Friday, February 29, 2008

A letter to my body

After reading Melissa's post here about writing a letter to your body, I thought I would give it a go.

Dear Body,

Righteo. Let's have it out. A lot goes on between us that is usually left unsaid, but I think its time we took our heads from the sand and talked it out. For some reason, you are.. well.. slightly defective, let's be honest. But, to be fair, you do okay for the most part. I have no killer diseases, I get sick not too often and to me, thats the main thing. You have the main things covered - and for that I am so deeply grateful.

Its really just that one part of you that is an issue. My friends, the ovaries. Now possibly you skived off when they did the lecture on how you ought to function. Maybe you had your I-pod on, I don't know, but whatever it was, you were not listening, were you? Please listen now!

This poly-cystic thing is no good. For either of us. It may have had a function once - I think I would have done brilliantly in times of famine. Let me be clear when I say to you: There is no famine. Nor is there likely to be in my lifetime. Thank you, for thinking of it, but, we need to readdress that game-plan and quickly.

The self hatred this PCOS has created within me is scary in its depth. The infertility is a painful, horrible thing that causes me to abuse you verbally and physically. It destroys me, and if I am destroyed so too, will you be.

You know what, though? I know we can overcome it. I am certain of it. I just need you guys to co-operate and if you enable me to conceive just one more time, I swear I will leave you alone for good. I'll get back onto metformin and we'll both be much happier. If you just do the job well enough, and have a word to the uterus and hormone levels as well, just to be safe - if you pull that off just once -thats it! Forever! No more being jabbed and stimulated to grow too big and prodded and sworn at. Never again! Doesn't that sound good??? Please, do this one thing for me, the rest of the body is doing its part so well, please join in and pull your weight just one time. I will be eternally grateful to you. Promise.

Your owner. xx

You can do your own, and submit it on this page.


41% Geek

I think thats better than I suspected it would be! Mind you, according to anther of their quizzes, I am 74% addicted to blogging. You win some, you lose some..

IVF Junkie part 3

Shooting up has commenced again. It may be normal after a canceled cycle, but I am feeling pretty negative this time, compared to the start of the last 2 cycles. I just think well I wonder what will go wrong this time? We've had an overstim, we've had an understim, what next? So much can go wrong, I just feel depressed. Getting to the stage of getting some embies transferred back is really not at all straight forward or a given. It's a hard fought battle. Can't Gil get a lick??

So, we wait. And we wait and we wait and we wait. Scan next Wednesday is not overly helpful. Both previous times it has shown 10+ more follicles than have been there at subsequent scans. many tend to die off post 10mm (ish). So, the second scan is far more useful to us. Thats a good week or so away yet.

So begins the injections, drinking loads of water and walking every night. Add clomid into the mix and we have a REAL party. Woo fricken hoo!

Bitter old cynic aren't I?

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Cycle 3 away!

So just on the fees, I had told my folks about it, had a whinge, but said we'd work it out okay. I got a call the next morning from my beautiful 80 year old grandmother, she had been talking to my Dad and was calling to tell me a cheque was in the mail to help us out. I promptly burst into tears of gratitude. What a generous, kind thing to do.

Meanwhile, also yesterday morning, I began spotting. 9 day LP, go me!!! Pathetic. So, today we're full force, and I am waiting for the nurses to call me back and confirm all systems are go. I get nervous waiting for this call, because whilst it seems in theory, to be a routine thing, in practice they did forget to schedule my down reg! So, until it is confirmed things are underway, I get touchy and nervous. Ring, damn you, RING!

30 minutes later...

100mg clomid for 5 days starting Thursday.
200iu puregon for 5 days starting Friday.
First scan next Wednesday morning, 9am.

I feel sick with nerves after the cancelled cycle. Here we go again...

Sunday, February 24, 2008

$$$$$$$ & Resources

So I discovered last night that a stim/ICSI cycle is going up by almost $1000 at the end of March. We had initially factored into our budget a cycle every 2 months until the years end, at which time its time to reassess if we intend to go on. An extra thousand per cycle means we will go from cycling every 2 months, to every 3, and thereby reduce things from 5 this year to 3 or 4 if lucky.. (talking fresh cycles). So I am a bit bummed, but I remind myself that a few years ago, we couldn't have dreamed of doing IVF at all, and that compared to other countries, we have it bloody good here in Australia. And even further to that, our clinic only charges the part we are responsible for, and bills medicare their element directly, so we only need to find a portion if the true upfront fee at the beginning of a cycle. I know we are lucky, but its still a disappointment that plans change, and waiting time increases. It makes me feel a little like I really have to hope this cycle we are due to begin next week works, before the new fees kick in March 31. No pressure or anything.

I was making a list recently, of books and resources that I have found helpful in relation to IVF and Infertility. I thought I would copy it over here. Please feel free to add any you are aware of or have found helpful in your journey via the comments. These are largely Australian and some international resources.

