IUI #1

It seems a bit weird after 7 IVF transfers to have done an IUI but nonetheless it is done.

Thank you all so much for your beautiful words of support. Damn. I would be lost without this community. I don’t want to guilt any of you but you all mean a lot to me even though we will never ever meet. This includes my IRL that have been there since my first days on BC. You provide me with a level of support and care I don’t receive anywhere else. Not because other people don’t care (I am spoiled in truth by the level of support I can reach) but because they don’t understand. I love you all in a very weird and bizarre way and am thankful that nearly four years after I started writing I still have a core group of people that care enough to make sure after each transfer or hurdle you are there to give me a metaphorical hand to get up when I stumble and fall. So, thank you for those that have continued to support me. Even when they have moved on themselves.

Ok, mushy out of the way.

We went in at 8.30 and Chippie gave his sample which thankfully was actually his best ever sample! Post wash he had 100% motility and above average count. Which was awesome! He was pretty happy as I told him to bring his a game.

My cervix was also thankfully accommodating. I don’t know if my old doctor was crap but seriously the last two catheters in my cervix have been smooth as anything. Another positive was we had one of the top FS on call doing EPU’s and transfers today on the rota system. I don’t care what anyone says having one of the best do it makes a huge difference. It was the same on the cycle that got me Molly. IVF / IUI is not the time for student doctors.

Anyway. This horrendous cycle is now over. Blood test is for the 14th August which is 16 days away and I will definitely get my period before hand if it doesn’t work. Progesterone starts tonight plus all the other associated crap that comes with my cycle.

It’s a step closer albeit miles behind.

 

Already determining my plan B

I am nothing if not a planner. Right?

I decided to switch to an IUI for a few reasons,

1. the chance of successfully extracting any eggs from the small amount of mature follicles that were available, then inseminating and then getting an embryo to a stage to transfer was such HIGH risk and I wasn’t about to try this – financially or emotionally.

2. I had done all the pre immunology work up so I had a higher success rate of falling pregnant this way than a normal cycle and we knew exact OV and we were putting the sperm right in the lair’s mouth (so to speak).

but the main biggest reason was

3. Now I have ammunition to convince Chippie that we can do another round of IVF. Maybe with a new doctor. The one I had booked two months ago for a first appointment. The last one left in town that might be able to help me.

Yes. At our last consult with Dr Cowboy I said I had two cycles left in me. Two IVF cycles which technically, haven’t been done with this conversion. If we had gone ahead and this round had failed again, where there was a 95% chance that it would, then that would have been it for Chippie. He would have been done COMPLETELY. Our bank balance is looking a little horrible at the moment. Our house looks awesome but it has taken a lot of our savings – more than we had anticipated because we kept justifying the more expensive items. We also need a holiday. We also need to be happy and not angry at wasted funds.

I need to have a plan B. Hell, I need to have a plan C, D and E (and yes I may already have those). Otherwise my head is a constant swirl of confusion and at least this way I can logically start preparing for the end. I need to know I have exhausted all options. Me planning, is me dealing with this. I am not a cry on the couch and eat bucket loads of ice cream. Because right now getting fat is not going to help my cause. I need to be sharp. I need focus. Now I need ice cream.

I am already working towards the next step because I know that this IUI isn’t going to work. Don’t worry, I will be saying positive affirmations and hoping and praying and doing all the right things but I don’t expect a miracle. I will still be utterly depressed and hurt and pissed off but not as much as if IVF had failed. I don’t know. In IVF they put the baby back in you. It should work. You are by rights technically pregnant. When your period arrives it is the most awful thing in the world (at that particular juncture of your life).

This morning I woke up and I started putting things away. I threw that fucking synarel in the bin. That spray can fuck the hell off and never come back. I put all the pre conception egg quality vitamins on the top shelf. I have stocked the spare pen, the full needle jars and the spare specimen jar to return tomorrow.

In clearing out my pantry (I have one shelf for IVF in the pantry, one shelf in the fridge and one drawer in my bathroom) I felt a little lighter. If it isn’t staring me in the face then perhaps my infertility nightmare it isn’t really happening.

Tomorrow we go in at 8.30 for Chipipe to do his thing and then my IUI is at 10.30am.

Then, we wait. Again.

 

 

 

Is this the end of the road?

I had my second scan this morning and out of 9 follicles I only had two viable potential eggs. 

This, is not good. In fact a woman who is about 45 could expect this.

Why? I have no idea. My AMH is 6.75. I know women that have significantly worse AMH levels that are producing much more eggs.

