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Ready and Waiting October 30, 2009

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I had my appointment with Lovely Nurse yesterday, and she truly is one of the nicest people I have ever met.

My IVF protocol is very different to the IUI one – heaps more drugs, lots more monitoring.

I get a lot of people landing here looking for drug regimes, so for interest’s sake, here is the protocol that I will be on:

  • Day 2 – start 150 units of Gonal-F
  • Day 6 – Scan continue Gonal-F. If follicle development is on track, start Orgalutran
  • Continue with daily (?) bloods and scans, continue daily Orgalutran, Continue daily Gonal-F
  • Trigger with Ovidrel 38 hours before EPU.
  • LP support – Crinone Gel

I’m stuck here waiting for AF to show so that I can get going. I don’t need to say again how much I DETEST the waiting game!! I’m at about CD 33, so it should be some time soon… Hopefully over the weekend!

Nervous October 26, 2009

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Before I’ve even started.

I had an awful dream last night that I was going for an ultrasound, in which I think I was expecting to see my babies heart beat, and there was nothing there.

I had to consciously make myself realise as I awoke in dread that we hadn’t even started yet!

I’m trying to find out everything I can. That obsessive streak is so well suited to all of this ART stuff. I want to go into this informed, prepared, and ready to ask questions.

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.


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)

Things to think about September 22, 2009

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Well firstly, I still thought it was yesterday, and almost didn’t post…

I rang Monash today. We’re pushing towards our next step being IVF/ICSI. Apparently they have just introduced a new billing system in which they will place a freeze on your credit card for the rebated costs, and will just charge you the out of pocket expenses. Lovely Nurse didn’t know a lot about it, and is having someone ring me in the next couple of days.

I asked about deadlines for treatment this year. Apparently if I have a down-reg cycle (that’s the one with the pill right?), the latest I can be on the pill is November 5th. If I have the other type (the name of which currently escapes me) then the latest I can start will be early December. This is good news.

Our out of pocket expenses are looking at being around the $2500 mark, with about $1100 for the actual IVF/ICSI, around $270 for the donor sperm, and around $1000 for the hospital fees. Potentially more if Synarel or Orgulatron (I think that’s what it’s called) is part of the protocol.Up front costs would be about $6000, so hopefully the new billing system has some good news for us, otherwise this isn’t happening this year.

There is still no news about the Senate debate over the changes to medicare. I can’t seem to find anything out, and Lovely Nurse knew nothing.

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.

Obsession August 4, 2009

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I am the type of person that deals with life better if I feel prepared. This is especially true if I am facing something difficult. I will research, study, read, Google (yes, I will even consult Dr. Google). I like to believe that this is healthy, and understandable.

I read a wide variety of blogs and forums, and I consider the knowledge I have gained to be beneficial. Although it does feed my tendency to expect the worst, I feel more prepared. In this crazy journey, where everything is taken out of my hands, it gives me some semblance of control.

So at what point does a little knowledge become a bad thing?

On Sunday afternoon, I had the strangest sensation somewhere in the vicinity of my ovaries. I have never experienced ovulation pain, so I can never really pinpoint whether I have ovulated or not. (Of course, the over informed side of me now has this niggling sense of doubt that maybe I’m *not* ovulating). This sensation felt like someone had implanted a mobile phone inside me, and was ringing me while it was set to vibrate. That’s right, my ovaries were vibrating. (And no, not in a good way!). When I got home from that party, I noticed other changes associated with ovulation. And then I started to wonder whether my horrible mood that day was really the result of being pumped up on Puregon, because really, I’m not on that high a dosage.

I was convinced that I had ovulated, and that this cycle, consequently was a bust. I googled, and read somewhere that spontaneous ovulation could occur once Oestrogen levels were at 150[whatever unit it was] for 24 hours. I read on a forum that someone had appeared to be non-responsive to the meds, but her AF had arrived. I also read that a lot of clinics were doing more ultrasounds than what I had had (my last was in November – I hadn’t had one this cycle!) On the back of my difficult afternoon, I was well and truly in the mumphs.

Thankfully I had the presence of mind to stop myself both from ringing my FS after hours, and from rushing out to the chemist to buy an OPK. I had an appointment at 7:10 the next morning for bloods.

I will segue at this point to say that my clinic are amazing. Every single staff member that I have been in contact with has been fantastic, the nurses are absolutely lovely, they are organised (a huge bonus, given what I am hearing about MIVF – their competitor – of late!), and they listen to my concerns.

When I rocked up for my appointment, I asked to speak to a nurse (its not the patient nurse who does bloods), I was able to. I told her that I thought I had ovulated, and asked whether it would be possible to have an US.

They didn’t bat an eyelid.

I was sent into the suite nextdoor, and got to experience the dildo-cam once again, operated by a tech who was very heavily pregnant. These pregnant women are everywhere, I tell you!

The results were fine. My day 12 ‘lead’ follicle measurements were, right ovary 11mm, left ovary 9mm. Which apparently doesn’t actually classify as a lead. My bloods were ok, and my dosage is to stay the same. Another test Wednesday morning. The vibrating ovaries were explained as a result of the hormone stimulation.

My obsession, (and I justify this to myself by saying that it helps me to know my body better, which can only be a good thing – right?) is that I plug these blood values (which I ask for, again, credit to my clinic, the nurse will tell me) into a spreadsheet. With a graph. Which has a trend-line.

I know the magical number is around 400. According to my little graph, that won’t happen until day 20-23. Which seems off to me. I’m terrified of over-stimulating, but what if I’m overcooking these eggies?