He said I need to stop thinking about it, move on - and then good things will happen.

And hopefully that is what I will do. But like I said - there is always a back-up plan around the corner. So will wait and see what the new clinic propose.

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

The Fertility Goddess

Was quietly working away this morning - trying to work out why I keep fucking up my drawings (I suspect it was due to fluctuating hormonal levels and suspected depression) and why do I need to use short-bodied valves for non-insulated services (still no fucking idea) - when I was `woken' up by the fertility goddess's chirpy morning voice - despite the fact that she was standing at least three rows away from me.

Of course - first thing first - being in an engineering office all the men look up and look for the person with a feminine voice.

"Oh hi there Paul, this is Jessica. Jessica is going to replace me whilst I'm away...."

Great - Fertility Goddess / footballer's wife is here to remind me why I am so miserable and sad because nobody will ever replace me to do my shitty work - because I don't need replacement - because I am not pregnant and don't know if I ever will. Fantastic.

I know it's mean - she really doesn't mean to because she obviously has no idea I am in the situation I'm in - but never mind - I am allowed to whinge here.

I still remember when the Fertility Goddess was a young graduate a few years ago - fresh faced - skinny and gorgeous. All the men in the office drools over her - and looks forward to casual fridays because that's when she puts on her skin-tight denim *ex-model*. Actually she is a really nice girl too - great personality and always have a moment for people. Back then I was going through IVF already - and I used to think - gosh it will be so nice to be in her position - dating a footballer, going out to society balls, etc - not bloated with fertility drugs at home like me and feel sorry for myself when I get a period. Be free and choose my own destiny.

Then suddenly things move forward so fast I find it difficult to catch my breath. She got married, a year later she has a baby in her belly - the same girl who used to be a fresh faced graduate. I guess I am jealous - oh I admit that - but sometimes I just cannot work out why I am so retarded in the reproductive department - I don't know if it is because I am not deserving? Or is there a lesson to be learnt?

Am going to my long awaited for post-IVF chat with doctor now. My little pebbles in life.

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

IVF Battlefield - Version 45.3

Excellent news – period has stopped as of late this morning.

Thank you God for small favours. I may even be able to stop wearing panty liners by tomorrow.

Once again I am on the lookout for RHS pelvic pains – any little nicks and pricks to tell me I MAYBE ovulating this cycle again. Oh please God let me be normal.

I just came back from a short walk – stopping by Kookai to look at the tops I swear I will stop buying (because I am going to be pregnant and should stick to loose fitting clothing not tight little numbers), and Zomp – to look at shoes I am not supposed to buy because I am saving up for IVFs and motherhood. Fortunately I came out unscathed. But damn the boots are on sale.

So as I walked back to the office – right at building entrance I was pushed over by not one, but two heavily pregnant women (who are obviously friends) with the most massive baby-bellies I have ever seen. OK –enough of that whinging bullshit. Moving right along.

My friend A - who has been battling with IVF for years like myself - is going to start a fresh cycle with a new clinic in the next month or so - her new doctor has it all worked out for her - the drugs, the pre-start medication, the post-IVF medications, she even had a pre-IVF operation to have an internal clean out and full medical checks for herself and her husband. The new clinic is throwing all eggs into the basket for her and I hope and pray this is it for her. I need to surround myself with a little bit of positivity - at least I know people are still getting pregnant through IVF.

I remember one of my earlier posts I wrote about seeing a rainbow through my office window - I saw it again yesterday. I don't know if this is God's way of teasing me - but I appreciate it and I see the rainbow as a sign of hope. I have nothing else to look forward to - so a little rainbow is certainly going to help me along the way.

I wish for nothing else except to be happy and take each day as it comes. Oh - an ovulation this month will be nice as well - a bonus.

Monday, July 04, 2005

The Pregnancy Phenomena

Day 6 today. Still fucking bleeding. It was a massive period.

Haven't had a massive period since my ovary was taken away from me. So I am a little worried.

What I am worried about is this period is a lot more intense than my previous IVF ones - despite being a `natural' cycle - did I make a baby and then lost it? Did we create any cells? Is there anything for me at all? Did Babe's sperm reached my egg? Did Sergio put more mayo into my Donor Kebab on friday?

Because pregnancy is so far reach for me - seeing a pregnant woman on the street, and especially if it is somebody you know - is like looking at the solar eclipse, or more artisically - looking at a nice oil painting. It's strange, it's something new, you know you cannot reproduce the same no matter how hard you tried, you really want to learn how to do it but somehow you don't know where to start.

In the office there is a fertility goddess - better known as the footballer's wife. She's beautiful, an ex-model, smart, dated a celebrity footballer and married him in a dream wedding with the works - and a year on - she is now pregnant with his baby and I just saw her waddled past. Although God is fair and made her stack on the weight now that she is more than 7 months into her pregnancy - I must admit she looks fantastic - even more so than before she was pregnant. The baby weight somehow gets evenly distributed on her body and she looks great in her bright pink lycra maternity gear. Last night - I pathetically stuck out my stomach in front of the mirror and pretended to be pregnant. Oh I looked pregnant alright (thanks to years of fertility drugs and my `no-exercise because I am trying for a baby' regime). But of course when I feel that stomach I know it is just fat and fluids - no baby.

Saturday morning I woke up to a hard nudge at my anal region. Babe (a.k.a. Ape-man) wants to have sex. I said it is not a good time - I am raining period - I just don't feel like it. Ape-man didn't understand and complained why am I always complaining about this ached and that hurt. I said how would you like to have sex when you have shit packed all the way up to your intestines, severe haemorrhoids so you are bleeding from the arse continuously, and your penis feels incredibly small all of a sudden? He promptly understood and promised he will make it up to me early this week as soon as my period finishes. Great.

Life goes on - I am here now, so might as well make the best of it. This month I will be back to my old self - I am happy with or without baby - right up until my period arrives again. Let's pray for an ovulation again.