Friday, October 31, 2008

Vampires for Halloween

I had another blood draw today - E2 was 173, which is pretty good for d3 of stims. I've had cycles where it was lower on d5. My progesterone and LH are where they should be also, so looks like the low dose lucrin is doing the trick so far. At least I'm not oversuppressed.

So the plan:
Mon 3/11 - bloods and scan locally
Tue 4/11 - fly to Sydney, staying with a friend for a week, then in the city.
Wed 5/11 - bloods and scan in the city
Thurs 6/11 - appt with Dr P to discuss the TESE results and what they mean.

Then I'm just doing what I'm told. I imagine ER will be somewhere around the 11th or 12th, but its anyone's guess right now.
We'll probably just be doing donor this cycle, and make any other decisions on Kieran's "lads" later on. My research suggests some clinics don't like to do a TESE within 6 months of a previous TESE or previous perineal surgery. Which would count K out on both. I really don't know what this clinic's preference would be, but I'll be guided by what they say. I feel much more confident with them.

We had our sofa-bed ottoman delivered 2 days ago as well, so the spare room is much less cluttered, and we now have a great excuse to try and get rid of a whole heap of other stuff! I'd really like to move all the painting gear in here as well, but I don't know how that will work. We may just put the ottoman into the lounge room, but that won't happen before we get a new entertainment unit (downsizing) and sell the old one!

Meanwhile, I'm still working on my application, its a struggle getting selection criteria organised when you've never done it before. I do like a challenge.......(rolls eyes)

Monday, October 27, 2008


Its up, and its down. K and I had a LOOOOONG discussion over the previous few days about what to do with these new TESE results. We can't get an appointment to speak to our Dr until next week either, so I don't know that we'll have enough time to organise a TESE based on that. Sigh. And then there is the problem of knowing whether we'll have a good chance based on the histopath. Need more info.
K is also worried about the chance of all this being heritable too, which is hanging there like an axe waiting to fall.

So the plan is talk to our Dr next week when we're in Sydney, and if we can get K in for a TESE we will, if we can't, or Dr P doesn't think its going to give us a good chance (not just "a" chance, it needs to be a good chance, probabilities are important here), then we stick with the original sperm donor plan.

And because I'm working on "extracurricular" projects too, I've been getting very little done at home. K has smashed the way I addressed the selection criteria, so its back to square one and pay a bit more attention. Maybe tomorrow. I'm tired from all this thinking.

Good news is I get to start FSH on Wednesday night. My bloods today were all good, and results actually came through the same day!! Shock of shocks. So far, the 1/2 dose of lucrin is doing what it should, but then my ovaries are too lazy to do anything at this point in my cycle anyway.
Need to book flights to Sydney for the 4th, so we're there for a scan on the 5th. Then estimated ER somewhere between the 10th and 12th of Nov....its all happening now.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

The sun shines down....

Indeed, someone is smiling on us from above today.

Kieran got the pathology results from his TESE back today - he does not, I repeat, not, have Sertoli-cell only syndrome. There are good numbers of primary spermatocytes (baby baby sperm), progressing through to rare mature spermatids (almost grown up sperm). My, this is unexpected.

In my hasty research this evening, it looks like it could be hypospermatogenesis - so there are mature forms there, but they're rare as hen's teeth. Or, spermatogenic arrest, but that could still be managable, maybe just maybe.

So, with our donor sperm safely in Sydney, it may end up relegated to "understudy". My word, the thought of actually being able to have my husband's baby is just weird now. Perfectly, beautifully, gloriously weird. I'm excited, but still a little scared, in case IVF specialist says that our chances are still slim. Right now though, I've never been so happy another doctor was wrong.

The lotus I planted way back when seems to have introduced some lovely fertile vibes to our home. The fish are flourishing, and from 2 females, we've gone to dozens of small fry, since both were pregnant. Now I have to work out how to stop them from breeding. I'm hoping those baby vibes will rub off onto me and Kieran.

Oh, and Kieran is adjusting to his new life as a non-smoker now that "the boys" are probably going to be put to work. And the catheter came out today with no problems, but he's a little sore and sorry.

Its so nice to have something good to report.

Monday, October 20, 2008


Ok, after one of the women I know via IVF chat sites just had her 15 embryos accidentally destroyed rather than frozen - I'm feeling pretty thankful right now.

How you can make such a monumental blunder is escaping me right now. I would have thought before anything is destroyed its checked, double checked and then checked again. I'm horrified for her and feel ill thinking about it.

So I'm thanking my lucky stars that's never happened to me. I'm thankful that our sperm arrived safe in Sydney.

I'm especially thankful Kieran's surgery went well. The surgeon was pleased with the immediate result - you could "drive a train through his urethra" now, something my horrified husband politely declined, saying he'd rather not. He gets the catheter removed tomorrow, so tomorrow afternoon will be the real test, when he gets to test his brand new urethra out and have his first post-op wee!

Oh, don't complain about too much information.....this is an infertility blog, I have no dignity. And manners are beginning to come a close second.

