Tuesday, December 29, 2009

2009 can just fuck off

So there.

The Big Guy says that title is a bit naughty.

I say, who the fuck cares ... I'm not pregnant, my thesis isn't finished and my doctor told me to give up trying to conceive. And my grandfather died. 2009 can go and jump in a lake.

I've been blog-surfing tonight, as you do, when you've managed to follow yet another person who's knocked up the moment you sign up for their blog (congratulations Veronica) and you're looking for new reading material. Preferably non-fertility related reading material thankyouverymuch. So I jumped around through blog lists 'til I landed here and I liked her stuff.

I made TBG find De66ieD0esD@ll@s for me the other day. I wanted to finally see what had made the boys of my youth talk so furtively and what Debbie had actually done. All these years, I'd thought Debbie did an entire football team - the Cowboys - but it turns out that Debbie barely did anyone. Eventually, at the very end, she did her boss ("I eat my Weeties!" says he).  What I discovered whilst fast-forwarding through most of the movie was that 70's women had boobs in all shapes and sizes, everyone had pubic hair and in that movie lies one of the funniest lines in movie history.

One of Debbie's friends works in a library and her boyfriend has not had any action from her for a while so he convinces her to perform an act on him in the stacks at the library. Shortly after beginning, she gags a little and ever-so-smoothly the boyfriend says "Don't choke baby... stay alive." I laughed and laughed and laughed. It is completely worth watching the movie just to see bad-70's-p.orn-guy being so caring.

Now TBG just has to say "...don't choke baby" and I'm in fits of giggles all over again.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009


As if it could be anything else.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Go see Avatar in 3D

If people only read my title then I will have written enough.

Oh my god. Avatar was phantasmagorical. A feast for my eyes and a journey for my soul. A glimpse of a future and of another world like nothing I've ever seen before. I've only ever seen worlds like this inside my own imagination whilst reading fabulous books (Grass, Ender's Game, The Dragonriders of Pern). By the way, do go and read those books if you haven't already.

The story was relatively simplistic, but the telling - oh the telling was wonderful. The story, in the end is just a vehicle and it does a great job of carrying the imagery forward for us. What the movie should be seen for is it's extraordinarily complex three-dimensional effects. We left the theatre, the Big Guy and I, wishing we could be Na'vi - bounding through the trees, flying on Ikran, listening to the Tree of Souls. We wanted to go back in to the theatre and see it again immediately just to examine the rest of the screen instead of always being focussed on the main thread in any scene.

Awesome, in the truest sense of the word.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Christmas Hope

We has it.

The other day I went shopping for an ornament to give as a gift to a sweet friend of mine and I found three Christmas words - Peace, Joy and Hope.  I bought Joy for my friend and, even though we have way too many ornaments already, I bought Hope for us. Which was surprisingly similar to what happened when Eileen and her DH went shopping. I hung Hope on our tree and I've spent far too long gazing at it wondering if I will show it to our baby next Christmas and say "that's your first Christmas ornament - just especially for you" ... or if I will be unpacking it next Christmas wistfully and sadly instead.

I wonder if all of us in the IF community have Hope strung up on our trees. If not the word itself, then the feeling - wrapped around the Christmas tree and all muddled up with Christmas Spirit. The hope that this will be the last Christmas without that family member we're trying for.

This time I have told everyone, and I mean everyone, about our embryo transfer and our testing date. I want all the positive thoughts, prayers, sticky vibes and good wishes we can get. I hope it helps.

Today I am 4dp2dt and I have been a bit crampy since Sunday. I think it's because of the Pregnyl-induced progesterone rise I must be having. If all is going well then Twinkle and Blobby (or at least one of them) have/has successfully hatched and are/is preparing to implant into my uterine lining.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Show and Tell - T & B

My Show and Tell for this week is these two little miracles. Twinkle and the oh-so-aptly-named Blobby. My transfer went ahead at 10:30am this morning after two days of agonising anxiety.

Twinkle is a lovely looking 4-cell. Blobby, a 'grotty looking' 3-cell.  But Dr Mac did say that he knows of lots of grotty embryos that turned into healthy babies.

The Big Guy and I are amazed that we made it this far and we are praying with all we've got that the blood test on Christmas Eve reveals a healthy looking beta.

More weird numbers from me ... This was my 4th stim cycle, my 3rd pickup, 2nd transfer and ... I want 1 baby who would be tBG's and my 1st biological child, but my 2nd, his 3rd and our 4th altogether. 4-3-2-1-2-3-4.

Go check out what the rest of the gang are showing over at Mel's.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009


Dr Mac found 3 eggs!!!!! He kindly wrote it on my hand so when I woke up in recovery I knew immediately and I didn't spend all my recovery time crying.



Today is 09-12-09 - all numbers are divisible by three.
The pick-up was done on the third floor.
The Big Guy bought me 3 different lovely chocolates.

This is my 3rd pick-up.

Maybe 3 will be lucky for me. Dare I hope so?

Tomorrow the nurse will call me and tell me if we have a transfer time for Friday. More waiting, more good thoughts and prayers needed please.

Thank you all so much for your love and support.

PS. this is post number one hundred and ... three.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Prayers, good vibes - send them to me please

I went for a repeat scan on Monday.

Right ovary had a 22mm follicle - nice growth over the four days.
Left ovary had a 22mm follicle - where the hell did that come from? - and two <10mm follies. Dr Mac thinks the big one might be a cyst because it's exhibited unusual follicle dynamics. He says that's what happens with menopause. But I'm only 37 for Christ's sake.

Anyway, I triggered on Monday, pickup in is 9 hours (8am Wednesday morning) and I really need your prayers and good thoughts.

Dr Mac continues to suggest ceasing IVF after this cycle. He's diagnosed premature menopause, said I'd have poor outcomes from continued assisted conception and it would be very expensive.

I am scared and I don't want to move on. I don't want to give up on this dream. I don't know how.

For now, I am praying like crazy that there is ONE healthy egg inside me that makes ONE healthy embryo that grows into ONE healthy baby that I birth next September. 


Friday, December 4, 2009

Dead horses

3 follicles today. 1x14mm (that's the good one), 1x10mm and 1x<10mm.

He wants to do the pick up mid next week and he says to only expect 1 egg. I am completely devastated at this news and I don't understand why my body is letting me down so badly - things have just gotten worse and worse each time I cycle.

After this cycle I think we will be giving up - there's no point flogging a dead horse.

Dr Mac also said that DHEA was useless, L-arginine disproven, growth hormone too dangerous and that all the alternative therapies are flapping around the edges trying to influence that which cannot really be influenced - the antral follicle count. He did say that he'd do an oestrogen priming protocol if I wished it, but that he doesn't think that it's going to do much good. That the clinics in the US using this protocol are relying on case studies and small patient numbers and that only a large scale study would really demonstrate efficacy.

Blah. I feel like shit. And I think I'm supposed to be trying to be hopeful still. But like I said the the Big Guy, I don't know how to be hopeful any more.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Cheating on Louis Theroux

That's what I did last night. I cheated on Louis Theroux on our 6th anniversary. I had phantasmagorically wonderful s.e.x. with some devilish guy, not caring one whit that I was married to poor Louis. Poor, poor Louis. He was listening at the window the whole time and when I emerged from the den of iniquity he was there to greet me and tell me he'd heard everything and that we should break up.

WTF. A naughty dream (oh yes, it was naughty) and a guilt dream all mixed together with a fantasy dream. My sleeping brain sure is busy. And there's a secret in there that I wasn't fully aware of myself - I think Louis Theroux is cute and I would do him. Apparently dream-me doesn't particularly respect him though.

And so the dreams have begun, hopefully they'll stay tame like that one and not send me into the depths of zombies-eating-your-face horror. My first scan is on Friday after 5 days of stimming and I'm feeling nervous.

On Saturday, before we went to collect the script and the drugs, I had a complete OTT meltdown at my dear Big Guy. He did something I ought to have taken in my stride but instead I erupted into a raging lunatic. Literally. And I realised, after I was done screaming and was merely sobbing on his shoulder, that I'm terrified. Completely terrified. Not of the needles, not of the procedures, I'm scared of the downs. Those downs are so so low and it's taking me longer each time to recombobulate.

