Tuesday, 30 December 2008

Waiting

After kicking the cold I have been feeling quite well the past few weeks. I could sleep all day every day and have been doing very little. Some days, like today, I feel slightly queasy and light headed all day and need to eat constantly, but most days I feel fine until I find myself at the supermarket checkout behind someone with strong body odour or a roasted chicken in their trolley and I'm desperately looking for somewhere to barf.

I hope these things mean that all is going well. I'm mostly managing to keep the DBTs (dead baby thoughts) at bay but the upcoming 12 week ultrasound and pre-natal tests are keeping me awake at night. I've grown quite attached to this tiny nugget growing inside me and the thought of them finding something horrifically wrong and having to terminate scares the shit out of me.

I'm confused about the doom and gloom reaction from the clinic. Surely a 90% accurate test showing chromosomally normal cells from the transferred embryos would be cause for celebration and remove the need for more invasive genetic testing? But conversations with the Geneticist and FS, and literature they've sent me say these tests are even more important in my case. I understand that most of the abnormalities in the other embryos were really quite serious, but so serious they were considered unlikely to even implant let alone grow to this point. And the chance of an embryo having two different cell types is very rare, around 1-2% I think they said. I feel like they have scared me unnecessarily, but I can't seem to shake the fear.

I do feel confident that bub is still with me and still growing. I keep trying to tell myself that there is no history of chromosomal abnormalities in either family, that I may be old but I'm not that old, that bub has already passed this test once, that the odds are that everything will be alright and I'm worrying about nothing.

Only 20-something sleeps til we find out.....

Wednesday, 24 December 2008

First OB visit

We met our Ob on Monday. What a sweet, gentle and caring man. Terrible, shocking, appalling dress sense! But I don't plan on taking him out anywhere so I suppose he may dress as he pleases. As you can imagine it took ages to go through our IVF history, but the clinic has passed no information on, not even the referral, so it had to be done. I also had to re-do all my blood tests but never mind.

The best things I liked about him were that he has a sense of humour and that hubby liked him too. Also, he has an ultrasound machine in his consulting room so we got to see bub's flickering heart again. S'he has grown 6mm in the past week. He said it was looking like a very healthy pregnancy.

Going to the hospital was a strange experience. I said to DH "Oh god, this place is going to be full of pregant women with huge pregnant bellies." He pointed out that I was a pregnant woman too. But old habits obvioulsy die hard and I still felt my anxiety levels rising and that pang of envy looking at all the beautifully shaped bellies.

Speaking of bellies (not so beautifully shaped) we have worked out why I look so big. Seriously, I look 3-4 months pregnant, too big to hide but too small for a belly belt. The ultrasound last week showed at least a dozen cysts on both ovaries, some measured 30mm or more, and they looked even bigger on the Obs scan. The Ob was suprised that I didn't get a worse case of OHSS but seemed confident that they will go on their own.

We have only told my parents and 2 of my friends, but people are starting to ask. Apart from my bloated belly, the thing that seems to make most people suspicious is that I'm not drinking alcohol. Did I really drink so much before that this change in my behaviour is so unusual?! We are telling people that I still have my cold and the antibiotics I'm taking don't mix with alcohol, but DH's brother asked him straight out last week so this doesn't seem to be working. I'm sure there will be no fooling my SIL's over Christmas, but at least when we see them we won't have the kids with us so it won't matter if they do guess. It's still far too early to tell the kids.

The people at work are suspicious too. It may have something to do with the fact that yesterday, on the way to the pub for our office breakup, I jumped out of the car when DH stopped at an intersection to go vomit in someone's front garden. What an uncomfortable lunch that was, apart from the embarrassment of the public vomit, our staff just don't really gel together as a group so much of the conversation was forced and awkward. Ah well, we're all off on two weeks holiday now so who cares.

I'm probably breaching all kinds of copyright here (sorry Keith), but one of our freelance designers sent us this and I think its so cute I just had to share.

Wishing everyone safe and happy Christmas and new year celebrations; full of love, laughter and hope.

Wednesday, 17 December 2008

Goodbye IVF Clinic

We met with the IVF doc last night.

Apart from a few self congratulatory remarks, his first comment to us was "Don't go around telling everyone just yet". We then got the lectures about the risk of miscarriage is very high blah blah blah, you will have to have all the pre natal screening tests blah blah blah.