I'm looking at a job with a uni.versity - its a position, so I don't know I'd get it, but my current boss is keen to have me stay with them, and doesn't think the uni will get the cases or the staff. For once, it would be nice to have some support. My immediate boss is more supportive, and thinks it would probably suit me better, but still wants to keep me in some role.
I'm just sick of the negativity to be honest. I feel like I can't make the right decision no matter what I do.

I've never been one of those people who can bring light and joy in the midst of anything, and I feel battered and uninspired by work at the moment. I want to be re-invigorated. I want to feel excited about coming to work again.

This time, I think I'll go with my gut. My gut is telling me the uni would be great, even though it looks like there could be fallout. My head is saying there will be fallout, and I might not be cut out for it, or it might not be enough, but I could always go back to my old job later, right?

And after hearing about what I could earn as a specialist, I'm starting to consider a residency again..... but don't worry, I won't complicate matters further.

On the IVF front - we're off to Sydney in 2 weeks. I've started lucrin - just 1/2 dose, with the aim that it should supress me but not as much as previous cycles have done. Next bloods in a week, then if all good and quiet, start FSH around the 27th/28th of November.
It feels good to be back in a cycle. I really haven't thought it through to a conclusion yet - one hurdle at a time.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Letter to Santa

I wrote this for one of the forums I'm on, and asked everyone else to sign their name

Dear Santa,

We're getting in early this year, to give you a little time to prepare. We know special requests sometimes take a bit longer to organise, so we thought we'd give you a little extra notice. We also understand if you can't quite manage it in time for this year, so if we have to wait a little while, we'll be sad this year, but we'll understand.

For longer than we care to remember, we've wanted to be mothers. To nurture a life, care for it and watch another person develop and grow. We have so much love to give, that even though most of us have found wonderful partners, we want to make our families complete with children.

We find Christmas hard. For those who are religious, its all about the birth of a baby, and for those who aren't, its still a time about children and family, of love and giving. We long to share the joy and spirit of Christmas with children of our own, to tell them all about Santa, leave carrots for reindeer (or maybe those 6 white boomers) and a door unlocked, since we don't have a chimney for you to come down. To see little faces eager and excited.
We want to share the magic of this time of year with a new generation.

We ask that those who are pregnant are granted a safe delivery. For those who are struggling with premmies, may they come home safely. We know that it will be tough journey for them, and it might be a little while before they will be safe at home, but a little stardust goes a long way.

Some of us have lost much, and need to be at peace with that loss. So for those of us who have grief in our hearts, if you could bring us peace, that would be a gift in itself.

And for those who are adding to their families in extra special ways by adopting or fostering, let the children who were born in their hearts long ago find their way to their new homes quickly.

For those of us still struggling with trying to fall pregnant, we ask you for that long awaited BFP for Christmas, and for a safe, healthy pregnancy and delivery of our precious Christmas gifts. We know they won't be in our arms this Christmas, but they will be in our hearts, just like they have been for so many Christmases before.

Thankyou Santa


Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Justly berated for leaving you hanging ;) .....I finally have good news to report. Our spermies are go - I repeat, spermies are go. Destination Sydney, ETA tuesday/wed next week. Yippededoodah!

I haven't had the heart to post until we got all that sorted. Its been a rough couple of weeks, chasing our tails and our clinics, calling the US sperm bank etc etc. If Old Clinic had just sent the info they had on file when we, and New Clinic requested it, NONE of this needed to happen. Stupidheads.

The DS was purchased through old clinic (OC), was from an o/s donor, so not depleting their stocks. Oh, did I mention they lost a vial in transit from one clinic to another? It was replaced with one they had in stock, but no-one took responsibilty - hence we travelled 1400km to our embryos to do the FET.
So we did the release paperwork at the clinic where the sperm is being held.
We signed the consent forms for the new clinic.
We were then asked to get copies of donor consent forms, blood tests etc to NC, from OC.
2 messages later, left fax # for NC, but donor co-ordinator never got back to us for me to be able to detail what NC required.

Called NC.
No, they haven't received required paperwork yet.

This is where the "he said-she said starts". OC claim they weren't told exactly what was necessary.
NC claims their scientist emailed requirements to OC.
OC called back and advised the scientists from OC and NC were sorting things out, the hold up was with NC.

THEN, the head scientist calls about 20 minutes later, to tell me that NC is the problem, they were given all the info that OC had (no, they only told NC what they didn't have), that NC were currently reviewing it (load of BS) and that NC had to make further enquiries. I explained the situation as I understood it, that NC needed actual copies of lab tests, letters and consent forms, not just profile information and assumed clearance. At this point, head scientist launches into how its taken them hours to get the information they have sent so far, that I shouldn't be involved at all, they normally ONLY deal with other clinics about this stuff, and how there is nothing in it for them. I think the last comment probably sums up their attitude the best. I explained that I appreciated that it has taken time, but we were asked by NC to get this information, and that I had the specifics and could provide them, and that no-one at NC had previously said they would make sure the correct information was sent, or that NC would handle everything. That was in fact the reason I had called last week, and to find out if they did have access to it (because we were told they'd have to look for it). Reason being, if they didn't I would have to contact the sperm bank directly.