I know the down regulation cycle was going to be fraught with danger and it was. I know my doctor wanted to manage my entire cycle but the fact is down regulation for women with DOR is the worse type of cycle to do. I was so suppressed that my body can not respond. Almost three years ago I did a down regulation that gave me Molly. But it also only gave me 4 eggs. 3 years on, we know that time is not kinder to your body. I am the poster the child for this.

I feel, completely and utterly destroyed. I can’t believe that I am back in this place again. A place I thought I had managed to leave.

In my heart I am not done. I still feel like there is one more baby but the reality is with these levels I am not sure where. Maybe Molly was truly my miracle child. Both Chippie and I were overcome with a moment almost at the same time on the weekend where we realised this might be the end of our road.

For a long time I have thought I was unexplained. But I am not. I am simply older with diminishing ovarian reserve. This is combined with activated natural killer cells. 

I know that DOR does not signal infertility. There are plenty of stories in our community that demonstrate when people have overcome this and miraculously found themselves pregnant. 

Infertility is not a lifestyle choice. I am very fit, healthy and I am not overweight. I don’t drink too much and I have one coffee a day. I don’t drink soft drink every day I drink nearly 2L of water. I can run 5km. I can swim 1km. I can ride 20km. All with no trouble at all. I started trying for a baby when I was 30. Not considered to be an advanced maternal age. This wasn’t supposed to be my story.

It looks like we will convert to an IUI for Wednesday morning. I don’t want to take the risk of IVF. I would rather not waste my money.

I have cried so much in the last few days. More than I have in years. I am emotionally fragile. Sometimes I read blogs, forum posts, newspaper articles and talk to friends and they say I don’t know if I am a good enough mother. You know what I am a fucking awesome mother. I am. I don’t care if that sounds smug or condescending but it comes really bloody naturally to me. It breaks my heart into pieces that I am denied doing this because of biology. Things outside of my control. My husband is an amazing dad. I never have to bitch and moan at him to be present with his child. He doesn’t take it for granted. He knows how fucking lucky we are to be doing this.

If you know me IRL and are reading this. Just give me a day or two to process. I don’t really want to talk about it.  Please don’t be offended if I don’t say anything to you personally.

I don’t want to be finished so I just need to work it out in my head what to do next.

Tomorrow: IVF 5.3v2

Tomorrow is my first ultrasound scan.

I am really nervous.

After the negative in February – which I honestly thought had worked, then figuring out I had seriously under dosed the menopur, the delayed cycle, the DnC then the real cancelled cycle and now doing a down regulation cycle (which is not awesome for those with crappy ovarian reserve) I am not really looking forward to what the result may bring.

I am not expecting a huge haul of eggs at all. In fact, I am quite worried how many will actually be there. After all these years I have now realised um, I am a poor responder. I am not sitting here all bloated and full. There may be only a few in there.

In the lead up to this cycle I have been taking the egg quality vitamins but I also went back to acupuncture in March. At first I was going every two weeks, then I missed a month but for the last 6 weeks I have gone once a week. I am not sure how much of a difference it will make but I am hoping it will at least improve the egg quality. I personally have found acupuncture more advantageous in the quality of eggs as opposed to making embryos stick.

My FS decided to do a down reg cycle again for a number of reasons. Mainly, he went with what worked and gave us Molly. However, he does prefer a down regulation so that he can control the whole cycle and leave less to chance.

I also had the scratch done two weeks ago. I was absolutely packing myself thinking that it was going to hurt like blazes so I requested the green whistle (peth). You basically suck on the whistle and inhale the pain relief. It tastes like a black marker pen but I did enjoy the lovely jelly leg numb feeling! Then it made me high as a kite. This I didn’t realise until after I tried to give the doctor a high five (actually no I gave him a high five) and I had an insane urge to give him a hug and a kiss. Anyway. It didn’t hurt. It was super quick and he said the catheter insertion was fine. He is going to do the transfer for me without having to go under a general which is fantastic. The doctors at Mon.ash work on a rota system so you don’t actually get your FS doing the transfer. Given mine is one of the best there I am really happy that he wants to do the transfer. Downside is the man is so busy that it will have to be a day that works for him really.

I am not sure why I haven’t written much about this cycle. It’s not like I feel an impending doom that it is going to fail but I do find myself emotionally rather detached. This is definitely our last cycle for this year (financially, emotionally and I have an awesome wedding I am part of and don’t want to be doing THIS during that) and potentially our last ever.

