Thursday, December 17, 2009


Each year, around this time, a theme for the following year comes to me. Usually it's a different theme for each year, something to focus on, to ask God for, and to grow in. The first year of my knowing God the theme was Relationship as I sought to know him better. The first year of my marriage the theme was Submission as I sought to not overpower my husband with my (often argumentative) point of view. Not surprisingly the past couple of years, as we've attempted to conceive a child, the theme has been one of Patience.

When I first believed in God someone said to me to be careful what I ask him for, because the answer to my prayer may be different than the one I expected. This advice has often been accurate. During the year where I sought relationship with God I was newly and unusually single and longed for a boyfriend. I believe God kept me single for 3 years so I could strengthen my relationship with Him. Although somewhat frustrated with this at the time, God's wisdom prevailed and I maintained a strong faith as well as marrying a man with a similarly strong faith.

When I thought we were having trouble conceiving, 6 months into trying and approaching the new year, I asked God to teach me patience and trust over the coming year. Well God decided that I needed to continue that lesson of patience into the following year and this year's theme has continued the same. I am pleased to say, that under God I have developed patience beyond which I could have ever imagined two years ago.

This brings me to my theme for 2010. Yesterday I read in my Bible:

"2Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. 4Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.... 12Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him." James 1

My theme for next year is Perseverance. May God bless me with the wisdom, maturity, and faith that I require to run this race called life. May God uphold me in faith so that no matter what 2010 holds I will be confident in the promises my God has made.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

An unhealthy dose of fear

I just can't stop crying. I don't want to go out. I just want to hide away and not think about anything.

When I think I start to get scared.

I'm scared at the strength of my grief. I'm scared that the only mothering I'll ever get to do is grieving my lost children. I'm scared I'll never hold my children in my arms. I'm scared I'll lose all my friends. I'm scared to go out in case I lose the plot/feel angry at families with children/break something and/or scream. I'm scared that people might see this side of me. I'm scared of having nothing to do, of having no goals during the next two months break from TTC. I'm scared of how much I'll scream at people when they say, "Count your blessings", or "It wasn't to be" or "maybe next time". I'm scared that there will be no end to this horrible, painful, insidious time of infertility.

I'm scared that I'm not myself. I'm scared that I won't be the self that I have dreamed of since I was 10 years old, I'm scared I won't be able to call myself "Mother".

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

I'm not

I'm not pregnant. AF came this morning.

Devastated. Poor Squirmy. I've lost part of myself.

Monday, December 7, 2009

I have no idea

Nope, not a one. I could not tell you whether I thought I was pregnant or not.

I've had symptoms. But what are symptoms when you are taking a nightly dose of progesterone? Most likely they're side effects, not symptoms.

I can tell you that I have no HPTs in the house. I know because I searched the house when I got out of bed this morning. DH and I decided that we wouldn't test and would wait until BT on Wednesday. But this didn't stop me looking for them. I'm promising myself I will not buy any when I shop for groceries later today.

I hate waiting. I need to know. But I need to wait to know. DH and I have planned our week around knowing. Neither of us have anything planned for Wednesday. If it's bad news we'll grieve together. If it's good news we'll dance around in circles. There will be no in between. We'll grieve or we'll celebrate.

But for now I'll wait. And I'll try to do it patiently.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Oh, emotion

Today is not such a good day. I was going so well. Then yesterday, the emotions hit. It started when my cousin came over and told us about his new baby and how he wasn't sleeping much at all and how stressed his wife is. I sympathized, I really did. I told him I would be praying for them, and I am. But as he was telling me I was struck with such sadness. My cousin was obviously tired, distressed and worried. It was great that he could talk to me and DH about it. However, the selfish infertile in me thought "at least you have a baby" and "at least you can talk about this with people." I was horrified that I would think like this and that it would make me so sad.

Today the sadness continues. I accidentally made my Mum think that I am pregnant. I was at her house and having a whinge about the physical symptoms I am experiencing. She heard "sore bre.asts" and assumed I was pregnant. I've told her about IVF and about hormone treatments but she hadn't put two and two together to realize that my symptoms are related to the artificial hormones. I felt so bad that my whinging had caused her to hope.

I would take all these symptoms (sore BBs, veins, tiredness, nausea, night urination) and more if someone would just tell me I'm pregnant. Tell me that it's my baby doing this to me and I will relish the opportunity to vomit daily, need a nap after doing the vacuuming, and get up while it's still dark to use the toilet.

I will go through anything to be pregnant.

Undergoing fertility treatments makes me think that I will endure anything to be pregnant.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Waiting, waiting...

Life (read: waiting) is going along well. That being said, it's only 4 days into the two week wait, but so far so good. Yesterday DH and I slept in, cuddled and chatted on awakening, and spent the day cuddling, laughing and watching tv together. We only went outside when we went to church in the evening. It was an entirely restful Sunday, time to enjoy each other, focus on God and all we have to be thankful for. It was exactly what I needed.

