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Why? August 23, 2009

Posted by Natasha in Infertility.
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At least, the version of this question that I can answer.

Not so much why, really as how. How did we get here?

The day after I met my husband, we were driving around Mount Dandenong together, and when this conversation took place, we were in Olinda, stopping at a little general store for Cascade Raspberry, and Peppermint Magnums. I remember the whole day with crystal clarity, a stunning afternoon, filled with Spring. It was the third of September, 2006.

This was the day that I knew that my path to having children would be more complicated than I had previously thought. (Because of course, we all think it will be like they tell us at school… Don’t look at boys, you will automatically fall pregnant! Ok, so I wasn’t really that naive)

This man, in whom I already knew I had found something very, very special, told me he would never be able to be a father. He explained to me that since he had been diagnosed with Klinefelters, almost 20 years ago, he had always been told that he would never be a father.

It takes a lot for someone to be so honest. This was not a conversation we were having months down the track, after getting to know each other well, after falling in love. This was day 2.

I still hold an enourmous amount of respect for my husband, for making sure I knew what I was getting myself into.

I said, never say never.

***

I read up everything I could on Klinefelters (Yes, I did actually go further than Wikipedia, but it gives a nice summary):

Klinefelter’s syndrome, 47, XXY or XXY syndrome is a condition in which males have an extra X sex chromosome. While females have an XX chromosomal makeup, and males an XY, affected individuals have at least two X chromosomes and at least one Y chromosome. Klinefelter’s syndrome is the most common sex chromosome disorder and the second most common condition caused by the presence of extra chromosomes. The condition exists in roughly 1 out of every 1000 males.

The principal effects are development of small testicles and reduced fertility. A variety of other physical and behavioral differences and problems are common, though severity varies and many boys and men with the condition have few detectable symptoms. Because of the extra chromosome, individuals with the condition are usually referred to as “XXY Males”, or “47, XXY Males”.

We stopped using birth control after a couple of months. I was hopeful.

In late 2007, some time after I had first cried at a negative HPT that I was so sure would be positive, I went with my soon-to-be fiance to visit his endocrinologist. He was due to have his 6-monthly testosterone implant. It was at this appointment that we first sought current medical advice about our infertility.

His doctor told us that there had been some advances in IVF, and that ICSI had been used with some success in Klinefelters patients. She referred us to Monash IVF.

It took us almost a year before we were ready to make that appointment. I kept hoping.

When we spoke to this doctor, things became much clearer. The endo was perhaps a little too optimistic about our odds. In patients who have undergone long term testosterone therapy, the natural testosterone production is suppressed, and the body basically loses the ability to produce any sperm at all. We had less than 1 in 1 billion chance of conceiving naturally. There was a procedure that could be used with ICSI, but it involved removing up to half of the teste, and searching, blindly, for immature sperm. In a patient such as Mr G, after 20 years of testosterone replacement, there would be less than 1 in a million chance of finding any.

We drove down to the beach that afternoon.

It was there that we decided to get a donor to help us become a family.

***

We had our wedding to plan, and while I had had all the initial screening tests, which had come up pretty much clear, and we had met with a fertility specialist who would focus more on me, we decided to put off the actual trying.

We faffed around with the ‘when’ originally it was to be July this year, then some time next year, then at some indefinite point. Then it came back to July.

And the rest of the story is in the archives.

3dpIUI – aka WTF are these “Symptoms”?!? August 10, 2009

Posted by Natasha in Infertility, Latest Obesssions, News and Drivel.
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First a TMI alert.

  • Woke this morning, feeling quite nauseous. Sprayed myself with perfume, felt sick again
  • Digestively Eugh.
  • Still have very sore **s.
  • Came to work, walked into the classroom, I have super-smell! Someone was drawing with a permanent marker, and it again, made me feel ill.
  • I am incredibly tired.
  • The achiness has mostly gone.

If these are real, then I welcome them with open arms. If not, I wish they would bugger off and stop messing with my head.

11 days until AF is due.

2dpIUI August 9, 2009

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Bullet-pointy tonight.

2 days into the TWW, I’m coping ok.

Oddly symptomatic though. Of course my symptoms are related to being hormonal, and post ovulation, rather than anything else at this stage, but I have very sore bb’s, nips especially. I have cramps throughout my lower half. I had shocking heart burn yesterday morning. Keeping in mind I didn’t end up having the trigger, I find these strange.

I’m still hopeful. I have decided that I am going to test some time after the 17th. Beta is on the 24th.

My laptop crapped itself on Thursday. I will find out tomorrow what the verdict is, but at this stage it is looking like a busted hard drive. I hope I don’t remember anything irreplaceable when I get it back.

We went for a drive down the peninsula today. Being back there, for the first time since our wedding day, was very, very difficult. I have realised how much I hate the situation we are in at the moment. It’s not working, and I miss being that close to the beach.

We will wait and see.

D-Day August 8, 2009

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I wasn’t really nervous yesterday morning. I knew that I had to go to work, and that that would take my mind off things.

Which it did, somewhat, but all I wanted to do was finish up for the week and get to where we needed to be.

Driving to pick up Mr G, I was caught in a torrential hail storm. I kept looking for signs…

At 12:34:56, it was the only time for 100 years that a date stamp would read 123456789. It was Zappy’s second birthday. This had to work. In the back of my mind, I think I was still worried that it would be cancelled.

Arriving at the clinic a few minutes early, We didn’t even have time to open a magazine before we were ushered into the little procedure room. I was instructed to get myself ready, while the nurse ran downstairs to collect the sample. Upon her return, she answered a few questions, then got ready to begin. Mr G. was by my side, holding my hand. He was torn between his curiosity, and simply not knowing what he should have been doing.

