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!