Monday, June 30, 2008

Time for a change?

Dr P has suggested my chances are still good for a successful pg. Nothing is set in concrete of course, and he still thinks we have quality issues, but he seemed fairly positive. He's happy to advise Brisbane, but thinks they can probably do a better job in Sydney. At this point, a 2% improvement is better than nothing, I'll take what we can get.

Raises the dilemma of changing clinics though. I hate doing that at the best of times, and especially when we have a good rapport with the Dr in Brisbane. And chances are still pretty good for there also, so it makes justifying the move harder, but if we only have 2 or 3 more shots, I don't want to regret NOT going for gold with the best we can.

I get the impression Dr P is used to dealing with egg quality issues more aggressively also. And that the clinic is very flexible with retrieval dates, if I'm not a "textbook" responder.

I'm thinking about a new job as well. I thought I was doing ok, but I had a meeting with our practice manager, and feedback is that I'm not. I'm still mean apparently. Or "intimidating".
Well, if people stopped asking me stupid questions when I'm busy and used their own brains, I wouldn't get annoyed so much.
The worst part is that I don't really know what I want. Do I just want to work in a high end practice and do general vet work still, the variety is something I enjoy. Or do I want to take the next step and look toward a specialist practice, and maybe work at a specialty?
And more importantly, would I be any happier?

I don't like who I am anymore, but I'm trying so hard to not let it out when I get cranky. I'm trying to let those little things go, but lots of little things still get on my nerves - it builds up.
And when I have a constant hole in my heart, its just hard.

Crap. Just remembered I have to make an appt with my endocrinologist. Its been a while, so I'll need a new referral too, no doubt. I think my thyroid is messing around again - last bloods TSH was 4.4, higher than it should be. T3 and T4 still normal, but my TSH shouldn't be having to creep up to keep them within normal. So now I'm guessing I'll need supplementation rather than suppression.
Looks like thyroid meds are going to be back on the cards for me. Ah joy.
Because I need more things to obsess over.

Now let me see - good things. My lotus plants are still doing well, and Simone, if it wasn't for the damn quarrantine laws WA has, I'd ship it over quick smart! I'm sure it would do fine, they grow them in Vic, and you guys get hot enough summers, as long as the plant didn't get frosted, I think it would do great.
I bought some material today to make cushions for my couch today. Nice big cushions. Its funky pink and brown cotton, and it even met Kieran's approval. Also bought some photoboxes - reduced from $40 to $20, then with the 20% storewide sale...... = BARGAIN. They look really nice. Much better than the cardboard box the photos were previously in. Bit more cat-proof too.

Still need to get myself organised and do Nanna S's quilt. I've only had the material 2 years. I think I'll aim for Christmas. Then I have all this really nice material and a gorgeous pattern for a queen bed quilt too. Bit more complicated than what Ive done before, and have to hand cut each piece, no strip piecing (damn!), but should be well worth it once done. I'm thinking 2010 for that one ;)

Sunday, June 22, 2008

More opinions....

So I spoke to a friend of the family yesterday. Well, he's my second cousin's husband, but that's just too hard to explain.
Anywho....Mum mentioned him a while ago, just in passing, and said he was an IVF doctor. Finally looked him up after the chemical pregnancy, and he's ONLY the clinical director of one of the big Sydney clinics. Well.

So I was emailing through his wife, and spoke to him yesterday. He thinks I have egg quality issues, is a little bamboozled by my reponse to some of the medications, and thinks he can help. Won't guarantee a baby, but thinks he can do at least as good a job as anyone else in the country.
Now there's a positive!

Its a little scary facing up to the egg quality thing, but he did suggest Kieran have a serum inhibin B level done, because if its >0, there is a chance there might be sperm somewhere. Now THAT is good news. Maybe. It does however mean revisiting that whole issue again, possibly getting our hopes up etc. I think in some ways it would be a lot easier to get a final NO, because there is less of an issue then. We've worked through not having Kieran's genetic offspring.
BUT, with egg quality issues, if we have to move to donor egg and donor sperm, that is going to suck. I can deal with donor egg if its Kieran's sperm though. I'd do it tomorrow if I thought it was really going to give us a chance.

So more bloods for me. CA 125, chlamydia serology, and then FSH, LH and E2 on day 1 of my cycle. Dr P seems to think this might help us pick the "good" versus "normal crap" cycles, and he's had better success rates with egg quality problems doing it this way. Don't know whether that brings us back to "normal" ivf success rates though!

Today I started organising copies of my bloods for Dr P - thyroid testing from the last 12 months, then all my clinic monitoring stuff from QFG. That's going to be an essay and a half.
I've just asked for the basic stuff - blood results, ultrasound results, lap results and embryo score cards. Will still be a whole stack from the clinic up here, a few from brisvegas, and then a few more from my GP.