He is also an Ob and had obviously assumed we would use him, so I think we may have put his nose of of joint when we said we'd chosen another hospital so needed a referral to a new Ob. He even made a few disparaging remarks about the Ob we'd chosen. He hadn't received the scan report so we couldn't discuss that. I had a heap of questions, but he rushed us out very quickly saying again how he had thought there was no way this cycle was going to work for us.

When we got to the car, DH said "well that was awkward". We'd been totally booted off cloud nine, sent back down to feeling anxious again. This was always going to be our last meeting with the Clinic, but I was excited to think we'd be leaving on a high note, instead the only things up high were our middle fingers. Goodbye clinic, eff you and your lack of confidence. We'll show you!

I need to do a big ranting post about being a step parent again but I seriously can't be bothered. Suffice to say that DH doesn't understand and never will, perhaps I'll invite my mother to stay for a month - that might have a similar effect. SS Tiger had been here for almost 4 weeks, 2 of which I was sick and still had to put up with his tantrums and be his slave. This past week I have matched DH's working hours because I'd had enough. He'd overstayed his welcome, told me to shut up one too many times and thrown one too many tantrums.

Last night he was having a tantrum because he couldn't find on the computer how to update his i.phone - obviously the useless fucking computer and the stupid fucking chair's fault and that he doesn't know how to use his phone - anyway he started yelling at the cat because he was meowing at the door. All of a sudden the future became clear to me. When this baby is born the shit is well and truly going to hit the fan! My cats are one thing, but watch this mummy roar if any of them even think about yelling at my baby.

Monday, 15 December 2008

Heartbeat!

We saw a heartbeat!!!! Just one. OMG how amazing! This tiny thing that was just a mass of cells a few weeks ago now has a heart - and it's beating at 138bpm! How cool is that?

Bub is measuring 10.7mm, 7 weeks and 2 days, both of which are right on target for EDD of August 1st.

This was the biggest test for me and bub has passed with flying colours once again. We are now 4 from 4.

Thanks again for all your good wishes. Please stick with me, you're my good luck charms.

Sunday, 14 December 2008

One more sleep

Viability scan is tomorrow! Only one more sleep!

It has poured with rain here non-stop since Friday, so we've been locked inside with the kids watching movies all weekend. Time seems to be in slow motion. The day before the scan was the day I started to miscarry last time.

SD Rose is changing to a new school next year, she keeps telling me that she's excited and scared at the same time. That's exactly how I feel about tomorrow. I am trying lots of positive visualisations and a couple of bouts of nausea over the past few days have been strangely reassuring.

Wish us luck.

Thursday, 11 December 2008

Blogger friends in need

Please spare a thought for Lisa and Vee today.

Tuesday, 9 December 2008

3rd beta

Had blood taken for my 3rd and final beta this morning, and hopefully my final blood draw for some time! It came back at 6,000. According to the doubling every 48 hours theory I was expecting over 10,000 but this means a 70 hour doubling rate. The nurse said she wasn't at all concerned, they consider anything between 4,000 and 28,000 at this stage as 'normal'.

Yes, I do have overly high expectations, but mostly I am concerned because I have been so unwell. I went to the doctor yesterday and was given antibiotics so I hope to be back to normal again very soon.

My pg symptoms have either packed up and left or are just hiding beneath all the coughing and snot. Its so weird, every morning I look at my breasts and think "oh ok I must still be pregnant" and every time I wipe after the toilet and don't see blood I'm almost shocked "ha! still pregnant. amazing".

We are currently booked into 2 obstetricians and 3 hospitals! I'm finding it very difficult to take it all seriously and make a decision.

6 more sleeps until our first scan......

Thursday, 4 December 2008

Blah

I'm sick.

Unfortunately not the morning kind of sickness, just the cold kind of sickness. I managed to get through winter without catching a cold but now that it's summer the lurgy has got me. I feel like crap, run over by a bus, crap. Nose and eyes running, coughing, burning throat, blah blah blah....

I don't know if I should go to the doctor. I don't think there is anything I can take anyway. Its currently 7.30am and I'm already dreaming of soaking in a steaming hot bath then curling up in bed with a book (although my current book is terribly boring, I really don't know why I'm persisting, anyone have any suggestions for a good read?).