Today I spent the day surrounded by babies and pregnant women. A few months ago I wouldn't have been able to handle it and would have avoided these situations. Literally my arms would ache when I would see a mother hold her child. I'm so grateful to God for bringing me to a place where I don't ache anymore. I want to be a mother, but that longing has turned into hope again rather than heartache.

I can't say I'm on symptom watch at the moment. I'm taking nightly progesterone and last night also had a HcG shot so I know all my achiness, tiredness, etc is due to the medications. It's too early to be feeling pregnancy symptoms. I have felt an odd, tingling and stretching low down in my belly, towards my pelvic bone over the past two days. Is it too much to hope for that at 4dp3dt this could be implantation? I think maybe it is.

I'm off to get crafty. Tomorrow is the Christmas celebrations for the children's group I coordinate at my church and I need to go and assemble (what feels like) a million items to make Christmas bonbons. It should be fun tomorrow!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Lost and Found

Our little embryo has been growing very nicely and we were told today that it was 8 cells and a "Grade 1" embryo. This was good news.

The embryologist came in and started preparing for the transfer. It was taking a while. She called her assistant to ask the other embryologist for assistance. He came in and she quickly left the room. Our FS came into the room to see what was happening. The second embryologist told us that the first embryologist had accidentally pushed over the container holding the embryo and they couldn't find it. This was bad news.

Our FS asked us to wait in the waiting room, DH and I decided to go for a walk. We talked and prayed. I fought down the emotions that threatened to erupt. Thankfully (praise God!) I felt a great peace and calm, and felt more worried about the upset embryologist (it must be so awful and upsetting for her, unfortunately we didn't see her again to say we understood and weren't angry). Twenty minutes later we get a call from our FS and I get the thumbs up from DH, they've found our embryo. This was good news.

We returned to the hospital and heard more about what happened and what condition our embryo is in. We got to look at our little, new, and tiny embryo. What a blessing it was to see such a beautiful bunch of cells looking like they should (and not bruised with a bump on the head!) Infertility can be very difficult, but few others get the blessing of knowing about and seeing the different stages of conception in such minute detail. The transfer went very well, no pain, little cramping, and I'm now carrying our little embryo, who DH has nicknamed "Squirmy", in my uterus.

I hope he's a feisty one. He's been through so many challenges already. I hope he's strong enough to hold on for dear life and let his parents, who already love him, meet him in 9 months.

It's been a long day. It's back to the couch for me.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

DH rides a rollercoaster

Poor DH. This morning he was home alone. I was out and uncontactable until around lunch time. At 10am the phone rang. It was our FS. She told DH

Things are not going well

It appeared that of the two eggs we attempted to fertilise (freezing the remaining 4) neither had fertilised. The first had been pen etrated by two sp erm. The second appeared to be "activated" but had not progressed. They would know more in two hours and DH should expect another phone call.

Two nervous hours ensued. DH convinced himself that it was all over. At 12pm the phone rang again. A nurse from the clinic informed him that the embryologist was convinced that the second embryo had had a racing start, that the pronuclei had combined last night while noone was watching, and it had already moved on stage. So we should plan for transfer on Thursday!


I feel... crazily worried and nervous. I know I shouldn't be, but I am. This little life is so vulnerable and I already want to nurture it and look after it. I'm so scared we'll get another phone call tomorrow to be told that the embryologist was wrong. He's too experienced to be wrong, isn't he?!

I feel... excited. Maybe this will work for us after all?!

Oh, I hope, I hope, I hope.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Eggs are laid

I had OPU this morning, and other than being extremely nervous to the point of talking non-stop and making terrible jokes that DH felt he had to apologise for, all went well. My doctor found and retrieved 6 eggs from the 6 follicles. I was expecting to feel some pain afterwards and had planned a day on the couch, but I had only a little discomfort, so I still enjoyed a day of relaxation with a nap on the couch and DH making me lots of cups of tea!

DH and I have just been chatting and we realised how hopeful we are this cycle. After three tries at IUI we concluded that it didn't work for us. Our doctor has given us higher odds of IVF working for us and things have progressed smoothly so far. So we're hopeful. It's slightly disconcerting that our baby might be being grown in a lab downtown. It's so weird that we've each played our part in the baby making business, but we were apart for most of it. Now conception is completely in the hands of our embryologist. Oh, and God. We knew we weren't in control of baby making and that God is in control of all things, but there's nothing like removing gametes from our bodies and fertilising my ovum separate to my body to confirm that we're not in control.