The diagnosis this year of the diminished ovarian reserve coupled with the partial DQ Alpha match made me realise that if Chippie and I want to have babies together then it is going to be a lot harder than a normal IVF cycle. Our chances have basically halved again of an already ridiculously low percentage. For me, donor eggs are not something I would consider. Not now I have Molly. I think more than anything I would potentially consider permanent foster care but that is rife with difficulties that at 36, to be honest, I don’t know if I really want. Perhaps it is time for me to refocus on my career that has been on a serious back burner for a few years or Chippie and I have long held a desire to go travelling around Australia for 6 months. I don’t think I have it in me to keep plugging away month after month the way I did for Molly and there is little to no chance of me ever falling pregnant naturally with Chippie. If I was in another relationship, if Chippie was in another relationship this would most likely have never happened to us however it did and I am slowly starting to make my peace with it.

It’s not like I am being a defeatist but the fact is tomorrow doesn’t feel me with a lot of joy. Despite always wanting to see the world through rose coloured glasses you do at times have to be a realist and accept that life doesn’t always turn out the way you planned and all you can do is make the best of the situation you have.

Overall, when I do talk about it like now I find myself pulsating with grief for the lost family I will never have. Which is why, I try not to think about it too much anymore. After finding incredible joy after the barren years when Molly was born it is to hard to go back to that place without feeling like it will consume me once more.

Something has changed

I wanted to write about my IVF cycle today. However something changed in me on Friday morning and I don’t know if it will ever be recovered.

When I woke to the horrific and devastating news that a passenger plane had been shot out of the sky over Eastern Ukraine and that many Australians and even more Dutch had died my love for travel extinguished.  I have no desire to leave my country at the moment but I am also not so naive to think that one day a major terrorist attack will happen here as well. 

I don’t understand this world we are living in now. Every day I wake up to another news story more horrendous than the last.

If it isn’t a mass shooting in America, it is the renewed war in Gaza or it is a crazy, one eyed religious zealot reclaiming Iraq all because there are two types of Islam and they don’t like it so now it is Islam v Islam. Russia appears to have gone back 50 years to recreate the cold war and if Vladimir Putin thinks that he can wash his hands of the atrocity that has occurred then he is seriously deluded. Make no mistake the death of every one of those innocent victims is blood on your hands. There are school girls in Africa that have been abducted and still to my knowledge not yet returned. Even in Australia, a fairly moderate country there has been increased sexual attacks against women and violence in the city that just never used to be there. Glassings, bashings, rapes, stabbings – things that 10 years ago were a rarity are a common occurrence on weekends.

I can’t watch the news at the moment because every time I see pictures of those three beautiful children from WA that traveled home early with their grandfather to go back to school that are dead my heart breaks a little bit more. I see a criminal site treated with utter disregard. I see men with guns stopping people. I see passports and backpacks that have somehow remained intact yet the bodies lay wasted on the ground and callously thrown in the back of a truck with no respect.

My heart is heavy from all of this and it seems somewhat inconsiderate to be concerned about whether I can have another baby among all of this pain.

The only thing I know is that war criminals eventually pay for their crimes. 

To the self proclaimed Prime Minister of some backwards ass piece of land in nowhere Ukraine your time will come. To Vladmir Putin. You are utter scum. There will be no sadness at your death and may the pain of all of those individuals that you shot out of the sky because your army has no idea what it is doing and can’t distinguish between a passenger plane and an army jet burn on your soul for eternity.

Mosquito’s love my baby

I have mentioned a few times that I have been dealing with mozzie bites on Molly and the fact is some have left a scar. There is one that worries me in the middle of her cheek on her beautiful face. I think with time they will fade and I have seen them gradually lose their redness but it is a source of heartbreak for me that her gorgeous beautiful baby face has some facial scarring.

I know I am not the only one that will have to contend with this so I thought I would document for others what I have found works for us.

Prevention

This has been quite hard because she has been eaten during periods that I did not expect bug activity – AKA when it was cooler not in the warmer muggier months. Truthfully I was caught on the hop. I couldn’t even find the little bastards.

I have a safe child friendly bug light in Molly’s room that has a super sticky pad behind a blue light which attracts the mozzies and they stick to the pad. This definitely helped.

I have had to spray her room once a week as the lingering after affects of bug spray keep them away from her. Sure, I would like to go the non chemical route but I don’t think you realise how bad it has been.

Check all seals around windows and vents.  Make sure there are no holes in your fly screens.

Don’t have lights on unnecessarily at night they are drawn to this.

Shut windows and doors!

We started putting a small amount of bug repellent (a herbal mix) on her face at night.

