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.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

New Fruit and Test

We have graduated to the size of a lime. Now for anyone that regularly buys limes, like I do, knows the variance in size.

But more accurately, yesterday we had our Nuchal Test at our 12 week scan.

When we arrived at the clinic at the appointed time, we were told we weren't on the list, and further they were cancelling everyone due to the sonographer being sick.

After a little negotiation, a clinic across town could fit us in, if we could go over straight away.

'Hmmm, you've already had two scans' the sonographer said 'why's that?'
'Um, because we first wanted to check we had a heartbeat, then we wanted to check it was still beating'.
'Okay, so not because of any complications?'
'Try not to jump, it upsets the picture' she said as she jammed the probe into my tummy 'goodness your bladder is full!'

So then we got to view ... we saw several gymnastic movements such as the 'roly poly' which made me want to laugh, but I couldn't, because of upsetting the picture.

'Head to rump 57mm, measuring at 12wks2days'
Then all limbs checked - including elbows, knees, fingers and toes.

'See that black hole - that's the bladder, that one there that's the stomach'
'Oh - is that the brain?'
'Yep, now lets measure the heartrate' [bit of a hiccup with the machine ...] then '162bpm'

She then measured the fluid - the nuchal measurement - we got 1.2, 1.4 and 1.3
'All looks good, but you need to wait for the blood test'

Finally I could go to the loo. From time to time, she'd say 'that's cute' and hit print, so we got a couple of pics too.

We then met the doctor who went over the whole thing. Our measurements were perfect, one of our blood tests was less than stellar - but overall our ratings were in the vicinity of 1:4000 and 1:6000 for both Downs and Trisonomy.

'Your chances of chromosomal adnormalities are the same as that of a 15yo, there's nothing I like better than giving good news first thing on a Monday morning'
'Cool, but do we get a double check before 20 weeks?'
'Yes, book in on your way out for another scan in 7 weeks'.

We had time to check in at my obstetricians rooms about whether we should have booked into hospital yet. We were told the doctor would do it and not till 20 weeks. Makes sense.

On our way out were were given a pregnancy companion book, which is great, because now we have ONE pregnancy book. Mr. S. started reading it last night ... but was informed that he was not to read past 12 weeks.

'I don't want you getting ahead of yourself or worse acting like you know everything'
'Okay, but this is good for me to read because it says here that's it's NORMAL for you to have been tired'
'No ... I've been exhausted' I already had to correct him.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Fruity Times

Apparently at 11 weeks a 'foetus' has grown to the size of a fig – from a kumquat to a fig in the space of a week.

In preparation for my Nuchal scan next Monday, I had yet another blood test - this one to check my Pregnancy Associate Plasma Protein (PAPPs). Apparently this with the neck measurement will give me as accurate an indication as I can get that all is okay ... or not.

I’ll get my scan then see the doctor immediately, who should also have my blood results, since I’ve had them done a week early.

It’s a funny time, because on the one hand there meant to be all all kinds of growth and development going on, and on the other – how would you know?

Thankfully my full-blown paranoia and fear from the beginning is really standing me in good stead now.

That is, I’ve grown used to living in fear.

I will be scared leading into Monday’s appointment, but hopefully my uncomfortably full bladder will be a good distraction for that.

I keep being told not to worry – because of Star’s age – but you know how it is.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

No end to IF

I wonder if there is an IF end-date?

Everytime I go to the toilet I take a deep breath.

When I’ve got myself psyched up ... I first check the loo ... then my knickers. Sometimes I sit there for at least a minute before I'm ready to check.

I have made some progress - I now give myself my night-time loo runs off - I don't look. I’m back on patrol at daylight.

We’re now just over 10 weeks and I’m not taking anything for granted.

I’ve read so many blogs where those that have experienced IF go on to have ‘Survivor Guilt’. Unfortunately I haven’t reached that point yet.

In my head I’m living in the land of ‘I’ve had a positive result from a donor cycle’.

Somehow I haven’t transitioned from being IF to being ... Pregnant - I’m still IF ... but with a positive result.