Being hopeful. Not in control. Who do we put our trust in? To some extent it's the vast medical team gathered around us, giving us advice, prescribing treatment and medication, operating, and combining ova and sp erm. But ultimately we trust in God. He is the only one who can create life, even when it seems impossible to us. God hasn't promised us that we will be parents, but he has promised that he loves us, hears us, and provides good things for us. He has promised us life through his Son. I will trust and hope in God. And I will continue to ask him to heed our prayers and bless us with the desires of our hearts - a baby.

Friday, November 20, 2009

A chicken about to lay her eggs...

I had my first scan this morning, revealing 6 good size follies! Yay! We're doing a conservative round of IVF so there is no need to produce multitudes of eggs. We plan to fertilise and transfer two and freeze the remaining eggs. My belly is so tender and I swear I can feel each of the 6 follicles. How do women feel when they are growing 20 follicles?! I asked my nurse this, and she said with her characteristic humour, "They feel like they have bunches of grapes swinging around in their bellies". Love her.

After the scan I went into the city and did some shopping (yay for birthday money!) before having a first session of acupuncture. I felt hesitant about doing it, but some recent studies, including one done in my home town, suggest that there can be some benefit with acupuncture during IVF. Given that DH and I are following such a conservative approach with eggs and embryos we thought it couldn't do any harm to maximise our chances with other strategies. This means acupuncture before and after embryo transfer, no alcohol at all from this point, vitamins, eating as though pregnant from before transfer... whatever it takes (except there's no way DH will permit dancing around under a full moon! haha).

I'll find out the results of BT later this afternoon, but it looks like I'm scheduled for OPU on Monday. I am feeling nervous about Monday, it's so foreign and unknown. I don't like hospitals at all. The upside is that I'm so much better with needles now (I'm currently injecting twice daily and voluntarily went to the acupuncturist!) so I should cope better with the giving of sedation. And hey, after that I'm asleep so I won't know what is happening! :)

Monday, November 16, 2009

God provides

I was just looking through an old bag of stuff and found a card a friend had designed and given to me a long time ago. It is a very timely encouragement for me. It reads:

"For all the negative things we have to say to ourselves, God has a positive answer for it:

You say: it's impossible
God says: all things are possible (Luke 18:28)
You say: I'm too tired
God says: I will give you rest (Matthew 11:28)
You say: Nobody really loves me
God says: I love you (John 3:16, John 13:34)
You say: I can't go on
God says: My grace is sufficient (2 Cor 12:9, Ps 91:15)
You say: I can't figure things out
God says: I will direct your steps (Pr 3:5-6)
You say: I can't do it
God says: You can do all things (Phil 4:13)
You say: I'm not able
God says: I am able (2 Cor 9:8)
You say: I can't forgive myself
God says: I forgive you (1 John 1:9, Romans 8:1)
You say: It's not worth it
God says: It will be worth it (Romans 8:28)
You say: I can't manage
God says: I will supply all your needs (Phil 4:19)
You say: I'm afraid
God says: I have not given you a spirit of fear (2 Tim 1:7)
You say: I'm always worried and frustrated
God says: Cast all your cares on me (1 Peter 5:7)
You say: I don't have enough faith
God says: I have give everyone a measure of faith (Romans 12:3)
You say: I'm not smart enough
God says: I give you wisdom (1 Cor 1:30)
You say: I feel all alone
God says: I will never leave you or forsake you (Hebrews 13:5) "

A strange gift

I'm not sure how I do it. It's a gift. I seem to have a sense when a friend of mine is pregnant. Today I guessed the 5th out of 5. I wonder if it's God protecting my heart by giving my head forewarning? At least today I had the sense to email my friend and ask her directly, rather than waiting to be told in person when I see her on Saturday. That way I could have my little cry and plead with God in private and I can show her joy on the weekend.

If only the gift extended to knowing when I'll be pregnant...

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Here we go again

Yesterday was CD2 and I started injecting Pure.gon again, this time 125iu. AF came 4 days late. We had a hcg BT at our FS earlier in the week and got the phone call on CD31 to say it was BFN. We weren't surprised, but we're always disappointed. It meant it was easier for us to ignore the "pregnancy" symptoms I was experiencing and remember that I wasn't pregnant. My body seems so sensitive to injected hormones and takes a while to recover from them.

So now we start IVF. We seriously never thought we would get to this stage. I wasn't really surprised when we had trouble conceiving, I always had painful menses and thought something might be wrong, but I never dreamed we'd still be trying after 2.5 years and no explanation of what is going wrong, let alone starting IVF. It seems like such a scary thing, something "other people" do, not us.

But on CD3 things are going good so far. One injection won't turn me into a raving lunatic - three weeks worth might! :) Right now I have to face the oppressive heat outside (39 degrees Celsius), try and stay cool and hydrated, and try to smile at DH when he asks me to paint timber outside with him - crazy!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Change in plans

We met with our FS last night and have decided to give one round of IVF a go before the end of the year. So now I start injecting on CD2! I just have to wait until AF gets here. I'm normally a 28-day cycle girl, but it's now three days late, which is unusual for me. I doubt it's a miracle and I'm pregnant, probably just the last of the strange hormones abating since the last IUI.

