Wednesday, 14 November 2012


Am I coping? Ask me one minute and I will answer yes. Ask me a minute later and I may so no. It is all so fresh. I know it will get easier. I know it will take time. I just want me to be me again and my husband to be happy.

We have gone through a few stages of grief.

1. Shock and Denial

2. Pain and Guilt

I think I am still at this stage.

I just wish I could skip the next couple of steps.

3. Anger and Bargaining

4. Depression

I wish we could just head straight onto the next stage.

5. The Upward Turn


6. Reconsrtuction and Working Through

and then

7. Acceptance and Hope

My husband appears to be at the Pain and Guilt stage. He is so angry. Not at me but at others and himself.

We are doing okay. We have more moments of happiness. My husband is sleeping better and there are less tears...for both of us. I think the key is to keep busy. We have planned a few things to keep us going...looking forward.

I am off to Brisbane next week to see my family. My mother has an oncology appointment and I will fly up for 5 days to be there for her and my dad. I will also see my 3 sisters and nieces and nephews. I really can't wait!

Not really looking forward to the oncology appointment but glad I will be there. November is not a good month for my mum. Two years ago, they found her cancer. Last November, the cancer came back. She is well at the moment but thinks November is her jinx month. Hopefully, we can break that jinx this month!

We have to work over Christmas but will be spending it with my husband's family. We are lucky that his uncle from Ireland has lived here in Australia for 40 years and he and his family have taken us under their wing. My family lives 2000km away and my husband's are on the other side of the world.

We also have a weekend away in the country to look forward to in a few weeks. Also, we are planning to see my husband's family in Ireland next August.

The best advice I have received it 'Be kind to yourself'. I am. I am looking after number one and also my husband. We are being really open about how we feel and make sure we check in on each other to see how the other is coping.

We have organised a counselling session at our IVF clinic in three weeks. Hopefully, we get some great advice about how to cope with our decision. How to move on. The counsellor that is seeing us is great. I saw her before the last cycle and she really helped me with some coping strategies.

Moving on is hard. Harder than I ever imagined. I still feel sad looking at my friend's kids. Jealous of my friend's look of love when they look at their children. Thinking of what it would be like to watch a child grow, seeing your child developing as a little person, going to school, having friends, developing their own personalities, developing their own identity, finding love, getting married, having children of their own...

Do I want a child? Well, I guess that would be yes. Do I want to go through the IVF process again with a very slim to no chance of having a baby? No.

Adoption, both domestic and overseas takes an average of 7 years in Australia. This is due to each state having different legislation. This legislation is particularly tough due to babies being taken from their aboriginal or unwed mothers in the 50s through to the 70s. At this stage, I don't think we can emotionally go through this process

Our decision has been made.

I remember the moment that we realised we had not made it to transfer. Looking at my husband and him reaching to hold my hand. I still tear up thinking about it. I do not want to be in that position again...

We will be ok. It will just take time.

Friday, 26 October 2012

I Want Off This Rollercoaster!

To say this cycle was a disaster is an understatement. It has been the worst both physically and emotionally.

It was all going well. I was finding the injections a breeze. My emotions were in hand. After all, I was an old hand.

We got to egg collection day. When they told us we had 23 eggs. I thought, this is it. This is the last stim cycle I will have. We will get something to transfer, maybe even a frosty. I felt so positive. Everything felt just right. This was the most positive I had felt for a while.

Collection went okay and I recovered well. I got into the car to go home and went about 1km and started feeling really sick and faint. I started to dry wretch and thought I was going to faint so I lay down on the back seat and a very stressed husband broke a lot of road rules to rush me back to the hospital.

The nurses were great. My blood pressure and heart rate continued to drop, even lying down. I got a shot of ephedrine to improve this. I also had some anti-vomiting drugs. After another few hours, I was allowed to go home.

I was pretty sore after egg collection. I pulled up the worst ever. My whole abdomen hurt and still hurts. I was sooooo bloated. I could not eat as I had a 'full' feeling and if I ate, I felt nauseous. Only yesterday, Day 5 post collection, I was able to eat a proper meal.

Despite feeling crook, the positivity about this cycle continued. This all changed when we got the fertilisation report. Due to PGD we have to do ICSI. Even with ICSI we only had 5 fertilise out of the 23 eggs.

This brought me back to earth. This certainly popped the bubble of hope I was blissfully floating in. How would we get a normal embryo out of only 5 embryos? Would there even be enough to biopsy the next day?

The scenarios played out in my head. I was convinced I would have to do another stim cycle. At biopsy day, the embryos have to be 6-8 cells and Grade 1-3 to be biopsied. Our cut off was 5 embryos. If there were less than this, the plan was to freeze the embryos that could be frozen and do another stim cycle to boost up the number and then do PGD. PGD is totally out of pocket in Australia and is around $4000 whether you test 1 or 21.

