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

Monday, February 27, 2012

The Lull before the Cycle

Tomorrow is the date in my diary for my endemetrium Biopsy. The POAS (which over time does get progressively less gross it turns out) suggested that I ovulated on Saturday/Sunday (I'm still getting my head around things, whether the surge happens after or before ovulation?)

So once the little procedure is done tomorrow, it's time to wait.

It's kind of nice.

On Friday a week ago I had a diabetes test. They are annual things, but every year I get a little worried that it's not going to give me the news I want. Not to mention that it seems like a crime to me that anyone has to drink that disgusting sugar water without the thought of a baby to get them through!

But so far no diabetes.

And I am re inspired for a healthy life.

And it got me thinking?

Is there anything I can be doing in this lull period to get me as healthy as possible for IVF. I mean I know that if I google foods for conception I will find multiple weird sights out there that have various theories about how beans, or corn, or egg, or pine nuts, or whatever will work. But has anyone heard any studies that suggest a certain type of eating or exercise or behaviour will help?

I like the idea of having a purpose for these weeks.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Just a happy day

Sometime I wish for just a happy day. A day that is completely free from IF misery.

I had been really looking forward to yesterday. And it was a great day in many ways. But it wasn't just a happy day.

Had a great coffee with BFF. It was lovely to be able to go back to our normal friendship after the semi-fight of last time. I had been really worried, worried that she was annoyed at me, worrying that she responded to my text late because she didn't want to see me. Not at all. We had a lovely catch up.

And that night I had round Earl's siblings and their partners. I saw it as a kind of an end of an era celebration, because when SIL has her baby (due in less than a week) then everything will change. No one else gets it. When I mentioned it SIL got offended and said "Yes, we'll still do games nights all the time, he can just sit in the corner". I don't think anyone in my family (except my MIL) really gets that babies change your life!

I decided to play the dixi chicks.

I hadn't put on a dixi chicks album for years.

There is a dixi chicks song called "Lullaby", and it is one of the most beautiful, tear jerking songs I know. It's a mother singing to their child.

The Chorus goes like this:
How Long do you want to be loved
Is forever enough
Is forever enough
How long do you want to be loved
Is forever enough
coz I'm never ever giving you up

It began to play in the backgroud, and my heart aches. The last time I had heard it I had imagined singing it to my kids. That was before IF, before I knew that there may not be any kids to sing it to.

So it wasn't just a happy day :(

Monday, February 20, 2012


Last night we went round to my in-laws for our now almost weekly sibling dinner. It was lovely.

We talked about names for my nephew.

I grabbed the baby book, and started leafing through. I had a fair idea of what kind of names my sister-in-law and her husband like, and so I read out various names and they gave me their opinion.

Earl was sitting on the coach. It's his default position after dinner. I sit on the table, my uncomfortably pregnant sister in law is sprawled on another coach with her husband squeezed into the corner. My BIL and his wife are at the table, opposite me. Earl sits on the coach and yells out silly suggestions like "Dragon". He plays the role of the comic relief in his family.

We start making fun of BIL, because he is the youngest child and the only one in the family who gets rilled up by such things. We tease him about naming his kids after things he likes (like "Panda", and "Juice"), and he keeps saying "Don't be silly", and that makes us laugh some more. My brother in laws wife (lets call her Mrs A), and I go through all the names that we like that we know our husbands don't and offer them to SIL.

I say that I really want to give the the idea of my nephews name so I can take the credit. But the truth is I just don't want them taking any of our names.

Earl and I have four names picked out, two girls names and two boys names. Plus middle names. We love them, and we talk about how much we love them all the time. Theoretically I know that someone might take them, but if I have the power to stop it I will. And now my SIL and her husband have a list of around 8 names that they really like that are not OUR names. And I feel a bit relieved.

Earl's Mum comments on how funny all Earl's suggestions are. I said "You wouldn't think they were funny if the one who suggested it had some say in the naming of your kids". Everybody laughed, Earl's Mum the loudest, I think because she loves it when we talk like we will definitely have kids. She can't handle any suggestion that things won't work out for her kids.

And then I went home, and in the middle of a TV show I burst into tears. Earl was very confused. But at things like that, when we are all together, and joking about the names we might give our kids, I forget.

Then I come home and remember. I might not get to name two girls and two boys.
I might not get to name any.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Timing and a reflection of POAS

I can't remember if I said in a previous post that my doctor is monitoring my cycle, working out when I ovulate, so he can do a endemetrium biopsy 3 days post.

The way he is doing that is two scans a week, with me POAS in between.