This is my 4th stimulated cycle in the last 6 months. That's a lot of hormone adjustment and dealing with failure and disappointment. I hope, with the teeny tiny bit of hope I have left, that this cycle is the one that gets me pregnant.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Urban legend FAIL

Bien sûr!

Brownish CM this morning, blood this evening. I called the clinic and was told that tomorrow will be classed as Day 1. So I shall call again tomorrow and find out what Dr Mac has in store for me.

The nurse tried to tell me that lots of people were trying to fit in a cycle before the end of the year and they all get put on a list and looked at to see who can and cannot do a cycle so that they don't overload with numbers of patients. I say 'tried to tell me' because as soon as she said it I replied that I WOULD be doing a cycle because it was offered specially by Dr Mac. Then I thought I should probably take a deep breath and shut up. There were no orders in the system for me so they have to talk to him tomorrow and find out what he wants me to do.

I shall try not to google anything this time and to stay a bit detached. Ha!

In other news, my honours supervisor is happy with me at the moment and so am I. I handed in the first draft of the literature review and then floored her by showing her my 3/4 complete data file (almost ready for analysis). I have made some progress and have met my milestones so far which delights both of us.

TBG's ex-wife dislikes me and tries to ignore me and today she sent an email to tBG asking that I not have contact with the Middle Guy's school (he is starting secondary school close to us in 2010). I have run 2 errands for tBG to go to school during school hours when asked and apparently she does not like this. My errands so far have involved collecting a folder of information and buying some second-hand clothing. Life-shattering.

I don't understand why she is so threatened by me and she can go and get fucked with her request that I not have contact with the school - she "would prefer that any day-to-day contact with the school was with tMG's parents". I am his parent too and her request is absurd.

Thank you for your lovely comments regarding the drawers, we love them and every night when tBG goes to bed he says "I love our bedroom". So sweet! (He thinks I've made him sound ghey, but really he just sounds happy with the new furniture.)

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

We did this

TBG took me shopping yesterday - to Ikea. I have a not-so-secret Ikea fetish (it goes along nicely with my stationery and hardware fetishes) and I like to wander around the store playing with all their stuff and briefly living in their weird little apartments. I particularly like this blue and white one they've got going on at the moment. It has a lovely, though incredibly uncomfortable, navy blue couch with pale blue and white furnishings. But I digress.

We have lived in this house for 2 years and for 2 years we have dithered around not getting a new chest of drawers. We got an enormous, fantabulous bed with a splendiferous mattress that makes all other beds feel like rocks, lovely bed covers and blankies. But the rest of the room was a mish-mash. I had a raw pine chest of drawers that I'd rescued from a neighbours' hard rubbish pile six years ago. They'd thrown it out because it was wobbly, falling apart and poorly made in the first place. But I gave it a home and made do. When we bought the new bed I decided that the old chest of drawers looked yukky (it did) and we attempted to paint it. But we don't have a good painting space and instead of a pristine white piece of furniture we got a tallboy complete with paint-embedded dust, hair and teeny tiny bugs. So then I squashed all my stuff in other places and we talked about getting a new chest one day.

Apparently Sunday was the day. We hit Ikea on a whim, bought the second cheapest bits of Swedish crapola we could find and I had the brilliant idea of inserting fabric behind the tacky plastic panels and ... ta-daaaa ...

We now have a new chest of drawers and two new bedside tables too. And I am so pleased with the results! The fabric I chose matches the bedspread perfectly and it's all luver-lelly.

The old bedside tables we had were hard rubbish too. In case you haven't guessed, I have a not-so-secret hard rubbish fetish as well. I am indeed a Rat. What do they say - reduce, reuse, recycle. I happily do all that.

 As for the other stuff (you know, the hideous horrid stuff) my period is due sometime after Tuesday. I'm not sure when exactly because of the double ovulation and the uncertain timing of the second egg's release. No one can tell me if my luteal phase will be ruled by the first egg's eruption (in which case my period is due Tues/Wed) or by the second egg (in which case my period is due anywhere from Thurs to Sat).

Mostly I'm not hopeful but there's this dumb little part of me that says "oooh maybe you could be pregnant, you had two eggs, you had s.ex, maybe maybe maybe..." The rest of me wants to beat that silly-me over the head with a rock and make her shut-up cause she's always wrong and listening to her hurts.

I sound like a complete crazy woman and I am. I've spent the last week miserable and sad and having nightmares every night and I don't think that the broken awful sleep helps my mood at all.

But anyhoo ... Retail therapy worked some - aren't the drawers gorgeous???

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Show and Tell - The best salad dressing E-V-A-H

I have lost myself lately. The stress of these repeated failures, these 3 ICSI cycles of doom have taken their toll on me and I realised the other day that my poor blog has turned into a repository of sadness. Almost completely. The odd post here or there reflects more than the infertility issues, but they are few and far between.

So. I have resolved to try to write a non-infertility-related post every time I write an infertility-related post and I'm starting with something delicious. And I'm tagging into Show and Tell (go see what everyone else is showing too).

This salad dressing is seriously the absolute, most fantastic dressing in the universe. If awesome had dressing on it, it would be this dressing. Oh, and it's crazy simple too. Without further ado I present ...

Punde's Perfect P'salad P'dressing
Equal parts
  • lemon juice
  • balsamic vinegar
  • soy sauce
  • sesame oil
  • Half again as much honey than the other ingredients

So if you made a little serving, just for two, you'd use 1 tsp of the first four and 1.5 tsp of the honey. The dressing is sweet, salty, tangy and smooth all at once and you must must must only use the queen of oils in it.
Mix it all together and serve with salad. Any salad.

We particularly like this salad ...

A big bowl full of baby spinach leaves
15 bite-sized chunks of roast pumpkin (no skin)
Red capsicum slices
Cucumber slices
Sugar-snap peas
A handful of cashews

Layer, toss, whatever. Then dress it right before eating and you will think you have gone to salad heaven. The Big Guy used to dislike salad, but now he eats it 3 or times a week very happily as long as it has a dash of the fantabulous dressing on it.

As an aside, I am amazed. Astounded even.

Apparently the universe is on my side - I am not even allowed to accidentally stumble into infertility. I went to find an alliterative synonym for dressing that started with 'P' 'cause I like that kind of thing and I landed at synonym.net. This is what they had to offer ... who knew fecundation or fertilisation were synonyms for dressing! Ha. I won't be going there again - FAIL synonym.net!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

In which doctors prove fallible.

I got cramps yesterday which continued through last night (and still today). At first I thought "ooooh, maybe my ovaries are growing more follicles!" And then I thought, "but hang on these cramps feel an awful lot like ovulation." The Big Guy suggested doing an OPK to see if there was a surge, lo and behold two glaring pink lines on the pee-stick. So then I cried and cried and cried some more (I'm getting rather sick of crying akshully). TBG and I agreed we should probably make lerv because of that stupid +OPK so as not to waste the chance. That resulted in more tears.

When I woke up this morning it was with a pit of anxiety in my stomach, a heavy heavy heart and sore eyes.

Now I am all grrrrrrr at my clinic.

I went back for the repeat scan today with my +OPK in hand only to find that my 11mm follie (on the left) was now a 21mm follie. Ummm, no ... that's not possible! Oh, and there was a recently departed follicle on the right. A never-before-seen follicle I might add. My lining - perfect, 3 layers, 11mm.

This all contradicts Doctor Dickhead Smirkface's Monday scan - apparently then I had one 11mm on the left, nothing else and a 'nothing-there' lining.

We were in there for ages and ended up being seen by the head honcho who apologised for the mismanagement of my cycle. He agreed that I probably should have been told to start the orgalutran on Tuesday/Wednesday, that I ought to have been monitored more closely and said that Doctor Dickhead Smirkface would be getting a talking to. 

And then he offered me a free flare cycle next month under his supervision to make up for this crap one. They took bloods to confirm ovulation (he thinks it definitely did happen) and my beautiful ripe 21mm follicle will be left to ovulate on its own because there's not enough time to trigger it and collect tomorrow. (They don't do pick-ups on the weekend.) So this month I get to ovulate twice (ouch, I am incredibly crampy) and wait for my period. And then start all over again. For free at least.