Day 3 post collection arrived and to our utter shock, all 5 were able to be biopsied! All we needed was one 'normal' embryo and for that embryo to have kept growing. Hope crept in again. Last time, 10 were tested. Of those, we had 2 normal embryos. Surely one would make it. I was preparing for the fact that none would make it, but I was hopeful that would not be the case.

Day 4 was test day. We had no update this day as results became available Day 5 which is also transfer day.

Day 5.  Day 5 turned out to be one of the worst days of my life. At the start of the day, my hope was high. This is it. We will make it to transfer.

We were supposed to get a call. A call from a scientist or our doctor. We heard from neither, so assumed the process had changed. We headed in for the transfer which had been pencilled in for 13:45. We assumed that we had made it. We had made it to transfer.

We got to the reception desk at the IVF clinic and said who we were and weren't sure where to go. We hadn't heard from anyone that morning. The receptionist went bright red. I knew straight away why. She said she did not know the result but we needed to go to the doctor's room instead of the transfer waiting room. We knew then that it was all over. We went to the doctor's room and were greeted by him at reception. We knew this wasn't good.

All embryos were abnormal. Only one was affected by my husband's chromosomal translocation. The other four had other abnormalities. It was over.

I'm afraid if you are after a fairytale ending to our journey there isn't one. We had a lovely dinner out the night before we found out the PGD results and made a decision. It was coming and we both knew what it was going to be. This would be our last cycle, no matter what the outcome.

We are lucky that financially, we could keep going cycle after cycle after cycle. Physically and certainly emotionally, we have had enough. We have pretty much been treading water for the last 2 1/2 years that we have been doing IVF. Our lives have been on hold.

We thought this would be the next chapter in our life. The one that includes a baby. It is not going to happen. We are moving on.

This 2 1/2 years have changed us. It has broken us. My husband is a different man and I want the other man back and so does he. I want the happy go lucky guy. The funny guy. They one that makes everyone laugh. The life of the party.

I now have a man who is super sensitive, who is continually stressed to the point that he can't eat and he feels sick. A depressed man. A broken man.

I am not sure if we will ever get the old guy back but we are going to give it a try.

We are are moving on and very happy about this decision. A weight has been lifted off our shoulders. I feel almost relieved. The plan now is to buy a new home and move onto the next part of our lives. We are actually quite excited about what lies ahead.

Please don't give up hope, if you are doing IVF. There are so many success stories out there. IVF doesn't work for everyone. We are just one of those couples.

Monday, 8 October 2012

Jabba Dabba Doo. A Cycle Update...

My cycle is progressing slowly as down regulation cycles seem to do. Since I blogged last time, I have had my hysterscope. It went well. The doctor removed what he thought was a polyp and did a bit of a curettage while he was there. This was a diagnostic as well as therapeutic operation. It was to look at my uterus for any reasons for implantation failure and also to traumatise the endometrium to promote implantation. They used to do D+Cs on infertile patients in the 'olden days' before IVF and it sometimes allowed women to get pregnant. The polyp turned out to be a bit of endometrium that was coming away that looked like a polyp. Weird seeing pics of the inside of my uterus.

Last Friday, after almost 2 weeks of sniffing, I had my down regulation scan to check all was 'quiet' before I started stims. I had stopped the BCP 6 days prior. All was fine. My ovaries were sleeping with no dominant follicles and my lining was thin so I got a green light to start stims!

So it is Day 3 of stims. I have started to get a few symptoms of the drugs. I started getting a couple of hot flushes and headaches from the Synarel in the last few days. I can definitely 'feel' my ovaries now and hoping the follicles are growing nicely. I have a scan on Thursday to check how things are going. Dr S has upped my dose of stims which surprised me. He pushed me to the verge of OHSS last time. I got 21 eggs last time but fertilisation with ICSI only produced 10 embryos. Only 17 eggs were mature. Maybe he is trying to get more mature eggs. Maybe he will ease off on the stims later on this time. I guess I will find out over the next week.

So for the time being, I will keep jabbing and sniffing and cross all crossables that my follicles are growing and I am getting some good quality eggs...

Wednesday, 26 September 2012

The Dos and Don'ts Part 3

I blogged last cycle about the Dos and Don'ts Part 1 and Part 2 while doing an IVF cycle. I have picked up a few tips along the way from other IVFers. I have never had any success with IVF but some of these girls have so I have taken some of their advice.

Since my last cycle, I have been given a few more tips. Thanks so much to @ivfdivas for emailing me their IVF Diet.

I revised my Dos and Don'ts list for this cycle. This is not gospel and really is more a record for me, but have a look and let me know what you think.

