Monthly Archives: September 2014

You Can Always Count On Furbabies

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The last few days I have been feeling crappy. Down in the dumps. I literally don’t know how to feel anymore. One part of me wants to be positive to get back on the horse and try again, the other part of me has had enough and feels like giving up. I guess it doesn’t help that my periods have arrived and are another reminder of an unsuccessful cycle.

One thing I do know, is that in times like this, you can always rely on your fur babies to temporarily make you feel better. I love this little girl so much.

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Failure after Failure

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Today I had bloods taken for my Beta HCG test. Yet another needle, but the last for a while. IVF stimulated cycle #3, IVF transfer # 3 has resulted in yet another FAILURE.

The nurse at my clinic was most sympathetic when I made the call. I know that by now, we should have achieved some success. I could tell by her voice. And it sure is disappointing. The huge commitments we make to travel some 800km every second day during treatment to have a scan and live away from home for a week while having egg pick up and transfer don’t make it any easier. Not to mention the financial commitments. And now it’s all down the gurgler, we’ll have to do it all again…

I felt okay and had accepted that it would be a negative cycle, right up until I had to make the phone call and hear those dreaded results officially- “negative”. Now I just feel down on myself. I’m analysing everything. Is there something else wrong with me for this to not work?

Anyway, no time to be depressed or grieve another loss, I have an appointment to see my specialist again next Thursday, and I hope he will be prepared to give us further answers and some new ideas. After all, we’ve given him tens of thousands of our hard earnt dollars to sit in his back pocket, so I just hope he has a grand plan for next time up his sleeve.

We’ll probably try to do one more cycle before the end of this year, as clearly we can’t waste anymore time stuffing around, but after that, I don’t know how much longer we can keep doing it for. There has to be an end.

If Having a Baby was Easy…

As many of you would know, I am midway through the horrendous two-week wait period, as a result of our third IVF transfer, and 4th IVF attempt. We await a blood test on Friday to confirm whether it has been successful or not. And in an instant, our hopes and dreams will be stripped from us again.

I must say, it has been the worst 2 weeks of my life. I have spent the two weeks feeling an emotional mess. Most days I find it hard to face life in general.  I guess that’s what happens when you spend it at home, resting, with too much thinking time. Time to think about the what if’s. Being a Mummy, and how that will actually feel. And the thinking time to comprehend the “What next?” when this one doesn’t work. It terrifies me. I am scared. I have never been this scared in my life.

I know deep down in my heart that we are out this time. In fact I KNOW this one has been unsuccessful. Testing out the Pregnyl makes it pretty certain. There will be no surprises. There was never really much hope from the beginning with our poorly graded embryos. It has been a failure cycle from word go, even though I tried to make everything right. Taking long service leave at the right time, to assist with all our travelling to appointments and reduce my work related stress levels was meant to result in a positive outcome, but I know all the plans will fall through, and again we will be left empty, with no baby in my womb.

This is the terrifying part. The “What next”. I have done lots of thinking and I just don’t know what will be next. By 4 cycles, one would think a couple our age would have some success by now. I know as a result of this cycle, that it is apparent that I have crap egg quality. But what more can I do? We have tried everything. All the supplements possible from my Acupuncturist and Naturopath. It’s been over 2 years of trying, and almost 2 years of trying every natural therapy on top of my fertility treatment. It’s starting to hurt the pocket and the mind. What do we do next? I am all out of ideas. I did the sensible thing and even took long service leave this time to allow by body to rest and aid in implantation and look where that got me. There’s nothing more that I can possibly think of to help. I just hope my fertility specialist has some ideas when we see him for a post failed cycle appointment. I am absolutely terrified that he will suggest using donor eggs. I know it is a feasible option, and for some couples, results in them getting their beautiful baby. But man. I would still like to think that my 29 year old eggs aren’t that bad yet. I just want my own biological children.