The after bite

I have tried a number of things. Until this last bout Molly didn’t scratch – clearly if you can avoid scratching do because this causes the infection that causes the scarring. Unfortunately Molly was doing it in her sleep and without thinking. We taught her to hold the bite with her hands but it was hard to stop.

1. Vinegar then paw paw cream – this was ok. The vinegar cleared the wound and dried it out stopping the wetness of bite. This helps with infection.

2. Steroid creams – Dermaid 1% soft. This helps a little bit but depending on the severity didn’t stop the scratch.  For some bites this worked really well but these last few. i really would like to know what type of mosquito it was.

3. Claratyne – this is a hayfever liquid medicine that you can buy over the counter which is supposed to help the itching. Didn’t work that well. I guess it depends on the severity.

4. Ego Soov Bite Gel – this has been the best solution unfortunately found too late. A chemist took one look at her for something else and asked what the bites were. She had even been to the doctors! This has an antiseptic in it plus a cooling agent to stop the scratch. By far and away the best product we have used.

5. Inside of a banana skin – this actually works really well when the bite first starts but doesn’t prevent infection. Make sure the banana’s aren’t genetically modified (we don’t have GM foods in Australia but just in case) and preferably ones that are dosed in good herbicides.  The potassium in the banana must help.

6. If the itching is happening at night – like it was with us I started putting sensitive skin band aids on her face to prevent her getting at the bite. I also found her face was rubbing on the sheets at night and aggravating the itch. You need to air the skin though as the band aid can cause an irritation if on too long. I even put on band aids at day care as well.

Getting rid of the scar

This has been hard. I didn’t realise this but keeping them out of the sun is better as the sun cases the pigment to darken. Thankfully it has been in the winter.

The best thing I have used so far is Bio Oil twice a day. We call it Molly’s make up and we are rubbing it in her cheek. This is vitamin e based oil and one that helps with scratch marks etc. I was using a specific vitamin e oil but the bio oil is working much better.

I have also tried using lemon juice as the natural acidic in this help lighten the scar. I haven’t done it yet but the inside of a tomato is also supposed to lighten and naturally exfoliate the dead skin off.

I have on the odd occasion used my exfoliation cream to rub dead skin off but I think I might try the tomato tonight.

The best thing is she is young so it will lighten and as she grows become far less noticeable. For me, well it is like the flatness on the back of her head. No one else notices it but I can tell you every dip, bump and non roundness there is.  It’s a mama thing. It has stressed me out a bit and makes me upset. The doctor who saw it at her worst said the good thing is out of all the skin the face heals the best. Let’s hope she is right.

I hope this helps some other stressed out mama’s who are trawling the net at night looking for remedies! the best thing is to prevent (but that can be super hard) and try not to let them itch (again very difficult to tell a toddler to not itch).

Worst case scenario – a little bit of your concealer before a family photo can help a lot ;)

Random parenting nonsense

There are some days when being a parent is the most amazing thing ever. You stare fondly at the little creation that you made all by yourself science made for you and you think this is the best life ever. I am so lucky. Pinch me now.

Then there are some days where you think. Fuck. I went through three years of infertile hell for this?

Thankfully #2 doesn’t happen very often but the days it does are long, torturous and exhausting moments in time!

Molly has recently started saying to me “mummy, I wan cudkle”. Total cuteness overload. The first time she said it to me I literally had to scoop my melted self from the floor. However the little minx now says it when she is in trouble. Knowing how damn hard it is to be cross when she comes running up to you with arms outstretched. They learn the art of manipulation so young.

It’s been a lurgy weekend in the W household. Ugh, so over winter and it is only July. I have had a little sad koala bear this weekend who was in need of a lot of attention. On the whole I am happy to give lots of attention but because we moved I have so much I need to do and I want to do it. Unfortunately Miss M wasn’t as keen as me to do it. 

Do you know my little girl is 2 on Friday. TWO. I have almost been pregnant / parenting for as long as I tried. Those time frames never fail to amaze me. The three years of trying felt like the longest most trying period of my life and yet here goes two in the blink of an eye. I have to practice making a cake. Cake making is not my thing. Eeek. Will probably just be a normal round cake with plain old icing ;) maybe a few smarties. We haven’t gone silly on presents (we, means I) the new big bedroom is present enough. I got her some books, a pair of red converse trainers, a wooden dolls house and a Jemima doll from play school. Which she has already found and had to be hidden very quickly!!

