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Obstetrician Appointment

This week has seen my return to work. I have been busily preparing for the new school year, ready for some eager brand new little Preppies to arrive on Tuesday. While I did not physically move any furniture (I got a Teacher Aide to do this for me), I have been more active than usual. Most nights, I would be exhausted with my muscles and back cramping lots. Its probably no coincidence, that on Thursday, my spotting increased once more. The result of doing too much work, or perhaps something was wrong with my two strong babies. I did not know. At last, I had had enough, and booked an appointment with my GP on Friday morning in the hopes of seeing an Obstetrician that day and getting some answers.

My GP thankfully agreed with me, and gave me the referral to an Obsetrician in Bundaberg, and when I rang and explained my situation with the spotting, they were more than willing to fit me in straight away even though they were completely booked out. We had heard from my GP that the Obsetrician I was to see is very good, but his wife, who runs the admin side of the practice is much to be desired, and she was absolutely right! I am not entirely sure whether I will keep seeing this Obsetrician, but I am glad I was able to see him given my situation and provide me with some answers.

He re-scanned me, and once again, both babies are healthy and growing ahead of their gestational age. On Friday I was 8 weeks exactly, baby A measured 8 weeks 3 days, and baby B measured 8 weeks 4 days. Their heartbeats were now 171bpm, a huge increase from our last scan back at 5w 3d when they were only 114 and 115 bpm. The Obstetrician assured me that both babies were healthy, and he also found the source of my spotting, there is a gap in my cervix which indicates a possible tear. It measures 0.7mm. He said the only thing to fix it is to go on complete bed rest and be reassesseed in 2 weeks, to see if it has healed. He said it is fortunate it is not affecting the preganncy. I got a doctors certificate, so now I will no longer be able to start school with my new Prep class. I feel terrible as it is these kids first day of school and they should be starting it with the teacher they will have for the rest of the year (well half the year, given I will need maternity leave!). But at the same time, I know it is completely for the best, as I need to heal and there is no way I could do that if I was working. I also don’t want anything to jeoporadise the twins and having a healthy pregnancy with 2 babies in my arms at the end! I am happy to finally have some answers, but am a little upset with how I was treated.

The Obstetrician made me feel guilty for being so anxious, even after I had told him of our history of miscarriages and the 5 rounds of¬† IVF we have done. You would think he would have some compassion, but basically told me to snap out of it. His wife was much to be desired also. She filled out a request for me to have more procedural bloods done, and I told her I had already had some of the tests done already through my fertility clinic, and lets just say she was not very friendly or willing to hear it. So I had to just give in and have all the bloods done again. While I appreciate the Obsetricians expertise in being able to find my problem, I just don’t know if he will be the right one. I’d love to use him, as it would be a little closer to home rather than sourcing one in Brisbane and having travel copious distances again like we did with our IVF treatment, however, I know I need to be comfortable, confident and have compelete trust in my Obsetrician. I am booked in for another appointment with him in 2 weeks time to see if my issue has healed. So I have between now and then to decide whether to use him or someone else. I know I want the best care given that we live in a regional area and don’t have access to high quality medical care, and given that I have already faced so much limbo already. So it may very well be back to the drawing board. I still can’t believe we have come this far, and got to the point of deciding on an Obsetrician, I thought this was a day that would never come!

Look how much the babies have grown!!!

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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. ūüôā 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.

My body is useless

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As we gear up for another fresh cycle of IVF next month, I can’t help but feel a feeling of uselessness.

You see, today is the second time I have had a wee 6 year old who I teach, excitedly announce a pregnancy.

The first time, it was a delightful, little boy announcing his Mum’s third pregnancy, and the second which occurred today was a sweet innocent little girl announcing her Aunty’s second pregnancy.

That was all good, I could easily deal with the announcements. I feel excitement and happiness for others every time I hear about a little miracle being nurtured, growing and being loved.

But man, I’m ashamed of the jealousy I feel, and for placing such disregard on my inefficient body. The latest announcement is from a woman who is successfully pregnant after having one tube removed from a previous ectopic pregnancy. Sure… some may call this jealously, and yes I guess I am jealous. Jealous that my reproductive organs which are still completely in tact and functioning correctly, still cannot bless my body with a beautiful pregnancy, some 2 years+ later.

I feel useless. Maybe someday my body will play the game and do its thing. Or maybe it won’t and I’ll be a cat lady forever.

Things to NOT say to someone who is Fertility Challenged

Banging Head Against A Brick WallSo today I went to have bloods done once again, something which many who travel the infertility rollercoaster with me know that it is noting out of the ordinary.

And what words should come out of the woman’s mouth who was¬†administering the blood test?

“Have you ever had a¬†blood test before?”

Like come on! I know the woman had no idea why I was getting the blood test and that it was for fertility reasons, but I felt like banging my head against a brick wall when she said it! If she looked hard enough, she would have noticed the two bruises on the SAME arm, from my blood tests on Friday and Saturday. 3 blood tests in 4 days!

What silly things have you ever had said to you that have left you feeling frustrated apart from the usual things like “just relax” or “stop thinking about it and it’ll happen”?

