Wednesday, September 10, 2008

To do list...

1. Send consent forms to New Clinic - tick.
2. Organise transfer paperwork from old clinic - going in to sign this tomorrow.
3. Organise NC to get the sperm down to them - reliant on #2
4. Get old clinic to fax donor consent form and relevant testing paperwork to NC
5. Get counsellor here to fax her records to NC

Probably about 4 million other details to organise as well.

The ball is rolling. I just hope my ovaries wait a few days to ovulate, to give us just a little more time.

So its busy busy busy for now. Thankfully Kieran is great at most of this stuff, and makes a lot of the phone calls too.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Dear God, its me....confused.

I just don't know what the universe is playing at this week. 2 weeks ago, I saw my ideal job advertised. Only its 1400km away, back in Brisbane, therefore involves moving. And I have no idea how responsive they would be to IVF and maternity leave. Oh, I know all employers have to give you maternity leave, but how much fun would it be going to start a new job, only to leave it for 6-8 months and go back part time when you're not really contributing the same way?
Or take this wonderful job and not be able to really dedicate the time to it to get the most out of it?

Most of all, I feel kind of cheated. I grew up part of the generation who was told they could have it all. We COULD have a career. And do you know what? We were raised to believe we could. In part by our parents, in part by our teachers, and also in part by the media. We railed against the "stay at home Mum" stereotype. We almost felt a responsibility to be part of the workforce and contribute to society. I still do.

So when it comes down to possible career advancement, when you're trying to have a baby, there are no nice little guides or maps to help you make decisions. Society is strangely quiet until you make a decision, at which point I feel like I'll be told its wrong.

We were taught as women we could do anything, our gender should not hold us back. We are equal. Only, it turns out, while you might be able to do anything, you sure can't do everything. That's a nice little clause no-one mentioned. I've come to this realisation over the last few years, but only recently has it really hit home. I dedicated the last 4 years to trying to get pregnant. And put everything to do with career advancement on hold. Because having a baby was so much more important. But 4 years later, my arms are still empty, my heart is tired and my head is finding it hard to see a way out of all this. I feel like the proverbial carrot is being dangled in front of my nose, just out of reach. Only there are 2 carrots, and I can only choose one of them, without knowing if the other one will ever be offered again.

If I knew that IVF would work, and that I could make it through the process whole - that would be ok. I could accept missed career opportunities and move on to the next phase of my life and my family. Only no-one can tell us IVF will work for sure.

If I knew that I wouldn't be content or happy in the job, or that it would place a burden on my marriage, or my mental health, then I could pass it up without regrets.

But I have no answers to the questions I so desperately want answered. Only more questions.

And do you know what? I'm ticked off that I did everything RIGHT for heavens sakes. I found a wonderful man, married him, found a stable job and bought a house. We didn't leave it too long to start trying for a family, I was 26 - that should have given us a decent head start. And yet we're still 4 years down the track, and I feel cheated. Its not fair that men don't have to make the career/family decision. They need to balance it, but rarely does anyone expect them to actually make a choice of family over career. I know its probably just because I'm frustrated right now, and its clouding my perception, because there are men out there who do quit high pressure or high workload jobs in favour of their family.

I also don't want my children raised by strangers, or brought up in daycare. Maybe a day or two a week in daycare, but I wouldn't be happy with more than that. Kieran is happy to be a stay at home Dad, but he earns more than me right now, so financially we're better with him working.

To complicate matters further, we spoke to the counsellor at the new clinic, and we'll only have a limited amount of time to actually use the imported sperm we have, due to legislation about to be enacted in that state. The legislation has passed parliament, and is just waiting for the Governer's signature basically, so it might be an issue tomorrow, might be an issue in 6 months. If its an issue tomorrow, then we'll either have to go on the donor wait list, or find our own donor. We may have a KD sourced, but they're expecting their second baby, so any big decisions are not a great idea for them right now. So thats a huge maybe.

So, right now, just very confused. There is more to the story, but details later....

Friday, September 5, 2008

Free at last!

I finally handed in my final draft of the two acupuncture case studies! WOOHHOOOO! Still have to get them ok'd for final submission, but for now, I'm just happy they're in, and I don't have to feel guilty for not spending enough time on them!