It means that I will have a fair idea when I ovulate. This is helpful for planning for my IVF cycle. The timing of everything is rather hilarious. Now that I am not working, I was excited to be in a position where I don't have to be too stressed about dates for ops. The only thing coming up was my husbands graduation which was interstate. And what do you know, if I ovulate at the time my doctor is guessing, I will be having scans then! At least I'm running late this month, otherwise I would have to miss it all together, whereas this way I think I can fly up and back and not miss out. So that is the good thing about POAS.

I think I've mentioned that I have never been a big POAS. When we started trying, I had a bad experience of POAS in my first month (after waiting until 40 days post my ex-pill bleed), only to get a negative and my period the next day. This made me extra cautious about POAS, and I have only done it 4 times since, in the five years we've been trying. I've never used home urine tests for testing ovulation, because they are so expensive and I'm not regular enough to know when to test. I just kept an eye on things, took a good guess and my temp, and did the business every two days just in case!

And I am a stickler for rules, so when the clinic says don't POAS, just wait for the Beta, that is what I do.

But now I've had three days of POAS. And I've decided. It's gross.

I really don't like dealing with my own urine.

The irony is that I've done IVF, I've put in pessaries, had internal ultra sounds, taken my temperature down there, and checked my mucus for several years.

You would think that I was beyond grossing out.
Seems not.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Doctors Appointment Number 2 and getting what you pay for

There is no comparison between the two appointments I had with this doctor. The first one left Earl and I shell-shocked in tears.

The second left us smiling and happy and HOPEFUL.

In many ways it was a follow up to our positive nursing appointment last week. But the doctor was also very helpful, very attentive, and very keen to get things sorted. Firstly, I am going to get a endemetrium biopsy after I ovulate this month. Secondly, he did some bloodwork so he can decide what kind of treatment I might need to get my uterus working. Thirdly, he is insisting on the antagonist cycle, the higher meds (though not as high as was originally suggested, which I'm a bit relieved about), and if possible a twin transfer. He was actually a bit annoyed at my previous doctors for not trying any of these things.

He asked how we feel about fertilising number of eggs, given we want to transfer all we create. We decided that given our track record, even if we somehow by miracle made 12 embryos, it is unlikely that this will equal 12 babies. Though, Earl said smiling, we would take 12!

Earl and I were laughing at the differences between the private and the public system.

Public system I would have waited for at least 45 minutes in the waiting room before seeing the doctor, and at least a month after I booked. I booked this appointment last week! Public system if I needed a scan I would have had to book one the next day. The doctor wanted to check where I was at in my cycle and so did the scan on the spot. I could go on. I am so very, very, very grateful for my good experience in the public system IVF program, and I think its wonderful that the Aus gov covers such things. But I am also very glad to be given the diamond standard IVF treatment. After all we've been through, I think I deserve it!

love LG

The Parrallel Universe

I watch a bit of sci-fi TV. Probably too much. It's a guilty pleasure of Earl and I, and I think it's particularly helpful because it's escapism from this journey. One of the shows I watch is Fringe. I'm very aware that it can be a bit gruesome and gross for some, but it's got this fascinating story-line, centered around the idea that there are all these alternate realities in existence. Worlds that exist where things are almost the same, but with slight differences, based on different choices that people have made, or different paths that lead from those choices.

I don't believe this is the case, but I was discussing the Parallel Universe idea with my therapist the other day.

Ever since the miscarriage, I feel like I've been living one life and watching another.

When I lost Thumper, I would look out at other pregnant women and think "that could be me". I thought that would end when his due date passed. But it didn't. Suddenly there was this alternate Universe that I could just see behind a veil. There she was, lets call her Lady Pink. Lady Pink had a baby Thumper who lived. Lady Pink was excited when SIL got pregnant because now Thumper would have a cousin, and she had already produced the first grandchild. Lady Pink didn't have a SSP, or a failed IVF cycle, or take a pregnancy test after throwing up only to find out it was nothing. Lady Pink squealed with delight when her BFF was pregnant. Lady Pink wasn't told by a doctor to consider donation or surrogacy. Lady Pink wasn't setting up a study in her new house, she was setting out Thumper's things. Lady Pink has her trials, same as everyone, but she has Thumper. And as I looked at a friends baby photos, whose son was born in the same month as Thumper, I can see what I'm missing out on.

Of course, I know there is no Lady Pink. It's just the idea of might-have-been haunts me, like I never have experienced. I have had the worst 6 months of my life (its funny isn't it, I think the miscarriage itself was really, really bad, but it was after Thumpers due date that I began not to handle it)- and it feels like they were unnecessary. I should have kept Thumper.

I talked to my Therapist, asking when will I get over this. She said, wisely, maybe Miscarriages aren't things that you get over. Maybe they change you. She also mentioned that I was dealing with IF on top of miscarriage, and that separating the two in my mind might be helpful.

