December 30, 2009

Last post of 2009

2009 is coming to an end and 2010 is just around the corner.. I am relived to see this year go. It has been a difficult year for us. Trying to conceive is not joke when it's not happening! We started the year thinking that it could still happen on it's own and then in April we discovered that it would not and that we would need IVF in order to have our family. Discovering this was heartbreaking and so scary as IVF and ART in general are not subjects you approach unless you have to..

I have to admit that we were lucky this year to have found a GREAT doctor who treats us with like human beings not like bank accounts. She always takes time with us and explains every step of the way so that we don't feel overwhelmed with all the information we are given.

We are also blessed to have one another to support each other through this process and to encourage each other along the way. Even if the process is tough it never feels that way because once we go home and we have each other, all is ok again. It's not something I take for granted, I know how lucky I am and I thank my lucky start for having D in my life!!!

Today I take my last BCP and I rejoice for that too... I swear BCPs are worse than IVF. The hormones have given me headaches, made me feel dizzy on occasions, have caused spots on my face and made me feel horrible in general.. good riddance to the Pill!! From tomorrow I will be on AF alert and as soon as she shows I will be ready to start the injections again! I cannot say I am as excited as I was for cycle number 1 but I am getting there. The main difference with this cycle is the knowledge of the heartbreak and pain that IVF failure can cause and that scares me so much. This time around I am not going to wait to test at the doc's office. Yesterday I went online and bought lots of cheap tests and two first response for the last two days.. I will test as soon as possible! I remember reading a plan on how/when to test so I will find it and post the link! I will go on POAS marathon!!

It's silly of me to write what I am looking forward to in the New Year because we all know there is only one thing I yearn for and desire more than anything in the world...! Please 2010 bring us our miracle....

December 13, 2009

dreaming the perfect dream.....

Two nights ago I had the most magical of dreams. For the first time ever I had a dream I was pregnant. I was heavily pregnant and I was loving stroking my big belly. I kept saying how big the belly was just for one baby... It seemed I wasn't far off from delivering at the time as D kept saying to push but I couldn't push and was telling him that it was not time yet. The only strange thing was that I could not feel the baby. I woke up so happy as it was the first 'pregnant dream' I had!! How amazing it felt to be pregnant.. even if only in my dream!

December 10, 2009

Here is to good news...and to "officially" starting my cycle today!!!

So the doctor called me today. She got my results and my FSH this month is 8.5 which is good news!!!!In August it was a scary 13 and in November last year it was 8.3. I know that this does not mean my ovaries are going respond better or that this cycle will work but it's a positive result for me. The doctor seem to see it as such and so why shouldn't I do the same?!?

I commented just yesterday on a friend's blog on the fear us IVFers have on being positive. You get good results for once and your immediate reaction is feeling happy and positive. At the same time, deep down you know not to be too happy over results anymore.. bad results are the norm.. a positive result is a freak accident!! Last cycle I started positive and confident that it would work, there is no other way to look at it. Everyone tells you that positive mental attitude helps, so you fall for it and fall into this 'positive trap' but the truth is that unless you are one of the super lucky ones you get pregnant on the first try, you get crushed by bad news.

I have spent the last two months trying to build myself up for cycle number 2. This time around I know of the heartbreak that comes over you once you hear that your beta is negative... and being positive hasn't come easy. Today's news has boosted me back up, not to where I was in September but to a good level.... bring on January and my drugs!!! Today I start taking BCPs so I have officially started my cycle!! Now I wonder if I will be on the same meds or whether my RE will think to lower them a bit this time around... only time will tell... 3 weeks till the start of a new year and a brand new cycle filled with ... dare I say it... positivism!!!

December 9, 2009

coming to terms with infertility treatments.. my initial thoughts on the subject..

This is another abstract from my diary. I wrote this entry as I started to contemplate the idea of infertility treatments. At this stage we had been TTC for 8 months and nothing was happening so here are my initial thoughts...

