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Days are dragging, weeks are flying. November 15, 2009

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I read a few minutes ago that “we all get our happy endings, its just a matter of when”.

I have trouble believing this.

I’m not sure if I mentioned before, but I have great difficulty reconciling the fact that this might actually work. I don’t mean this in a negative way, just that I have trouble, cognitively, realising this. Then I hear about people who travel this path, and they try, and try, and try. They don’t get their happy ending.

I worry that we will be those people. I worry abut what will happen if it DOES work? Obviously, I tend to the obsessive side. Can you imagine how bad I will be if I do eventually get to obsess over a pregnancy?

It saddens me, that I will never get to experience that naivety in regards to TTC and pregnancy. I can never think in terms of when. I have to deal with if.

Mr G is struggling with his disconnection from the whole process. As we have discussed, the actual role of the father in the whole pregnancy thing, is tiny. But as he pointed out to me today, no matter how small, its still crucial. I don’t know what to say, how to ‘fix’ it.

If I had to describe the way I’m feeling at the moment, it’s impatient. I have grown a lot over the last few months, but I am still trying to move beyond the reality that I am a product of the 21st century, and I want everything now.

I want to be ok with the now.

Getting back on… October 22, 2009

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…the horse… the rollercoaster… it’s a choose-your-0wn-metaphor adventure!

We are good to go.

Antagonist cycle, starting as soon as AF arrives. I have never been so eager for this to happen!

I feel like our appointment this morning was a bit of a waste of time really. I have done *so much* reading about IVF, that he didn’t really tell me anything other than his opinion. He also completely failed to acknowledge Mr G, though he did successfully bamboozle him! We were in there for all of 5 minutes. Thank goodness we’re over the safety net now, because the appointment cost us all of $11 (rather than $90). I feel he doesn’t have a lot of faith in us succeeding. He spoke a little about the failed IUI, but wasn’t particularly sympathetic. He keeps talking about follow up appointments, and ‘going again’ in January. It is a good thing we got in when we did, because the story I was told about being able to start an antagonist cycle in December were folly. Really though, I just want to hear some optimism from him! Who knows, if it’s still an issue in the new year, we might look at seeing someone else.

The Safety Net Changes have gone through. I’m not 100% sure what they mean for us, but they have been revised. I think that we will be ok, because I believe that our clinic charges under the 6K cut-off at which the modifications start to apply. Prices of course, are going up. We have an Appointment with Lovely Nurse next Thursday, to sign over an amount of money that would fund a month long OS holiday, and collect a little baggie of drugs.

I’m well on the way to officially being Mrs G now, at least in the eyes of bureaucracy. We received our marriage certificate today, then made the trek to Vic Roads, where I applied for my new license. Nearly 7 months on… I’m getting there!

Ack! October 20, 2009

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Holy crap, a month just passed.

Sooo….

We moved, and the world was good again.

I went back to work, and it still sucked.

We got our shit together, finances-wise…. (Combination of tax returns, credit card debt, and a second job – mine)

And we’re doing IVF this month.

After narrowly securing a cancellation spot, we have an appointment with the RE on Thursday to determine protocol. I’m expecting a long cycle (I think the cool kids call it a down-reg?). I’m wondering whether I’ll be put on something to start AF (will be at about day 25/40) because to wait for it to arrive would take it out to about another 3 weeks.

I’m very, very afraid of getting hopeful again.

(But know that I simply will not be able to stop myself from calculating EDD’s before I’ve even cracked open the first canister of drugs)

Why? August 23, 2009

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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.

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…

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!

And we’ll be moving right along… July 6, 2009

Posted by Natasha in Infertility, Life, News and Drivel, The Daily Grind.
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The holidays finally rolled around, although they currently feel like a myth.

I have to spend an insane amount of time preparing for term 3. I have a new teaching partner, my previous one having jumped ship; and we’re doing an all-new program. The basic premise is to have every single lesson prepared and copied and ready to go on day one. Sounds simple enough, the problem though is that it requires 120 lessons to be pre-prepped. Madness.

Other “holiday” tasks have included some more spring cleaning – trying to sort out the barn, and get it back to some semblance of organisation. Car borrowing, trailer hire, tip trip, furniture moving in the rain, rushing to beat closing time at Bunnings.

A girly night in a hotel in the city for a birthday, a day cruising the countryside after an ill-timed trip to scienceworks, a day with the grandparents and the puppy wandering around Dockland… The first week of holidays disappeared quickly.

Today saw the start of the week dawn with me in an absolutely feral mood. I have no idea why, and had no ability to control it, but thankfully by the time we walked out of the counsellor’s office at the IVF clinic, it had dissipated. The counselling session felt somewhat like a token effort: rather trite. Still, its another hoop that we have to jump through.

Empty June 17, 2009

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I had a job interview today, and I was pretty confident that I would get it. It just seemed to fit so well with everything. I have been consoling myself through the past few weeks of misery at work with the fact that I won’t be there next term. With 8 school days of this term left, that is looking unlikely. Obviously the interview didn’t go brilliantly, because I didn’t get the job. This, oddly, for someone who has been in the workforce for 10 years, is a wholly new experience for me. I have never before today interviewed for a job I didn’t get.

Had to go back to Funkytown to clean some crumbs so that we could get our $1000 back. Yes, that is as ridiculous as it sounds. This was our first house, where we lived with our pets, where we got engaged and married. After mentally saying goodbye last time I was there, going back left me with an odd sense of disconnection.

While I was in Funkytown, I visited the Cattle Clinic to get some sort of advice about my knee. Saw Dr Dur0mine, who at first was convinced I was having knee pain because I’m “heavy” (yes, I quote). When he finally understood that it was more acute than that, he diagnosed a probable torn meniscus, and possible torn ligaments. Playing the waiting game.

Driving home, after finally shaking off the headache that had forced a freeway nap on the way down, I got to thinking about the dream I had woken from this morning. In it, my baby son was in a sling at my side.

I am feeling this ’emptiness’ with a lot more focus recently. Zappy and Mixy went some way to filling the void, but with them gone, I am noticing it much more. Having recently found out that our IUI/IVF plans need to be put off for even longer, the emptiness is becoming more painful.

It doesn’t feel right, having lived with my boyfriend –>partner –> fiance, gotten married, then moved in with his parents, then moving to a (part time) long distance relationship, then putting off starting IVF until we’re more stable, then facing work uncertainty on top of things. The very core of my being is reeling with the illogicality of it all.

I have only recently acknowledged my inner need to plan things, to have a goal, and directions. Right now, I’m jumping between a complex series of ruts.