DH and I are doing a modified version of IVF, where we only fertilize the number of eggs we are willing to transfer (i.e. we will not freeze embryos). Our FS will try to freeze surplus eggs so we don't have to go through a full IVF cycle each time.

I'm glad we're giving another cycle a go this year, I was having difficulty thinking we'd have to wait 4 months before trying again.

We're still waiting on chromosomal test results, but our FS thinks these will be fine.

We're off interstate for a couple of days in an hour or so. Unfortunately a number of DH's relatives are very sick, and probably dying, so we're going to visit them. We're also fitting a visit in with a friend who I used to be very close with but have since fallen out with since going through IF together and then her pregnancy. Her daughter is now 4 months old and I haven't met her yet. It's going to be a big week.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Test Results

Our FS rang this afternoon with some of the results from my recent BTs. She had ordered:
  • ANA
  • LUPA
  • VIT D
  • Sperm Ab
  • HCG
I only know this from the bill I received last week, I have little idea what any of them mean and I've refused to ask Dr Google until I was told that any of them were positive. Evidently most of them are "normal" or close to normal, with one needing repeating. Of all things, I have a Vitamin D deficiency. Damn you pale skin and hot Australian sun!

In hindsight it's probably a good thing that the results were normal, DH has certainly said so. I can see this now, but initially, all I could think was that my results were "normal" again and that no-one can tell me what is wrong and how to fix it. How can I be so normal and yet so absolutely infertile?! I broke down and cried uncontrollably for an hour. I'm so scared that I'll never be a mother. Why can't the doctors work out what is happening and fix it so we can get pregnant?!

So now it looks like I'll start swallowing yet another vitamin tablet and make an appointment for IVF in February (it can't be earlier because our clinic closes over Christmas and DH has a big exam for work in early Feb). I'm going to go have a drink and eat some chocolate.

Thursday, November 5, 2009


My birthday was a wonderful day. Other than the week-long hot weather we'd had that turned into a cold and drizzly morning, it was perfect. I really am a sunny-weather girl. I was spoiled all day and had my family and friends say the nicest things about me. It was nice to get such a boost and remember how lucky I am to have such wonderful people, who love me, in my life. DH and I went out and had a wonderful 3 1/2 hour dinner together; chatting, laughing, eating and drinking all night to our heart's content. It really was the best night we'd had together in years. The vibe of the night has continued into the week, with us both feeling lighter and happier than we have in years. Tonight we continue the celebrations with the rest of my family, tomorrow night it's dinner with friends, and Sunday it's lunch with DH's family - it's a week long celebration and I'm enjoying all the champagne!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

I don't have "Infertile" stamped on my forehead! Yay!

I went to speak to my auntie yesterday, to tell her about our IF situation and ask her to support my Mum. She was great about it! I started by telling her, "DH and I have been trying to have a baby" at which she started smiling. I quickly added, "For 2 1/2 years", and she immediately looked so sad (I'm so lucky to be so loved by my family). She was amazing. She didn't ask any questions but took everything I said at face value. She didn't placate me with empty encouragements, but seemed like she understood what it is to experience pain and suffering and offered DH and I her support. She also said the best thing. She said she hadn't even thought that we would be trying to have kids. She seemed upset about why she wouldn't have realised. I told her it was the best thing I'd heard in ages. Sometimes I feel like my infertility is advertised in a sign with flashing lights above my head. It feels so obvious to me, so I was glad to know it isn't always obvious to others.

Later that night I went to a friend's housewarming party. I met a woman who is starting her honours project in pig reproduction next year. Yep, that's right. Pig reproduction. Without being asked (believe me I would never ask!) she went into (way too much) detail about pig eja.cula.tion, the improvement of pig embryos, and diets to improve the quality of pig oocytes. I know I'm comfortable (for the most part) talking about reproduction and reproductive organs etc, but talking about it with pigs to a complete stranger!? At first I was a little horrified, but then I remembered that I don't wear a sign saying "I'm infertile" around my neck, so I had a little giggle about it and then gently changed the topic to more suitable "we've just met" conversation!

So some people may have guessed that we are having difficulty falling pregnant (a pastor at our church, not even our pastor!; the children's ministry worker; my boss) but it seems like it's not obvious to everyone. Whew!

Friday, October 30, 2009

Catching up

Finally I'm back on the computer! My DH is gearing up for a big exam in a few months time and has been living in our study for the past 4 days, meaning that I can't access the computer until late at night when I'm too tired to post or read blogs. Today and the next couple of days he's at work and then he's doing full-time study until February. I'm going to have to get good at night time computer work.