* Infertility Books website (American)

* Why Me? The Real-Life Guide to Infertility by Loraine Brown. (1998, Simon & Schuster, Sydney).

* The Psychological Impact of Infertility: A comparison with Patients with Other Medical Conditions, by A.D. Domar, P.C. Zuttermeister and R. Friedman (1993). A medical study.

* So Close: Infertile and Addicted to Hope by Tertia Albertyn

* Getting Pregnant The Hard Way: A Husbands Tale by Mikael Svanstrom. A mans perspective of IVF

* Sex at 6pm: A Personal Journey Through IVF by Annarosa Berman (2006).New Holland Publishers.

* The Couple's Guide to In Vitro Fertilization: Everything you need to know to maximise your chances of success" by Liza Charlesworth. (There is nothing amazing in there, just a good intro if its all unfamiliar).

* Inconceivable by Ben Elton (humourous, not for all).

* Baby Steps: A Bloke's Eye View of IVF by Jason Davies

* The Baby Trail by Sinead Moriarty (Humour)

* A Perfect Match by Sinead Moriarty (Humour, sequel)

* A Few Good Eggs: Two Chicks Dish on Overcoming the Insanity of Infertility by Julie Vargo and Maureen Regan

* Battles with the Baby Gods: Infertility: Stories of Hope by Amanda Hampson

* The Infertility Handbook - A Guide to Making Babies by Jacqueline Tomlins

* The Lost and Found Connections Abound Blogroll

* Making Babies by Theresa Miller

* Conception Chronicles: The Uncensored Truth about Sex, Love and Marriage when you are trying to get pregnant By Patty Doyle Debano and Courtney Menzal

* The Stork Club: One Womans Journey to the Front Line of Fertility Treatment by Imogen Edwards-Jones

* IVF Shoot 'Em Up

* International Infertility Film Festival

* Expecting Miracles: On the Path of Hope from Infertility to Parenthood by Christo Zouves, MD

* IVF & Ever After: The Emotional Needs of Families by Nichola Bedos - Personally, I am skeptical of this one. Its a privately practicing counsellor drumming up business by mentioning the many difficulties IVF patients suffer not only during treatment but as parents etc.. This article makes me think that, it sounds so negative, and neglects to mention she is a counsellor. Maybe I am just cynical!

Friday, February 22, 2008

Are we there yet?

6dpo today, and since my LP is only ever 11 days even with support, I should be back into it this time next week. Unless of course, a true miracle occurs and our natural attempt worked. If that happens, I want to write to the Pope and get it endorsed as a real miracle. I really don't want another period. I HATE having my period and since I normally have 3 month cycles, this regularity (albeit drug induced) is a bit too much!

So I am due for spotting wed 27/thurs 28th. The marking of time in AC freaks me out. At no other time in life do I feel like a week is in each day as I do with AC whether its waiting for a period or a scan, or a retrieval, or transfer or of course the 2ww. Its always soooo sloooooow.

Must get into my writing project so that I can slack off when things get busy with the next cycle without fall out. Sounds so wise and smart, yet I never quite seem to be that organised in truth.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008


No, not that kind!

I was thinking earlier, that whilst I am still very committed to this trying again business, and to at least 4 fresh embie transfers or the end of the year, I find myself contemplating more and more, the idea of it being unsuccessful. I did a lot of thinking about this when we stopped for 2 years and went over it all in my head every which way. But then, it was painful, and terrifying and awful. Now, it doesn't seem as bad. Some moments I still feel sick at the thought, and a deep sadness. Other times, I think whilst Finn adores babies, he would be okay if one never eventuated for us. I think that he is such a special little boy, he has magic about him, and is forever blowing me away with just how awesome he is - that dedicating everything we can to him would be brilliant. Taking him to see the world, giving him a first class education and every opportunity he ever dreams of, would be a wonderful feeling.

If we are successful and some of those things are potentially scaled back here and there, will I just feel I am failing him in a different area then? Is there any win-win situation for him? Its about living in the right now and not the what ifs and maybes. Its so hard to do, but right now, he is it and so we give him the world. If that continues, brilliant! If we have another and he gets that much longed for sibling, brilliant! Maybe its not so much a win win, but maybe.. we actually can't lose?

I am spinning myself out with that. Weird perspective, and one I will need to remind myself of in the face of more IVF hurdles this year. Hmm. Definitely something to ponder.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

AC is like a tightrope walk

I was due to ovulate between 9 and 10pm last night, but was woken by pain at about 3am, so wonder if I was a little late. Who knows? We gave it a shot the old fashioned way, but we have no faith in that at all. Why would it work now? So, my period should arrive in 11-12 days now with my crap luteal phase, thats about the 27th or 28th Feb.