I am having trouble coping, and wonder if I am ever meant to be a Mum. How much longer can I keep doing this intense drug regime for? My body is suffering. I am only just starting to come back to life again after the transfer, as a result of having a mild case of ovarian hyper stimulation syndrome- AGAIN. OHSS is usually a result of overstimulation of the ovaries, and usually women with a high number of follicles suffer it, but obviously the 7 eggs that we got was a hard slog for my poor ovaries and they were trying to tell me they’ve had enough by giving me the OHSS. How much longer do I keep flogging my ovaries for? Do we take a break for a while in the hope that my poor egg count won’t deplete any further? Do we give up on our dream now? before we are literally broke of so many things?  So many questions I wish I knew the answers to. So many decisions to make.

For now, I will continue wishing I was a cool kid, coz then I’d be fertile and having a baby would be easy.

Do You Believe in Rainbows?

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This time yesterday, I was inspired to write this blog post motivated by rainbows and how they are “miracle-like”. I’ve never been one to really believe in miracles or that good things come to those who wait. This trying to conceive journey has greatly blown this theory out of the water especially after more than 2 years of trying, countless failed natural attempts, 3 failed IVF cycles and 2 miscarriages. I don’t call that a miracle or a good thing by any means. If good things come to those who wait and who are patient, I would be pregnant 100 times over by now. But somehow, the events of the last few days, have allowed my mind to wander and think that perhaps this IVF cycle will be “the one”, a miracle will be gifted, for once God will answer our long awaited prayers, and good things WILL come to us. I just had that “good” feeling. I’ve been told before from a psychic that I have psychic abilities and that I just need to tap into them. I did have the intuition of our very fist pregnancy eventuating too. So maybe for once I am right. Maybe a rainbow would come to us this time.

In simple “scientific” terms, rainbows are produced by a collection of colours reflecting from a raindrop and requires two things, light and raindrops.

In simple “trying to conceive” terms, rainbow babies are a baby that is born following a miscarriage or still birth. In the real world, a beautiful and bright rainbow follows a storm and gives hope of things getting better. The rainbow is more appreciated having just experienced the storm in comparison. The storm (pregnancy loss) has already happened and nothing can change that experience. Storm-clouds might still be overhead as the family continue to cope with the loss, but something colourful and bright has emerged from the darkness and misery.

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In our case, the dreadful storm is still lingering, the two horrendous miscarriages we have endured, toppled with the pain, heartache and helplessness of infertility. Over the events of the last year and constant failures, I have lost all hope and stopped believing that a rainbow would ever come our way. But yesterday, something happened. I believed again. I started to believe that a rainbow WOULD come our way.

You see, on Friday, we did get to transfer not only one, but two of our beautiful embryos, as a result of our 4th IVF attempt. Two beautiful embryos who I already love so much, and hope will become a beautiful baby or babies to hold in our arms and love. In scientific terms, the embryos were both POOR quality. Both Grade D. Which at my clinic, is second from the bottom. They are fragmented, which means they have less chance of implanting in my supple uterus. I hate that my beautiful babies are graded like that and judged in a way to degrade them. Which is why we were recommended to transfer the two. The chance of a multiple pregnancy would be a mere 5%. I would be just so grateful to even have one embryo implant and become our muchly wanted take home baby. We had one leftover embryo which was also graded as a D, and we were told that on its current state, it is no good to freeze and would be left to grow out to blastocyst stage, but would most likely die overnight. Call back on Monday.

This news left me feeling depressed. The whole cycle had been a waste of time. My body had produced “junk”. My eggs are crap. My AMH must be getting lower. My time is running out. I will need to use donor eggs. I will. Ever have my own biological children. This transfer won’t work. They can’t even freeze them. What hope do the two embies inside me have? These were all the thoughts that ran through my mind.