I started the testosterone patches today. I start sniffing on Wednesday. I also have the endometrial scratch on Wednesday as well. A little bit scared about it. I don’t feel very confident. I should. I should go into this feeling really good but I am scared of this as well. What will be, will be. I assume jabbing will start late next week. Even though I have my gorgeous little girl I wish we didn’t have to do this all over again. I wish I was fertile and could fall pregnant with ease. 

 

 

bloody freezing cold

For all you Northern Hemisphere folks you would probably laugh yourself silly at what we call winter but it is a really damp windy winter and it catches you off guard. We don’t dress appropriately or wear enough clothes. We think it is perfectly acceptable to still wear no socks in the middle of winter with flats and then wonder why our feet are so cold? I should wear a beanie or a scarf or maybe not a summer skirt with tights and think that I will be “alright mate”.

This weekend was bitter. I mean freezing. Of course this was moving week and we had to battle freezing rain, gale force winds and ….. it was just cold ok.  Meanwhile my sister is on the Gold Coast in balmy mid 20 temperatures laughing at me. I would as well.

I am sitting at my desk nursing a warm (read scalding) cup of tea and I have wrapped my sisters warm overcoat around me and then it hit me. I need a cape. That way I can stay warm and use my arms! Win win. I might also invest in some warmer shoes, trousers and socks because frankly if this is the winter we are having I am going to go mental.

On the plus side we moved! With central heating and a roaring fireplace. Plush new carpet and best of all a huge stinking bath tub that I spent half of Saturday night in. The house also withstood the elements that were hurled at it. True, it’s a new house it should but you never know if a leak is going to spring up or a door rattle too much. However, the husband he came through with the goods and has done a marvelous job. There are still a few things that need to be done but it is a builders house and although he could have done with one more weekend I needed out.

I have been focusing so much on the house that I haven’t been looking after myself as much. I desperately need a hair cut, eyebrow wax and some gym time. I have put on 3kg since IVF in February. As usual it has gone straight to my boobs (and the rest is evenly distributed between thighs, belly and bum). For the first time since I lost my baby weight I feel frumpy and old and a little careworn.  Rundown would be an apt word to use.  In many ways it is an easy fix but the cold weather calls for hearty stews, fresh warmed crusty bread and delicious creamy pastas washed down with red wine not fish and salad with a piece of fruit. Sigh. I am on the pill as well and that does little to help move weight. It is almost instantaneous the bloat that accompanies the pill for me and hence why I am never on it – well now I am not on it because I am infertile. Still, you know what I mean.

We need a holiday and have penciled in August but I can’t book anything until IVF officially gets under way so I know what my timings are going to be. For a type A person this living life to a schedule is kind of annoying.

Once we are all moved in and styled up I am going to take photos and share them. It really is lovely. There is only one thing that didn’t go 100% to plan that will bug me but Chippie said in three years we can fix it – I don’t know why he said three years but that is ok! It has all come together perfectly with tenants moving in our old place Friday so the double mortgage pain will be minimal. 

Life is on the upwards turn my friends. Mum is ok, the tumor is getting smaller and she is trending the right way which is getting better. My dad is really well given our scares last year with rheumatoid arthritis but he is managing it with medication and a healthy lifestyle. Our house is done! I am doing IVF (again but positive thoughts!) and I am for the first time since I returned from maternity leave on top of my workpile, surprising given it is year end. I have a holiday to plan, a wedding to be in (can.not.wait) and a new house to play in. If I can keep thinking glass half full I am hoping the back end of 2014 will kick the front ends arse. 

 

Cycle Day One (again)

I feel like my IVF and quest for babies is all about this is the song that never ends, 

It just goes on and on my friend

Some people started singing it not knowing what it was,

And they’ll continue singing it forever just because

Regardless, we are here again. 10 days after she was due the old gal showed up on Sunday and we are back in the saddle for IVF5.3v2.0. I am excited to start because more anything the bastards have my money and it is sitting there doing nothing at the moment. Except drawing interest on my credit card. Gah. You would think after nearly six years of trying for babies I would have gotten over the fact it costs me money to have babies. Except it hasn’t and I don’t think it ever will. I will forever be pissed off that I can’t have babies, I am getting older and my eggs are disappearing. EVER.

Need to get my head back in the game and start taking vitamins, pills, concoctions and keep hoping that this is the one that is going to work.  

Not looking forward to the scratch (freaking shitting myself) or the injecting. It seems to get harder and harder each time. you would think not but there you go. 

I am not expecting many eggs but just enough to give it a red hot go.

More exciting posts to follow; like moving! new play rooms! and holidays to book!