Last week I wore linen pants to work, then I freaked out, of all the stupid things to wear, what if something goes wrong today? They've been taken out of the work wardrobe until further notice.

Apart from two IF friends, we haven’t yet told anyone. When I think about telling my mother I remember last time ... telling her that I was pregnant, but was having brown blood bleeding ... the doctor said it was probably nothing, I was booked in for a scan in two days. Two days later having to tell her I hadn’t reached my scan, but my blood tests had indicated I was miscarrying and in fact I’d already had my D&C = pregnancy was over. Ugh.

It's ruined any idea I might have of telling her 'my secret', somehow it doesn't seem like a nice thing to do to give her something to worry about ...

In my mind I’ve got the Nuchal test as a good point.

After a quick trip to the GP, and yet another round of blood tests (HIV, Heps, STD's) and a urine test(!) we're booked in for the 26th February.

Friday, February 09, 2007

Infertile Reminder

Yet again I’ve been trampled in the stampede.

It turns out that before the urine has even dried on the pee-stick, a fertile woman will have booked in with her Obstetrician of choice in Sydney.

My first conversation or attempt to book in with someone and organise my nuchal test was a dismal failure.

First question: 'When are you due?' [shocked me - I thought the first question would be 'how far along are you'?]
‘Umm September ... [slightly embarassed] actually I’m only just over 9 weeks pregnant’
TUT ‘ONLY? We’re booked up, let me double check ... yes we’re booked up, most book in to come between 8 and 10 weeks’.


With the waiting time being 4 weeks for an appointment, it would appear that the most eager would make a booking the minute the second pink line has appeared, and the most conservative before they’ve confirmed they even have a heartbeat!

‘But I’ve been seeing my IVF doctor up till now ...’

Second Obstetrician had space – in four weeks – I have to go and sort myself out with my nuchal test and make sure they get the results.

Yet again – another reminder of the difference between THEM and US.

‘Yep that’s what women do in Sydney’ my friend confirmed.
‘But what if they miscarry, they’d then have to go around cancelling all these appointments, I’m only just out of the 1 in 6 level of risk?’
‘Well ... maybe ... if that happens ... they get someone else to cancel for them’

Right, something I didn’t think of.

I feel so stupid, I feel like ringing that first clinic back and telling them that I’m not some negligent idiot, that I’ve been through miscarriage and 6 failed IVF cycles, why would I presume that because I got a positive beta I would need an Obstetrician?

Why the hell doesn’t someone become the Infertile/IVF Specialist Obstetrician and only take women once they’ve had a confirmed heartbeat?

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

9 Week Scan

Well it seems our embryo wasn’t too impressed with being referred to as a ‘sea creature’.

Just to ensure that description wasn't flung around again, our embryo was facing directly into the camera.

‘Is that little legs?’ I asked as we zoomed in.
‘Yes, those are the legs and these are the arms ...’ the doc was pointing to the limbs on the screen for me ... ‘look at that ... your little baby is moving’ he exclaimed.
‘Oh my goodness’

I stared gobsmacked at the screen.
Leg kicks, arms waving and [big] head nodding and winking.

‘I had no idea they started moving yet’ I said in amazement
‘Isn’t that a beautiful sight?’
‘Looks like a kewpie doll now’

Then the show was over.

‘It’s harder to get an accurate measurement from this side ... but 22.5 and strong steady heartbeat, measuring at exactly 9 weeks’.
‘You have definitely made it into the under 2% risk category now’.

Wow, that’s something.

So now it’s time to scale down the preggy support drugs. Pessaries to drop to one a day until they’re finished and progy*nova to stop in two weeks.

‘Have you booked in for your nuchal translucency, that needs to be done between 11 -13 weeks?’
‘Umm ... No, not exactly ... you see I still have all the infertility-superstition … if I had booked it in before I had this appointment ... I could have been tempting fate’.
‘Well, I’m telling you, it’s okay to book it now’.

All the details were later relayed to Star with a promise that the ultrasound pic would be scanned and sent.