There's not much to report on the infertility front. Other than blood tests (results in a week) and trying to organise a uterine blood flow US not much has been happening. I must say that I do like not injecting hormones into my belly. I have been much more even-tempered and relaxed about life. In saying that, I've never really been either of those things, but there has been a vast improvement! The other day I ovulated naturally and right-on-time. Partly I'm thankful that my cycles are so regular, but it did get me down that everything feels so "normal" and yet we're not trying to get pregnant this month. On the up side, a bottle of champagne is in the fridge chilling, ready for my birthday celebrations.

Next Tuesday is my 30th birthday. I was planning a party, but realised that I wasn't feeling up to it. I'm not enjoying big social events at the moment, but also I had a couple of "tongue-in-cheek" comments about "Oooh, 30...must be time for, you know...[babies]" A whole party of people suggesting that? No thank you. So instead I'm doing a week of smaller celebrations. A vintage movie outing with two best friends, lunch with Mum and sister, dinner with DH, dinner with friends, lunch with in-laws. I've been promised french champagne and spoiling - so I'm looking forward to it! :)

My Mum asked whether she could confide in my auntie (her SIL) about our infertility, as she has no-one to talk to about it, other than me and my sister. Her sister has become a grandma twice within the last six months and isn't all that sensitive to my Mum. She doesn't know about us, but even if she did, I don't think it would help. So, I have arranged to meet tomorrow with my other auntie (my Dad's sister) to tell her about our IF. It's difficult to be so private. Because we live in a smallish town, my auntie is friends with one of my "helpers" at a childrens group I coordinate at church, who I don't want to know about our IF. DH thought that if I speak to her directly she might be more sensitive to our information and not pass it on to anyone. I think we feel extra cautious because I told my boss before I left work and asked her not to tell anyone, but she passed on the information to two other managers who may not feel so protective about it. I'm worried I'll go back to work next year and everyone will know.

Wow, that was a lot of blah. Sorry. It's all out now and I'll be back to concise and topical blog posts tomorrow.... :)

Friday, October 23, 2009


Thanks to KK for the award - it's very cheering!


1. You Can Only Use One Word!
2. Pass this along to 6 of your favorite bloggers
3. Alert them that you have given them this award!
4. Have Fun!

The Fun Part

1. Where is your cell phone? Close
2. Your hair? Up
3. Your mother? Cautious
4. Your father? Deceased :(
5. Your favorite food? Pasta
6. Your dream last night? None
7. Your favorite drink? Champagne
8. Your dream/goal? Motherhood
9. What room are you in? Study
10. Your hobby? Cooking
11. Your fear? Isolation
12. Where do you want to be in 6 years? Parenting
13. Where were you last night? Home
14. Something that you aren’t? Laid-back
15. Muffins? Berry
16. Wish list item? KitchenAid
17. Where did you grow up? Australia
18. Last thing you did? Breakfast
19. What are you wearing? t-shirt
20. Your TV? Secondhand
21. Your pets? None
22. Friends? Exceptional
23. Your life? Blessed
24. Your mood? Contemplative
25. Missing someone? Husband
26. Vehicle? Mitsubishi
27. Something you’re not wearing? Earrings
28. Your favorite store? Grocer
29. Your favorite color? Varies
30. When was the last time you laughed? Yesterday
31. Last time you cried? Tuesday
32. Your best friend? Multiple
33. One place that I go to over and over? Grocer
34. One person who emails me regularly? KK :)
35. Favorite place to eat? Home


I'm passing this onto Lisa and Cathy . I may have been slack at reading and commenting on your blogs in the past month, but I do so enjoy following your journeys. :)

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Spring Joy

Thanks for your comments of support. Although I wish we didn't live in a world so plagued by uncertainty and heartache, I am comforted by people's kindness and care. I am amazed by the capacity people have to love, comfort, to persist and bounce back from difficulties. Each day is a new day, with hope and possibilities. Each day has enough worries of its own to worry too much about tomorrow.

In the past few days, actually weeks, I have spoken so much about infertility, our plans and my feelings. I am feeling partly exhausted by it and partly purged from all that pent up worry and grief. Today my heart feels a little heavy. But I also feel at peace. Maybe it's something to do with Spring and all this wonderful sunshine. I think it's a lot to do with God upholding me during this time and giving me the strength and renewal I've been praying for. It's difficult to feel contentment during infertility. But today I feel it.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

From grief to champagne

Well the plan was to grieve for two days and then get back on with life. Six days later and I'm back to feeling ok again. The strength of my grief took me by surprise. The variation of emotions and thoughts over 5 days of immense sadness are too many to recount easily. It is safe to say that I thought we were at the end of our TTC journey, that I would never birth or mother a child, and that I was filled with sorrow.

Thanks to the mercy of God, a wonderful husband, and a fantastic FS we have a plan.