He also said that my ovarian response was like that of a 43 year old and that I am running out of eggs. Diminished ovarian reserve - oh yes indeed.

I am alternating between rage and despair.

Editing to add that the bloods came back positive for ovulation and I'm still not sure when my second follicle will erupt.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Worser and worser

Who knew that could happen?

I went for the scan this morning. Anxious and worried because I haven't felt any of the things other IVFers talk about - the bloatiness, the tenderness, the active ovary-ness. Starting off the crap experience was Doctor Smirk. He's the one who did my first stim scan during IVF#1 and his manner sucks. So that put me off some more.

In went the probe and he poked...and prodded...and poked...and prodded. All the while staying silent and NOT taking any measurements. And that's when I knew it would be bad news ... again. But I never for an instant thought it would be worse than the last two times.

He says "There's nothing there".

"NOTHING!?!?" says I.

So he pokes and prods some more and finally discovers one 11mm follicle in one of my poor beleaguered ovaries. He said that I am a poor responder and where one would normally expect to see 10-15 follicles in a woman of my age I should not ever expect more than a couple. That no protocol is really any better than any other but probably the long down-reg is best. That we have a 1-2% chance of natural conception and IVF is not increasing that for us by much. That he wouldn't recommend converting to IUI because if there is one egg there then it has a better chance of becoming a baby if we use ICSI (like we have previously). That maybe next time we should try a natural cycle (no drugs, just collect the egg that grows naturally and do ICSI on it).

I am devastated. Completely ruined and crushed and destroyed by this news.

I'm to go back for a repeat scan on Thursday to see if anything else has popped up, but it's unlikely. Most likely it's just this 1. And we have to be prepared to decide whether to go to pick-up or cancel on Thursday. My darling (who was with me this time 'cause I didn't want to be alone if it was going to be upsetting again) says we should finish the cycle. Thank goodness he was with me, I was a mess.

I wonder if I can bear to go through with this cycle. Doing that to myself for the tiny chance that it might result in a baby. The lows are so low and it takes me such a lot to pull myself up again. To drag myself out of the despair-pit and then stand on the edge of it waiting to see which way I'll fall at the next juncture.

I think we will see this cycle through to its end, but I have no belief, buoyancy, confidence, expectation, faith or optimism left.

I have no hope left inside my heart and I don't think I will ever have a child with my husband.

And I'm so very very sad.

Image from Zero-Rider

Friday, November 6, 2009

Clomid + FSH = the blues

I finished the clomid today - I got pimples and am majorly off emotionally. I so hate the emotional side-effects. On the upside I keep reminding myself that maybe if I'm emotionally awry then the drugs are working. Hope so.

I want my life back. I want to stop studying and stressing and being infertile. I want it all to end. I feel like it's never going to happen. I'm in stim #3 and have only had one failed transfer and nary a frostie to be seen. Fuckdamn. And then I read the stupid 'average' it takes to get a BFP ... 3 stims and associated FETs = 7 or 8 transfers. Yeah right. That's not going to happen here.

I wonder if I'll feel better over the next few days as the clomid wears off. I hope so because this empty awfulness is hateful. For me and for everyone around me. And I'm scared of Monday's scan. This cycle is a powerful one and I'm scared that I still won't respond any better. That I'll only have a few follicles again and only 2 (or less) eggs and then no baby again.

I was reading a research article that was talking about the amount of stims it takes people to give up doing IVF. They gave people FREE treatment and watched what happened. What they found was that after 3 failed stim cycles, most people gave up. Just because it's too fucking awful doing this over and over again.

These drugs are a mindfuck. The roller-coaster is a mindfuck. The desperate desire is a mindfuck.

*insert scream here*

Sunday, November 1, 2009


And we're off and running in the final lap of the race to Babyland 2009.

My period arrived on Saturday much to my disappointment. Repeated disappointment. Because how dumb am I? Every month I think "oooh, maybe ..." and every. single. fucking. month I am wrong. We cannot just make whoopie and get pregnant. It's not that simple and I'm not sure when, if ever, I will give up my persistent hopefulness as my cycle draws to a close. Apparently I'm not alone in this wayward hope, Megan and her commenters get it too.

Anyhoo, moving on ... Today marked the first day of Clomid. I have not experienced the 'vagueness' promised by the pharmacist who insisted on giving me warnings before my purchase. Très décevant! I mean, really, with the dire predictions he'd imparted I expected myself to be delightfully ditsy and incapable of driving a motor ve-here-kel. Instead I retained full control of my mental capacity and got a slight headache. Dagnabbit!

Tomorrow I shall start sticking myself with 450iu of Gonal-F and praying that this mega-hit to my ovaries will result in one healthy baby. Due early next August. Because I'm sick like that too, every month I look up the due date calculators and find out when our potential baby would arrive. We don't have anyone in the entire family born in August - it'd be lovely to fill that hole.

This month I have to finish writing my literature review. Have to.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Feeelings and meeetings

I've been feeeeling awful in my body - last Tuesday the Big Guy had to pull me out of bed because my neck seized up and I couldn't move from laying down. Agony for a few days. And bad timing too. I started the meditation/breathing/yoga course on Tuesday and, of course, could barely move. I was drugged up and did my best and it was ok. Fast forward to today, Friday, and I can move without agony again (hooray) and I'm ok.

I met Prue from CD1 tonight which was lovely (Hi Prue) - she came to my hometown and we met for a drinkiepoo at a bar with another friend of hers. It got me to thinking about how strange it is to have friends one rarely (or ever) meets in person. People I share my most intimate life with, who get me and support me and knock me out of it when I need knocking. And you're all so dear to me. I wish you could all come to a bar with me and chatter about everything.

I haven't been posting much lately. Prior to the agony I was just busy and trying to avoid the computer, get good sleep and live in the now.

Which is a topic of conversation at Art of Living. The present is inevitable; looking to the past all the time is like driving a car and watching the rear-view mirror ... crash; right now is all there is. And that's been ticking around in my brain too. I think I have been spending too much time looking in the rear-view mirror or trying to watch 5 cars ahead. I need to be in my now. There's that cheesy saying "Today is a gift, that's why they call it the present" and though it's terribly awfully cheesy, it's so true. (On a side note why are the truest things spouted always so cheesy-sounding - Hallmark has a lot to answer for.)

 Acupuncture is ok. The needles are fine in my front, but she stuck needles in my sore back bits on Thursday and caused pain pain pain. And I don't like lying on my front. At all. Ever. But I'm keeping it up because of that German study. As for the breathing/yoga I feel loving towards it though I also find myself nonplussed about doing it every day as a regular practice. I think I feel lighter for doing it. And I would recommend it to anyone. It's worth going and trying it out. There's Art of Living centres around the world. If you're interested do investigate.

The Big Guy has landed in San Francisco and my house is empty and quiet. For the next two days I am only responsible for looking after myself unless I choose otherwise (the Little Guy returns home on Sunday) and finally next Wednesday TBG flies home. He was so cute before leaving, all packed 3 days early and making lists and folders of documents (itinerary, maps, timetables of trains, lists of hotes, the works), anxious about being overseas alone and excited about going to the famed US of A.

I found it hard to understand his anxiety though, I am a relaxed traveller and I like making plans on the go and I like doing my own thing, so a week overseas would be wonderful. But he was worried about being 'alone' and not having rooms booked for every single night he was away. He left the last few nights open because he will meet people at this conference who will be cool and also tourist-ing and so he's free to stay wherever he likes without bookings. Go wherever the spirit takes him. I'm still peeved at Google, how dare they refuse to pay for me to have a US holiday with TBG - so rude! I hope he reads this and is having a ball.

Oh and I ovulated finally last Friday; we managed to do the deed though much like JB, I wonder why we bothered. I mean really. But all the same, I'd like to be the urban legend knocked-up-in-the-off-cycle lady. The acupuncturist said "it happen alla time in my crinic" so who knows. (P.S. JB your comment window won't load for me otherwise I'd have said - hey I'm in the same boat! Let's both be urban legends. And you too Prue.)

Ahhhh, in my now, my back is cramping and I must fly to my bed so I can go do 5 hours of breath of life and yoga tomorrow.

