Posts Tagged ‘IVF’

Hurdle No 2 – Fit to be egg recipients

March 4, 2011

Actually this really could be named “The hurdle that wasn’t”.  DH and I drove for 40mins to our fertility doctor’s most local offices for a 10 minute “interview”.  We were really nervous beforehand, expecting a barrage of questions about why we’d waited so long since our failed IVF attempts to start the Egg donation procedure.   I had some good answers worked out, none of which were, “Are you kidding?  It’s taken me years to wrestle with the reality of my incompetent body and broken heart!”

In fact we were hardly asked any questions at all. It seems my Sister and her husband had done such a marvelous job in convincing the doctor that she was ready, we were ready and the whole experience was an expression of uncomplicated sister-love, that all he could do was smile and hand us the bill.  He gave us a little talk about his history in the job, saying that about 10 years ago he’d almost packed it in because positive results (i.e. live births) were so few that he wondered if he’d dedicated his life to devastation rather than creation.  But that luckily the situation had improved to a point where he felt justified in continuing his work.  Which is good to know.

So now we’re on our way to hurdle no. 3 – our big IVF appointment day.  A collection of interviews with the counsellor, the nurse, the accounts department and the clinic, (where I will again subject my body to that most delightful of scans involving the dildo-cam).   I’m actually a little worried about that one, not the scan itself but the results.  These scans are to check my uterine lining.  They are meant to be done between day 3 and day 10 of my cycle.  Normally I could try and work that out but last year my cycle began shortening and this year…well I’m now on day 51.  I’m winding down like a rusty, old bicycle.

We had a couple of  friends over to dinner last weekend and I let them know that we were going to do another cycle, though we’re keeping the “donor egg” part of that close to our chests for the time being.  One friend wished us luck and then let the words of that old chestnut rattle out, “I don’t want to get your hopes up but I have heard of people who’ve gone through IVF and then, low and behold,  fallen pregnant naturally!”

I wonder what age I’ve got to be and how many years we’ve got to deal with infertility, before people stop burdening us with that particular fancy.  I fancy that I’ll try an experiment.  I’ll wait another few years…perhaps until I’m 48 years old and then tell people cheerfully that we’re having one last run at an IVF baby.   I bet at least one of them will say, “We’ll you never know,  you might conceive naturally…”

Happy Birthday to me…

July 13, 2009

Well,  about a month ago I turned 40. Amidst the congratulations from friends there were many comments such as “It’s only a number”.  Not so.  You can probably guess who these comments came from.  Yes, that’s right – they came from those with young children.    As someone who is infertile the number 40 is pretty meaningful to me.  We had expected to have children (plural)  by 40.  I had expected to stop trying to conceive by 40.  I had expected to be moving on.  None of these things have happened and the fear  of being childless has increased.  I wonder if I will be able to move on once menopause hits?  I imagine then that I might then be able to say, “No, nup, never…it’s not going to happen”.  Until then….I’m on the other side of 40.

A couple of posts ago I received a comment which was really a link to a blog site.  It seemed to be very anti – IVF and was quite poorly written in terms of grammer, so I don’t think the author’s arguments were expressed very well.  I can honestly say I felt a little attacked when I investigated the site.  But I have decided to leave the link in as there are some points I believe are valid, such as considering the notion of Identity.    Plus…I want to make a point. It is the assumption that I, or “We”, as  IVF participants,  have not thought about such notions that I find offensive.   Of course I have wrestled with the idea that a child conceived from a donor egg may have unique challenges ahead in terms of  identity and their search for a place in the world.  Of course I have thought about adoption.  But each person must find there own way through this.  Who am I to judge another’s struggles or reactions to a gut wrenchingly emotional  time of loss and longing?  I bring to these decisions my own background and experiences of childhood, as does everyone who goes through such a journey.  The decision to do IVF, to adopt or to use donor eggs and/or sperm is not made lightly or quickly.     My decisions have been more like processes developed over seven years!  And yes, I am still questioning and still questing.    I am outraged, not that someone else thinks that I should think about such ideas, but that they would assume that I hadn’t!

How’s this for insanity?

June 8, 2009

So… I am one day late for my period.  One day late after an extremely stressful week which would absolutely account for the delay. Yet because my husband and I managed to have sex at exactly the right time last cycle I have hopes.  I have hopes after 7 years!  I have hopes despite the fact that part of the problem is getting the sperm to reach the egg!  I have hopes despite the fact that I’m 40 and my eggs are old.  I have hopes despite the fact that the last two IVF treatments failed because the egg didn’t fertilize properly, or at all.    I have hopes despite the image in the mirror reflecting back a chin full of hormonal pimples.  I have PMS and still have hope!  Hope? Insanity is more like it! (It’s killing me!)

Today marks the day

July 14, 2008

Today, the fourteenth of July in the year of our Lord two thousand and eight, marks the day upon which I have been told that my road to having my own biological child ends.  And if you’re wondering why I’ve written it that way…well it really does seem momentous to me and I sort of wanted to honour the occasion.  This afternoon we visited the head honcho doctor from the IVF clinic.  He said he is “black and white” sure that there is no point in continuing with IVF with our sperm and eggs.  Our next stop would be egg donation.

Despite being pretty well prepared for such a verdict, since we’ve had three stimulated cycles without being able to fertilize even one egg – not that we ever got more than one egg to try with – we are both shocked and stunned and trying to allow this piece of information to work its way thorugh our bodies.

