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, August 23, 2006

Another Boring Failure

Yeah, BFN doesn’t quite explain my situation anymore – it’s actually an ABF. To be precise it's Another Effing Boring Failure - but I've really gotta get a handle on the filth that comes out of my mouth these days.

In fact I wondering if that’s pretty much the sum parts of who I have become?

Infertility has made me boring - that's obvious to anyone. But is it possible that the failure to overcome infertility has made me the Biggest Bore? Who is that 'interesting' hologramed person in my memories from my past, where is she now?

God I’m glad it’s over.

But the problem is, I’m bored with trying to rationalise what we do next. If we get offered donor eggs, are we doing the wrong thing to a potential child? Are we even capable as people to consider adopting a child from another country and all the circumstances that will present in time? Am I so blind in my pursuit to have a family that I don’t care anymore? Exhausted with having to debate myself over my motives?

We have failed miserably in our endeavours to conceive with all the natural, man-made, complementary and alternative options. Again and again.

So where does that leave us? We are in yet another even smaller minority group, and yet another set of infertility circumstances. Another whole conundrum of ethical debates.

Our friends announce their pregnancies and say ‘oh when we were renovating we weren’t planning another child, now we’ll have to sell and buy a new house’.
MotherF****** [oops] how is it that some people get to make decisions for themselves and their lives? What is this life I'm living – bumbling around from failure to failure – randomly clutching at straws and 'well thought-out strategies' – waiting for a time when one of the things we’ve given 100% to actually works?

I do not want this burden anymore of having to rationalise whether it would be right or wrong for us to adopt eggs or babies. Nobody else rationalises whether they are capable of being parents to the unique being they are bringing into the world – they just get pregnant. Then they say to me ‘I’m on Cloud 9, I’m not thinking about anything else’.

Well that’s great to know, cause I'm pushing into the front of that queue for the Cloud 9 bus.

Monday, August 21, 2006

Can't Cheat

Is there worse torture to an IF than a HPT?

Yes, taking BBT during the 2WW

My CFG keeps insisting that I take my temperature every morning. On Sunday I debated in my sleep if I was ready to wake up and see a drop, until I reached a happy acceptance phase and was able to do it.

Today: 36.9° C (equals 98° F)

I have to see her tonight and tell her my symptoms so she can make me up a made-to-measure herbal formula. It looks like all I’m going to be able to tell her is that I have all my usual tell-tell *period symptoms – not to mention the temperament of a shrew.

On Friday night she did a pulse reading. I made up my mind to watch her carefully to read her face – she frowned then closed my file!

When I asked her how my pulse was she said:

‘A little slippery, more excited than usual … maybe indicates early pregnancy’.

I sat back stunned, then silently reprimanded myself for asking.

What am I going to do with that then I thought? Now if things continue to go the way they feel like they’re going – she’s going to be another person I curse for giving me false hope.

If I don’t have my period by Friday, my blood test is Saturday.

*When I say pre-period symptoms – I’m serious. I’ve never been wrong before.

Friday, August 18, 2006

Oh how passe

I knew it was coming. In fact I said as much.

Well it’s not rocket science is it? No actually it's mother nature.

It’s the same sort of attraction as honey to a bee.

The minute an IF starts cycling, or particularly when the 2WW starts, the pregnancy announcements start flooding in.

So far I’ve had two. Bracing for more. Both couples are adding third babies to their families. That’s the third baby to the family since we started trying.

So in one case, we’ve been trying to organise a catch up for dinner with A&B – of course now that they’re pregnant all calendars are free ... so what I want to know is: why couldn't you see us in the previous five months when you weren't pregnant?

‘Can’t go’ was the simple two-worder from me
‘I’ve told them we’re busy’ said Mr. S.
‘But ... you know, the thinking is that it’s not a cancellation for ever’

Why not? I think to myself.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Too Much?

Is their such a thing as a progesterone level that's too high?

I've been too lazy to research it ...