Fare Well my pretties.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

OTT and Kreativ

WiseGuy gave me two bloggy awards! Amazing given that I feel that neither is particularly deserved. My blog (and I) are not particularly over the top, nor kreativ. But hey, I shall play along because I get to award these awards again (hooray) and tell you random things about me. Thank you ^WiseGuy^  :o)

Here's the rules we all have to absolutely to the letter follow:

1. you can only use one word!
2. pass this along to 6 of your favourite bloggers
3. alert them that you have given them this award!
4. have fun!

1. Where is your cell phone?  Handbag
2. Your hair?  Brown
3. Your mother?  Sad
4. Your father?  Dead
5. Your favourite food?  Curry
6. Your dream last night?  Unremarkable
7. Your favourite drink?  Kahlua
8. Your dream/goal?  Baby
9. What room are you in?  Dining Room
10. Your hobby?  Reading
11. Your fear?  Agony
12. Where do you want to be in 6 years?  Centred
13. Where were you last night?  Home
14. Something that you aren’t?  Creative
15. Muffins?  Blueberry
16. Wish list item?  Baby
17. Where did you grow up?  Australia
18. Last thing you did?  Read
19. What are you wearing?  Civvies
20. Your TV?  Off
21. Your pets?  Cats
22. Friends?  Loving
23. Your life?  Waiting
24. Your mood?  Hopeful
25. Missing someone?  Gramps
26. Vehicle?  Ford
27. Something you’re not wearing?  Scarf
28. Your favorite store?  Nope
29. Your favorite color?  Red
30. When was the last time you laughed?  Earlier
31. Last time you cried?  Thursday
32. Your best friend? Adorable
33. One place that I go to over and over? Desk
34. One person who emails me regularly? Mum
35. Favorite place to eat? Satgurus

And my nominees are all lovely, go read them if you don't already ...
First Comes Love
I Can't Whistle
Invitro Veritas
Zen and the Art of Peacekeeping
Infertile Naomi
We got hitched. We bought the 4 bedroom house. Now what??? 

And now for the also completely undeserved Kreativ Blogger Award. Thank You again WiseGuy!

More rules:
1) Thank the person who nominated you for this award.
2) Copy the logo and place it on your blog.
3) Link to the person who nominated you for this award.
4) Name 7 things about yourself that people may not know.
5) Nominate 7 Kreativ Bloggers.
6) Post links to the 7 blogs you nominate.
7) Leave a comment on each.

Seven Things that People May Not Know About Me:

1. I am a perfectionist and a control-freak. Hang on, you'd probably gathered that already.

2. I think I am fat but my weight/BMI is perfect. Dysmorphic much? (Thanks Mum!)

3. I wanted to be a clinical neuropsychologist and I've worked for 8 years to get into the doctorate, but now I'm so close I don't want to do it any more.

4. My husband is completely wonderful and deliciously sweet and he recently arrived home with new clothes he'd spontaneously bought for me because "they had a sale on". And they're even nice clothes that fit me and look good!!!

5. I cannot reconcile short-sleeve tops with hoods. Hoods are for cold weather. Short-sleeves are for warm weather. WTF is going on with short-sleeve hoodies???

6. I learned the flute when I was in high-school and my teacher said I had promise. But I wouldn't march in time to the metronome - we had an argument about that and I stopped playing. Imagine, marching along to a metronome. Could she have thought of a better way to make poor 14yr old me feel like a complete dickhead? Silly me.

7. I don't like eating in the morning. Before 10am anyway.

And the nominees are a mixed bag of writers I love, food I eat and presentations I aspire to...
Eat Me, Delicious
Catherine Newman
Annie's Eats
In a Beautiful Pea Green Boat
May I Say Something
Presentation Zen
Mimi Smartypants

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Plans and Punctures and Peacefulness

I can has a plan and I can has acupuncture and I can eben has relaxayshun.

Next cycle will be a scrape-the-bottom-of-the-barrel cycle, an Antagonist + Clomid cycle.
CD2 - CD6 100mg clomiphene citrate,
CD7 - trigger Gonal-F 450iu,
CD9 or something - Orgalutran
Trigger with HCG, collect many more than two wonderful beautiful ova.
Fertilise them and then get me knocked up.

That's the plan, Stan. I spoke to the doc at my WTF appointment for ages (about 40minutes) and bombarded him with my concerns and worries and fears and tears. We discussed a straight antagonist, we discussed this clomid cycle and eventually I decided to give this a go.

Hopefully the Clomid will induce my poor sluggish ovaries to recruit more primordial follicles, then the mega-dose of Gonal-F is supposed to mature them eggies so theys all purty and ready for baby-growing.

Acupuncture-lady, the lovely Alice, says I have sluggish blood flow, but nothing else wrong with me. She thinks the fibromyalgia and lack of good sleep is probably a major contributor to whatever problemo I have bin experienshing. Alice suggests weekly acupuncture, then a sesh the day before the transfer and the day of the transfer and 2 more in the luteal phase. Pretty much exactly what I was hoping she'd recommend. She says it will promote blood flow and create a healthy uterus environment.

Also I will be going off to do an Art of Living course at the end of October with my very best friend in the whole wide world who has been trying to convince me to go on one of these courses for years. Wonderfully, beautifully, she is the teacher this time and so I shall go and she shall teach me how to breeeeeathe and reeeeelaaax. While the naughty-lucky-sweet Big Guy is off at the Nerd-Fest in San Francisco I shall chill.

Will it work - I have no clue. Am I hopeful - naturellement! But hey, I'm hopeful that we could just have s.ex and get knocked up like regular folks do. Off I go to try ;o)

Friday, October 2, 2009

Super-Prof to the rescue!

It was a good thing, that second opinion appointment. I paid $210 for a doctor to back me up and that felt good. I arrived and supplied my enormous medical IF history. We chatted a bit about why I was there and I explained some of the issues I had with my clinic - the protocol choices made so far and advised for the future. Then I sat back and listened.

He said I have done my research well and asked if I had a background in embryology. I said no, in neuroscience and then he remembered meeting me months ago :o)

He said I should do an antagonist cycle with 450iu FSH next - exactly what I self-prescribed for the last cycle but got talked out of. He said he wouldn't recommend trying an antagonist with clomid protocol until we've tried antagonist with higher FSH. I shall not waiver this time! Appointment booked next Wednesday with my clinic to see a doctor about the next protocol.

He said acupuncture can't hurt, trillions of Chinese can't be wrong and that German study (see previous post, paper in link 4) was rigorous and showed significant results. Acupuncture booked for next Thursday.

He said try to relax and definitely, definitely have a cycle off between stims. He also said to try having s.ex the night before transfer because there was a study that showed improved pregnancy rates when that was done.

He said DHEA can't hurt so give it a go at 75mg/day. Off to the compounding pharmacy to purchase it tomorrow.

He said not to bother with corticosteroids; one, because I am negative for immune issues and two, because the studies showing efficacy are small and the effect of the steroids is not well understood. He said no aspirin as it has now been demonstrated to cause cleft palates and other deformities in utero and is thus contra-indicated. I test negative for clotting factors, so no heparin either.

He said that my AMH level of 6 is what he would expect for a 37 year old woman and not to think of it as bad. 1 would be bad, 6 is normal. And that I should remember that it's not an indicator of oocyte quality.

He said our 100% fertilisation was great (4 eggs so far, 4 embryos created) and the 50% transfer rate was also good. He added that the chemical pregnancy from IVF#1 was also good.

He said that if we got more than 4 embryos he would recommend growing to blastocyst before transfer rather than day 2. If less than 4 then transfer on day 2 like we have previously.

He said that the Medicare changes wouldn't be so bad, that they've introduced new item numbers to bill under - he sat on the advisory committee so was fairly comfortable telling me this. This means that my darling, wonderful Big Guy has said that maybe, if need be (please god we don't need to) we can do another cycle after the next. So I can stop feeling all pressured by this next cycle as my last chance!

He said we even could actually, really, truly conceive naturally so to keep on doing the deed appropriately just in case. The 92% abnormal morphology is not a death knell and my tests come back normal so it might happen. Not to give up on that anyway. Because I was thinking that if IVF#3 doesn't work (please god no) then that would be the end of the baby dream for us. He says no. Keep on trying naturally anyway.

Lastly he said good luck, stay positive and try to de-stress-ify. I'll work on that.

