Thursday, 17 May 2012

Two Week Wait

The last six days have been emotionally, and a little physically, draining. Finding out on Saturday that only two little eggs fertilised was upsetting but we picked ourselves up and carried on with Monday being our focus.

On Sunday I developed an abdominal pain which was a constant 24hr ache that lasted until about Wednesday when it started to go. I jumped back and forwards from being worried to not being worried until it disappeared throughout the day yesterday. I don't know if it had to do with my egg retrieval or perhaps a side effect of the progesterone, but either way, I'm pleased it's gone!

On Monday we had our strongest little emby put back in to its new cushy home of my uterus. I felt like I should have been lying with my legs in the air for the next 24hrs, but within minutes of it being put back in, we were at a cafe drinking hot chocolate before we both headed back to work. Our nurse did inform us that it won't fall out, but that didn't stop me holding my bladder to its full capacity before I'd allow myself to use the toilet for the first time since the transfer.

I was back on a high and feeling really good. Then on Wednesday we got the phone call to say that our second embryo back in the lab hadn't survived to freeze it. I had mixed emotions. Upset, yet not surprised. I knew if it had been frozen, then chances are it would not have made it through the defrosting process when we were ready to use it. So I guess a little part of me was relieved we got the bad news now instead of when we were counting on it because it was our only embryo left (if this one doesn't stick).

I had a good cry on the phone to mum and it's exactly what I needed to do to make myself feel better. Once it was all out, I was able to think clearly again. It's only our first cycle and if it doesn't happen this time, we'll aim for next time. In saying that, I'm still counting on the little emby in me now to make it through!

A few people have asked me if I feel pregnant or have pregnancy symptoms. The answer is no.....and yes. I'm sure it's too early to have symptoms from a pregnancy, but I definitely have some from the progesterone I'm taking. I've been feeling rather stabby the last few days as well as having zero tolerance and patience. I've gone from being sad and upset one minute, to feeling completely ok the next. It's worse than PMS. Poor Kate.

I've also had really sore boobs to the point where if they're even remotely grazed, I'm ready to throw punches. And another thing I've had the past 48hrs is a really strong sense of smell. I've had to close the vents in the car because the smell of exhaust fumes from other cars in front of me is SO strong. I've also been able to smell the dirty nappy of the toddler I nanny for before she even thinks about dirtying it!

The two week wait is going ok. Doesn't seem to be dragging like I thought it would; it's already Friday! Pretty much halfway there!

Saturday, 12 May 2012

What A Week And A Half!

I guess I’ll start with the injections. We started Wednesday the 2nd and finished Wednesday the 9th.  One week of injections flew by! We started with Puregon each night and then on Monday the 7th, we started Cetrotide as well. Everything was progressing really well and the needles were a breeze. I had a lot of nerves leading up to the first one, but once I knew what it felt like, I was fine with the rest. I had little side effects from the hormone injections; a bloated belly and feeling a little tired towards the end were all I seemed to have. My blood tests and ultrasounds were showing that things were looking good and I had produced some healthy looking follicles. On the 9th, they decided to go ahead and get me to do the trigger shot which would then have me going in for egg retrieval on the Friday (yesterday). It was all moving relatively fast!

I went in for day surgery yesterday and they informed us they had retrieved 9 eggs. We were happy with that number! They told us they’d call the next day (today) and let us know how many fertilised and were still kicking along strong. Kate presented me with a lovely card telling me how brave I have been and how proud she is of me. I’m so lucky to have her. We made a trip through the McDonald’s drive-thru because I had been fasting since the night before and was STARVING and then headed home to rest. I was sore but not in any pain.

Because everything was progressing so well, I had little side effects, bloods and ultrasounds were showing good things and I was being told everything looked great and healthy, I think I developed a false sense of security.

Then we got the phone call this morning.

I assumed that out of the 9 eggs collected, we’d at least get 4-6 fertilised. This wasn’t the case. She informed us we had 2. I thought I had heard wrong and asked her to repeat it. She had an accent and mentioned something about 4 fertilising, but only 2 making it. We have 2 to work with. I was shocked. Upset. I know it only takes one, but if that one doesn’t stick, we only have one left……and that’s only if it survives the defrosting process. I had a bit of a cry, I think more-so out of shock and things not going the way I had thought they would. We talked, hugged it out and decided what will be, will be. We just need one sticky egg!

We had discussed putting both back in, but for this IVF cycle, our first time, we agreed to stick to our original plan and just do the one.

For the first time throughout this whole process, I’m actually feeling a little scared about how it will all turn out. Before that phone call this morning, I just assumed all had gone well, so all will go well…..perhaps a little na├»ve? Now I’m like, shit, the whole process has been great and yet we still only have 2 eggs. Anything can happen. I’m not immune to the things that can go wrong. I’m back in reality and not in the ‘that won’t happen to me’ headspace anymore.

Kate has been a trooper through it all and we’re both remaining positive that when this little egg is put back in on Monday, it will cling on for dear life. But I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t worried about the next two weeks ahead of us.