Ironically I am feeling hopeful for the first time this year. Really hopeful. We have a meeting with the doctor, and I am hoping, hoping that he doesn't take that hope away but has some suggestions and help for us. Hardly believing, but still dreaming, that next month I will have the BFP of my dreams.

But I still miss my Thumper.
Lady Grey

Friday, February 10, 2012

Big Day

Yesterday was pretty overwhelming in terms of IF stuff. I don't regret any of it, but I am glad i don't have those days every day.

As I've talked about on this blog, BFF is pregnant, and so far, I've actually been coping with it okay. BFF is one of those people who now that she is pregnant, that is all she can think about and talk about, and she tries not to, and its gets kind of awkward and a little bit comical. Anyway, we were having a catch up yesterday, and I was nervous because I wasn't in a good place, and also because I had a nursing appointment just beforehand.

The nursing appointment was great. It was really great. The nurse had sat down with our doctor before our appointment and talked through what was best to do, given we have had so many unsuccessful cycles. One, we are doing an antagonist cycle, which means not only is it different than we've tried before (and different is good!) but it is also a sign that our doctor is really looking into our case. The other big change is my meds. He is uping the anti! I'm actually going to be on twice as many units of stimulator than I was in my first cycle. That is a bit scary, but he will be monitoring things, and he is one of the leading experts in the country, and again: SOMETHING DIFFERENT. For the first time in a while I felt good about this cycle.

So I went into meeting with BFF, thinking things would be okay.

The problem is, it doesn't solve the underlying plaguing problem that has been going on. That I don't envisage that I can live a good life without kids. That I look into the future with this bleakness that takes my breath away. As I talked about this, I got more and more depressed, and I ended up saying something which she interpreted as me saying that God sent her baby to hurt me.

She was not happy with this, and kind of snapped at me- defending both God and her baby. Then we spent the next hour talking around the issue, and it was awkward and weird and I knew our friendship could survive it, but I was feeling sick and sorry. I felt half bad about what I'd said, and half annoyed at her because I was going through such a hard time and it was the first insensitive thing I had said in her whole pregnancy and couldn't she just give me that?

Anyway, the conversation wasn't going anywhere, we were both feeling uncomfortable and we both can't leave things unresolved I had driven her home and we were just sitting in the car. It felt like a real cross roads in our relationship, and in a weird way, with my relationship with God. Because I was blaming him, blaming him that my life could just be so hard and so bad and it felt like he had given me that and I didn't know why. And I knew theoretically that he promised to look after me and care for me, and provide all my needs, but I just couldn't see that in a babyless future.

One thing I think I might have read in CS Lewis, though I'm not sure, is that one of the best ways to manufacture love in your heart is to show love. To act in a loving way, even if you don't feel it. At that moment, I knew what I needed to do.

For the first time in this five year struggle I put my hand on a pregnant belly that wasn't my own. I put my hand on BFFs belly and I prayed for her baby. I thanked God for it, I prayed for its health, I asked God to help her to feel okay about things. And as I prayed, love welled in my heart, for both God and the baby, and in a weird way I realised "I can do this. I can get through this".

And then BFF and I went into her house, and things were normal again. She talked about maternity pants, and I talked about IVF and marriage and life and it was normal again.

I don't know what my future holds. But I just have to remind myself that God will be there and will take care of me.

"Be satisfied with what you have, for He Himself has said, I will never leave you or forsake you.
Therefore, we may boldly say:
The Lord is my helper;
I will not be afraid.
What can man do to me?" Hebrews 13:5-6

Love LG

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Being my own therapist

There is a saying, I learnt it through being involved in church work, but I'm sure it can apply elsewhere. The expression is "Do yourself out of a job". The idea is that you train people around you in such a way that soon you create enough mini-you's to make yourself redundant.

Anyway, today was my first day of seeing one of the new therapists at my new clinic. My new clinic has about 8 different therapist and they are considered to be one of the best infertility counselling services in Australia.

But I miss my old therapist!

Part of the issue is the different doctors opinions are influencing the attitude of the therapist. My Old therapist was able to say "No doctors are saying you can never have kids". My new therapist can't really say that, because my new doctor has raised it as a possibility. She was encouraging, she let me talk, and she was very sympathic to how hard the situation was, and very positive about how well I am doing. I talked alot about SIL and BFF being pregnant, I don't think I realised until that conversation just how much it was affecting me.

But she couldn't give me hope, she could only give me band-aids. She said that we wouldn't be doing IVF if there was no chance, and that was helpful. But it wasn't hopeful. I walked out of the meeting so sad, because my old therapist always made me feel more hopeful.