So that was grand. Except I left the office feeling weirdly unhappy. I mean, he told me good things and it was useful but I feel like the last 2 cycles have just been a big waste of time and money. I wish I had pushed harder to get an antagonist at least last time. The doctor de jour would have done it if I'd insisted. I just didn't insist. I caved to the authoritarian wisdom of the doctor, but I really did know what I was talking about as demonstrated by Super-Prof's recommendation.

I drove 45 minutes home, slowly and sadly. Called a few friends who were all uncontactable, called my Pa who was home. He told me what he'd been up to and then advised me to tell my procrastinating "I don't want to write" self to Bugger Off and just commit to writing my thesis up. And write it.  So then I spoke to my supervisor and arranged a meeting with her. None of which helped me feel any better.

I went into the supermarket to buy fish for dinner and stood there reading the trashy mags that I won't buy but will happily read in the store given half a chance. Mum called while I was in the store, she's been away since the day of the egg pick-up. So I chatted to her miserably, sharing my IVFy business with all and sundry who bothered to listen as they collected their flour and sugar. Poor shoppers.

And then I went back outside to find it was late late late and the clearways were in full force and my poor little car was sitting blocking traffic for a mile back. So of course, waiting for me on my windshield was a $117 parking ticket. Which sucked.

Ahhh, life, it's a balancing act of highs and lows. I want more highs please.

Oh, and AF arrived on Wednesday (12dpOPU) which made this cycle a 26 day cycle.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Random Pundy and late Lovely Blog Awarding

Today I was eating an okonomiyaki which looks very unhealthy but is actually just a vegetable pancake. I was sitting in the food court of our local humongousaur shopping centre and listening to MC Solaar. Whenever I listen to my ipod when I'm out in a crowd, I feel as though I'm in a movie and the music I'm listening to is the soundtrack.

I'd been to Medicare to get the refund for our stupid last dumbfuck failure of a cycle (thanks Australian government for subsidising that cost -> $900 instead of $4900). Medicare pissed me off some but I was ok with the cost, my tax refund will pay for all our IVFs thank goodness. My boobs have been hurting since the egg pickup and if I actually had any chance of being pregnant I would totally be psyched up because of these mo-fo sore nipples, so that had been pissing me off too. And I'm pretty sure today is 2 days before my period will arrive cause I feel like emotional-shite.

So, MC Solaar had his cool French groove going while I ate and people-watched. So many people, doing their thing. Feeding themselves, chatting with friends, texting with mobile phones, staring into nothing.

And then my eyes got sucked to one bright blue spot at 1 o'clock. This one woman, in her thirties with a 6 year old son and a new, new baby in a bright blue onesie. Sitting down cradling him, talking to her older child, propping baby up to look around the busy room.

I stared at that baby and that woman. And thought. And teared up. Then I put down my fork and scurried away. Head down, bustling and busy and indistinguishable from the rest of them. I stifled the sobs and I left.

I have been looking at these and contemplating which acupunturist I shall visit.

Making Babies: 3 Month Program Fertility

Apparently I'm a Dry type


Here's the link to the page of Acupuncture related research

I am going to make this last shot count goddammit. Even if it takes suspending my sceptical side and poking my body with more needles. The Big Guy doesn't want to do any more IVFs after this last one. The Australian goverment have decided to change the way we get money back from Medicare (public health system) and as such any further IVFs after Jan 01 2010 would be more self-funded than at present.

I booked an appointment with another specialist for a second opinion about the next protocol to try. The docs at my clinic are all over the shop with ideas and I do not have a primary care physician. I am doing IVF through the public system and as such I belong to the clinic and I see whichever resident/consultant is available when I'm there. This is frustrating me. As is the cookie cutter approach to protocols to try irrespective of my poor response.

I read about this agonist/antagonist conversion protocol with E2V the other day and I want to try that. I'll see if second-opinion-Super-Prof agrees with it as a good try and if so I'll endeavour to convince my clinic to let me do it.

I've had a lot of nightmares lately. Zombies eating my face and zombie-fying me and those I love; driving off the top of a skyscraper, falling and knowing I was about to die (woke as I crashed into the next building); that my mother had killed herself (just like my father) and I was screaming-crying in my sleep and woke with a closed throat and a heavy heavy heart.

I want a baby.

I did get a lovely blog award a while back from the delightfully sweet Kate at I Can't Whistle and I wasn't sure what to do with it but now I am. Here's my five nominees, some well-known, others not so. I appreciate you all.

Wise Guy at Woman Anyone?
JB at Of Cabbage and Kings
Token at CD1
Monica at Knocked Up, Knocked Down
Eden at Edenland

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Songs to make you sing and a song of thanks

Sing along - loud!

And to this too ...

And be her echo if you can ...

And this is because you've all been so kind.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Arrested development

We got 2 eggs, we got 2 embryos. The nurse called me on Saturday afternoon with a transfer time for Sunday. All was looking good.

Then the Dr called me this morning and as soon as he said "Hello, it's Dr H" I knew.

The embryos had arrested overnight and there's nothing to transfer.

All that money and effort and pain and sadness and hope for nothing.

I'm crushed.

Editing to add: It's late night now and because I'm not making babies I cooked Chicken Cacciatore and Oatmeal Choc Chip Cookies instead. Comfort food. I've eaten about 8 cookies so far. So has the Big Guy. We're teary and getting fat together.

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies
(from The Frog Commissary Cookbook)
1 cup butter, room temperature
1 cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar
2 large eggs
2 tbsp milk
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour (plain flour for us Aussies)
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
2 1/2 cups oats (rolled or "quick," but not "instant")
2 cups chocolate chips (about 12-oz.)

Preheat the oven to 350F (180C). Line a baking sheet with baking paper.
In a large bowl, cream together the butter and the sugars until mixture is light in colour. Beat in the eggs one at a time, followed by the milk and the vanilla extract.
In a medium bowl, stir together the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Either by hand or with the mixer on low speed, gradually beat the flour in to the sugar mixture until just incorporated.
Stir in the oats and chocolate chips by hand. And OMG the bowl is heavy by now.
Drop 1-inch balls of dough onto the cookie sheet, placing about 1 1/2 inches apart so they have room to spread.
Bake at 350F for 10-13 minutes, until golden brown at the edges and light golden at the centre.
Cool on baking sheet for at least 1-2 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

Makes 4 dozen.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Only 2 ... again

Am back from hospital, only 2 eggs to show for it.

I feel pretty down about it all but we're hoping that they both fertilise and can be transferred on Sunday.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Don't panic

I'm trying not to. Thanks JB and everyone else. Your comments mean so much to me. To know that I am cushioned in a supportive community who gets it. That's just beautiful.

All will be well. I will be ok. Sadness passes. It all passes. And Kate is right on with her comment on my last post - it is a better response than last time. And there's enough time to grow the littlies some more. And those big 'uns should have some nice mature eggies inside. Complete with tramp stamps and strappy high heels.

Monday, September 14, 2009

My eyes hurt from crying

Crap crap crap crap crap times infinity.

Follicle report - day 8 of stimming...
On my left side I have 1 x 18mm and 2 x 12mm.
On my right side I have either 1 x 16mm or 2 x 14mm (she couldn't tell if it was one larger, or two with one in front of the other).

Fuckdamn. That's completely fucked and I feel like I'm living July all over again.

At this stage last time I had a 16mm, a 15mm and an 11mm.
This time I have 4, maybe 5 follicles and my right ovary woke up.
Last time I stimmed for another 3 days and collected the eggs 4 days after that scan - only the 16 and the 15 had good eggs.
This time the nurse thinks that I will stim for another 5 days which will most likely over-ripen the 18mm and the 16 if it's a 16.

Best case is that the 16 is actually 2 x 14's and they and the 2 x 12's ripen up nicely and I get 4 eggs.

But they are all such different sizes. I may only get 1 usable egg.

I hate this.

Edited to add: I'm triggering on Wednesday for a pickup on Friday. The decision has been based on the biggest follicle. I hope the littlies catch up and have mature eggs in them by Friday. Must remember that they grow by 1-2mm per day so I can get a maximum 8mm more growth.That would be enough for those 12mm follicles, surely?