We were trying to come up with some reason why this could happen…some marvellous thing that we could do with our lives that couldn’t be done if we did have a child.  But really there are very few things that made the list.  Maybe……work 24 hours a day for NASA…or … live in the jungle studying tropical diseases.  But really, it’s very unlikely that, even if we both worked really hard that we’d be able to accomplish such heights.  We’re ordinary people who may be a bit arty in their own way.

Yep, I don’t think there’s a consolation for this one.

So what do we do now?  We consider egg donation from my Sister, if she offers – we will not ask or pressure her.  And…we maybe go down the herbal track again…just so we know…for sure…just so we know…for sure…just so we know that we’ve done everything we can…and so that later….when we are old together…..we have no regrets…and we can maintain the respect and love we have for eachother now.

So I’m sitting in the Doctor’s Surgery…

June 22, 2008

So,  I’m sitting in the Doctor’s surgery while he’s telling me that the only option is donor eggs.  I tell him that we haven’t decided yet and he replies that we’d better make up our minds soon as the donor is coming in next week.  I am frustrated and say we need to talk to someone about it. I say that it has huge implications.  I repeat that I am not ready yet.  He suggests we go and sit in on a meeting that one of the nurses is running, right now.  We bustle out and walk along the hospital corridoors until we reach a huge courtyard filled with mothers and their babies.  They are clustered around a speaker – the nurse.  As we push through the crowd I notice that the babies heads are covered in cling wrap.  There is a chatty humming sound but no crying.  The nurse welcomes everyone and begins to speak about post natal care.  I raise my hand and state that we have been sent here to talk about donor eggs.  Heads turn. The nurse falters.  “Oh…well, we’re not talking about that here”, she clips.  She asks another nurse to to lead us away  from the group to talk to us privately.  The new nurse rises.  She is flustered but motions us out of the room. 

I would have loved to know what the new nurse said but the alarm went off and woke me up.  I have found myself to be pretty disdurbed by this dream.  We are indeed waiting for the doctor’s appointment in which, we predict, he will tell us that the next step is donor eggs.  After all, that is what the nurses have indicated.  The nurses were ready  to move onto that track after the last IVF round.  When we weren’t immediately compliant they suggested the forthcoming appointment. 

Although the care has been really good I don’t think that the IVF staff really appreciate what a truly big deal using donor eggs is.  Or, what a big deal it is for me.  That it seems a bit frankenstein-ish.  That I don’t want to be in contact with the donor mother and send off pictures of my child to her on birthdays and Christmases, to remind myself that the child isn’t “really” mine.  And, that if we use a donor egg from my sister, which is our preferred option at present, that too is just plain weird.  It means my Sister and My husband have created a child together.  She will be connected to him in a way I never can be.  Just plain freaky to me.  But to the IVF staff…an everyday occurance!   Well, perhaps not everyday…we are getting the message that we are not responding to IVF in the usual way. 

We’re freaks!

Wonder

June 13, 2008

 

Why haven’t I started a blog on infertility before? Afterall I’ve been travelling this road for 6 years, give or take a few months. I’ve stopped counting. Perhaps it’s taken this long to actually realise I’m walking it. It’s certainly taken this long to look ahead, down the road. I’ve spent a lot of time looking at my feet.

I expect that this blog will end up being structured in a kind of time past/time present/ time forward way. They all merge together somedays anyway. Like today. Maybe that’s why it’s a good day for starting this blog.

I think I have been afraid of the comments people will leave. Sometimes even well meaning comments from friends and family can be hurtful, I’ve discovered. I will take this willingness to start a blog as a marker of healing. I must be ready and able to endure potential hurts. Or perhaps it’s just that I’m begining to get used to them. Perhaps it’s just that some are so outrageous that it would be a shame not to share them. I am thinking of one of my doctor’s visits where I was told to “Get a garden and grow things instead”. Was he thinking of a vegetable patch?

So, you might want to know where we are at present. Well, apart from 6 years down the track, I am 39 years old (I just had a birthday..Yay! Celebrate!) My husband is 43. We have encountered various medical problems such as; misdiagnosis of polycycstic ovaries, correct diagnosis of moderate endometriosis, motility issues with sperm, failure of ovarian receptors to respond to IVF hormones and , potentially…this is the big one we are waiting on now… genetically unsound eggs.

We began with charting temperatures and mucus and timed intercourse. We later combined that with herbal medications and increase in organic food. I agreed to a hysteroscopy and laparoscopy which was meant to clear up the endometriosis and give me a window of time in which to fall pregnant. I had a very early miscarriage. We are now on to IVF using ICSI and have had 3 unsuccessful attempts.

The nurses at the IVF clinic have been suggesting to us that donor eggs might be our only chance.

We are waiting for our next appointment with the doctor to see what he has to say. We have 4 weeks to wait.

In the meantime and throughout all this, my brother and his wife have had 2 children and are currently pregnant with their 3rd.

We have permantently gritted teeth.

I feel it is not long before the question will change from “When will we have a baby?” to “When will we give up?

Before you ask….adoption is not on the cards.

This has been a rather factual blog. I see that I’ve restrained my emotions. Perhaps I just want a testimony to what we’ve been through so far. Perhaps the next post will be full of tears and shattered plates. “Shattered plates?” you ask. My Mum used to throw plates on the ground whenever things got a little too much.

Oh…and the title of this blog? Well I like to think that I don’t have an infertile mind!