Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Remembering the Day

Today I should have been a parent, I should be holding in my arms a very wanted and longed for child. My husband and I should have had the big rush to the hospital, the screaming for the gas and air, the degeneration of my language to levels never heard before, the phoning the grandparents, the joy of expanding our family. All that ended seven months and one car accident ago.

Instead I had a quiet day, I filled it with the gym, ironing, cleaning the kitchen and a very quiet little cry, not the same really.

Wednesday, 9 November 2011

All as expected.....

Yep, sometimes that pessimistic outlook pays off. So surgery was done and eggs were retrived. I woke up to a four written on my hand, not bad, not good, but not bad. Four little eggs as the output from all of those drugs and having my inards hoovered. So back home with paracetamol and pampering from the other half. And then the phonecall from the embryologist the following day to say that three out of the four had fertilised, an amaxing 75% rate!

So five days later, back in the stirrups with my feet about three feet above my head and all eyes glued on the monitor, and then back home. For the next ten days I walked around like I was made of spun glass, being so, so careful. Then the cramps started, and it was obvious it had never worked.

In an odd way I was relived that this one was out of the way. After IVF working first time, and then getting pregnant naturally after the accident I knew that there would be no luck for us on this cycle. Now this one was done I can look forward to the next one, the one where I think we have a real chance, and of course I know that just by thinking that if the next cycle doesn't work it is going to be so much more devistating.

Wednesday, 5 October 2011

I am a Pincushion!

Here is the maths-

Days since treatment commenced - 11
Times a needle has been stuck into me - 22
Times into stomach - 18
Times into arm - 4

It's raining and I'm feeling very sorry for myself. Had to get up at 6.00am this morning to drive into the city to get bloods taken and my normally very shy veins were feeling extra intimidated today and chose to hide. After 3 mins of trying to get blood out we had to switch arms and try again on the other one, which gave us half a vial after 5 mins. And I did all the things you are meant to, tried to keep extra hydrated, kept warm, kept my arms pumping in the waiting room, but no co-operation was forthcoming. However it is all good news, extra follicals have developed on those ovaries, threat of over hormone stimulation has been kept at bay, and we are go for egg retireval on Friday. There I get even more people becoming overly familiar with my lady parts as they go in to get those eggs. The good news is that I am asleep for it this time, unlike all the internal scans with the probe, (aggggh and shudder at this point!). When I wake up I get to look at my hand and see written how many eggs they got, last time it was seven, lets see if I can beat it this time!

Sunday, 2 October 2011

In Memorandum

With all that has happened I took up the services of a psychologist to work through all that has happened. Now I am a pretty self sufficient and emotially upbeat person and in the course of a normal life would never take this route, but life hasn't been normal so I had some sessions on the couch. It was one of the best and most positive experiences of my life, we acknowledged the past and worked on moving forward. One of the things we discussed was having some kind of memorial to the two pregnancies that we lost, something to mark that they existed and that we lost them. So I thought about that for some time, ideas such as planting a tree didn't work with being in rented accommodation or getting some kind of object for the house seemed very maudlin. In the end I was inspired by a post from a friend of ours who makes micro financing loans to groups and individuals around the world. This allows you to join with up to hundreds of others in financing things such as small business to buy more stock or a farmer to get the right machinery. Real, tangible, life changing support that helps to change peoples lives in a practical way.

So I made two loans, one to help a womens' co-operative buy some material to make goods in South America and one to support a female Ugandan farmer to improve soil quality for their farm, or in plain English I helped pay for poo! Now a couple of months later I got the first loan payed back, with a little bit of interest to save up for another loan amount, and I was able to re-invest in another project in Senegal.. Now I feel like I almost have a living memorial, that is out there helping to make the world just a little bit better almost with a life of its own.

Tuesday, 27 September 2011

The last day prayer....

The last day before your cycle re-starts is the day when the great prayer goes through your head, "Dear Lord, please let nature have worked its magic, please let conception have happened naturally so I don't have to go through weeks of injections, surgery and more people having a look at my nether regions than I can shake a stick at...Amen".

God must have been busy and she missed helping me on this one.

Friday, 23 September 2011

Bring on the Drugs

So the process begins again and off I go to collect the drugs for the next cycle. It is amazing how little people know about the actual process of IVF, and I used to be one of them. I thought it was just about getting an egg and some sperm in a test tube and that would be it. How I wish it was... Basically at the beginning of the next cycle I will be daily and then twice daily injected with drugs over the period of about two weeks. My body will be turned into a big egg production factory; I never thought about it like that before and now feel a huge affinity and sympathy with my battery hen cousins. Instead of the normal one egg a month we are hoping that my body will bring to maturity as many as we can, as close to double figures that we can get. With our fertilisation level being low last time around the more eggs we produce hopefully means more embryos to implant or to ‘put on ice’ for the future. So I felt like an old hand, checking through the pens and swabs, and giggling over the nurse’s advice that the cool bag they give it to you all in makes a great lunch box. I suppose we can consider this a freebie perk from joining an exclusive club, though I think I would prefer to wear the Dennis the Menace badge from when I joined the Beano club when I was seven.

Wednesday, 14 September 2011

Back on the IVF merry go around

Am I happy? Am I nervous? Am I trying to avoid thinking the worst? Well yes I think to all three. In February after many years of trying my husband and I had our first cycle of IVF. I'm 37 and he is 39. We have always wanted kids and planned on starting our family not long after we were married. But things just never happened and eventually after emigrating to Australia we decided to take the step of significant medical intervention. And it worked, first time, 7 eggs, 2 fertilised, one implanted and one pregnancy. It was amazing.

And then my new job went pear shaped. As part of a newly recruited team I found that I had to deliver all these programs after a restructuring had made the staff who delivered them all redundant, and finding new starters saying things like, "Yes I know I took the job, but I don't actually want to do it and am planning on taking the salary until my girlfriend finishes college and we can move somewhere else, but don't actually ask me to do anything as I just don't want to". I then get charges of bullying and harassment against me because I start managing the complete lack of output. And then I had a car accident, with some girl on a mobile phone deciding she wanted to put her car into my cars back seat. One ambulance trip later, a couple of scans over the next couple of days and that was the end of my pregnancy. Well, only after my care pathway completely failed adding more stress as my poor husband is phoning place after place trying to get me the basic care I needed. And what was works response? Well my boss decided I didn't need to replace the permanent staff member who had stormed off after deciding he was only going to talk to me with another member of staff present, I could cover that job as well. That made four including my own and then the administrator got hold of some e-mails about my miscarriage and decided to pass it around the office, and then they let her keep her job and expected me to work with her every day as, and I quote "well we hadn't thought of what she did as being bullying, I suppose you could see it that way, but we don't." So by now I was a wreck, not able to sleep, feeling so tired and stressed. I was also pregnant again, naturally, within two months of losing the last one. I sat there, at my obstetricians, on the first anniversary of my father’s death being told that we had achieved the impossible, a natural pregnancy, while also telling me that it looked like I was miscarrying again. So I went home, I cried, and the next day I walked into work and resigned.

So here I am ten weeks later, a couple of kilos lighter, daily gym fiend and trying to de-stress. This is my time to get as much of my life as calm and under control as possible, to find out the things I do want to do and don't want to do with my life, and to jump on to that IVF freight train again. All I can think about is that I've had my luck, we used it all up getting pregnant the very first time, or if we do get pregnant that everything I've done around health and well being will not be enough and that we will have another loss. But then I think, it could work, it could be fine and our little family could grow that bit bigger. It's the last thought that I am holding in my head and heart, it has to be.