Deep breaths

I am trying not to be nervous about tomorrow's appointment with the dil.do cam. I am mostly succeeding. I keep reminding myself that I have lived through a bad outcome ... last time I had 3 follicles, a comatose right ovary and only 2 eggs retrieved ... that was crappy. But I've done that once now and should it happen again I have the hopefulness of knowing that that crappy cycle gave me two embryos to tranfer. Duds apparently, but at least we were in with a chance with them.

Deep breaths. All will be as it will be regardless of my feelings.

On a much more pissed-off note, we have been without functional heating all week. We got home from Fiji (where we were all toasty-warm) to a cold cold house in this cold cold Melbourne winter. Turned the heating on only to find an error message indicating an overheating issue and the fan blasting cold air throughout the house. This was rectified by going under the house and disconnecting the power to the heating unit.

On Monday I told the agent, who faffed around until Wednesday before sending a plumber. Plumber said "It's got an electrical fault, I can't fix that, you need the central heating people to come." He told the agent, who told the landlord. Landlord refused to get the heating people out. On Thursday I had our agent on the phone who told me to do all the overheating checks (no vents covered, ensure inlet is not blocked, turn off power - all of which I had done already) and call him back in a couple of hours. 3 hours later the heater is dead again and he finally admitted that the landlord DIDN'T BELIEVE THAT THE HEATER WAS BROKEN and won't pay for repairs. We have to fork out hundreds of dollars to get said heater fixed and then chase the landlord for the money through the rental tribunal!! Amazing. What a complete fuckwit our landlord is. It's been as low as 7 degrees Celsius (44F) here at night and we've been freezing. Heating is classed as an essential item (especially in winter) and they were supposed to have it fixed within 2-3 days. Bastards. Complete bastards.

I want a warm uterus and warm ovaries. I'm sure I read some Chinese medicine stuff about needing my precious girlie bits to be warm.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Eggs and bacon

IVF diet queries currently rattling around in my head.

Why am I trying to eat a high protein diet?
Why is there so much conflicting information about pineapple (bromelain & selenium containing)?
Maybe I should just be taking supplements of Brom & Se?
Ought I avoid wheat?
Should I be drinking full-fat milk?
What about chocolate, can I still gorge on eat that?
Is it worth my while to start taking CoQ10?

Will what I eat help get me pregnant? That's what I really want to know.

And fook. The injections are hurting this time round. Last cycle I think my brain was too busy thinking I was going to get a rush from the shots to bother with the ouchiness. This time my brain has realised there is no rush. Poor amazed brain, it's not dealing with all the little screaming nociceptors in my tender belly flesh so it's sending "Run for the hills" messages when the needles approach. Which is making the jabbing both painful and hesitant.

To combat this I have tried:
1. Sitting down, lining it up and slowly pushing the needles in = ouch
2. Sitting down, lining it up and then not looking as I jab myself = ouch
3. Standing up and fast-sticking myself = not-so-ouchie.

I'm going to try number 3 again tonight and see if I can repeat the non-ouch performance.

I'm feeling relaxed about this cycle (thankyou Fiji). Haven't been obsessive about the jabs, haven't googled anything about the Flare vs whatever rates. Haven't had a tizzy fit at the Big Guy, all in all (at this very early stage) I'm feeling good. Hopeful and good.

I'm due a stim scan on Monday to see how many follicles I'm growing (please God I get more than last time) so we'll see how my cool, calm and collected self is going then.

Cranky-pants vent from me - actually it's a jealous-vent. The Big Guy (@badhusband, follow him and tell him how naughty he is) is going to San Francisco at the end of October and I'm eaten alive with envy. He's off to the Google Summer of Code Mentors conference cause he's a Big Clever and Helpful Guy and his open-source program/organisation participated in the SoC. I was going to be going with him but then we did the Fiji thing because we're complete suckers and we got talked into a stupid Wyndham vacation trial (don't do it, it's not worth it in the end) and the only place we could book was Fiji and so we went there and now he's going to the USA without me.

Without ME. Can you believe it? Why can't we be kazillionaires and have me go too?

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Home again home again jiggity jig

Bula! 'Cause that's what we say, us Fiji-tourists.

We also say "Why yes, I will have another cocktail", "I think I'll have a nap" and "Did I get sunburned?"

We had a great time, the Big Guy and I. We slept a heap (though our bed was incredibly uncomfortable), we swam and snorkelled,

we fished (that's my first barracuda catch!)

and sailed (that's me beside the guitarist, laughing at a piece of cake).

All in all, it was the most relaxing holiday I have ever had. Ever.

But a couple of minutes ago, I injected Lucrin because, you guessed it, the magical "take a holiday and relax" pregnancy did not occur. Not that I really thought it would, but hey - I had some hope. It's the end of CD2 as I type and I start jabbing with 300iu Gonal-F tomorrow in this brave new world of the Flare cycle.

I'm taking my hope with me into this new cycle. I've noticed that hope is the new black in the IF circles. Except without being ... you know ... black. Of course. Because black is dark and deep while hope is light and airy and not black at all.

I'm going to be light and airy and hopeful. So there universe.

Oh, as an aside, I prefer Mudslides to Pina Coladas and I didn't like getting caught in the rain. And there was no midnight jiggy-jig in the sand but plenty on our hard bed.

Friday, August 28, 2009


All tasks finished (I am a powerhouse) - check.

Bags packed - check.

Flying away to a tropical island - so soon.

I do like Pina Coladas and I am into champagne. And I shall toast you all from the balmy beach! (I'm not so sure about making lerv in the dunes - sand is gritty.)

See you all in a week or so!


Saturday, August 22, 2009

O yeah

I'm ovulating - possibly as I type! I got a strong positive OPK yesterday and another today so today/night is O night.

What that means is that my body has behaved impeccably - I'm on CD17 and I'm 13 days away from the negative beta - so am ovulating exactly when I hoped I would!!! Hooray for small mercies.

Fiji - here I come sans injectable drugs and customs problems. If my luteal phase stays the same (which I've heard they do) my period will be due on the day we get back.

So is it possible for me to get pregnant this cycle? I wonder. (Before we started IVF, every month was a possibility but once we started I gave up on un-aided conception.) What a blast that would be! Not holding my breath and not behaving terribly well either - I had alcomohol a couple of times over the last weeks and I even *gasp* had some coffee. And I am planning on drinking exotically coloured cocktails during happy hour whilst in Fiji. Is this what is done in a 'cycle off'? Or should I be pretending we have more than a bee's dick of a chance at conception and doing the whole body-as-temple thing. Gah!

On the study front, I have been dumping data out of the EEG program and though it is an enormously boring and tedious task, I am pleased with the progress (having made so little for so long). 50 done so far, 130 to go. Only a couple more days work and my supervisor and I will be very happy with me.

And that is a nice feeling. I've been a happy camper for at least a week now, what a relief. I hate feeling depressed and miserable and living like my bed is the only good place in the world. Oh the ups and the downs. They are woolly.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Hold off ovulation!

That's right, I don't want to ovulate.

Who would have thought that the ironic aspects of TTC using assisted conception were so rampant. First I got put on birth control to start the last cycle and now I don't want to ovulate so I can do the next cycle.

It's bizzaro-world over here. So far so good though, I'm on either CD14 or CD11. (14 days since I started bleeding last, 11 days since I had a negative beta.) My OPKs are only just showing a hint of a second line so I won't be ovulating until at least the end of the week. Thank goodness.

In my perfect plan, I will ovulate this Saturday and that will make my period due on the 5th of September. Now because this is my perfect plan I would then give the Big Guy a positive HPT on September 7th (Father's Day here in Australia). Wouldn't that be shweet.

Alternate almost-perfect plan is that I get my period on the 5th and we start the antagonist cycle on the 7th. In Australia. 'Cause I really don't want to be toting Gonal-F to Fiji. I've been imagining cooler bags and confiscated needles and helpful air hostesses and paperwork and customs nightmares.

For the moment I shall take a meditative deep breath and chill out.

Do I do anything else today? I organised a cake stall, worked some money-work and I got grumpy in a team meeting discussing data coding for the thesis. I did not notice anything funny or quirky, I had no strange revelations nor profound thoughts. I just was. And that was ok.