Friday, 4 May 2012

First Injection from Kate’s Perspective

Up until this point I have been pretty calm and relaxed about the injections and knowing Kris’s fear of needles and I was confident that it would be no drama for me to do it.  I have to admit it surprised me how stressful I found the whole first needle experience.

I was fine when the nurse took us through it all at the clinic and even after the appointment, I was fine that day thinking about it.  That afternoon Kris had to call to get the results of her blood test and get the go ahead for us to begin the injections, but was told to hold off for one more day and commence them the following evening.

This was where I began to come undone as it gave me more time to think about it.  That night I dreamed about giving Kris her first injection which resulted in her being inconsolable. I woke up wracked with guilt and begging her to forgive my dream self.  Kris promised me she wouldn’t cry and that it would be ok.  I went off to work and felt my nerves turning up a notch with every hour that passed.

As we got closer to injection time I was so nervous and yet trying to look calm so I wouldn’t freak Kris out. I don’t think I succeeded, my shaking hands and nervous chatter may have given me away.

I got the video camera all set up, we wanted to record this moment.  Then it was time to get the injection ready.  We were kind of fumbling our way through it at this point; I let Kris get the syringe sorted, I was still trying to hide my shaking hands from her.

I have to admit this is one of the scariest things I have ever done in my life, (coming from someone who jumped out of a plane in Africa).  I was scared that it would be difficult to get the needle into the skin and that it might offer some resistance, I was scared I was going to hurt Kris and I was scared that I was going to do it wrong.

Surprisingly the needle went straight in with no resistance at all, the hardest part was trying to push the drug through the pen, as it works on a kind of dial and you have to kind of push and turn it at the same time.  But we eventually got there and Kris assured me it didn’t hurt.  As soon as it was over the adrenalin & relief kicked in and my hands really started to shake so Kris quickly took the pen off me so I couldn’t inadvertently stab one of us with it.  I felt a huge sense of relief that the first one was over and we had now conquered the unknown and I could put all of my silly doubts and worries about this part of the process out of my head.  It’s that fear of the unknown that gets my subconscious working overtime thinking up all kinds of disastrous situations.

The next night Kris was going to try to do it herself but at the last minute just couldn’t bring herself to push the needle into the skin (I don’t blame her, I don’t think I could do it to myself either).  So it was up to me, and after our first one I had already learned/realised what we could do to make it easier.  This time was a breeze, no resistance of the dial and no shaking.

I am very proud of Kris she is being a very brave human pincushion.

Monday, 23 April 2012

Orientation, Done and Dusted

Just a quick update as we don’t have much to share just yet. Last Thursday we attended our IVF orientation appt at the fertility clinic to go over what lies ahead of us for the next 4 weeks. We thought we’d be shown how to use the injections and so forth, but it was more so based around what the injections are and how they work in my body and why I have them, etc. The nurse did quickly show us the injection pen and gave us a brief run through of how it works but she said they’ll go over that more in depth once I actually start the cycle (day of first injection) so it’s fresh in our heads.

We spent about an hour in there talking about the next few weeks, blood tests, ultrasounds, day surgery to retrieve the eggs and also the day we go back to have one put back in. It was information overload! The nurse assured us they’ll go back over everything at the start and also within those weeks so we’re not leaving there with any questions unanswered. She said they pretty much spoon feed you and that I needn’t worry about screwing anything up, which I’m nervous about doing!

We were also told I was in the range for polycystic ovaries. I was taken aback when the nurse mentioned that while she was going through my file from the doctor, because it was news to me. The doctor hadn’t mentioned it at all. I think she could see the shock and worry in my face because she continued to reassure me that I DON’T actually have it, my blood tests just show that I’m in the range/close to it, so they’ll monitor me more carefully with the drugs to prevent hyperstimulation of the ovaries. I guess it’s comforting to know they’ll watch me more closely!

Now it’s just a waiting game! Will start injections around the end of this week.

Wednesday, 28 March 2012

Ding! Ding! Ding! We have a winner!

Yesterday we had our appointment at the clinic to choose our donor. It was somewhat exciting and quite nerve wracking. Darling Kate' was full of nerves the night before and did not sleep too well. I was a bit worried we’d feel rushed, but it wasn't like that at all. Far from it. We spoke to Dr Sperm Lady about the cost, more legal things and also signed some more forms, before we were left alone in her office to go through the manila folders of donors.

The first donor we looked at we both liked straight away, so we put him in the ‘yes’ pile. Then we went through the others, had a bit of a giggle here and there at some of the profiles, and then put quite a few in the ‘no’ pile and two more donors in our ‘ yes’ pile. We had a top 3! I actually had read elsewhere that you needed to pick 3 in case your first pick didn’t come through for whatever reason, and then you would have backup. This wasn’t the case and we only needed to choose the one. Due to our top 3 all having great profiles, medical histories, etc, we decided in the end to go with our first donor that we both liked right from the start. It was a sign that he was right on top, the first to be seen and the one we compared the rest to. He would provide our little swimmers.

The next step now is to have our orientation day which is booked for the 19th. And because my period came 4 days early this month, we will now begin our IVF cycle in the last week of April and will hopefully (cross fingers for us) be knocked up by mid May! 