" After having gone to see my doctor and investigating why I am no getting pregnant I started to really think of the possibilities of having to go through fertility treatments in order to conceive. Whether before I would think about this as a distant possibility without really thinking about it too much, now the possibility seems so real. I have always been one of those people who advocated for adoption, that I would not go through the process of being poked and looked at by hundreds of doctors and all for a baby. Even the thought of considering the possibility made me feel like a traitor. I thought about what the implications would be of trying fertility treatments on my body and mostly on my soul. The idea of a third party in a white coat playing a pivotal part in the creation of a baby seemed and felt wrong. You have probably already guessed it by now but I am a hypochondriac and as most hypochondriacs will testy to, the internet only makes it worse. If either myself or D suffer from something, as small as a cold, I Google it until I have figured out what we could be facing, how to cure it, how we to handle it, how long the symptoms should last for. Basically everything you need to know about that one condition if you are studying to become a doctor! It’s pure madness! For some reason when entering information online the outcome is always a deadly disease resulting in your ultimate death or amputation or both. D does not even have to ask me if I am going through one of those phases, all he needs to do is look at my face when I am using the computer. I am "blessed" with one of those faces that can tell you exactly how I feel without any effort on my part. It’s not a matter of recognising if I am having a good versus bad day, it’s much more complex than that. If I am having a good day but something or someone is annoying me, that someone would know. If am so pissed one of my stares is capable of scaring even the most hard skinned people I have met. So when I started researching fertility treatments and went all obsessive about it, D could tell I was online googling everything related to those treatments! He said my face was a mix of sheer anxiety, inability to comprehend medical terms and paranoia. When I denied it, my expression was clear indication enough that I was laying through my teeth. The more I read the more I got worried. Even the most straight forward of fertility treatments were accompanied by tons of possible side effects and nightmare scenarios. I never read the more intricate and elaborate of treatments, the ones that are so complicated that they were shortened into acronyms. This madness went on for a couple of months and remember that this was supposed to be my time out form TTC!

I think I have always been naive in my way of thinking. I always thought that babies would just arrive when you started to try, even as I write this I think that eventually my time will come. I suppose I always thought that if you want something hard enough, eventually it will happen. I wish fertility was this easy. Throughout my trials and tribulations though, I cannot help but being hopeful. Hopeful that this month will be the month our respective 'reproductive beings' meet. Hope that my wall is nice and thick, that that the embryo is able to make a nice little nest inside of it. Hope that all the symptoms I feel are symptoms of pregnancy not PMS. Hope that when I pee on that stick and I pray to Mary to give me strength to look at it, that there will be a little cross on that test not a single line. Hope that I will be able to surprise D with the happy news. There will always be hope."

There is nothing better than a concert...

Last night we went to see The Killers in concert and I was amazed! They are great and after a year of saying how much I didn't like their new album I am now a convert... I like it and feel guilty that I didn't give it a proper chance. I listened to it full blast on my way to work this morning and I love what I hear! The way they performed and the imposing sound of his voice made me come back to it and think differently. Wow!
There is nothing more liberating than screaming at the top of your lungs and jumping to GREAT music to make you feel ALIVE. Ok today I feel every bone in my body and my throat is super sore but I don't care.. it was all worth it!! For one night, infertility was less on my mind and having fun was the priority... GREAT NIGHT!!!

As I mentioned yesterday my RE wants me to go on the Pill for this month in preparation for Jan's cycle. So yesterday's morning I had the pleasure of going to the pharmacy and getting the pill and folic acid... the look on her face was priceless!! I really didn't need the folic acid but bought it for the .."this-woman-is-crazy" factor!! Who says infertility is all about crying yourself to sleep.. it has its moments!!!!

December 7, 2009

CD 2 tests and ultrasound suck...being infertile sucks!!!