Oh, and I read Mark Morford's column ... number 2 disturbed me.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Extensions aweigh

A'weighing on my heart.

I'm supposed to be doing my Honours project this year. But between the death of my beloved Grampies and the heartbreak and hormonal flux of infertility and treatments for same I have not been doing much.

All my data is collected and I have a half a lit review but on the 29th of July I saw that I could still withdraw from the project (until the 3rd of August) without a fail on my record and I brightened. My supervisor didn't think that was a good idea though, she thought it would be better if I applied for an extension and so I let the 3rd go by without withdrawing and today I had a meeting with my supervisor (who is one of the most beautiful people I know) and the honours coordinator (also a beautiful person). And they were so kind to me and understanding and supportive while I was nervous and anxiety-sick and crying. My supervisor knows everything that's happened so far and the meeting was to present my case to the coordinator. So I spent the morning relating the awfulness that this year has been. And I felt like complete crap doing so and have spent the rest of the day fighting back tears and feeling generally shite. I've spent as much time as possible in bed since last Friday. Sleeping and hiding and hurting.

Over the past 8 years lots of shit has gone down in my life and through it all I've managed to stay on track with my studies. I have had a baby, a crazy relationship, moved house 5 times, disentangled from my crazy ex and done the consent orders thing with him, met my DH, gotten married and blended our families and survived it all. Survived while getting an A average in a Behavioural Neuroscience degree and making it into psychology honours.

But this year, with the grief and the conception problems, I have not managed. And for me that feels dreadful. I thought I would be ok, I thought I could manage it all. But I haven't and I'm not and I don't even want to -> motivation = 0. I am a slug slowly oozing through the mess of life with as little effort as possible and leaving a big slimy trail of tears and snot behind me. So I have been granted an extension and I now need to document the mess and try to plan out a timetable of milestones to show that I can actually finish the project. Blerck. I don't even want to do that.

And I am feeling weird about discussing my pain.

There are distinctly different types of trying to conceive grief and that they ought not be confused or thought to be at all comparative. I frequent an assisted conception area on the internet and there's a 'comparing griefs' vibe there sometimes. I want to write down my thoughts on this - my thoughts as a person who has had a child but is facing the prospect of not having a child with my husband (in no particular order).

1. BFN-grief ... All of us get this grief, it's the generic one-size-fits-all sadness that strikes us down with every sad peestick and every drop of blood that ought not be. This is a particularly sucky painfully acute grief that strikes sharply and then dissipates as the hope of the next cycle takes hold. Because we all get hopeful in our heart-of-hearts. Even the cynics.

2. I-may-not-ever-have-a-child-grief ... This grief belongs only to those who have never had a child and are scared about it never happening. It's huge and terrible and encompasses more than feelings about children, it swallows up feelings about living and leaving things behind and passing things on and traditions broken. It's a chronic, relentless grief and is only assuaged by parenthood.

3. I-may-not-have-a-child-with-this man/woman ... This is a unique grief for those of us who have had a child with one partner but are having problems TTCing with a current partner. This is a totally different pain than the other two. And it deserves a special mention within the bounds of secondary infertility.

4. Dead-baby-grief ... the pain of due-dates that ought to be but weren't, of dirth dates, of conception dates, of discovered-misses. Never assuaged, hole-in-the heart grief.

5. Our-family-isn't-finished grief ... this is the grief you get when you've had a child or children but it feels like someone is missing from your family. Someone who is definitely supposed to be there. This grief is tangible; it's the echo that the child-to-come leaves in your house following the others around. It's the stored baby clothes and cot, it's the maternity-wear all boxed up but stored for next time. This grief has it's own place and it is painful, just like the rest. And the children one does have don't make up for this grief - just like when your Dad dies, still having your Mum doesn't make the losing-Dad-pain any better.

These griefs are not the same and cannot be compared. They are completely different and ALL are grief. They should not be mistaken for each other and none of them ought to be dismissed. I see too much dismissing and too much competition. And that makes me sad.

Number 3 and number 5 are my griefs now. I have a child but not with the Big Guy. The child I have is fathered by someone I do not respect and do not really like very much. I fell pregnant because I was confused about where I was in my irregular cycle and I kept the Little Guy on board because abortion is not for me. I love the Little Guy completely and would be totally broken-hearted, torn at the seams without him. But now I find myself ensconced in a beautiful relationship with the man of my dreams. Our marriage is strong and healthy, I adore and respect this man and I deeply wish to have his baby. I want so much to have a child and stay with it's father. I want to experience a child with a man who actively wants one with me and who will be an active father. I want our child. And our child hasn't come yet and may not come at all, which kills me.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Chemical pregnancy


I got the results of today's blood test back just now ...

HCG = 10.

Sweet Nursey confirmed an early loss. Which feels strange. So I have been a bit pregnant this week, my HCG levels probably went up from Tuesday's 10 and then back down to today's 10.

I'll go on Monday and have another blood test to see that the HCG is gone.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

I'm cry-y-ying

Actually I'm singing "I'm bleeding" to this tune. But it goes all wrong once I get to the next words "over you". 'Cause I'm just bleeding all over me.

Not so much of the crying today anyway. No bad dreams last night - actually quite a nice dream for me. I got kissed; magically, beautifully kissed by a young man whilst sitting at a table next to the Big Guy and some other random stranger. The Big Guy was not disturbed by this kiss in my dream and neither was I - though I knew I could not do it again and spent the rest of the dream avoiding the young man and, weirdly, showering in a scuba store.

Anyway, for the first time in a few weeks I woke up undisturbed by nightmares and that has made my day rather good. Despite the bleeding. I knew that it was coming and I don't even want to go for a repeat blood test tomorrow - do I have to? My tears dried last night on my pillow and I resolved to cry no more.

I wrote this to a friend and I'm copying it here to remind myself next month:
"I would have to say that the thing I did wrong was to try to squash my hope, that made me more miserable and less happy than I could have been. I didn't want to be hopeful in a thwarted attempt to be less disappointed if it all went pear-shaped. That was very stressful and I felt completely miserable. In the end I did get hopeful and (surprisingly) I'm ok with the pear-shapedness of this BFN. I'm disappointed and I cried and I'm sad but I'm ok IYKWIM. So I would advise letting go as much as you can (and having BTDT I know how hard that is). Take deep breaths every time you start to think too much and distract yourself from the circular nature of the thought patterns that assail you as much as possible."

Hey! September-Pundelina ... Listen to yourself !!!

We're off to Fiji on August 29th. Back on September 5th. If I manage to not get a period between now and the 5th then I'll be doing a September antagonist cycle. Hooray for short protocols. If I get my period again before the 4th then I'll have to wait til October. And I'm ok with that.

Having secured an extension, I have realised I actually do need to write this damned review and research report. So I shall.

I cleaned maniacally yesterday, the desk is tidy, the house is neat as a pin. I'm good to go and go I shall.

Thank you for the cyber-hugz and love - I appreciate it more than you could guess.

Editing to add - I went for the blood test today (Friday) and the nurse said I most likely had an embryo that tried to implant. She thought that the HCG level of 10 wouldn't have been the Pregnyl because it should have been gone 4 or 5 days past the booster. She also said that was good news. Kind of. Oh, and my crying resolve was a fail. Wet pillow again last night but no nightmares.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009


No good pregnancy news here.

HCG = 10, progesterone = 38.6

Probably the residual pregnyl is the reason.

I have to do a repeat blood test on Friday to be sure.

On the upside the doc has agreed to do an antagonist protocol next time round so that should get more eggs to play with.

edited title: Pregnyl, BFP, testing early, HPT = foolish, apparently it was a chemical pregnancy.

6 days past booster today.

Could it be? I'm not sure really and so I'm both worried and excited all at once.

They all seem really faint and there doesn't seem to be much of a progression since Sunday - so maybe I am just stuck with residual Pregnyl and it's showing up on the tests. They're First Response and that's supposed to be sensitive.

But there is a bit of a 'getting darker' trend, isn't there?Off for a beta soon.

Eeeek. I've never had any positive tests to fool around ummming and ahhhing over before. They have always been clearly negative. It's nice to have some hope.

Monday, August 3, 2009

11dp2dt - another FP

Geez I really am daft sometimes. I have been counting the days wrong (I think).