My lotus plants are doing well. I'm about to pot one up and see how it does, then find something to pot the second one up. I have a friend who has said she'll adopt it!

Thursday, June 19, 2008


I'm having a moment. I worked today as one of the other vets was off sick, so that kept me busy at least. The day was dead quiet, but I found plenty to do as usual. Mostly research, clinical updates etc.

Was doing ok until I saw a friend's baby pics on facebook. I don't know why I do it to myself. I love baby photos, but seeing him and their new baby - I kept thinking how it should be me and Kieran with a baby. I never even took the liberty of assuming children would come easily. I feel cheated in so many ways. Maybe because I never demanded of God, or the Universe, that it should be easy, it was never given to us easily.

Those precious few days of being pregnant, I felt so good. So happy and at peace with the world. I knew it was too early to be confident of anything, but I wanted to enjoy every moment. So I did. Precious few of them, but enjoy I did. I really liked how that felt, and who I was in those moments. Kieran was laughing at my "trippy" state, blaming it on hormones etc. I think I was just happy. Its been a long time since I was happy like that. Carefree without this sinking lead weight in my chest. This constant question, whispered by my heart every day "Will I ever be a Mother?"
I mourn losing the chance at a pregnancy, and who I was for those few days. I can't mourn the loss of a baby that never was. I can't call it a miscarriage, because both those things imply something greater than this pregnancy was ever going to be, and it hurts too much to think that for some reason my body rejected something so precious. How can those perfect little embryo's be to blame?? It must be me.

Oh I know its not my fault really, but fearing something, and knowing it isn't so intellectually are different. And unless someone can PROVE to me that those embryos were not right, how can I truly leave those fears? So they stay, and I pretend to ignore them. They get tucked away in a box with the whispers, and the tears, and the bandaids that hold my heart together until we have our baby in our arms and the wounds begin to heal.

And my lotus continues to grow.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008


The lotus seed I'd all but given up on? Well today it sprouted a shoot! I had to check it wasn't the second seed being super wonderful, but no, the first one was just a bit of a slow starter.
Now I'll have to get my pot organised.
Think I'll start with a bucket first, but will need to organise the pot quick smart, it would be nice to have it sealed and ready to go.

My little nugget of hope.

I'm thinking about getting my act into gear and doing some painting again. I have a lotus picture I want to experiment with, and a few ideas for a big canvas that could either be really lame, or rather funky.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Yesterday was not a great day. Not totally horrid, just not a good one. I don't think it helped that on one of the IVF chat groups, three girls got good, strong beta hCG readings.
Its great for them, really, but it just hits home how much I wanted it too, and raises all those "why not me" questions.
I'm doing ok. Its all just a normal reaction to wanting something so badly, having it within your grasp for a few days, then having it slide away again. Something worked though, right??

This is not an easy journey some days.

Today has been better, more tidying, the dining room is under control now, we almost have the spare rooms back, but Kieran's art is still all over the place. Most of it is either too big or too loud to hang here at home. We have some other art, mostly watercolours, and it would be nice to get them framed properly and hung. I'm hoping I can get Dad to help me make some picture frames for them. Can't be that hard, right? He's got all the tools - a router, jigsaw, mitre and drop saw.

Maybe in the next few weeks. I have some time off over the next few weeks while we have a locum here, as long as we do actually get one confirmed. So I should be able to slip away to Mackay for a few days with no problems.

The lotus hasn't sprouted yet, so I started another seed off. This second one looks more promising than the first, so I'll get my lotus plant yet!

Sunday, June 15, 2008

The seed

I decided to stop putting it off and just do it. I'm trying to germinate a lotus seed.

  1. Scratch off an area of the hard, outer seed coat to expose the seed inside so water can penetrate
  2. Keep scratching
  3. Realise why lotus seeds survive unscathed for over 2000 years. I've scratched the tops of my fingers, and the seed coat looks unblemished.
  4. Finally get through to the seed
  5. Place in jar of warm water
  6. Change water daily, keeping jar in a warm, sunny spot.
  7. Have the two coldest days of the year so far immediately after. Tropical Queensland only ever gets this cold for about 2 weeks. So of course its the day after I start trying to germinate the lotus that this winter snap begins.
  8. Persevere anyway.

Will keep you updated on the progress of the lotus seed. I'm hoping as a symbol of longevity and fertility, and beauty from adversity, its going to bring some seriously good cosmic karma my way.

