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Obsession August 4, 2009

Posted by Natasha in Infertility.
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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?

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I made my husband stab me. July 26, 2009

Posted by Natasha in Infertility.
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See how mean I am!

I made him do my jab tonight. He was shaking so much, he made two extra tiny little holes in addition to the actual injection site.

Then proclaimed that he was going to be sick, and that he was never ever doing that again.

I think (hope!) that once the nausea passes, he will be quite proud of himself!

Self injecting July 26, 2009

Posted by Natasha in Infertility.
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Is totally over-rated.

I loaded up the Puregon pen, dialled it 50, swabbed, made DH come and look (because I’m mean like that), paused for about 5 seconds, saying “This is very strange”… then gently put it in, expectantly.

I couldn’t even feel it.

At all.

Pressed the button, expecting a sting.

Nothing. Not even the tiniest bit of pain. Squeezing my flab was more painful (and even then, not really).

Very, very strange.

Jab 3 tonight, back to the Vampire on Tuesday morning.

A title escapes me… July 24, 2009

Posted by Natasha in Infertility, Life.
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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!