I have spent the last few days in an anxious mess, reading every google site I could about other women and their POOR grade embryos that have SUCCESSFULLY implanted, in the hopes of lifting my spirits and regaining my hope. I read so many pages with women just like me that had been given the disappointing news that their embryos too are fragmented and have gone on to achieve pregnancies, and also the opposite, women who had transferred top notch embryos every time, and still not achieved success. This helped to lift my spirits, and I spent the whole weekend praying for a miracle that our leftover embryo would grow nice and strong and gift us that miracle we needed so desperately by this stage. You see, I was also terrified, the kind of terrified you feel when you hear a noise outside your window on a dark, quiet night, about what would come next. If this cycle is not the one, what will we do next? We have no back up plan planned whatsoever at this stage, and it scares the crap out of me. Every other time, we have always had a back up plan to fall onto, but this time, we had nothing. I was hoping the leftover embryo would fix this problem, and bear good news for us.

You would never believe the ELATION I felt when I rang up on Monday morning to hear that our little leftover embryo DID in fact make it to blastocyst stage and from what the scientist indicated, had improved in quality. It was now a C grade embryo!!! It was the kind of elation where I felt like jumping up and down on the spot and squealing! It would be left to grow out one more day, and then frozen after that, and I had to call back the next morning to confirm. Not only had our embryo survived when it was given a death prognosis, it had also improved in quality!!! This gave me so much hope that a rainbow was coming our way at long last! Surely the two inside me are doing the same thing, if the leftover embryo performed this way in the laboratory! It made me believe in miracles and have faith. I felt the best I have in a long time about all this mess. I began to ponder what it would feel like to feel pregnant again, daydreamed about baby names, due-dates, obstetricians, ultrasounds. Such beautiful thoughts. And also the scary thoughts, like another miscarriage.

But it was all short lived. This morning when I phoned to confirm that our embryo was frozen, I was dealt with the massive blow. That NO, unfortunately our embryo CANNOT be frozen, it is of too poor quality too freeze. A C/D grading which means it cannot be frozen. Too much fragmentation. I felt devastated. My heart sunk to the floor. I went to bed and cried. Like a baby. I felt heartbroken. How dare someone say our little baby is not good enough. So now we are robbed of another opportunity, and we will be back at square one if this transfer does not work, with no future plan in place. We can’t lean back on any frozen embryos, because we have NONE. And we just can’t do IVF whenever we please or feel like it, because it costs money, money doesn’t grow on trees, and our clinic is 4 hrs away, which means it needs to be scheduled in with work when we do decide. My doctor also takes a month break over Christmas. Next year seems an eternity away. And with my shocking egg count, I am terrified that every month counts, when I have been given the prognosis of 5 years until I reach menopause. And most disturbing of all, our embryo is still growing and doing all the things it should be doing, what will they do with it? How dare they just destroy my baby because it is not good enough……. 😥

So now, my hope, elation, belief in miracles and rainbows has once again been stripped from me. I did enjoy it while I had the chance. The rest of this two week wait will be hard, and I still have so long to go. I wish I hadn’t have taken long service leave to do this cycle now, as right now I could really do with the distractions of work. So once again, I have proven that IVF is a rollercoaster ride. See my previous post if you missed it. So sick of all the highs and lows, it is just severely draining on all levels. 10 more days to go of this crappy two week wait.

Riding the Rollercoaster Again

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Yesterday we were at the top of the roller coaster, on a big high, anticipating today’s egg pick up, for our third global cycle.

Today, the day of egg pick up, we are at the bottom of the roller coaster, in the biggest dip, plagued with mixed emotions. We got 7 eggs, which is fantastic, especially in comparison to our first ever cycle where we landed a dismal 1. That’s 7 more chances than our first ever attempt. But it’s also 3 less chances than our second attempt where we got 10 eggs. So why, you may ask are we in the dip of the roller coaster ride when we got a decent egg number? Because we face the anxious wait…. To hear if they fertilise. It all depends on that news. We can either continue on to transfer stage and maybe get pregnant, or this cycle may be cancelled too if fertilisation isn’t successful or the embryos don’t continue to grow, a feeling we know all too well, ripping our hopes, dreams and opportunities away once again, until we can fund another cycle in who knows how long. Thus withholding our chances of becoming pregnant for even longer. This time we are also faced with the challenge of waiting to a day 5 transfer. Something we haven’t yet achieved. Our embryos only made it to day 3 last time, and we transferred and froze one of each at day 3.