Monday, 12 March 2012

Mardi Gras, A Birthday & Test Results

We’ve had a busy week and a half! Last weekend we had friends up from Melbourne for the Sydney Mardi Gras and this weekend we had Kate's parents up for the weekend for her birthday. But I’ll start with Mardi Gras..

Mardi Gras was……..good. Not great, but it was a fun night out. The weather was horrible, but regardless of the wind and downpour, the parade still went on. We threw on our plastic wet weather ponchos (we looked absolutely smashing!) and just sucked it up as we had front row seats due to arriving at the pub early for pre-parade beers and moving outside before the crowd arrived. Everyone lined along the parade route had umbrellas or were wearing ponchos as well, but the bright rainbow coloured flags, hats, balloons, clothes, etc, could still be seen and outnumbered the wet weather gear. The parade was bright and the participants still danced, walked, rode their way from start to finish through bouts of torrential rain..….what great sports! The only beef I have about the parade was the constant breaks between floats. Two or three floats would pass and then we’d be waiting for 10/15 minutes before more would arrive. This could have had something to do with the rain. Once the parade was over, it was off to the Mardi Gras party, which was PACKED. We stayed until Kylie Minogue performed at 2am and then headed for the exit doors of the RHI. We couldn’t get out of there quick enough due to too many people being crammed in the building. It was hot and sweaty and I’m surprised people weren’t dropping like flies. SO HOT! But Kylie put on a great performance, and overall Mardi Gras was a bunch of fun as usual.

On the Saturday (before Mardi Gras parade), I had my blood tests done and then the Friday just gone I had my internal ultrasound. That was nowhere near as awful as I thought it was going to be. It was actually quite interesting. Without going into too much detail, as the u/s lady did her thing, I could see on the screen my uterus, ovaries, lining and even the follicles in my ovaries clear as day. She pointed out 6 on each side, which is good, and measured the big one which would pop out the egg this month. She said everything looked great!

This weekend we had Kate's parents up for her birthday which is today….HAPPY BIRTHDAY, LOVELY! Yesterday we caught a ferry from Circular Quay to Watson’s Bay where we met my parents and a friend of Kate's for a nice lunch. It was the first time that all parentals were meeting each other. Happy to say it all went well and everyone came out unscathed. Then we caught the ferry back and had a few drinks at Opera Bar at the Opera House where we mingled in the lovely sunny weather…...pretty much the only hour of summer Sydney has seen.

Today we had our next appointment with our Doctor to go over our test results from the bloods and ultrasound. All looked great! She said she was very happy with it all. We signed consent forms and she went through which IVF process she thinks we should take. There are two….a short one and a long one. The doctor said she’d like us to do the short cycle one (Antagonist) which is around 15 days. Not only is it a shorter cycle, but it has less side effects and is less taxing on the body apparently. So the plan is, I’ll be due for my period on (or around) May 1st and I should be getting knocked up around mid May and find out if it’s worked beginning of June. Tomorrow we’ll ring the fertility clinic and organise an appointment within the next week or two to choose our donor and organise our orientation to go over injections and the like.

So we’re very pleased with how things are turning out and at the pace it’s going!

Wednesday, 29 February 2012

"Are Your Parents Normal??" Our Counselling Session

Counsellor (who has an accent): “Are your periods normal?”

Me (shooting “M” a confused look): “huh? Parents?”

“M”: “Yeah, ya mum”

Me (looking back to counsellor): “Are my parents normal???” (thinking to myself….define normal)

Counsellor: “Are your PERIODS normal?”

Me: “OH! Yes, yes they’re normal”

Yesterday afternoon we had our mandatory counselling session for the baby-making process. I had been stressing about it for a week. What questions will they ask? Is there a right/wrong answer? Will she put a big red FAIL stamp next to our names? If so, can we resit the counselling test in 4 weeks? I was more nervous about this session than I was going for my driver’s licence…...for the second time (I failed the first time).

All that worrying wasn’t necessary. The purpose of the counselling session is to talk to couples using donor sperm about things that may arise within your family unit after having a child in a same sex family. She asked us questions like, what will you tell the child when he/she asks why “Johnny” has a mum & a dad & they don’t? How will you tell the child? She asked about our own family backgrounds and environments and also our relationship. We discussed our support systems, our family and friends. She also talked to us about using an unknown donor and all that it involves and why we decided on that route. We went over the legalities as well. There was really nothing to be nervous about. Everything we discussed in our counselling session, Kate and I had already talked about anyway, as I’m sure a lot of people going through this process will have done before getting to this stage.

We passed with flying colours and I couldn’t wait to get out of there. It felt like sitting in the boss’s office. We walked out with a sigh of relief that we could cross that step off our list and we were now one step closer to having a baby. Kate cracked a few funnies about my parents being normal and we headed home to make pizzas.

Now we just wait for my period to arrive so I can have my blood tests and ultrasound before our next scheduled Drs appointment. It’s the first time since getting my period at the age of 12 that I’m actually hanging for it to get here. It better not be late, dammit!

The closer we get, the MORE exciting it gets. This is really happening!