IF and the City

I used to feel sad when I watched the episodes with Charlotte failing over and over again while trying to get pregnant. Little did I know that my own attempts would lead me on the same sad journey. We've now passed 4 years in the trenches. 6 failed IVF/ICSI cycles = nothing. Time for something new - donor eggs. Success at last. Now for round 2.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Review Appointment

So, the 'Review' appointment.

Here I am waiting in the big hospital for my free follow-up and who did I spy rounding the corner, but my old 'Bad News RE' who I refused to see privately.

'Bugger' I specifically waited all this time - because this is the day the 'Best RE In Sydney' is scheduled to see people.

Then my name is called ... by a heavily pregnant female doctor. Right.

'I think I recognise you' she said 'Yeah' I thought, 'you were present in my last retrieval and did my transfer ... that didn't work'.

So getting over the fact that she wasn't 'The Guy', not a guy at all, and not a whiff of a scottish accent, we got on with things.

She noted that normally I saw the other 'BN RE' dude, and apart from my cycle reports, didn't have all my history.

'Yep, well that's because the only solution he has for me is donor eggs, and I didn't need a review with him to hear that again'. (Didn't need to pay him another $200 to hear it either).

'Well that is an obvious next step, and a big one for you to think about'.

So I told her that it was something we had considered and had in fact had a friend that had offered to do that (FYI age 30, 3 kids and finished), but we hadn't followed it up. I didn't speak a word about our International DE option we were pursuing - mainly I think because we have a new RE not connected with this hospital taking care of that.

We went over my protocol, I asked why it had never changed - she did say that the other option was the Antagonist (or Flare) Cycle. It was the one we hadn't tried, and possibly could. I hadn't been put on it before - because I had always had good egg numbers. Boy it sounds like a helluva way to cycle - no synarel though, that has to be a bonus.

I asked her about the 5-day vs 3-day embryo transfer - and basically that's not something they budge on - unless you have very few eggs. They strongly believe in the 5-day transfer, even if you lose all but 2 embryos, they see that the others didn't have good egg energy and wouldn't have stuck. So rather than freezing them and then transferring bodgy embryos, you would have a better chance on another cycle. It speeds up the process and weeds out the weak from the strong (my words).

'But' she said 'if you do want to keep cycling you should have an end in mind, I mean you could cycle another 2 or 3 times if you wanted, but shouldn't be thinking of cycling for say another 6 times'.

'Not on your life'.

Interesting I thought, 'BN RE' wasn't even offering that.

I let her know that originally we only ever thought we'd cycle 6 times, but after our last (fifth), we thought we'd call it a day. I also let her know that we were looking into adoption.

I then asked her about what would happen if we did decide to take our friend up on her offer of eggs - could we do that through this clinic? (The Fertility Unit is run by the big private clinic - but is set up at the public hospital = a quarter of the price). We have cycled there in the past as private patients - all that meant was that we didn't have to go on a waiting list - and we paid abit more money.

What she had to say shocked me. We would first have to go through counselling - long winded process maybe 3 months. Then our donor would cycle, they would retrieve and fertilise her eggs, and all embryos would then be frozen FOR SIX MONTHS before they would be transferred! Apparently this is adhering to the very strict health guidelines - something to do with an infections policy. She added that this was the practise here - being a public facility - but that private practise might not necessarily follow those guidelines (read: DO NOT).

Soooo, if we were interested in doing more cycles with my eggs, while we waited through our donor/adoption stuff that would not be a problem at all. We could start next cycle.

'Ummm I was expecting to see the BREIS' I said to her as I was leaving - 'well I was here so I just took some of the files'.

Right. Life is all about chance isn't it?

So I relay everything that night to Mr. S and he was actually very annoyed about it all. Not often he gets that way.

Mainly he was fired up over their stupid DE policy - 'obviously they're just not even interested in helping people with this'. He thought it was horrible I had to see a pregnant doctor 'Did she see the irony, being counselled about Infertility by a pregnant doctor?'. Well for me it's an automatic response - pregnant woman = ignore it. Horrible isn't it? He also thought I should have told them about our o/s stuff. I told him I just wasn't interested in them knowing everything.

At this point, even though it's great that we've been offered this option to cycle again and again (and using tax payers money), I just don't know if we're interested. Could I bear to go through it again?

Nothing is going to change the quality of my eggs.

I think she offered because even though I'm only in the 10% chance bracket due to age - our morphology issues give us only a 1-2% chance a month naturally. The ol 'problems with both of us' dilemma.

Overall I was happy with how things went. We haven't had the door closed on us, and we now know that if we pursue local DE, we will have to go private.

BTW I'm Golden - this is my 50th post, maybe I can get those big J.Lo gold hoops now!

Monday, April 17, 2006

Mind over Matter

You know that saying 'healthy mind, healthy body'?