The feeling of anxiousness and helplessness is unexplainable. I just wish there was something we could do to further assist our embryos and better our chances. But we have done all we can now. Fingers crossed the dietary commitments and changes and vile herbs and supplement regime we have undertaken for the last 8 months will help us considerably. So let’s hope our fate is positive, please god watch over our embryos and bring us at least 1 to transfer. That’s all I ask. I hate this roller coaster ride with a capital H.

Family Blues

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IVF and family.. Two words I have discovered the hard way do not go hand in hand.

Throughout my IVF journey so far, I have felt isolated and somewhat an outcast from both my family and Troy’s family. The infertile ones. The one’s incapable of providing
Grandchildren. The unhappy ones.

I know in reality they don’t know how to deal with us, what to say or what to do.

This week we have worked full days of work (usually 11 hour days), driven 4 hours at night time for doctors appointments early the next morning (Tuesday night and again tonight), then driven back home the next day, and returned to work the following day, while still dealing with daily household chores. We feel exhausted, shattered and lifeless to say the least. It would be nice at the end of the day to have someone stop and ask how our appointments went, check that we are okay, and just be that smiling face at the end of the road. It would be even greater to have someone help us out just a little. I’ve been feeling cruddy from the drugs and literally feel like my body is about to collapse. The last few days of work have been the hardest days of my life, making myself push on, when I just want to collapse to the ground like a heavy bag of bricks. Am happy to say though, I am now on 4 weeks holidays as of today. 🙂 I am looking forward to plenty of time at home, once our treatment finishes, to hopefully nurture a little embryo, and be that stay at home wife, cook meals, clean, all the stuff wives are made of! And maybe, just maybe be a Mum.

IVF is described in an article by The American Society for Reproductive Medicine as “More stressful than or almost as stressful as any other major life event, such as the death of a family member or separation or divorce”. And I would have to say I strongly agree. My argument is, if you have just been through a traumatic experience such as a divorce, would your family be there for you? I think the answer would be yes. If you were devastated with the immense trauma of a death or loss of a loved one, would your family be there to support and hold you? I think once again the answer would be a strong yes. Then why on earth is it so difficult for family to not be there to support us through the trauma of infertility and IVF? It is traumatic, it is a loss just as great as death. So why can’t family support us through this challenge too? Why can’t the people we love, the people with our same blood and genetics be our support lifeline?

I know I am not the only one who feels this way. Speaking with my good friend who has now endured far too many rounds of IVF, she feels isolated and secluded by her family too. No one acknowledges or asks how we are going, what our plans are. Instead we get ignorance. Are your family the same?

Last weekend we attended Troy’s Uncle’s 50th birthday. It was one of the worst experiences of my life, causing much emotion and hurt for the both of us. Troy’s brother and sister in law who had their baby around the same time as we were due with our first angel baby were there with their baby. It was the first family occasion where we have faced each other since they were nasty after our miscarriage. We had to sit at their table with Troy’s Mum and Dad and sister. His brother and sister in law said not one word to us the whole night. Instead, everyone was fussing over their baby. Fair enough, he’s cute. But the ignorance hurt. Troy’s father was the only one to make an effort to talk to us. Everyone else was too busy. Troy’s sister didn’t even say hello to us all night, as she was far too busy playing Aunty. They all know we are on our next round of IVF too. I guess I feel sorry for us, it hurts having no support and being ignored. This whole process is incredibly draining emotionally. I often wonder how much easier it’d be if we just had some family to genuinely care, help us out and support us. But instead I am grateful to have strangers. I find the greatest support is given by people I don’t know personally like my fellow IVF warriors on this blog, and my good friend who travels this road with me. Without them, I don’t know where I’d be. Far better than any support I get from family.

I have learnt a huge life lesson, and mostly try to accept that we are doing this by ourselves and not rely on any compassion or support from family to be displayed throughout this ride. And we have become stronger as a result. We can do anything together.