On a slightly more positive garden note, the fig tree my dog dug up (TWICE) has actually sprouted a new bud after some serious trauma. Roots started last week after 3 weeks in a bucket of seaweed solution and my first attempt at grafting. Lita managed to amputate the growing shoot, so I salvaged it and tried grafting a bud back onto the rootstock, holding out little hope for the previous graft union. The old graft seems to have survived though, not sure about my attempt - maybe another week or two, doesn't look too healthy, so I'm not holding out a lot of hope.

Going to take a trip to my health insurance fund, try and get some money back on my FET medication scripts. Progesterone ain't cheap. And now I'm stocked up again.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Moving onward and upward

Today is a new day. I'm doing ok with everything really, we had 3 wonderful day of being pregnant, and I can't wait to do it again.

We're looking at second and third opinions, mostly to just make sure we're not missing anything and are with the best team we can be. Its not just about the doctor, the lab plays a big part. So I'm trying to suss out who the best people in Australia are. Bedside manner is nice, but results are so much more important now. Sure we have time, but how long do you keep saying that, and who's to say things won't change next year, or the year after?

Aiming for a September IVF cycle, probably still in Brisbane with Dr S, but will keep and open mind at this stage.
We came so close last time, yet about 8 months too short. Maybe it will kickstart something and my body will realise there is work to be done.

Still having moments when I'm just heartbroken, but surprisingly haven't reached the "hate the whole world" stage yet. Maybe I'll just release the hidden anger in short, random bursts. That could be interesting. But then, maybe not. Really just can't deal with pregnant women, and that's no easier right now. I suspect there will always be an element of resentment for those who haven't struggled so hard with infertility. Heck, I find myslef resenting first time IVF successfuls! How much sense does that make?? If you can get pg on your first IVF, it doesn't count as truly struggling. I guess its all just a matter of perspective.

I have some wonderful role models in the online community however - beautiful strong women, who struggle through some of the most tragic circumstances, and are still able to get up the next day to see the sun. Some have gone through very dark times, yet continue to follow their heart in this journey, others have had the strength to move on an find peace again in their lives. I think both paths require a special kind of strength.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

All bets are off

Beta is in and its not good. Only 13, it needed to double. I was trying so hard to stay hopeful, but things weren't the same yesterday and today much less so.

This totally sucks. I'm so tired. Physically and emotionally. It can't take us another 4 years to get a positive pregnancy test. It just can't.
IVF is the worst form of gambling - maybe it will work next time. There are no definites, you just make the best decision you can with the information you have. Which sucks.

Low Beta.....waiting

Tuesday's beta was only 46. Still a positive but hardly promising. Repeat in 48h was the instruction.

So I've had blood drawn again today, I've been trawling the literature because somehow that is less stressful than just stewing on it. There is still hope, and for the next few hours I'm pregnant. But my deepest, darkest fears are there under the surface. If its taken 4 years, 5 fresh IVF cycles, 3 frozen cycles where embryo's didn't even thaw, and one frozen transfer of two nice blastocysts to just get a chemical pregnancy, what will it take to get us through a full pregnancy to have a child?

I'm staying positive right now, but the reality is still very precarious. I'm praying so hard this will all turn out ok. That our beta numbers will double. Going for at least 92. I want this so badly. I want the naivity to assume a positive HPT will make us parents in 36 weeks. I want to be a mother. I want to make Kieran a Daddy.

I know I'm powerless to change the outcome, but I wish I could do something. This one is supposed to be it - everything went right. I mean, the embryo's actually survive the thaw and kept growing for heavens sake! How good is that? They're tough little buggers, hence the nicknames "chuck" and "norris". I feel like this has been our best chance yet.

I can be philosophical and stay positive about the whole experience - we were pregnant for a few days at least. And I'm grateful for that experience, it sure is a step forward from absolutely nothing. At least these embryo's turned up and showed a bit of effort!

I won't think about the alternative until I have to. Easier said than done of course. I won't even think about coping strategies, because this beta will be superb. Chuck and Norris will have had a little more time to become accustomed to their new home, and will settle in for the long ride.

Sunday, June 8, 2008



Need I say more? It was a weak line last night when I finally built up the courage, took a couple of minutes to show, and today it was a little darker, didn't have to squint so much to see it.

****Happy-dance**** Happy-dance****

Wow. We're having a baby!

I know its still early days, there are still so many things that can go wrong, so many milestones, but I just want my moment, and I want this to be a positive experience. I'm just going to enjoy it.
So the hunger/nausea really is morning sickness, only I'm fine in the morning. Kieran is loving this, he's been teasing me for days about being pregnant, going from zero to hungry in 3 seconds. He did a 2am Maccas run after I had a call out the other night and asked me if I wanted anything. The mere thought of greasy McDonalds was enough to turn my stomach, until he put the bag in front of me in the car and I suddenly said "I'm hungry".