So today I went to the RE to see how to proceed next month. Now it's normal for my RE to be late but today she wasn't even in the office!! She has been attending conferences all this week so when I got to the office there was a new couple signing in with their little boy. How do I know they were signing in, because they were filling out the same forms we filled out. She was pregnant. I said my hellos to the nurses, all of them know me by name and know my history... most have them were there for my ER and ET. Anyway, I sat down and had a coffee. Then another couple arrived, she was pregnant also. I kept busy looking at my faceboook and avoiding the pregnancy magazines scattered everywhere in the waiting room.
After an hour waiting another couple arrived, she was pregnant too. I started to feel uncomfortable. I looked down at my newly acquired 'fertility bracelet' and held my 'fertility necklace' and hoped that some of their "pregnantness" rubbed off on me...! I am starting to look like "one of those crazy people".... I promised myself that if the doctor didn't get there in the next half hour I would have left.
Finally the RE arrived. She looked at my chart and asked me the usual questions, how I was feeling etc. Now considering I have been through this process before, I should have been prepared but I wasn't. She said I needed to get my day 2 blood test done and do a baseline ultra sound. My legs were unshaven, my bikini line a mess and to top it all off I was wearing a tampon. I hated every minute of it... After that was over she said that in order to suppress my hormones a bit more than last time, she will put me on the pill this time around. Great, I thought... then she said that she will call with the results this week to see how the FSH looks this month. I hate having my day 3 hormone test, I feel like I am doing an exam and each time I fail! She said to call her as soon as I get my period which should be around the 1/2 Jan so we can get started with number 2.
I asked her whether she would be willing to do a day 5 transfer and she said that it will depend on how many embryos we get this time and how many make it to day 3. We can be flexible and see how things proceed. DH and I are considering putting back 3 this time but again it all depends on her recommendations and how things look during this cycle.
After all of this, I was a nervous wreck, I was pissed off and upset that we have to go through this again. Starting cycle one was exciting as we didn't know the negatives yet, we felt we had it all to gain. Now, we know how bad the lows are and the fears of another failed cycle never seem to leave us. Infertility sucks and days like this can drown you emotionally... I am so glad I have a husband who is my best friend.
All we can do now is wait for the FSH and hope that it hasn't gone up further. One day at the time does it...

AF is here... we have a starting date for our next cycle

Ok so yesterday evening AF showed up as expected and we have a starting date for the next cycle!! We will start the meds on the 3rd of Jan. I really don't know what it is with us and the number 3, we had our ET last time on the 3rd of Oct and then the dreaded Beta on the 13th. Now we will start on the 3rd.. I hope it's a good omen not a bad sign!

Tonight I got to the RE to check on a few things. I want to ask her whether she would recommend a 5 day transfer this time or whether she would still go for a 5 day. I read so many articles on both and there are benefits and negatives for both so it's really a tough choice. I remember she mentioned that she feels the embryos are better off in their natural environment but then again I rather wait and see which ones are making it to blasts as that is a good indication of how healthy and strong they are. It should be a fun discussion and D is in meetings all day so he won't make it. Let's hope my mind does not freeze and it usually does in this circumstances!!

Wish me luck!

December 6, 2009

Feeling the biological clock ticking away....

This is one of the first entries in my diary. It was written before I knew I was infertile… it was still those blissful days when all seemed possible!

I suppose it’s true what they say. When you biological clock starts ticking, you feel it. It’s as if one day you wake up and you feel like you can no longer go on living without a child in your life. Becoming a mother becomes more important than your job, your career aspirations and your entire life up until now. I cannot pinpoint that moment in my life but looking back over the last couple of years, it has started to become a real feeling of yearning. At first it was just a superficial feeling one that you can easily put aside and forget for a couple of months, but then it grew stronger and more intense. I planned on getting pregnant for over a year now. When I say I planned, I really mean I put down a planner and started making changes in my life in preparation of this moment.

In January I was reading an article on how to prepare your body for pregnancy and the ten things you have to do before you get pregnant. Me being a tad neurotic took this a step further and decided to make my own list: 100 things to do before you EVEN think about getting pregnant.

So first on my list was to see my gynecologist. I booked an appoint and got a smear test done, did a full blood count and told my gynecologist that I was planning on getting pregnant and wanted to go off the pill. I had been on the pill for seven years and it had been my salvation. My period before than had been off the charts. It had a life of its own and I was a mere passenger left trailing by. Once I found the right pill, my life was in order. I knew when to expect it and could plan holidays and events around it. It was as if I had a new found freedom. I was no longer surprised by it showing up on my first day of my summer holiday or have to run to the pharmacy for pregnancy tests, even though, given the fact that I am neurotic, I could buy a car with all the money I wasted on pregnancy tests over the years. Pill or no pill. D (my loving and adoring DH) is witness to my madness. He cannot count the amount of worried nights spent thinking of we should do with our imaginary unborn and un-procreated for that matter, son or daughter. The word abortion was mentioned, we were at university and living off student loans and parents financial support. We would always end up saying that we would make it work, it one way or the other it would work. In retrospect, we were precautious; we were careful people, always thinking one step ahead. We never were faced with an unplanned pregnancy so I could be the perfect candidate to stand up and say if you don’t want to get pregnant stay on the pill.

