Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Empty Ovaries

I survived! I was scared, shitting myself in fact. I remembered the last retrieval & the injections into each ovary were not fun at all. So this morning arrived, my gorgeous friend D picked me up & off we went. A was working all night & would meet me there in full surgical gear.

They kept me waiting for ages. There'd been a D&C they had to do so the wait was horrible, anxiety provoking. A arrived, there we were A, D & I all dressed in blue surgical gear awaiting my dreaded procedure. I was in the full theatre this time as some other dr was using the room i knew (yes, believe it or not the other room had become familiar & comfortable to me already).

A & D were seated. I lay on a slanting table with legs up ofcourse in stirrups, you know the dignified female procedural posture. And a sedative, fentinel was visiting my veins - as much as I hate taking drugs, you know the codeine type or benzo type - i must admit this was pleasurable.....there was a time when i enjoyed the odd recreational party pill & this was the closest to it I've had in yrs.

Our lovely RE was down where he usually is inserting the speculum, washing me down etc & then it began... long, very long injections into my vagina - ouch! OUCH & more ouch! It stung.....Ive got a tough old vagina but it doesnt like injections & nor do my ovaries.

It was a strange pain, not too bad to be honest but unpleasant enough & i was still vocal - the whole experience hurts in a way. Our RE was lovely & pointed out that i'd missed an ouch opportunity.

The scientists were quietly perving at my eggs under the microscope & every now & then a very good looking egg appeared on the plasma screen...they looked good if i say so myself!

Then over to the other ovary & more stinging, more pain & more vocalising.

RE thought it amusing I was intending one day to have a natural birth with no drugs.....

It was over, they'd retrieved 14 eggs in total - double last time!!!!!! This was the amount I asked for & here they were.

I was wheeled into recovery by RE. We laughed & felt relief.

A was asked to visit andrology & I sat with D & a heat pack on my very sore uterus.

RE appeared to inform us we had 14. He was pleased with this result. We were all pleased. He did warn us that 4 of them looked quite immature but he was still pleased.

The scientists visited too to repeat this info. My eggs were in good hands now.

This arvo & evening there'll be busy fertilising with A's boys & in the morning I'll get a call to tell me how many fertilised.

I'm hoping 10 or more get it together.

Oh, one more thing - the scientists said the 10 mature ones didn't look good - they looked great!!!!!

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Am I asking too much?

I feel as tho' I'm about to pop. It's such a strange feeling each step i take causes discomfort as it feels the eggs collide with one another or something else. Each time I put my arse down it causes more discomfort.....its obviously crowded in there.................the last ultrasound showed i had 13 follicles growing - much better than last stimulated cycle but i cant get too confident as the big follicle was 23 mm but the littlies were only 12mm.....not sure how many he'll be able to retrieve & then how many will be mature or ripe enough to fertilise with A's boys!

& im praying A's boys are robust & healthy. Poor A has been doing horrible shifts, emergency work thru the nite etc. To get thru the nite he's been assisted by good old caffeine. I thought about it last nite & realised he's been having around one coffee a nite. Suddenly i had a reaction, a strong reaction.....for the last almost two yrs I've not enjoyed one cup of coffee, as soon as i've discovered any of my enjoyable treats such as green tea or soy milk were potentialy harmful for fertility I gave them up, begrudgingly, resentfully but nonetheless gave them up, not reduced their intake...gave them up! So it affected me that A has been having coffee. In reality, it probably or hopefully wont make a scrap of difference & his boys were supposedly of good quality but it was something else that upset me - it was the principle, the philosophy that i was committed to doing absolutely everything i could to optimise the health of our unborn babies. I was trying to ensure our embryos would be robust enough to cope with the hurdles that exist for a developing embryo & if this meant sacrifice then so be it.

After 3 miscarriages - was i asking too much? i dont think so. It's not as if we're 27, just starting on the fertility ride & adopting a laissez faire attitude to see what happens.....we've been on this roller coaster for almost 2 yrs, we've endured 3 miscarriages, we're not 27!

I just want A to adopt the same commitment, the same rigour, the same energy. Thats probably unfair, as he's his own person & needs to do it his way & I kno he has horrible shifts & i acknowledge he certainly needs a stimulant to get him thru the nite but i want him searching the net to try & find natural, safe replacements for things like coffee. After all, I've had to start drinking oat milk instead of soy & in cafes ask for boring water with lemon instead of my preferred chai or green it too much to ask???

I've sought reassurance & guidance from beautiful women friends today & basically, tho' theyre details differ -they all shared the same idea - it's the women vs men thing, the eternal difference. A few of my female confidants who already have kids offerred a warning - 'get used to it, when it comes to nuturing, the women do it in a different way, the men do it in a male kinda way, one which doesn't include sacrifice & selflessness...............'.

I suppose I'm still an idealist at heart & believe it could be different or wish it were!