Wow. This is all so surreal.

Chuck and Norris rule!!
Next hurdle - beta tomorrow

Saturday, June 7, 2008

14dpo, HPT at the ready

Well, the embies would be 14d old now. And I can make up all sorts of early pg symptoms. Sore breasts, heaviness in my uterus, even nausea (or is it hunger, I'm not sure). Problem is these could just be the progesterone/nerves combination.

I caved and bought some HPT's today. I haven't used them yet, because at 14d, they're going to be pretty accurate. Sure its possible they might not be, but who am I trying to kid, it will probably be right.

I really feel like this is a good one, and we have a real chance, but I'm so scared I'm wrong.

So I'm trying to work up to the HPT.

Maybe I'll go do some gardening.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Killing time

How I survived 4dp5dt:
- painted the door trim in the lounge
- folded the washing
- ironing
- filled script for more provera and progynova
- massage this morning
- mid afternoon nap
- played with dogs, took very amusing video of Lita attacking the water from the hose
- planted more beans in the garden to replace the plants Dobby ate.

I have no idea how I'll get through the next 9 or so days until beta. How many times a day can one really check the internet for pregnancy symptoms. Or what day to expect double lines on an HPT after a blastocyst transfer? I KNOW my sore nipples are just because of the heroic progesterone doses, but maybe, just maybe I’ll find that one little clue that tells me whether this one will work.

This is so mentally taxing. Maybe I can spend the next 9 days creating new lists of things to do during the 2ww. There are a few out there already, but I really don’t know how healthy some of them are. I mean, I could plan what school the twins will go to, but then, will I be devastated at the 7 week scan when its only one??

Note: still in positive thinking mode right now. Did you notice that?? Still assuming there will be a BFP. I figure there’s probably 3 days left of that, 12dpo is usually when I hit the wall.
I remain positive the whole time, am really strong and don’t POAS before beta, and then get a ne…….nnnn…..I can’t even bring myself to say the word. If I get one of those, will it just hurt even more, or will it hurt that much anyway?

How do you “not think about it”. How is that even possible? Stay tuned for the ride people, it could get ugly.
At least I’m working tomorrow, that will kill time quite easily. Off to finish my list of things to do for the next 9 days.


Sunday, June 1, 2008

"Chuck" and "Norris" safe and sound

Back home again from Brisbane and I am on cloud 9. Or maybe even 10. I had my scan 6 days ago, all was good to go, so we thawed 2 embies. They came through the thaw at 2 and 3 cells, and each gained an extra 1 and 2 cells respectively overnight! Wow. I was just stoked with that. We grew them on to day 5 as planned, got an update the next day to find the embryo that thawed at 2 cells had gone on to 5 cells, and the other one was chugging away and had become a morula.
I thought I was quite restrained really. I waited until we arrived in Brisbane to call for that update, not at 9am like I wanted to. So after getting the good news that both embryos were still going, and they weren't worried about the one lagging behind at all, we joked about how we could even be lucky enough to get 2 blastocysts, and how cool that would be.

Had our next update immediatly before transfer. It really would be better if the scientist could come and sit with you to give you the embryo report, before they load them into the catheter for transfer. The way it really works, giving you the update while your legs are in stirrups and your dignity back with your underwear in the change room is hardly the best for concentration.

So the next update was that we had two early blastocysts!

Maybe my eggs aren't that shoddy. Maybe they just needed a change of scenery. Maybe they just don't like being frozen at day4. Maybe, just maybe, we have a baby (or two!!) on board. Shhh.....don't say it too loud, I don't want to jinx it.

Kieran has already started thinking baby names. For twins. He has tendered a request for "Chuck" and "Norris", which was flatly denied. It is better than Vader (yes, as in Darth), Chickenhead, Doctor Lecter or the various other names he thinks up to amuse himself. Of course, his amusement comes exclusively from my reaction to these names.
So in my haste to include him, I agreed to call the embryo's Chuck and Norris. It has nothing to do with me being at all amused by the names. Really.
And nothing at all to do with the possibility of having little people beating me up from the inside in the next 8 months.

I feel so nervous and hopeful and positive all at the same time. It kind of makes me realise how hard all of this has been, because I don't remember feeling this good in a very very long time. I'm going to surround myself with positive thoughts, and happy rainbow kitten pictures for the next 11 days.

The two week wait madness begins. I figure I can hold off the crazies another 4 or 5 days, but after that its going to be tough. It will be even harder to keep away from HPT's because I feel so darned good about this one!

And I found out I passed my IVAS acupuncture exam too! YAY!! Now I just have those darned case reports to write up.