Last night we saw the FS to review the IUIs and plan the next step. I told her about the positive HPTs I have had for 2 IUI cycles (I refused to POAS for the 2nd cycle) and she thought that it couldn't be due to the Pregnyl because of the time line. Because I have now had 3 positive pregnancy tests this year (following the removal of endometriosis) she suggested that our problem is not fertilization, but is instead implantation. I can't believe it. I can get "pregnant" but my body aborts the embryo before it can implant. How can I want something so much and yet my very body thwarts me in achieving it??

So now the plan is to undergo more tests. Blood tests to determine something-or-other (might have to ask DH to recall that one) and chromosomal issues; scans to check uterine blood flow. Our next step depends on the outcome of these tests. Best case scenario is medication (clexane and aspirin) and then another IUI in December. I'm not sure what the worst case scenario is. Maybe we won't be able to have children at all. At least we'll know then and can move on in some way. I feel surprisingly at peace about it all.

So I may be partway through our one month off TTC, or we may need to have more months off. I'm not sure. I'm already enjoying not injecting hormones. I feel like me again. I'm loving that Spring has sprung and my town is basked in glorious sunshine. I love that DH has just woken up from night-shift and I get to hang out with him - he's shockingly funny and cute when he's recovering from night shifts.

It's my 30th birthday in a couple of weeks. Bring on the French champagne.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

No go

AF arrived yesterday. Too devastated to write. DH and I distracting ourselves with old NCIS episodes. It's good to grieve together. Tomorrow we face the world again, but today we cling to each other.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

"In cases such as these, a good memory is unpardonable"

So spoke Elizabeth Bennet in Pride and Prejudice when she told her sister about her betrothal to Mr Darcy. She had hated him. But she was right, when you're engaged, it's best to forget about that.

It's the same with infertility.

My poor memory serves me well. Without it, I'd probably never get through repeated rounds of fertility treatments. Each cycle I start, surprisingly oblivious to what is to come. I even make statements such as "I won't analyze my symptoms this cycle." Of course I will. That statement was made when I had no symptoms!

On Sunday night I injected my final Pregnyl injection for this cycle. Within an hour I was sobbing. The next day my breasts had increased in size and hurt like blazes. I was constipated. I am nauseous in the mornings. This morning I woke up and almost burst into tears because I had accidentally thrown out the wrong piece of paper. It didn't matter. It had no effect. And yet I was devastated.

My body believes that it's pregnant. I won't know if it is or isn't for another week.

How on earth do I ignore the symptoms!??! How on earth do I reconcile to my brain that it's only my body that feels pregnant, it's only because of the injected hormones that it feels this way!??! What do I do with the hope that surges with my HSG levels??

I forgot that it was like this during the second week of the 2ww last time. And the time before. Yet I can't remember how I got through it last time either.

In cases such as these, a good memory is unpardonable. If I had a good memory, I probably wouldn't have put myself through this again.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

1,2,3...800 and counting

My medicine cabinet.

Today I took what I think was my 800th folate tablet. 800!
I have taken at least 550 fish oil tablets.
I swallowed 100 vitamin B complex tablets before I changed to vitamin B6. I have only taken 45 of those.

I have had maybe 20 injections of Puregon 50iu.
Three whopping injections of Pregnyl 5000iu have found their way into my belly.
Five luteal phase support injections of Pregnyl 1500iu have also been injected.

I have one more Pregnyl 1500iu to inject tomorrow. Then I resume the 2ww and as I wait, I contend with the side-effects of these injections. I've also started a high fibre diet, it's become necessary.

I'm 5dpiui. I wonder when my number will come up?

Friday, October 2, 2009

Reaching out with both hands

Today I pulled myself out of hibernation at the invitation of a new friend to visit her for a cuppa and maybe a walk. I've known her for a couple of years through family connections, have occasionally given her lifts home after family events, and know of her family through church. I never thought we had much in common, and I often found her difficult to talk to, she was shy, 7 years younger than me, and not very talkative. Two weeks ago I gave her another lift home and we chatted all the way, I even stopped my car on the side of the road to chat further. I was delighted when she texted me to invite me over. We didn't go for a walk, it was raining, but we talked and laughed for 2 hours! I discovered that we have similar interests in books and movies, a similar sense of humour, and a hate of exercise - thinking about it now I wonder if we would have gone for that walk if it wasn't raining? I enjoyed our time together so much. We are going to meet again in a fortnight so I can take her for a driving lesson. When I asked her if she has anyone else to teach her (her family are overseas and she's only just returned to Australia), she said,

"No. Everyone seems so busy".

"I'm not," I said, and offered to take her out driving regularly until she got her license. I'm not busy. I actually have the time to help out others.