Then we’ll start Clomid on day 3 (100mg for 5 days) and the injections again on day 4 (200iu for 5 days). Scan will be day 9. When we get some growth happening, we'll also start the antagonist injections. Sounds like a jabby kind of cycle. No synarel, the antagonist needles take its place. I really don't understand still, the differences in protocols in terms of why one would be used over another and what each is best suited to or aimed to do. There is none that will suit me ideally, just hope we strike it lucky. From what I understand, clomid is used in conjunction with the FSH in an attempt to grow more and better quality follies/eggs. And the antag is also supposed to be better in terms of quality over quantity. But I have NO idea, really. If anyone else has a better grip on this stuff, please fill me in.

Honestly discouraged is not even the beginning of how I feel. The odds are stacked so greatly against us, its hard not to wonder if this is truly just not meant to be. We said we would give this at least 12 months of honest to goodness hardcore trying though, and we are not yet near that.

It feels to me sometimes, as though I am walking on a tightrope. Battling on and trying to keep balanced and not lose perspective. Not to overthink, just to keep head down, and watch my feet take each step. No looking up into the future, its too hard that way. Looking up and ahead is distracting and full of hurdles that may or may not come to pass. Whenever I gain confidence or momentum, something happens to slow me down and remind me I am not infallible, and possibly, should never have stepped out on the highwire to begin with. Slow and steady will see us reach the other side, in theory. But at any moment, we could fall and end the attempt altogether.

P.S. Have added a sidebar list of our history of trying to conceive. It is actually a bit depressing to read laid out like that.

Saturday, February 16, 2008


I was reading Bec's blog as per usual, and explored some of her blog links and discovered something phenomenal.

2 things, that are sort of nearly the same thing, actually. Firstly the most amazing infertility blogroll known to man. I exaggerate only slightly. It is mammoth! The Stirrup Queen's Completely Anal List of Blogs That Proves That She Really Missed Her Calling as a Personal Organizer - is mind blowing.

Not only does it list infertility blogs, but it lists them in beautiful, orderly categories. It is a list queens paradise. And I do so love lists! You know, as much as people try and understand what you go through, the people who really get it are the other people who live it. So, for me, to find a list of secondary infertility blogs is somewhat akin to finding an oasis in a desert and taking a long drink. Just brilliant.

Part two of the discovery is the Lost and Found website. Its not so much about kittens and puppies as it is a tracking of all those blogs in one place. So you can see at a glance who has had a shitty result and click through to give some encouragement and support. Or who has had a great result and you're right there to offer congratulations. What a bloody brilliant idea. No one need ever be alone with their infertility hell again.

Friday, February 15, 2008

The Tea Party

I regularly post a link to this or mention it, or post the lyrics.. It is just.. well, listen. If it doesn't move you, you're dead!

If fate holds a purpose
You feel fate will lend a hand
It saves face deserts you
It deals grace from underhand
And every time the past's awakened
Every time your soul starts breaking

You can't stand the distance
You can't stand to not be afraid
You won't show resistance
You can't seem to run away
Because every time the past's awakened
Every time your soul starts breaking

In the face of the fire
You see angels conspire
Will they hear you desires
Will they stop your soulbreaking
Could they stop your soulbreaking

You won't say you're hurting
You still dream in the undertow
Just a safe place a haven
Just a kind face just to overthrow
Every time the past's awakened
Every time your soul starts breaking

In the face of the fire
You see angels conspire
Will they hear your desires
Will the stop your soulbreaking
Could they stop your soulbreaking
Will they stop your soulbreaking
Could they stop your soulbreaking
Please love

Every time the past's awakened
Every time my soul starts breaking


No more growth, cycle cancelled. Wait for another period and start again with an antagonist protocol.

I worked so frigging hard. Nothing. Its hard, it hurts and I am fucking angry. Not at anyone or anything, just at how hard it has to be and how much self loathing I have. Fucked off.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Nothing ever is easy

Not a great scan. Left side have gone backwards in growth, and right I had 2 x 14mm, 1 x 13mm and some smallish nothingy ones. Upped dose from 150 to 200iu for 3 more days, rescan Friday. Need more to happen or EPU won't go ahead. Can;t think about it til Friday, too many what ifs. Feeling pretty flat and dejected. FS said I have "hardcore PCOS" in that my ovaries are totally unpredictable in whether they will over under or respond the same each time. Woot for me. I hate my ovaries. I feel so guilty, angry and depressed. Oh well. Worry about it Friday I suppose.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

An interesting comparison

I was thinking about IVF as compared to IUI and my response to the drugs.

I went back to my journals and looked it up. For my first IUI I did 8 days of 75iu, then another 7 days of 150iu and got 2 follies.

Second IUI I did 3 days of 200iu and another 9 of 150iu and got 4 follicles.

