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Distance September 10, 2009

Posted by Natasha in Art & Craft, Infertility, Latest Obesssions, Life, News and Drivel.
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I’ve had to take a bit of a break from the blog. I’m trying to find some perspective and balance…

I *think* we’ve decided to not do any more IUI’s, to go straight to IVF, as soon as we can afford it. If, however, we work out that we can’t do IVF this year, we will probably try another IUI or two, simply because they won’t cost us as much.

It is so wrong, that these decisions are dictated purely by finances.

There has been some promising news in the media this week.

The proposed changes to the Medicare Safety Net were heard in the senate, and thankfully were met with opposition. It will be another week before anything is decided.

Now that September has rolled around, and the Victorian joke legislation that enforces us all to have a Police Check before undergoing ART has become official (A fury-inducing side note: even if you had frozen embryos from a previous cycle, you would still need a police check before being allowed to do a transfer. What happens to the would-be-parents deemed ‘unsuitable for treatment’? What happens to their embryos??).

The media has FINALLY gotten a hold of this horrendous little piece of news, and is stirring up some attention, which is being received by the general public in exactly the way it should: incredulity and horror.

Waiting.

***

In my quest to find other things to focus on, I’ve pulled out the sewing machine. Its a great way to just zone out, and distract myself from life.

I have plenty of ideas, but I am plagued with self-doubt… I would love to set up an etsy shop, or even a craft-market stall.

Eventually

I’ve set up another blog that will be dedicated to that little venture:

 Cute Crumples

I’ll be back…

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The thing about grief is… August 22, 2009

Posted by Natasha in Infertility, Rants.
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“Few people know that the ‘i’ comes before the ‘e’…

I was thinking again last night that my experience of this failed dIUI, and of infertility in general really, is like a microcosm of grief.

When I first got my period on Thursday afternoon, I was in shock. I thought for a little while, that perhaps this was just implantation bleeding and cramping. I called the nurse, and my rational mind took over, telling her my period had started. She was fantastic, and ready to go with whatever I needed to do. It was when I got off the phone that I lost it. Screaming, breathless cries, hyperventilating, curling into the foetal position… you get the idea.

Yesterday, the guilt set in. Why should I feel like this? I don’t deserve it… etc, etc, etc…

Today, I’m angry. I was angry anyway, but then I read this post at Semi-Fertile, and it got me thinking.

Specifically about the Baby Bonus, and the ART bill.

A year or three ago, the Australian government decided that our population was in decline. Politicians of the day were standing up telling us all that we should have “one for Mum, one for Dad and one for the Country”.

Ouch.

If this wasn’t bad enough, they then decided that the parent/s of every baby born, would receive a $5000 “baby bonus”. No questions, no means testing, no guarantee that it would ever be spent on the actual baby and not a fancy plasma screen… just a “Bonus”. For being able to reproduce.

Nice.

That was hard enough to handle.

Now I am very fortunate to live in a country that has a good health system, which, up until recently has made IVF if not reasonably priced (basic stim cycles are still $4500 AUD up front, but we do get some of this back from the government), then at least achievable for people, but not without some serious financial stability and planning.

Earlier this year, the new government (who kept the baby bonus, albeit with some minor modifications) decided that those Big, Bad, IVF Doctors, were RIPPING OFF all those women who decided to have careers first, only to find out later on that “whoops, I’m infertile now, never mind, IVF will fix me right up”. These Big Bad IVF Doctors were earning Millions! And it was coming from too much government funding!

The government’s solution?

(You have to picture Kevin Rudd saying this)…

In this Budget, the Government will change the [amount of government funding] for a small number of … services[…]

These changes will apply to [people who CHOOSE to use private, rather than high quality, readily available public] obstetrics, assisted reproductive technology (ART), cataract operations, the injection of a therapeutic substance into an eye [whatever that means], hair transplants … and varicose vein treatment.

(My bold).

Ok.

So, Mr Government, what you’re saying, is that people who have a diagnosed, genuine, heartbreaking inability to conceive children, are ripping off tax payers, along with the bald people and those with varicose veins? Because, ART is an elecive procedure, right?

Yeah, that sounds about right. IVF is never used by ayone who actually needs it. People should just have babies when they’re young, and then they wouldn’t have these problems!

Of course, that makes perfect sense. Although personally, as a tax payer, I’m more worried about all those bogans who are electing to cough out their seventh child , simply so that they don’t have to work to afford their plasma screen and drug habits.

But they’re increasing the population!

Of course, how silly of me.

But those infertiles, you say, they can be dangerous people. Although we already know they have lots of money, because they have all had long, illustrious careers. Let’s make sure that they are SAFE! That they are ENTITLED to make these fickle, selfish decisions to undergo ART. Let’s make them all submit to Criminal Record Check and Child Protection Order scrutiny! And lets charge them for it! We couldn’t possibly give money to criminals now, could we?

OK Mr Government, so you’re also going to start police checking every single new mother or father in Victoria? Including those who have had their previous 5 children removed into protective custody, those who have crawled all the way from the Meth Clinic, and those whose blood alcohol and/or drug levels have seriously harmed their babies?

No, no, just the infertiles.

***

You, Mr Government, are moronic.

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!