My concentration drifted, as it is wont to do at life changing moments, and I peered out between the drawn blinds, to the now brilliant sunshine, and the leafless branches of the trees. The magpies were choralling away, and my thoughts turned to the impending spring, and the potential for life inside those apparently barren stems. I kept looking for signs…

Go for Launch August 6, 2009

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All clear on the ultrasound, lead follie @ 18mm.
LH indicates spontaneous ovulation, so I don’t need to trigger.

IUI scheduled for 2:30 tomorrow. 07/08/09.

Lets hope its auspicious.

Here we go!

Waiting August 5, 2009

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I’m sure that others have written more, and more eloquently about the waiting aspect of an ART cycle.

But god it sucks.

I have waited for an initial consult, waited to be financially and mentally ready to start a cycle, waited for another appointment, waited for screening results, waited for nurse appointments, waited for blood test results, waited for ultrasound results, waited for my levels to rise appropriately, waited for the next pregnancy announcement to pull the rug out from underneath me again…

Right now I am waiting for tomorrow morning, when I will have the tests that confirm one of 4 things.

1. (Least desirable) – I have already ovulated. Cycle Cancelled

2. (Actually, just as undesirable) – I have overstimulated. Cycle Cancelled.

4. (Ok, but frustrating nonetheless) – not quite ready, keep stimming.

3. (Please!!) Ready to trigger.

I’ll let you know this time tomorrow.

I am sitting here with heavy ovaries (interesting to now be aware that *that* is what that feeling is. I’m terrified.

I feel like I’m caught in an IF no-man’s land. I knew the first time I slept with my DH, that there was no chance that it would ever lead to a pregnancy. I knew then that we were infertile.

I still hoped.

This August marks two years since I first cried at a negative HPT.

One year since I was so, so sure that ‘this one’ would be positive.

If number 4 eventuates, IUI will be Saturday morning. That takes the TWW out to the 22nd.

I’d really like a reason to like August.

A title escapes me… July 24, 2009

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In the second week of the holidays, we had our first counselling appointment for our fertility treatment. Weirdly, this didnt bother me. Ordinarily, I have no time for psychologists, and perhaps this was pretty obvious, because she hardly bothered to ask me any questions.

She suggested while we were speaking with her that it would be a good idea to attend the donor gametes seminar at the Hospital the following evening. Obligingly, we agreed.

The seminar was relatively interesting – but honestly, I am surprised at how boring I find the process. I know what to expect, I know what is involved, We have made our decisions, and just want to get on with it. The speakers at the seminar were of varying quality – the first man, the husband of an egg recipient, was very moving in his words, and quite inspiring. The second, a mother of twins also produced by donor eggs, was abrasive, negative, and divisive.

“Would I do it again? No.”

Easily said by someone who has two beautiful babies. She was so anti-the whole process that my sympathy actually went out to the third speaker, an egg donor herself, who got up and told us all how easily having babies had been for her, and that was why she wanted to help out.

Overall, our impression of the whole deal was that while very interesting, and raising some interesting ideas, it was almost irrelevant for us.

The following week, the first back at school (which… is going… Well! Kind of…) was our second counselling session, and the chance for us to choose our donor. This was ridiculously easy. There was a choice of about 20, we went to the tallest, and said done. From here on the entire process seems a little surreal. I had been wondering how we would decided on the ‘person’ who would provide the genetic material for our child. As it turns out, they provide you with so little information, it may as well be a random choice.

My greatest anger at that point was the requirement for Vic couples to undergo police checks and child protection checks prior to commencing fertility treatment (keep in mind that both of us already have working with children checks – I’m a registered teacher!!). The counsellor pointed out that it was because the government does not want to be seen to be providing funded fertility treatment to criminals… which, i can understand, but sheesh… what about providing public hospital beds to bogan mothers when they have their 5th baby, when they have a history of drug abuse and child harming? How is this any less wrong?

Our specialist appointment was scheduled for the following day, and we had organised the logistics carefully. Upon arriving just after 4, and announcing our arrival, we were informed that our Doctor does not see patients at that clinic on Thursdays, that he sees them only in the city! We rang the city office to confirm, and yes, the receptionist had booked us in at the wrong place, and we were now going to miss that appointment.

I was disproportionately angry, and I still couldn’t tell you why. I *think* it is because I had visions of this putting us back months. When you’re ready, you’re ready, and I wanted to have a plan! We made the next available appointment (for yesterday) in the city.

Getting into the city by 9:15 was always going to be a challenge, but we made it, and found parking, with about 5 minutes to spare. We met with the doctor, and informed him firstly that we were going to do IUI rather than IVF, and that I was on CD1.

Well, this is where the rollercoaster started! Suddenly, he was on the phone, organising a rush-appointment with the nurse, blood tests, paperwork, rush, rush rush! He did manage to inform me that I am tending towards PCOS, which is truly unsurprising.  5 minutes and $90 later, we were heading up to Vampire nurse.

We had our activation interview, and were advised to take home the DVD teaching me how to do my injectables – I had thought I would be doing a non-stim cycle, but it turns out that they always start out IUI with a low dose of Puregon to ensure ovulation.

I was pleasantly surprised when she put the needle in for my blood test, but as she was taking it out, I have no idea what she did, but it was incredibly painful! Within 5 minutes, it was obvious that I was going to have a very colourful (and paimful!) souvenir of my visit.

We managed to get an appointment at our regular clinic to meet with the nurse today, to collect our drugs. I’ve never done anything so seedy, handing over that much cash, and being given a bag full of drugs and syringes!

So now, we’re ready to go. I’ve practiced jabbing the little rubber thingy, and will give myself my first injection tonight.

Let the games begin!