When it came the time to take my last pill pack, I rejoiced. I was like a new person. I no longer had to think about it, whether I took it or missed it. I no longer had to go to the doctor’s every six months and have it prescribed to me. I am one of the safest people you would ever meet. If a law says do this, I will do it. I am uptight. I know deep down I am but would never openly admit to it. So when I went off the pill and was not married I felt like I was breaking a rule. The possibility that I could get pregnant before my wedding and attend the ceremony with a 6 months old belly was appealing and yet very scary thought. We took precautions experimented and saw this transitional stage in our lives as a going back to our roots. It took a lot of adjustments on our parts but we managed to make it fun. Like they say if it’s something you got to do, the least you can do is make it fun. I will leave this to this, D will not be pleased if I go on.

Number two on my list of things to do in preparation of my pregnancy was starting to take pre-conception vitamins and folic acid. I take this with religious regularity. I supposed when I stopped the pill I didn’t know I would start 2 others. I was glad I was taking them. I felt like a healthier person and in fact I don’t think I have ever been healthier in my life. I quit smoking in February 2009. It was a habit that went back 9 years and was a habit that I never enjoyed much. I would do it because everyone did it. I did it to rebel initially and it backfired. On my 18th birthday my parents gave me a packet of cigarettes to show that I was an adult and I could now smoke in front of them. I took them up on it and the habit continued. Now, I have to say that my parents are both non smokers and both know personally the long term impact that cigarettes have on someone. I think their reasoning behind their behavior was that knowing it was no longer a taboo or a secret I would quit. Little did they know I have an easily addictive personality and that I would only quit 9 years later. In my eyes I was one step closer to being a mom!”

December 5, 2009

dreaming of being a mom

In Jan 2008 I had this dream, it was the most beautiful and real dream I have ever had. In a weird way it's the dream that started it all... this yearning to become a mom. I wrote it down the next day and I still go back to it when I feel low... So far it's the closest I have ever been to being a mom.
"Last night I dreamed of you both. You were so real and so beautiful. I woke up and I was waiting to hear your voices, come to your rooms and look for you. Wanting to hug you tight and tell you that mummy is here and that it’s all ok.

In my dream you were both on your bikes, playing and chasing each other. I was so relaxed walking alongside my own mum; you were talking, laughing, calling me and telling me to hurry up along with you.

I was looking out into the world with different eyes. I had the mummy lenses on. The world seemed a better place. A more pleasant world. The colours around us were warm oranges, soft yellows. I head warmth in my heart because I had you in my life.

You were both blond with soft curls down your shoulders. You were both suntanned, as if you spent so many days out in the sun, playing and enjoying the outdoors. You would hurry down the road but always come back and do rounds around me. You would tell me to look, to see how fast you were going. You were so happy to be there with me. Your smiles were the sweetest of smiles. Your laughs were the cutest and most sincere laughs I have ever heard.

I wish I was a painter so I could always look at you but I am not. So I am doing the next best thing. I am writing about you and how you made me feel. I am writing so that I don’t forget you. I am writing so that the feelings will live on.

Waking up, being awake now, seems so cruel. The reality of you not been here. The reality that you only existed in my dreams is shattering. Yet in a way reassuring that I can be a mother to you boys, at least in my dreams. "

where to begin?

So here I am writing a blog about our infertility journey. I have actually started many blogs that I later deleted as I could not publish them as I was too scared. Infertility is not something people talk about easily, people avoid talking about it and would rather admit to a disease than being infertile.. but then again there are many blogs out there on infertility. Brilliant, informative, amazing blogs written by women who cannot keep all of this inside themselves. I cannot help but talk about it. Trying to get pregnant and having a family is what we have been trying to do for the last two years and after many tests, painful exams, procedures and one failed IVF cycle here I am finally taking the plunge and blogging.

I have kept a diary through this whole process. I kept it from the early days... the days of preparation, what I call now the 'happy days'. The days where we still didn't know we needed IVF to get pregnant, the days when I still listened to friends' advice to get drunk/go on holiday and I would get pregnant... those were bliss full days! As I have all of this, I would like to share some with the world in the hope that they might be helpful or be of support to someone out there reading this.

In Jan 2010 we will be embark on IVF cycle number 2 and going through it I would like to keep a diary so that we won't feel so alone through this. IVF cycles are not exactly social times and the more support we can get from people who are not directly involved the better. We didn't tell our families about the first cycle until it failed as we could not stand the pressure and we will do the same this time around. In the meantime I will add some entries from my diary in the hope they might help....