Two weeks ago, at a boys' golfing day, my DH heard his friend tell the group that he and his wife have been trying to conceive for 18 months without success. This woman, like myself, has a great heart for children and has worked tirelessly in her life with children. It is heartbreaking to think that she is having difficulty conceiving. She would be a great mother and her husband a great father. We have known the couple for years, but after they moved away we don't see them often. Two days after hearing this, my DH rang his friend to confide in him of our story and offering him his friendship during this time. A week later I sent a card to my friend offering her my friendship and prayers. Yesterday I received a card back from her. In part it read,

"Thank you so much for your kind words of encouragement and empathy. There were truly like sunshine to my soul!... I can appreciate how lonely and private this journey is - so thank you for allowing me to know of something so personal to you..."

Today I am struck by how important it is to reach out to people. I have started to make friends via this blog and others, over email, and on forums. I'm so glad I reached out. The friendships I'm forming are so valuable to me and I'm feeling less alone during this "journey towards fertile ground". I'm so glad too that I reached out to other friends recently. It's nice to be able to reduce loneliness, give courage, laugh and walk with friends.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Give and Take

Some days I think I'm getting used to "being infertile". Some days I figure that this is my lot in life and I can handle it. Some days I feel like I can handle infertility for even longer, other days I feel like I cannot handle one more second of "hope deferred".

Today I'm continuing with my resolve to not analyze every symptom, I've even convinced myself that I'm not having any! But an analytical mind must be directed somewhere, or else my resolve will break. So today I'm reflecting on the Give and Take nature of infertility.

On first thoughts, infertility has taken more than it has given. It has taken,
  • my naivety about conception and how easy it can be
  • whole days given over to sadness and grief
  • at times, my lightheartedness and joy in life
  • my ability to think about anything else unrelated to IF for long periods of time
  • my closeness to a best friend who, although she once struggled with IF herself, has had chronic moments of insensitivity when she became pregnant and birthed a child
  • my ability to conceive naturally, without intervention
  • at times, my hope about becoming a mother
  • at times, my ability to sympathise with mothers who struggle with their children
  • my ability to appear cheerful and happy, when I feel anything but
  • my sense of control
But it has given me things too. Infertility has given me,
  • an absolute appreciation for life and how precious it is
  • increased closeness to my husband
  • a continued desire to trust in God for all things
  • the ability to give myself sub-cut injections
  • an internal view of my reproductive system (I have pictures!)
  • weight-gain, bloating, headaches, aching breasts.... (but this was supposed to be a positive list!) :)
  • the resolve that I do want to be a mother above any other career options
  • humility as I've had to confide in people what is happening to us (as well as having specialists view parts of me I'd rather they hadn't!)
  • gratefulness for medical provisions for infertility and our ability to afford treatment
  • an increased heart for children who suffer or are abused, and a joint desire with my husband to foster children
  • the knowledge that my husband longs to be a father and that this has increased each day of our struggle
  • the knowledge that I am loved by family and friends, who even if they are not sure how to care for me, do their very best every day
  • irrepressible hope
I do hope I don't have to wear the mantle of infertility for much longer. Although I have gained much through the past two years, the burden of IF feels too much to bear at times. I will just have to continue to trust that God knows of our pain, it was He who said,

Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a dream fulfilled is a tree of life. Proverbs 13:12

He is the gardener, I will trust in Him.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009


Blah is not a very good title for a blog post. It's hardly enticing. But it's how I feel, and I promised myself I would be honest in this blog. Too often I pretend that everything is going ok, even when it's not. I'm not very good at pretending, which is probably why I've gone into a self-imposed hibernation period recently.

I am a thinker. Even worse, I am a talker-thinker. I analyze a lot. I talk a lot. Sometimes this is a good thing. It comes in handy in my job as a caring professional, even if I don't work at the moment. My DH always knows what I'm thinking and how I'm feeling (I did tell him I needed TLC). My friends often come to me with things they are going through for a bit of analysis and chatter. I can be sensitive to the moods and situations of others, and I think this can make me a good friend. A holiday with me usually goes to plan, because I always insist that we talk about our expectations of the trip before we leave (yes, friends still want to holiday with me despite this, I also have analytical friends!)

Sometimes it's not a good thing. I over-analyse. I can get tangled up and confused by the complicated being that is human. My DH suggested I write a blog, because I quote, "Maybe between writing a blog and talking to me you can get the support you need." Although an analytical man himself, nothing beats an analytical woman TTC through artificial means...hormones anyone?! I also worry. A lot. I'm hard on myself and am my own worse enemy. I want things to be perfect. My brain is rarely at rest.

So for good or bad I've gone into hibernation this week. There are things to be done, but I don't have the energy to do them. I've noticed they almost always wait. Mostly my hibernation is internal. This is the first piece of introspection I've done for the day. It's 3pm and I've finally turned my brain on. I don't want to think, talk or analyze today. I want to rest and recover.