But I realised as the day progressed that my old therapist had in some ways done herself out of a job.

I could hear her in my head. I could hear her saying that Thumper was a good sign. That I was young. That just because IVF hasn't worked, doesn't mean it won't work. That new clinics can sometimes make the difference, something about what they do might help. That other people's roads are not my road. That as much as I hate waiting that a child, some child is in my future. I can hear her in our last ever conversation saying "This isn't in anyway scientific, but I still hold great hope for you to get pregnant".

And I felt better, without even talking to her.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

The most random of phone calls.

I had the randomist call today.

One of my friends called saying she knew someone who knew someone who was putting their soon-to-be-due baby up for adoption and would we like it!

I should explain that in Australia it is so much more complicated than that. There is a huge application process that you must go through to adopt, and even then, there are waiting lists and legal fees and all kinds of things you need to go through before you can adopt a baby. She was making an offer that she had no ability to deliver on.

But it was very sweet of my friend to think of me, sweet that she knew how much we wanted a child and was willing to do the worlds most awkward phone call to make it happen..

In some strange way it made me hopeful.

Because I was feeling really, really low today. Feeling like Children were so very far away. But this call cheered me up. Because somewhere out there, there is an Australia women who is dying to be a Mum. And a baby, to be born in March, that was unofficially offered to me, will become her little child. Today is her day. And that is so exciting.

And one day, I will become a Mum. It may be through a pregnancy, it may be through embryo adoption, or it may be through a phone call saying "Congratulations- we have a child for you".

And that day, my day, that is worth all the wait in the world.

Friday, February 3, 2012

AF, and super sucky timing!

The morning after our first initial appointment I got AF. In the lead up to IVF treatment, I always pray desperately to just get pregnant naturally. Now more than ever because things are just so hard. I know its terrible, but this next IVF just seems like a waste of time, it feels like we are just punching at the wind. Earl doesn't feel like that, he feels like we are still a real chance.

(incidentally, Earl has been talking about "Getting a little sister for Thumper". I love that. In fact, when he says that is the the only time I feel hopeful about things)

So i was incredibly devastated. And hormonal for what followed.

We had a follow up nurses appointment that day. The counsellor had told us that we could just tell the nurse that we were changing streams and not doing the Genetic testing. But when we rocked up, we found out this nurse only did Genetic testing appointments, and so see couldn't help us! We would have to make another nurses appointment, next Friday

And when I asked if I could start things this cycle, since I had my period that day, I was told "No, it would be irresponsible for us to start you before you'd seen the nurse to explain how to inject yourself".


Anyway, I totally over-reacted. And we have another month to wait :(

I hate AF. Not just the not pregnant thing, but the fact that all the pain of not-pregnantness is compounded by pain and hormones. I lay in bed last night at 3am, not able to sleep because of some cramping, and just thinking over and over about how horrific infertility is.

Needless to say, I need to make an appointment and find a new counsellor (the one we saw on Wednesday is retiring in four weeks- more bad timing). I was in a really, really, really bad place last night. Appreciate any one's prayers if they can, I just need some more hope and clarity- I'm walking around in a whirl of very bad thoughts.

SIL baby shower tomorrow. I've actually been coping well, I've even made a cake (I might put up a photo when it's finished- it's so cute!). But since AF everything seems just so very hard.


Wednesday, February 1, 2012

A decision we are comfortable with and uncertain next steps

Today we had our first appointment, this was an appointment with the genetic counsellor. We discussed the Genetic testing dilemma, both assuming at the start of the interview that we would be going ahead with it.

In the end, both of us, and the counsellor, came to the conclusion that Genetic testing wasn't the way to go for us. We had explained our position on things, and she commented that the Genetic testing wouldn't even necessarily tell us what we need to know, whether we were unable to produce healthy embryos. Just because one round of IVF produces all or no Genetic abnormalities, does not mean that future ones will or won't. She was great, she was very open to hearing our views, and once she understood our position we felt she was on our side and working out things from our perspective.

So, Genetic testing is off the table. This is both a relief and a bit scary. Scary because it does seem to take us closer to the "there are no answers" scenario. But a relief because we are avoid at least one minefield in this drama!

I also grabbed a brochure, and have been reading up on embryo donation in Australia. It is still a process that I am a little excited about. The counsellor estimated we would be 18 months on a waiting list, maybe less if we were willing to have a non-matched baby (as in, a baby that is not ethnically or physically similar to us). But as she kept reminding me, we are not there yet.

Tomorrow is the nurses interview, where we will tell them our decision and begin the process for a standard IVF cycle. We will try in the mean-time for another meeting with our doctor to discuss if there are any uterus related treatments he can try us on.

Exhausted, happy with the decisions, but exhausted.