Thursday, May 25, 2006

7 Follicles and Counting.....

A terrible night, no sleep, tossing, turning, anxiety that i'd have only 2 follicles, no follicles,.... who many bad scenarios flashed past but the morning finally arrived & as A drove in to the clinic I kept repeating to myself 'I've done everything i can'.

& then finally i was there watching the screen waiting to see my follicles appear...she started counting on the left side...1, ...2 & then moved over to the right side. i had a slight panic...'what! only 2 on the left side...this is going to be like last time' & then the right side showed off 5 follicles. the sonographer even stated there were some smaller ones but they dont bother measuring them unless theyre over 10 mm......

So we were relieved, very relieved. Whilst i know it means nothing unless we end up nonetheless was a hurdle we had to jump - the first follicle number game!

Back we go on Saturday for the next ultrasound - & how quickly ive become greedy.... i want over 10 follicles, yes....why cant i have more than 10!

.....i'd like 14 please.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

A Numbers Game

Tomorrow morning the dreaded number game begins. How many follicles will i have? How many eggs will i have at retrieval? how many will fertilise? how many embryos will reach day 5?

It's stressful & anxiety provoking. Last stimulated cycle at the first ultrasound on day 7, i had only four follicles. I was devastated. Even our RE said he was disappointed. Then by retrieval I had 7. Though 7 wasn't a great number it was better than 4. We were warned that probably only one or two would reach blastocyst stage & we had 4 serious embryos make it to day 5 but then we didnt get pregnant here we go again....This time though, I've been on chinese herbs for almost 6 mths & other wondrous things like deer antler & royal jelly & ginseng & reshi mushroom capsules...surely all these efforts will be rewarded tomorrow with great numbers & even better quality & then there'll fertilise fantastically & make it to day 5 & then implant securely for the next 9 mths.....please!!!!!

So I try to stay calm & pray & be grateful for what i do have.

& i bloody hope its all ok tomorrow.

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Mothers Day!

Theres been much happening......i got a new job, after yrs of dissatisfaction & exeriencing slow soul & spirit destruction ive resigned...ive got a month left there but then im outa there & over to new...i think it'll be good, i think i'll care again & feel valued, stimulated & no longer feel professionally impotent & who knows maybe the change & stimulation & feeling worthy again will translate to my womb

.....the appointment with our RE was ok, just ok.....all the myriad of tests were just as expected - all clear.....i must admit i was actually hoping theyd find something wrong with me but i was also hoping that it could be fixed - that would have been the ideal outcome as now it would be over & we'd be on the road to becoming parents of something other than a miscarriage...but he kept telling us we were normal & all was clear...somehow it didnt sit with me too well - i dont buy it - its not normal to keep miscarrying...we talked options ...a laparoscopy or another stimulated cycle but this time adding clexane to the formula ( a blood thinning drug, which he said in some miscarrying women works well) & he recommended we go again.....oh yes i forgot one important new bit of information - he said im no longer 'infertile', im a 'miscarrier' - there was a time when i worked clinically where i advocated so vehemently against labels & here i am telling my friends..'im a miscarrier' here we go again....injecting lucrin & we start the puregon injections next fri.....

....i was thrown into a sheer panic ..i called up an old naturapath i used to see ...she suggested i dont take my chinese herbs while on an ivf treatment as it would reduce the effectiveness of the treatment...all of a sudden i was panicked, confused, was awful - i consulted my closest friends, the old favourite internet, even dog park friends & couldnt find any solace to my desperation.....was i doing the right thing? will it fuck everything up? who should i trust? my herbalist was desperately trying to defend her treatment, my dr told me to immediately cease the herbs....i was uncelar & useless & the one thing i kno is you cant force i sat with it for a few days & i think im getting back to my feels as tho' beneath the layers of panic & fear are solid intuitive wisdoms about the benefits of chinese herbs whilst on ivf i await the crystal clarity but for now even a foggy clarity (you know what i mean) will do & i confidently downed my 'P' herbs tonite.

today was bad, ugly & downright awful. when my mother died 3 & a half yrs ago, all of a sudden - mothers day turned into a dreaded day where the best place to be was hiding in my house....i felt bereft & angry & alone & all i could see were picnics & lunches & mothers & daughters walking together ...they all celebrated their mothers & honoured them in public & i was motherless!!!!! i thought it couldnt get worse

& now mothers day has added pain...not only am i unable to be with my mum lying in the sun on a picnic blanket enjoying her favourite cheeses & spoiling her with pressies but nor can i experience the joy of celebrating my own experience of motherhood.....there are no hallmark cards for 'to my mummy love your miscarriage'.....& ofcourse i dont want one of those anyway - but i do want one day to enjoy the silly consumerist day, i want one day to be spoiled because i am carrying our baby or pushing our pram.....i want to be out there in public on mothers day & not have to hide in the safety & pain of our home.

im glad mothers day is almost over for this year....