Subject was changed by head scientist, and he didn't ONCE say, yes please, here's my email/fax, send that through so we have the details. He also told me that speaking to the nurse earlier today was a total waste of time as she had nothing to do with it. I told him it wasn't, and she had actually tried to get the donor co-ordinator for me, but was unable, but said she would track her down in person to call me back since I hadn't been called back last week. And since the donor-coord had called me back, I actually considered it quite helpful.

It was like pulling teeth every time I called him on something and wanted details, and I was NOT nasty at all. I can be, but I was very polite. And every time I asked for more details or tried explaining why we had called etc etc, he just shut down and gave blunt "thats not how we do things" answers. The answers we were getting the whole way were "thats up to them to organise". Blunt and dissinterested. But "they can't call us with every new development". I get that "there is nothing in it for them". And those are direct quotes by the way, no paraphrasing involved.
I was basically told they wanted nothing more to do with us and would no longer return our phone calls.

I get that they imported the sperm originally. I get that they might be a little put out that we've decided to switch clinics. But we've done 5 cycles with them, have had to endure screw ups, and this was not a decision we undertook lightly, we just felt the Dr at NC was better equipped to manage my cycle, and had better success rates. So now we're punished for it. I mean, the entire conversation with the head scientist could have been much more positive if he wasn't stupidly arrogant and blunt about it all and telling me to keep out.

NC disputes much of what OC claimed. Oh. joy.

I advised I would be able to get no further with OC, and that OC advised me they would only deal with NC. Was asked to try to get required documents directly from sperm bank, who I immediately emailed.

So. Still no joy and nothing recieved by NC a week later, no response by email from sperm bank. I called the satellite clinic locally, that still holds the sperm and asked who I could go to since Brisbane had shut me down and basically said they wouldn't return my phone calls. The didn't want to get involved, but about 15 minutes after the conversation called me back (I think it might have had something to do with me asking who could actually be my advocate...). They'd spoken to the head scientist, and could I fax through the requirements. Now, that indicates a number of things to me:
1. Scientist didn't listen when I told him I had the requirements in front of me the week before and was happy to provide them to the clinic. I guess thats why he's in the lab and not dealing with patients.
2. NO-ONE had ever sent any of the paperwork to NC that they had on file
3. He isn't able to rely on any of his staff to do either of the above anyway.
4. He doesn't bother to get the story straight from all of HIS people before berating me for chasing them.

I mean, if they had just sent on what they had, when initially asked, I wouldn't have continued bugging them!

So they emailed me the blood tests and donor profile, and said they had the informed consent on file (didn't forward to NC as requested). I then requested that this be specifically forwarded to NC, and Oh my God, the fact that I had to dog them every step of the way drives me insane.

There were still a couple of details on the list that OC couldn't provide information for, however. After contacting the US sperm bank to try and get additional details, I was told they'd have to check with the clinic they supply in NSW, since they have an exclusive agreement to supply sperm to only that clinic in that state. AAAAAARRGGH

I understand why, but it meant they weren't able to release further information to OUR clinic in NSW! Kieran called the other clinic, and they were no more helpful - no, they wouldn't make an exception basically. So it looked like we wouldn't be able to use our donor at the new clinic, would have to go on their waiting list and hope something came up in the next 6-12 months.

I felt sick at the thought. Waiting 12 months between cycles until another "shot" at a donor came up???

So we contacted our clinic to let them know, and see if there was a chance the paperwork had been received, and might, just might, be adequate. They're happy to organise the shipping of the spermies. The paperwork they need is in order, we don't need to organise anything else, and we're on for a november cycle!!!The ups and downs have been awful, because I already felt like we'd worked so hard to get to this point, so to feel like we couldn't use our donor was a huge blow. I know there are bigger things to worry about, but geez it was a rough day yesterday!

Top that off with euthanasing a pregnant cat and speying a pregnant dog and I only ended up in tears twice. Not bad, considering.

Oh yeah, work still really sucks.

And its only a week until Kieran has his second urethroplasty. Fingers crossed this one works without any problems. And we're getting testicular histopath done to see if there is maybe a lone sperm somewhere. Since there was only cytology done in 2005.

Dogs are good, trying to clean and purge the house - belated spring cleaning. I could go NUTS, but Kieran won't let me :(
I want the spare room cleaned out and all the painting stuff moved into the office/guest room before the IVF. Making space for a successful IVF. My mother is convinced this one will work for some reason. She actually asked me about who I'd have deliver the not-yet-conceived munchkin. I'm still trying to wrap my head around my roster and who can work saturdays for me so I can get to sydney for the treatment....but I did answer her question. *sigh* Is it wishful thinking, blind hope, positive thinking? Or just setting oneself up for a fall?

This time, I'm not even trying. If I want a glass of wine before transfer, I'll have it thankyou.....right up to the rim please. And if I'm having a bad day, I'll just wallow for a few hours and have a bad day. Stuff the positive thinking, pretty flowery, girly pleasantness. I'll do what I need to stay sane.

But I will be taking my snowdrop everywhere. Do you think I could sneak it into theatre for egg retrieval?