Blood test yesterday = 204

Nurse said it was very nice - and that's the way they like it - nice 'n artifically high! She said just for that to give myself another shot of Preg.nyl. Clearly there's no risk here with OHSS - what with having so few eggs in all.

Now in the past I've been happy to be told, 'it's very high, have another blood test tomorrow' and then, 'it's still high, so instead start Crin.one twice a day'.

My CFG said she likes to see it between 50-60. So right now, it would seem that I'm punching way above my weight - but is it too high?

Sure explains that ... ahem... bloaty feeling.

Monday, August 14, 2006


So now that pesky cycle is out of the way, I can get on with regular stuff, like being tagged:

Four jobs I have had in my life:
1. Paper Run (12)
2. Check-out Chick (15)
3. Nanny (on holiday for an English family!)
4. Publicist (Entertainment biz)

Four movies I watch over and over:
1. Aliens
2. Black Hawk Down
3. Queen Margot
4. Cactus Flower

Four places I have lived:
1. Wellington, NZ (born)
2. Bedworth (village in England)
3. Auckland, NZ
4. Sydney, Australia

Four TV shows I love to watch:
1. Survivor
2. Race Around The World
3. The Office (Extras starts this Wednesday)
4. Sex And The City (!) but because two have ended: The Sopranos, Six Feet Under, Deadwood

Four places I have been on vacation:
1. Hanoi, Vietnam
2. Positano (honeymoon)
3. Margaret River, Perth
4. Paris

Four websites I visit daily:
1. Sydney Morning Herald
2. The Guardian
3. NY Times
4. Million IF websites ...

Four of my favorite foods:
1. Risotto (all kinds)
2. Salt & Pepper squid
3. Peking Duck
4. Pasta (all kinds)

Four places I would rather be right now:
1. Hoian, Vietnam
2. Swimming in the ocean
3. Shopping in London
4. Having a massage

Four favorite bands/singers (jeez, gonna have to stick with old favs):
1. Mazzy Star
2. Jeff Buckley
3. The Pixies
4. Nick Cave

Friday, August 11, 2006


Day 2, 4 cell, grade 1

That's what the scientist told me.
She also said she liked my socks!

I say to myself, well we've had grade 1 before, then I say but how would you feel if it was grade 2 or 3? Then I say, but then I hear about all the bodgy embies that have made beautiful babies ... and then I tell myself, that holding a conversation with yourself is the surest way to start talking sh**.

So now, I sit back and watch Rockstar, search for a singer ... then the Jane Austin boxset Mr. S bought me ... yeah I'm into prudish rock stuff!

So, the 2WW begins, and don't ask the beta date. Yes I'm serious, all I know is I have to give myself an injection tonight of 2000mg of Preg.nyl, a blood test on Tuesday to check my prog levels and to remember the Clexane every morning.

What I really need to make my mind up about is if I'm going to POAS. If I do, then I'm going to start in around 7 days. It's that or not at all.

Oh yeah, and I've got to get Mr. S to find a keg of pineapple juice.

Hmmm ... and most important of all, thank you all so much for being here with me.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Ring Ring ...

You know when you get the call earlier than expected, that it’s not good news.

In the end only one egg was mature enough to be fertilised = normal fertilisation

Transfer tomorrow.

The nurse said to me that the fact that we only had one egg mature enough and it fertilised means that we had 100% success. Isn’t it amazing to get 100% and feel like loser?

Flare protocol = less eggs, and only 1 embryo for me.

Reality is that the chance of success now is very remote.

What I really want to do is go out, hit the booze and get totally hammered, now even that’s out of the question.

Sorry everyone, it’s almost embarrassing posting this s*** update.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Back from 'Last' Retrieval

Just back: 3 eggs (1 immature)

200% more than 'realistic expectations'.

We're relieved and feel lucky. Must have guilted a couple of follies into a growth spurt :)

The doctor did a 'full flush' retrieval, which is apparently not done frequently. This way he got everything. It didn't feel that different to usual, but more cramping in the uterus - so an extra squirt of the good stuff.