I had my EPU on Tuesday 24th July, ET was on Thursday 26th July and I was either counting the transfer day as a day or I was counting egg pickup day as a day - I'm not sure which. Either way I'm not supposed to count one of them so really I am 11 days past a 2 day embryo transfer today. I think. If I hadn't had IVF I'd be 13DPO. So it works. Doesn't it? Anyway, I changed all the titles to reflect my realisation.

Anyway, onto the news. Today I'm 120 hours past the last booster. I did another test completely expecting to see one lonely test line and a lot of bright white space. But instead I saw another faint positive. Talk about getting a girl's hopes up. I usually have a 14 day luteal phase which puts me expecting spotting tomorrow (or today) and bleeding by Wednesday.

Paintshop Pro and I think that today's line is darker than yesterday's. Both in real colour and in negative. But who knows because I am attempting to spot tiny colour differences.

Dr Google and I have decided that my line today is more hopeful than my line yesterday and that I ought not worry about the darkness of the colour as the test isn't quantitative. I wish I could find out how much one's blood HCG level is immediately after having 1500iu subcutaneous HCG and then how fast it leaves the body if one weighs 130 pounds and has quite a fast metabolism. Dr Google, you have really let me down this week with your lack of answers.

Beta is tomorrow if I want to, or Thursday as recommended. I think I'll do it tomorrow and put myself out of this misery. The lines are probably false positives from the Pregnyl. As for stoopid progesterone symptoms, my nipples are still sore and I feel a tiny bit crampy.

Oh, and I got an extension for my Honours project. Thank fook. Because can you tell how distracted and unmotivated I am?

Sunday, August 2, 2009


Uh uh I don't think so.

I did another HPT expecting to see the Preg.nyl line blazing out like last Tuesday's. But it wasn't. And now I am fairly convinced that this attempt has failed. This line took a minute to appear and is faint, faint, faint. (My last 1500 iu booster was in the morning of the 29th July, does that make today 4 or 5 days past that?)

There are 3 possibilities (aren't there always):

A. It's the end of the Preg.nyl leaving my body and the faintness is indicating that I'm not pregnant 'cause if I was then the line would be darker. (Boooo, I don't like this option and it's the one I'm leaning towards the most.)
B. It's the end of the Preg.nyl leaving my body and the faintness is indicating that I'm in the very early stages of pregnancy and the amount of pregnancy induced HCG in my wee isn't enough to make the test any darker. (yay)
C. The Preg.nyl is all gone and that test is a true positive early pregnancy test. (yay-er)

I spent too long this morning searching the interwebz for answers (no satisfactory answers found), then I spent too long this morning bugging the eternally patient and supportive Big Guy. He says that I do not have enough information to come to an informed conclusion and so my 'hope level' ought not change.

I know he's right, but I think he's wrong and thus option A is correct, however I'm hoping for option B or C to be true.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Alice - 9dp2dt

You may wonder why I'm not more hopeful given that this is our first IVF cycle. It's just that I'm scared to be. I've read the journal articles, the blogs and a kazillion forum posts. So now I know how much can go wrong and how often a cycle doesn't work. I wonder if the TWW, indeed the whole IVF process, was easier before the internet? Hmmm.

We went to hospital yesterday and visited my sister-in-law and her new baby boy. Last September she decided that she'd like to get pregnant again and 6 weeks later she was. 8.5 months later we welcome Baby A.

Baby A is adorable and very, very small and holding him made my heart burst. I want to be holding our baby in 8.5 months time.

P.S. My nipples hurt. It's probably the progesterone my body's making, isn't it?

Thursday, July 30, 2009

My heart is a mosh-pit - 7dp2dt

And not a Spice-Girls mosh-pit full of excitement and crazy glee. No, my heart is a Rage Against the Machine mosh-pit full of familiar characters.

Hope is a small gal in leathers and gothic makeup, and she's squashed in the middle of the pit. Her feet are trampled on by Fear, she's winded by Anxiety and Nightmare is leering at her in a most awful way. She got separated from her BFFs, Courage and Strength, and she's far too close to Despair and Rage instead.

It's a mighty uncomfortable place, my heart. And my head's not helping. I saw the IVF counsellor yesterday and she suggested that I was 'thinking' too much and that all the knowledge in the world wasn't going to help me deal with any of this. Monica's post about plans and her counsellor's suggestion about the "why of her plan-making" was analogous to my counsellor scolding me for excessive research. Monica's plans supposedly help her cope - my 'knowledge' is supposed to help me.

Her counsellor said
"You make plans because they seem like something you can control, and they give you something to focus on besides grief and pain."

Mine said "You're researching everything and trying to find out all the information you can so you can focus on something besides your feelings".

So, I feel like a mosh-pit.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

What a dork - 5dp2dt

Yes, it's true I am a completely unashamed dork. A drongo, a ning-nong, a eejit.

Because, even though I know I had a Preg.nyl shot on Saturday. (That's 4 days ago.) And even though I know that the lovely second line would be all Preg.nyl's doing - I did a HPT (home pregnancy test) just to see what a positive one looks like.

Gee, it's pretty.

It's incredibly pretty and I really hope I get one of them properly next Tuesday. The TWW is killing me, I am a bit crampy and alternating between hope and despair.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Schrodinger's Zygotes

I started preg.nyl injections today. That there is a crapload of injecting work. I managed to hold both ampoules and one syringe in one hand while attaching the humungasaur draw-up needle to the syringe with the other hand and not dropping the opened ampoules. Cause I am dumb like that, I opened both ampoules before I had the syringe ready. Then I didn't trust their little glass bottoms to stay upright and I had to do the hand jive. Naturally the little plastic cover for the draw-up needle was jammed on so I had to get my teeth involved too. You get the picture?

Anyway, it's all done now and I am progesteroned-up 'til next Wednesday.

The whole "I am a zygote-incubator" thing is a weird feeling. I'm like the box and the zygotes are like Schrodinger's Cat. Simultaneously alive-and-potentially-implanting and dead-and-being-reabsorbed. I want the live cat at the end and the wait is driving me crazy already. I am neurotic so I only got a day's grace of hopefulness and calm before the "what ifs" set in. Can I please have either a crystal ball to see the future or a spiffy microscope to look inside myself and check on those little PundeGuys.

(Do go have a look at the linked wiki page - Schrodinger's description of the cat idea is quite funny.)

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Show and Tell - Two on board

It's Show and Tell time over at Stirrup Queens - go see what the others have got! Today I'm show-and-telling about my embryo transfer. The one that almost never happened a lot.

So we caught break number 3 and it went well today, the director of the centre was in control of the speculum and the wonderful doctor who did my retrieval (and was so kind to me while I was crying afterwards) did the transfer. I was delighted to see her and she said she'd rung the lab yesterday to find out what had happened and was so happy to find out that we had fertilised googies. What a beautiful woman she is - a fantastic bedside manner.

I popped my head into the adjoining lab to enquire about cell numbers and fragmentation and we had one A-grade 3-cell 0% fragmentation zygote and one C-grade 2-cell less than 30% fragged zygote. That there is a picture of a three-celled embryo just like ours ... but is not ours because I forgot to tell the Big Guy to be prepared to take a picture and we were both so dumbstruck we neither of us thought to pull out cameras. D'oh.

Both zygotes were transferred upon the recommendation of the director. He said I will most likely not get pregnant, certainly it was incredibly unlikely for it to result in twins but with an overall 20% chance of pregnancy. Beta on 6th August. Can I stand the next two weeks?

original.gif I am PUPO (pregnant until proven otherwise) and on the upswing of the hope ride! And praying we catch break number 4 - a BFP in early August.

(picture borrowed from EHD )

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Two embryos!!

Image via Wikipedia

Amazing - both eggs fertilised. We may actually make it to transfer!!!

Transfer is at 10am Thursday morning now. I'm praying that both those little zygotes make it through cleavage and that we have two lovely little blastomeres to transfer tomorrow.

I cried when the nurse told me that they had both fertilised. I've spent the most awful night and morning wondering what had happened and simultaneously convincing myself that we would get nothing to transfer and hoping that we'd have two fertilised.

Now I see why everyone says IVF runs you ragged. I am riding on an emotional see-saw.
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