So my "to do" list now involves going home to spend time with my folks for a few days, timed well since its father's day in 2 days. I also need to buy a knife set, order in a sofa-bed, work out what to do with the old sofa bed, decide whether to get a new entertainment unit, and then spring clean the house. I'm also making some toys for the dogs (sick of spending $10-15 on each one to have them torn apart in 4 hours), and trying to locate the material I cut up to make an Easter Bunny for my Mum. Yes. Last Easter. I'm actually quite ticked off that I can't find it, since its nice and funky and all ready to sew.

I'm still taking my chinese herbal mud, and I do believe its actually helping. I guess I'll find out for sure in the next week or so - its weird to be taking my temperature again, but its the best clue whether my cycles are normal or not.

I can't wait to get going on our next IVF, I feel like we finally have some clues in the puzzle, and I can actually be hopeful again. We'll probably put it on hold a little while though, since Kieran will be having surgery around November. He's going in for another urethroplasty, trying to sort out the stricture that he has. We're hoping his renal function might improve after the surgery again. Not much, but even just a little bit is great.

So we won't do an IVF until Kieran is recovered, probably January. I should just put in for holidays now and be done with it. I've sorted all the donor stuff - our donor will meet the criteria for the new clinic. Kieran is also thinking about having the TESA done again - the urologist suggested doing it while he was under for the plasty. We could freeze some, and send some for histo to get a definitive answer. The only problem is the whole ugly issue of "what if?".
What if there is nothing? Well, we're just back where we were. I think we're both ok with that.
What if they get something? Thats a scary question. Mostly because it just raises a whole heap of other questions - will they be useable, will they fertilise, will they develop into normal embryo's, will kids from the process have similar problems to Kieran? And then, if we go through IVF again and it doesn't we blame the sperm? Or is it still crappy eggs on my behalf?

It would be a lot simpler if they found nothing again. I can't even begin to hope that we might get something and might actually be able to have a baby that way. The thought is too scary, because I don't know how I'd handle all of the other questions, or the disappointment. I just want to be a mother, and I want to make Kieran a Dad. Part of me doesn't want to go back to non-donor options. Maybe its impatience, maybe its just fear. I daren't hope.

Ah - hope. I was reading a blog about hope earlier this week - it was so very true. About how the raging hope going into an IVF cycle can be so destructive when the cycle doesn't work. And how what she really hopes, in a quiet, still voice, is that she will be ok, no matter what. All paraphrased, and much less eloquent than her post, but that's the general gist.

I will survive, and I will be ok. Whatever happens, is meant to happen. One foot in front of the other.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

New month, new resolve

I really have to get better at this. I've been rather lazy in terms of keeping up with the blogging over the last month. This is why I was never any good at keeping a diary as a child.

A lot has happened over the last month. I'm pretty happy with my assigments, far from brilliant, but all I have to do is reference them, and I'm done. No mean feat in itself, but I'll have it done by tomorrow night at the latest.

My dream job just came up also. I mentioned it to Kieran and got NOTHING the first time, no questions, nothing. The conversation just continued as though I'd said nothing. Then I mentioned that I was thinking of going to Brisbane for the day to just talk to them about it, not actually apply, but test the waters so I had more details. At least that time I got an acknowledgement of the statement. Nothing further though. Maybe I'll try again tonight.

The job is an internal medicine residency. Its exactly the kind of thing I love, and it seems to be in the direction everyone expects me to go. The only problem is the timing - as we're trying for IVF etc etc. But most of my IVF buddies have all said to go for it, the rest can be worked out later. It would be a great opportunity, and a great step forward for my career etc etc. And then there is the complete lack of any guarantee with IVF anyway.

Heck, I might not even GET the job!

On the IVF front, we had a consult with a Dr at IVF Australia 10 days ago. He was encouraged by all of my blood results so far, but thinks I've been over-supressed for each of my cycles so far, which is why I've needed heroic doses of FSH. He would also monitor me much more closely. Kieran and I were both impressed - the guy knows his stuff.

So we need to organise the sperm we have up here to be sent to Sydney, and have to make sure the required testing has been done on our donor also. Then we can probably go ahead with a cycle late this year or early next year.

I also saw a Chinese medicine practitioner, and she's put me on some herbs to try and get things right with my cycles. They're not super-revolting (thank heavens), and are only twice daily.

Something has to give, right?

We had great fun taking photos around Sydney harbour while we were there, didn't have much time, so it will be nice to get in some touristy stuff like ferry trips to Manly and the like when we go back! And maybe catch up with friends near Newcastle, and family in Sydney.

Sir Salvadore had fun too!