So both of those cycles I was on the same dose as I am now on for this IVF cycle (150iu ) of the puregon, and had poorer response after being on it far longer. This cycle after just 5 days of the 150, I have 12+ in development. That is a massive difference. And clearly why last cycle I had 40 on 250/200iu! Yet you can see why I wanted to start that high, given the responses I had on IUI to the exact same drug.

Given I weigh the same now as I did then, the only difference I can put it down to is that with the IVF I have walked 20 minutes every single day that I am stimming. I was even on metformin then to help it all along and am not now.

Surely this is a good thing, that I am helping my body along, not relying on the increased drugs? It is such an enormously different response, it truly intrigues me.


I feel sick. My ovaries are starting to hurt, I have headaches from the synarel, and I just feel generally off. Especially because I insist on drinking heaps of water everyday which makes me feel all full and blah.

I also feel a bit emotionally worn - mostly in anticipation of the week ahead. I have to try not to think ahead that way and just focus on each day, but its hard. In and out of the city Friday (at peak traffic on the way in); and then again yesterday for a friends baby shower (that was not really a traditional shower, but high tea - brilliant!) and again Tuesday in peak traffic for scan #2 and possibly again by weeks end for either another scan or EPU and again 2 days after that for transfer... No wonder I feel overwhelmed. Its an hour trip in and an hour back each time. I was grateful to gt a ride with a friend yesterday which meant that I didn't have to think about the driving and I had company. The Park Hyatt is only a couple of blocks from the FS rooms so it was an almost identical trip!

2 of the girls, my dear friends... got me what I call a hope item. I refuse to buy any baby things, when its been this long trying, it just seems a little silly. But I did want to have one thing, to show that I do have faith that it will happen eventually, that I do think we'll get there eventually. An item of hope! So, these 2 beautiful friends got me that item. It is just gorgeous.. I had one with Finn and when he was finally here and wearing it.. it was really special. So hopefully it brings me strength and good fortune!

So today is Sunday, and I intend to have a day of rest. My husband has been really good this weekend helping out around home and ensuring I am resting as much as I can and so on. Its greatly appreciated, I need it right now. Tomorrow I will do my housework for the week and Mum will arrive in the afternoon to stay the night as she did last week, so that I can leave early for the scan and she will watch Finn. She may have to do that 3 times in a week if EPU is this week as well. I am very fortunate to have her able to do that for us - as is Finn!

So I feel a bit yucky at the moment. But I am reminding myself that the next week-10 days or so will be the worst and most intense of it, then I can fall in a heap a bit for another month or so. Maybe longer ;)

Friday, February 8, 2008

Slow and steady is good

Scan went well... 6 follis growing either side. Continue same dose of puregon and rescan Tuesday, with EPU hopefully end next week. Also mentioned my 11 day luteal phase to her, so shes switching me to higher dose progesterone pessaries so thats good too.

So far, so good...

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Hormonal Hell

Ok... am guessing that between the primolut, having a period, starting synarel and injecting today - all in the space of a week or so - has sent my hormones mental. I am so snappy, irritable and horrible feeling today. Its shitty. I just feel that tense, PMTish type feeling.

Speaking of a period, mine seems to be just about gone already! What the?? It only started spotting Thursday and flow Friday. Thats 3 and a half days. Last one was almost 3 weeks! Argh!

Switching from general fertility to the IVF specific phase 1 meditation tonight: Shots to retrieval. Drank my 1.5l water, and went for my walk. Planned next fortnights meals all healthy. Taking my folic acid and multi-vit.. christ knows what else I SHOULD be doing. Bah!

Cranky, cranky, cranky.

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Random thoughts

It occurs to me that maybe it was the water I drank so much of last cycle that helped me respond so much better to the meds than before. or perhaps that I was walking daily before and during stims. Whatever the case, it makes me think I possibly ought to repeat as much of those things this time as I can recall to make sure I don't UNDER-respond on the lower dose... right? Who knows.

Started first sniff today, that familiar acrid taste of synarel. Oh how I missed thee.. pfft. I am clearly out of practice though, because I was stressing that my nostrils are not really big enough to accommodate the thing, and wondering why it didn't feel like anything... then saw the cap was still on. Rookie mistake!!!!! And I am hardly a rookie these days! d'oh!

Friday, February 1, 2008

Day 1 ahoy!

We're off! Today is day 1 of my cycle and I have called the clinic and ensured all is set to go, and it is. I start sniffing synarel tomorrow, one in the morning, one at night. Then I begin 150iu injections on Sunday and have a scan Friday morning. Booked the scan in, and now we are away.

My only niggling concern is I thought I started injections tomorrow, but definitely Sunday, so thats only 5 days worth by scan and the script was for 6 days. She was pretty clear though, so I do as I am told!

So finally, we're off. Here we go...