I want to assume the thinker pose, but nap instead of think.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Quick Update

....because I'm very cranky.

We had the insemination yesterday and it was the most painful one yet. Our nurse couldn't orient my cervix in the right direction and went three rounds with it, punching it (it felt like it), prodding it, and getting very frustrated with it. Meanwhile I was crying because it hurt and was very uncomfortable. By the third attempt, when my very calm DH suggested that I sit at an increased angle, everything went smoothly and my aching cervix could even feel the catheter as it was inserted.

So today I'm still feeling a little sorry for myself, DH has hardly been speaking (he goes quiet when distressed), and I just need a little TLC...

Saturday, September 26, 2009

All go for Monday

My DH got to sleep without being wakened yesterday (though I would have loved to see his reaction when I woke him up to ask him to provide a sperm specimen - he may have thought he was still dreaming!). Tonight I'll have the trigger injection (hopefully I'll remember once our dinner guests have left) and then we'll have the procedure done on Monday morning. This is our third, and final, IUI. This cycle I will not interpret every cramp, twinge or symptom. I will relax and trust the Lord. And I will repeat that statement regularly - "I will trust in the Lord". God help me.

Friday, September 25, 2009

IUI #3 is underway!

I went to the FS clinic this morning for a scan and BT. I have one follicle measuring 22mm and lots of little ones at around 8mm. BT results should be back by this afternoon and we'll find out if we're having the procedure today, tomorrow or Monday. Poor DH is doing night shifts at the moment, so I'll have to wake him up if it's today or tomorrow. Most appointments I can attend on my own, but I still need him in this whole baby-making-business!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

The Amazing Fertility Race

Have you ever thought that TTC with medical intervention is kinda like The Amazing Race?

You get clues (e.g. FS, Dr Google), race to solve the problem (e.g. BTs, scans, SA), participate in challenges (e.g. internal scans, surgery, injections), travel to new places (e.g. stirrups, operating table, FS clinics, hospitals)... all to win the million dollar prize - a baby!

DH and I always watch The Amazing Race and think we'd love to do it. Who knew we'd be doing our very own version?? Can't help but think I'd prefer more exotic destinations... :)

Have job...don't work

Today it was 4 weeks since my last day at work. The same as on the last day, I joined a number of my work friends for drinks at the pub, on what has become a regular Thursday night ritual. It was great to see them and great to catch up on all the work gossip. But what was even better was the realization that giving up work was the best thing I could have done for myself. Everyone commented that I looked happy and rested, and I realised that they were right, I am. Although we failed our second IUI last week and I've spent much of the past week feeling despondent and sad, I do feel like I'm coping better with life.

I gave up work because I wanted to do something proactive with my life. For years I had been looking forward to the day I would stop work and become a mother. As the years rolled on, I started to wonder what else I could be pursuing, a change in career, a different direction with my career, further study? I didn't know what I wanted to do, so I kept on waiting, hoping that I would soon get pregnant. Two years into TTC it dawned on me that I don't want another career, another hobby, another thing filling in my time. I want to be a mother. But pursuing fertility treatments was taking its toll. I work with kids in a caring profession. I could not meet with another mother who did not want to be a mother, or who struggled with her kids.

So my DH and I decided that I would give up work for a time, not to pursue other directions, but to continue with fertility treatments, but this time with time for me. Time for me to get excited and hopeful. Time for me to schedule all the appointments without rescheduling my entire work diary. Time for me to reflect on life and the new life we want to make together. Time for me to give back to my family and friends, knowing that if it hurt to give I would have time and space to recover. Time for me to reconnect with God and to learn to trust in Him again and to cry out to Him when I need to. Time to be, not just do.

Tonight I realised that I'm heading in the right direction. Whether or not we have a baby, I will not have given all my life away in trying. I will not become bitter. I will not harden myself towards life and others as I try to cope. I will love God, trust in Him, and keep walking the path that has been laid out for me. I will have hope.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009


When you read you begin with "A, B, C", when you sing you begin with "Doh, ray, me"...

So where do I start? My wonderful and supportive husband suggested gently the other day that I might start writing a blog, since I enjoy reading so many. I think this was his way of saying that as much as he loves me, hearing me ask, "Do you think it could be implantation cramping?" for the one hundredth time that day was starting to take its toll. I see his point.

So here I am. I haven't written a journal since the eighth grade and I swore I would never write another after discovering said journal in my 20's and being horrified by its contents. So I'm hoping this won't horrify me in the years to come. Hey, I'm hoping this won't all be deleted by tomorrow! Secretly, I'm hoping someone else will read this and let me know that I'm not alone. That's it's normal to be worried, to notice every bodily twinge, to assume the worst and hope for the best, to be completely out of control when it comes to getting pregnant, to feel that we're living in a world that at times seems so screwed up and doesn't make sense.... to be human.