Things you should DO:

- Eat an egg or two each day or other protein rich foods. 90g a day is ideal. Try nuts, seeds, eggs, meats and beans etc...

- Drink lots of water. 2L a day is ideal.

- Eat lots of fibre. I have mild PCOS and this helps regulate insulin better.

- Sleep. Get at least 8 hrs sleep a night.

- Eat plenty of fruit and vegetables.

- Drink 1L of milk a day.

- Eat High Vit C foods.

- Eat cherries which are a new superfood full of anti oxidants.

- Eat avocado for blood.

- Eat dried apricots. They have a lot of fertility nutrients and are a good replacement for sweets.

- Take Prenatal Vits, DHA, fish oil, royal jelly, coQ10 and floridix, Vit E and selenium for lining.

- Eat Brazil nuts and walnuts, a couple a day after Down Reg scan.

- Drink 1 glass pineapple juice (not concentrate) a day from DR scan.

- Eat iron rich foods to build up lining after DR scan.

- Drink pomegranate juice to help build up lining after DR scan.

- Exercise (only light exercise while stimming and after collection/transfer like walking. This increases blood flow to the uterus).

- Eat pineapple (core) a couple of days before and 5 days after.

Things you should AVOID:

- Avoid cold/iced foods.

- Avoid excess amounts of red meat.

- Do not eat sugar or sugar substitutes. Sugar negatively effects egg quality.

- No alcohol for either partner for at least a month before egg collection.

- Reduce or eliminate caffeine intake.

- Avoid eating fish due to mercury content.

- Avoid banana and cheese so your uterus doesn't get too slippery!

- No processed foods at all.

- No margarine.

- No aspartame which is Sweetener 951 in Australia.

- No strong smells post transfer.

Thursday, 20 September 2012

Here We Go Again...

I saw Dr Sweetypie on Tuesday to finalise this cycle. It is starting to feel very real and, dare I say it, I am feeling excited. Hope is creeping in.

I start to Down Reg in a few days and then it will really hit me this is happening. I have my rough dates for this cycle-

I have been on BCP since the 12th of August.

I start the Synarel nasal spray for Down Regulation on the 23rd of September.

I take my last pill on the 29th of September.

My Down Reg scan is on the 5th of October.

All going well, I start Stims on the 6th of October.

My first Stim scan will be the 11th of October.

The next Stim scan will be the 16th of October and hopefully trigger that day.

Egg collection is pencilled in on the 18th of October.

All going well transfer will be the 23rd of October.

There are only a couple of changes for this PGD cycle.

I am having a Hysteroscope next Friday just before I come off the pill. Dr S will check out my uterus for any polyps or fibroids that may be preventing implantation. This process also irritates the lining which studies have shown to improve the chances of implantation.

On the day of trigger, I will have a blood test to check my progesterone. Recent studies have shown if the progesterone is above 5(not sure of the unit) that the body thinks ovulation has already occurred. It is better to freeze any embryos and transfer later if this is the case.

Also I will be administering the Crinone twice a day after egg transfer instead of once. I will still have the progesterone shots Day 8 and 11 post collection. I always seem to bleed before the pregnancy test.

My husband told me a couple of weeks ago that he has no hope at all for this cycle. This really brought me down and I was worried I would have no one to confide in. I think this is a defence mechanism and a way of self preservation. He has been very supportive since this 'discusssion' and I know I can depend on him.

I also have told another of my friends. My friends have been great and are making an effort to keep me busy over the next 6 weeks. I wish I had told them sooner. We went through a few cycles without anyone knowing. I am glad they are willing to take some of the burden off my husband. But like one said 'that is what friends are for'.

After my last post, a lovely tweetheart suggested I see a counsellor. I did this and it was great. She reassured me that Dr S would not persist if he didn't think there was a chance that this would actually work.  She also said to keep an eye on my husband and make sure he is ok. I am to make sure he doesn't keep it all in like last time and make sure he talks about things. Also she suggested to keep busy. I always seem to put my life on hold while cycling. This time, we actually have plans other than scans and needles. Telling my friends has also made this easier. I tend to turn into a hermit when doing a cycle to keep everything from my friends. As I said, they are going to help keep me busy.

So that's the plan. We are just taking it one step at a time like last time. This seemed to keep me sanish. We are still in touch with the reality that we may not have anything to transfer. We don't have the back up of testing any frozen embryos this time. Saying this, I feel a lot more positive than I did last time I blogged and am actually ready for the ups and downs that this cycle will bring. Hopefully, this is the cycle that will bring us our miracle!

Monday, 13 August 2012

It's Just a Little Pill....