The scientist said she would wait till later today to give the immature egg a chance to catch up - before the ICSI magic. I asked her how far off it was - as in is it even a remote chance? She said that it did have a real possibility.

Once we know fertilisation, the decision will be made - either transfer Friday or go for blast and wait till Monday. Have to say I'm nervous of the prospects of waiting for blast.

If we get 2 eggs fertilised, I'll be happy.

In my drunken state I spoke to the doctor about getting less eggs with this protocol and he said that yes that was normal, but he wouldn't say that they expected them to be better quality.

I said alot of other stupid things under the influence ...

Monday, August 07, 2006

Final Blood Test

E2 = 2060
Endo = who knows?
Follicles = Right side on track, Left side on strike (my own eyeball assessment)

Pregnant wand monkey ‘too busy’ to give me an ‘individual’ report, she said she had 3D’s and would do the report later, so I have no idea how many either (last report 4 follicles each side). I swear these monkeys have a sadistic streak. Didn’t she know that the only thing stopping me grabbing her wanding hand and demanding a full and concise report is the Infertile Superstition that includes ‘Being Nice To Everyone When You Cycle’ – so as not to induce the wrath of the Embryo Boogey Monster?!!!

I thought if I told her that I’d had nightmares that night about coming in for my wanding and finding out that all my follicles had gone, it might yield some empathy, NAH. She was gracious enough to tell me that she thought that I wouldn’t be back for another – since most likely there will be no waiting around for the lefties to catch up.

I’ve been doing mental lists of ‘Things That Are Different’ with this cycle, but I think in the Things That Will Never Change – is the ‘Be Nice To Everyone’ mantra. I don’t know why I or anyone else sticks with this, because after 5 failed cycles of grovelling and humble pie, it’s never made any difference. It’s just one of those basics you just don’t mess with. It’ll have to forever remain a fantasy to imagine calling everyone a MotherF****** when things don’t go by the book.

In the list of TTAD this cycle include:

* New never-tried-on-us-before Flare Protocol.

* New CFG, next session tonight. I’m going to have to tell her not to hold back on the Left Side Manipulations – because those follies are giving me the finger at this point. It may have something to do with the fact that I had made up my mind not to cycle again, and now that I am it’s upset things on the left-hand side, maybe I’ve upset the retirement plans? Either way, I’ll have to try and get an extra session in tomorrow night as well – just in case they think they can ignore the first warning.

* This is the first cycle where I’m ‘out’ in the real world. Some of my friends know about this cycle and I have people keeping tabs on me and offering encouragement. It’s lovely, but of course I’m getting worried that apart from a strategy to manage mine and Mr. S’s expectations, I will have to have another one for managing theirs. One of those strategies is going to have to be to not tell any of them details after transfer ie when Beta is due and at least warn them about the type of mood and F*** The World attitude that will accompany a failed cycle.

* I’m also updating details on my cycle on the donor forum. That’s another cheer squad.

* This is the: we-have-nothing-to-lose cycle, due to the thing where we have other irons in the fire.

* The prayers in Fatima. Yeah this one’s an absolute doozy. Mr. S was raised a catholic, and when we got to Lisbon he (dutiful son thing), accompanied his parents and aunt to the Our Lady Of Fatima church of miracles, where candles were lit for our ‘special intentions’. While I’m not a catholic, but with respect, I’ll take the miracle, because we’ve never had this happen for a cycle before.

* Lastly, and this is something that will have absolutely no bearing on an outcome but all the same, I’ll have my retrieval with hairy legs, but will be waxed in time for my transfer (see I’m already getting ahead of myself).

Okay, since writing this earlier stuff, I got my blood results. Trigger tonight at 9pm, retrieval Wednesday 8am. I had a quick chat with the nurse and she said that to keep my expectations realistic to expect one good egg(!)
Silently screaming: MOTHERF******, of course I was really nice about it.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Third Blood Test

E2 = 728
Follies = All growing (no measurements)
Endo = 6

Start: Ganer.alix tonight, keep going with same dose of Pure.gon
Next Bloods and Dildo = Monday

I asked the nurse ‘Can you tell me if I’m going okay so far?’
‘You’re tracking along well at the moment’ she said.