On another note, I won’t get my results until tomorrow, but I am hoping that I have ovulated, which will lock in the definite day for our FET this week.

3 in 1

20140609-214112-78072002.jpgThis week has been the kind of week I despise. A week full of emotions. As we gear up to start the ball rolling for our FET in the coming weeks and face the excitement of another possibility for our dream to come true, BAM it hits me in the face, crushing my heart. Yes, that’s right. In the space of 1 week, this has happened 3 times!! In 1 week I have witnessed 3 pregnancy announcements on Facebook.

I guess you could call it jealously. Yes I am jealous I am not the one announcing a pregnancy. We have never got to announce any of our pregnancies to the world. And yes, I am jealous I am not the one that can be naive about and enjoy being pregnant. I am jealous I do not get to experience that feeling of pure, utter joy. I do remember that feeling, but each time it’s been stripped from us. How lucky these women are and I am genuinely happy they get such a beautiful experience, but when will it ever be my turn?

The 3 in 1 couldn’t come at a better time. As I face yet another fertility treatment, others slap me in the face with this stark reminder. The stark reminder that it isn’t that easy for us, the stark reminder that we are still empty handed after 2 years, and the stark reminder that the upcoming treatment may not be successful and we may continue to have empty hearts and arms.

I really hope and pray to God that this time will be the one, because to be honest, I don’t know how many more times I can be exposed to the 3 in 1. I should really be an expert at this by now, but each time it hurts just as much. Sometimes I just wish I could wrap myself up in bubble wrap or hide under a rock away from the world.

Please God, be the one.

Pregnancy is not a Joke

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Pregnancy, what a sacred, special time. How I wish I could experience that magical blessing. Unfortunately, I am infuriated by those who must use Facebook as an avenue to treat it like a joke, and post implying posts on Facebook to make people gossip and “think” that they are pregnant, whether it be true or not. To the person who posted it, ever thought how much that stabs a hole in the infertile woman’s heart? Why must you joke about something so special, that I can only dream about?

Yes I am having a bad day, how I would¬†like this person to know¬†just how much they have upset me. But what good would that do? People just fail to understand how their thoughts, actions and words hurt others. What do they understand about the infertile woman’s feelings when they haven’t walked this tumultuous path? How I wish life could be different, and I didn’t have to be faced with shit like this everyday. Not only on Facebook, but also with people in general. For example, not even being able to walk down the street to get lunch without being asked how the baby making is going. ¬†There’s no escaping the pain of infertility. The questions. The hurtful comments.¬†The insensitivities. The inconsideration. ¬†Maybe a break from Facebook is needed again, but then I don’t get the support of the people who really care- who are few and¬†far between and as a matter of fact,¬†are mostly¬†women I have never met!¬†I wish I could have a break from life in general. So … over …. it ….. all …..

A Ray of Sunshine and Hope at Currimundi

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The Beach…. Possibly my most favourite place to relax and unwind. No sorry… I lie. It IS my most favourite place to relax and unwind! There is nothing like the sound of the waves crashing, and the glorious warmth of the sunshine soaking your body with happiness and warmth. We have been enjoying some time at the beach since Monday and will spend the rest of the week here. Muchly needed after another hectic term at work. We decided a beach getaway was needed after our second miscarriage and second unsuccessful IVF cycle. Time to unwind, time to refocus, time together.

Today the sun was certainly shining on us and brought us some hope! Our follow up appointment today with our FS brought some positive news! After transferring our last embryo in our¬†second fresh¬†IVF¬†cycle, we had been told from the scientists¬†that none of the other five embryos were healthy enough to freeze and thus would be allowed to succumb. So here we were sitting at our FS’s desk discussing what went wrong with the last cycle, and he hits us up. “So where are you in your cycle at the moment? Would you like to do a frozen cycle?” Dumbfounded, I felt like jumping across the desk and¬†punching him in the face. Like come on…¬† read our chart properly. What are you talking about?¬†We have none frozen! Little to our knowledge, we did! His paperwork from the scientists state that we currently have one little embryo on ice! What a miracle in itself! How on earth does this happen? So we were faced with the question whether we’d like to do a frozen cycle this cycle given that my periods also started today!

As much as I wanted to¬†ecstatically say YES, unfortunately, we have decided to wait a little longer. A visit to my acupuncturist today has revealed that as a result of the lethal mix of the miscarriage and IVF drugs, by hormones and cycle is very disturbed at the moment. I need to focus on warming my blood in order for my body to be able to hold a successful pregnancy. My acupuncturist was worried that if I was to do a FET soon, it would all be a waste. So we have decided to take her advice on board and wait a few more months before we do the FET. What’s another few months in the scheme of things anyway? We were anticipating and had already planned to wait until September to do a brand new fresh cycle, so waiting until June to do a FET will be easy! I can do that! So¬†I will¬†pump my body full of Chinese herbs in the hope of rectifying my problems before the FET in June. Bring it on! I am so grateful for this additional opportunity. I feel like this is a little sign. Our embryo is a miracle in itself, lets hope it brings a miracle pregnancy!

Another high on the rollercoaster ride of infertility! I much prefer it up here than being down low though!