I reckon it works in opposite, and I have the proof.

Following my trip home, my back had started feeling abit Uuh-Ooh. First day back at work, I quickly rescheduled my chiro appointment for earlier, I just knew I was going to have trouble getting through a day at work.

'Doesn't surprise me your back's gone' my chiro said. She reckons with the stuff with my sister then my father it was bound to happen.

Well she put it right, and if I hadn't had to go back to work it probably would have stayed that way, but that's just not life.

Anyway it was on it's way back.

Over the next 24 hours I developed a cold and had somehow bruised my ribs on my right side (favouring that side with my bad back).

I'd seen my acu for my regular appt. and had scheduled an extra appt. with my chiro and had to see a regular doctor (just in case it wasn't my ribs but my lungs collapsing since it was so painful to breath!)

All tut-tuttered and advanced the theory on getting run-down after my trip.

Amazing, I could be feeling so healthy a couple of weeks ago, and go into decline so quickly!

Timing being everything, of course this was smack bang mid-cycle. Now considering all I was capable of doing when I got home from work was to sit on the couch in a catatonic state, sex was out of the question.

Dang, there goes that 2% chance for the month!

Easter has been just the ticket, or should I say getting to sleep. I'm near new and thankful to have my energy back.

In other news, in fact IF news, I have my long awaited Cycle Review meeting tomorrow. Remember when I blew up the nurses when they suggested I go back to my regular RE? After that they alerted me to a free service, where I get to see the city's top dude. All I had to do was wait three months for the appt. Given that we'd already moved on, had a new RE to help us with donor eggs, I thought I'd give it a shot.

I'm not sure what I'll get out of this appt., but I would like my opportunity to ask why my protocol never changed over 5 cycles, and might just see what he suggests. I mean I fully expect the DE speech, but let's just see.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Life Is Beautiful

I’m not sure if I should be changing my blog from IF to Misery-all-Round.

This is not the place to come to for good vibes right now.

My trip to NZ was great. I spent lots of time with my family, including the rascal nieces and nephew. We had a great time and I miss them now I'm back home.

I was struck while I was there though – is this country going through a baby boom? Every second woman was pregnant.

That’s the overview.

Specifically though, I was blindsided with the prognosis for my father. It’s not good. He has lung spots that the chemo has been unable to shrink. My parents have been told that there is another drug he can take – but it has [based on a study of 30 people] got a 12% chance of working. There will be side effects.

My father is currently dealing with side effects from his radiation treatment – I don’t think he wants to submit himself to any more treatment with side effects.

He told me ‘I think I want to go quickly’.

I managed to keep myself together while I was there – I managed to be positively joyful about my IF situation.

Once I got on the plane to come home it was another story. That's when it flooded out – all 3 ½ hours of the flight. I had to lock myself in the toilet at one point – because I was worried I was scaring the little boy who kept staring at me wiping my eyes.

Mr. S and I had a rendezvous at the airport, his return from Athens.

His adventures went well and we are now awaiting a donor match – he said the doctor told him it would be in a few months.

I look back over my recent posts and they are all depressing, it’s hard not to be able to write about My Fabulous Life.

Wanna know something funny? I am not miserable.

I’m not happy about anything that’s going on around me – but I’m dealing with it. Maybe IF has taught me that.

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Another Bite

So everything's okay with my sister and her baby. The baby is going to need an operation, but at the moment it's stable. We are at a good point, and I'm just glad the baby is okay. We're keeping our compassion for the baby and putting our 'stuff' to one side.

Tomorrow morning I go to New Zealand to see my family. It's my reveal, I'm a Kiwi girl, married to an Australian bloke and have lived here for years.

The other major stress in my life has been my father. Last year he was found to have growths on his bladder, that have turned out to be cancerous. He has been through successful chemotherapy and radiotherapy. We're all hoping that this has gone along way, and that we'll have him around for a while yet.

All this was going on while we went through our Miscarriage Management Program and then subsequent two cycles.

Like I said bite sized pieces.

The problems between my sister and I have caused problems throughout my family, and on top of everything we've had to try and support my mother. So I'm hoping my trip back will be a good time to put alot of the problems behind us.

Interesting, this kind of stress is apparently not good for your Kidney

Meanwhile Mr. S. is off on his own adventures.

In fact he's off on our adventures. He has gone to Athens.

He will be leaving a 'sample', and that will kick off the search for a donor egg match.

We're excited!

So now we actually have some stuff happening. We won't expect to be matched for maybe six months, but we're okay with this.

The program we're on is the best we've found from Australia.

We're both only going to be gone for a week, and the truth is that ummmm, we're not being truthful about this with anyone we know - family/friendwise. So if anyone asks, Mr. S is away for work, okay?

Now I should be able to post from Aotearoa, my parents having all the gear. While I'm there, I'm gonna find one of those Maori Fertility Gods ...