I’ve got these nutty emotions coming at me from all angles at the moment.

Yesterday when the [pregnant] dildo pervert told me there were 8 follicles, a feeling of hope started creeping in and now it’s nearly making me cry (pitying cry for myself). I’m so petrified to feel hopeful but feeling so insecure that things are really going badly and that I’m too stupid to pick it up.

THEN, in the back of my mind I keep remembering that my eggs are more like acid drops and that I have to factor that into the equation.

My friend said to me that whenever I get given some news that sounds okay-ish, like things are sort of 'tracking well' just to think – ‘well that’s good because this is our last cycle’ and that will help keep things in perspective.

You know something really ridiculous? Way back when we were first offered this cycle I said to Mr. S ‘Well one of the reasons I don’t want to do it is this - what if by some remote chance it works ... and then we miscarry – then we’ve stuffed everything up and still have to find a donor’! Mr. S. looked at me and said ‘Well we could still cycle with a donor and have a miscarriage’.

I mean there’s just so much insanity in there – it’s not even worth going into.

Another wiggly needle session last night – this time less freaked out. 'We're trying to grow healthy seeds'!

By the way, donor stuff officially over with our friends.

The phone call was made on Tuesday night. Mr. S said it was a pretty incoherent conversation - with our friends not actually being able to bring themselves to say 'No'. What he did get out of them was that when they had talked about it with each other, they hadn’t been able to get their heads around the fact that their own children would have another half-sibling. So Mr. S said that we wanted to take the pressure off and suggested that we forget all about everything ... because we had tons and tons of options (you know - tons and tons).

I think what actually happened was that we ‘withdrew’ the opportunity for our friends to be our donor. (For some reason, whenever I think about that it makes me want to laugh!)

Now hopefully we can all go back to being friends. How are we going to do that? If they ask how things are going you know fertility-wise – do we now just start grinning maniacally and saying ‘Magic, couldn’t be better?!”

Sigh ...

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Second Blood Test

Today's update: E2 = 476
Follicles: L = 4 R = 4

Yes! That's four follicles each side - nothing over 10 yet - and the 4 on the left are very small.

BUT I have to say that I was pretty happy to see anything in there this morning - after only 4 actual days of stims.

Another blood test and dildo perv again tomorrow.

So far, not ready to start suppression.

After work, another needle wiggling session - I'll have to let CFG know that the left side really needs the kick!

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

First Blood Test

E2 = 140

Carry on with same dose, next blood test Wednesday + ultrasound

I keep forgetting that I’m cycling since all I do is 1 x injection every morning. I’m really not sure what could possibly be seen on the u/s on Wednesday since it will be exactly 4 injections by then, with one on the day?

On the CFG front, I had a follow up appointment last night and she has agreed to help me through the cycle, starting with her acu last night.

Her acu is more rigorous than I’ve had before – the needles get wiggled once they go in until I feel the necessary twinging ie the ones in the belly cause a kind of throbbing down towards my girly bits, and the ones on the ankles and knees - a kind of stabbing sensation up the legs. This means she’s hit the right spot or …ahem meridians. And if I thought I could then drift off into ‘Acu-sleep’, very much mistaken, because she comes back in the room 10 minutes later and gives them all another wiggle!

I’m going to be having acu every second day up till retrieval then the transfer kind. After that no more acu (she does this with natural cycles as well). From then she just gives nourishing herbs (for the baby, she said!).

She finishes the acu with what she calls ‘massage’. This is her finding the acupressure spots and giving them an almighty probe as well. Phew the liver and ovaries sure got a walloping – just in case they thought they’d hidden from the needles!

For all this, I actually have some faith in her.

I was wincing so much she asked me if my previous CFG’s had put the needles in my belly – yes they have, but they don’t wiggle them like you do, I told her.

‘Ahhh, well you see CFG’s, we’re all different, it’s not like going to a Western Dr.’
Yes, I agreed, they all just read from the same book!

Update after Wednesday.