It's just a little pill I tell myself, but it is a lot more than that. This is the start of another IVF cycle with PGD.

I have not blogged for ages and a lot has happened, good and bad. I have a few confessions to make. I haven't been totally truthful to myself and even to my tweethearts that I depend on.

My husband was my rock during my IVF cycle with PGD earlier this year. It was tough and he pretty much solely kept me together and got me through it. We haven't really told many people about what we have been going through with our IVF journey.

A couple of months after our failed PGD cycle my husband fell in a heap. He was depressed and wasn't eating. It broke my heart. His doctor says he kept himself together for me. When things got back to mundane day in, day out stuff and I was okay, it all hit him like a meteorite. It was horrible. I felt so bad and so worried, but we got through it. Well so I thought...

We arrived back from an amazing holiday in the US for three weeks, about a week ago. I have not told a sole this but it was not as great as I made out. I had been having bad facial pain and the dentist and doctor decided it was from a tooth that I had an amalgam filling changed to a white filling. Don't do it people. I did it purely for vanity reasons. I ended up with a root canal and had to have it revised two days before I flew out. I lost about 6kgs over 3 weeks due to the stress and was not sleeping. I saw my doctor, worried I had depression. She says I was just run down and needed sleep.

We got to the US, and with the jet lag was sleeping about 4 hrs a night. My husband was too... with worry about me. A couple of nights after arriving, in the middle of the night, we held each other and everything came out. I confessed that I was still in pain and all my teeth on the left side hurt and he confessed that he was feeling really down again. We both ended up in tears. He never cries. We were trying too hard to have a good time. I know that sounds weird. This holiday was our consolation prize for our failed IVF/PGD cycle and we had to have a good time. We had built it up too much.

I emailed my dentist and he diagnosed me with TMJ dysfunction. I went to a doctor and got some muscle relaxant tablets and also got a mouthguard thing because of the grinding of my teeth.

We met some friends to celebrate my husband's 40th and things got better. This is because I was feeling ok. My husband emotions seem to feed off me. We ending up having an amazing time after everything was sorted.

The fact that my husband's emotions depend on how I am feeling scares me. I feel so bad. I am now not wanting to tell him how I feel. I am so down and shit scared this cycle will not work. I don't want to go back there to that feeling when it didn't work last time.

Yesterday I had a bit of a breakdown. I ended up in my husband's arms sobbing. He ended up crying too. I feel so bad. I was telling him how sad I am not to have a child. He blames himself because of his chromosomal translocation. After this, I am so scared to tell him anything. It is really toying with his emotions.

I still have facial pain constantly. I am getting fitted with a splint by the dentist today. This is to wear at night for my teeth grinding. This grinding is caused by stress. Guess what an IVF cycle will bring on. I am scared that this pain will never go away. I don't know whether I should get this sorted before doing another cycle. I haven't told my husband.

I asked my husband if he is ready for another cycle. He says he's not sure but wants to do it. We can't really put it off he says.

I am so scared and negative.

So the little pill I took last night symbolises that start of an unknown journey. I have started this cycle with a BCP. I start the Synarel to down regulate in about a month and egg collection is booked in for around October 18.

I feel like pulling the pin. I am not sure what to do...

Wednesday, 7 March 2012

Fork in the Road...

To finalise this cycle we attended our WTF appointment yesterday. It was a rough day for me. Possibly the roughest since the BFN.

We went to see the travel agent and paid for our flights to the US for our 3 week vacation to New York and Las Vegas. Exciting stuff, right? I got home and burst into tears. This reinforced the BFN for me. Stupid, I know. If I were pregnant, we wouldn't be going on this holiday.

After my husband calmed me down with a cuddle and a hot chocolate, I looked at my wedding band and something was missing. A diamond. This was the last straw. It wasn't pretty. A lot of snot filled sobbing. Again my husband placated me. He really is a gem.

About an hour later, we hopped in the car for our WTF appointment. I was brave. New makeup applied. Red eyes hidden. I don't think Dr S got a syllable out of his mouth before a tear rolled down my cheek.

The crux of this failed cycle is that it is just bad luck! Everything was textbook but unfortunately nothing is 100% and we didn't get a BFP.

We have pretty much done every test under the sun. Dr S complimented me on my amazing ability to stimulate a whole heap of follicles easily without suffering too much and getting OHSS. Yay for me...note the sarcasm. Not much use if we can't get pregnant...

Anyway, the plan is to go on our vacation and decide what we will do. If we do another cycle, it will likely be October/November time. The only change in our protocol will be that I would have a hysterscope instead of an endometrial biopsy a week before I come off the pill...just to have a look to make sure all is good.

Dr S said not to make any rash decisions and no decisions we will regret in a few years when it will be too late to change our minds. No pressure...

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