I have a huge weekend coming up. We have kids of course (the Screaming Banshee should be paying us the bloody child support) and my parents are coming to stay as well. My FIL and SIL are both artists and they are holding an exhibition this weekend. All non-talented relatives such as myself have been given jobs as caterers and servers. My FILs pride and joy is his garden, which he is also opening to the public this weekend. The whole thing is fraught with danger. He has absolutely no tolerance for young children, and of course kids love his garden. It has paths and bridges to run over, ducks to chase and how else do you find out how deep a lake is except by throwing things into it - the exact same things that drive him most crazy.

However, the most stressful thing about this weekend will be trying to make sure my parents don't say anything in front of the kids about... well you know. I still can't say it but you know what I mean. I wish I hadn't told mum, she is terrible at secrets, but its too late now.

Ugh, I have so much work to do. I must stop procrastinating. Blogging is such a great way to procrastinate ;-)

Congrats to Behind the Mask for her great beta, Melbagirl for positive pee sticks at 8dp2dt and Lisa for hearing a heartbeat! Go girls!

Tuesday, 2 December 2008

Just breathe....

1264
One thousand two hundred and sixty-four. Onethousandtwohundredandsixtyfour. It's so much more exciting when you say it fast!

I should be yelling from the rooftops. 1264 is a fabulous number. Doubling time of 48 hours. As Expected. Normal. Great.

But still. There is something inside me, pulling me back, telling me to just slow down, breathe, don't get too ahead of yourself. What is it? Will I ever be rid of this stupid fear that the rug will be pulled from under us any second?

We have so many tests still ahead of us. But for the moment we are 2 for 2. I am so thankful for your kind words and support. I am just so thankful....

Saturday, 29 November 2008

Triple jinx

Tertia wrote a post the other day about the many superstitions held by infertiles and the idea that doing, or not doing, certain things can jinx a cycle.

I well and truly jinxed myself yesterday. Three times in fact. The first two were not entirely my fault. One of my big superstitions is if I work out the due date then it is guaranteed to all go pear shaped. I can still remember my first due date (one year ago on Tuesday of last week as it happens). I received a package on Thursday from the clinic with my 7 week ultrasound referral (Jinx 1) and a letter saying 'Congratulations on your pregnancy' (hmmm is that another jinx?) 'your estimated due date is August 1st 2009' (JINX 2).

The third was when I went shopping to find something 'semi-formal' to wear to Batman's Graduation I ended up buying a top that I could also wear later in the pregnancy. Yes, I actually thought those words! Which means that, in effect, I have actually just bought my first piece of maternity clothing! (MASSIVE JINX!)

Consequently, today I have cramps. Cramps that feel decidedly like menstrual cramps. I think I have done the anxious-undie-check a thousand times already. Please let it just be my body struggling to digest the Reception Centre food from last night. Please.

Trying not to stress. I'm lying on the couch watching the Australian Masters Golf trying to catch a glimpse of my Tiger who is working as a Caddy. His player is doing well, so he's actually getting quite a bit a of air time, even Rose is watching. He looks so tall and manly and serious. I'm such a proud mum... ooops I mean step-mum. ;-)

3 more sleeps....

Wednesday, 26 November 2008

ES loves DH

Today is our wedding anniversary. 3 years ago today I married by best friend.

He gave me a beautiful long-stemmed pink rose from our garden and I gave him a pee-stick with 2 distinct lines on it. Aren't we just soooo romantic!? Mind you, my response to the rose was something like 'thank you darling I love you' while he looked at the pee-stick, looked back at me and said 'oh dear'.

By the way, can someone please assure him that DH stands for Darling Husband not Dick Head!

My sciatica is playing up terribly this week so I'm hobbling round like an old woman. I'm also doing lots of eating (otherwise I tend to go all dizzy and sweaty), but that cannot possible explain the fact that my waist measurement has increased 7cms (almost 3 inches) in the past 2 weeks! WTF?! I still have some abdominal pain and cannot take really deep breaths (as in yawn) or sneeze without strong pain. So although the OHSS was very mild it seems to be still kicking around.

It's Batman's school graduation dinner this Friday night, and none of my clothes fit me. I feel massive - there better be a really good reason for this! Still holding my breath til Tuesday...

Monday, 24 November 2008

Rinse and Repeat

New Nurse: Congratulations you're pregnant!
Jaded Patient (me): Really? Well that would explain why I feel so sick. What's the beta?
NN: The beta is 79.
JP: Oh.
NN: Let's make appointments now for another blood test next week and the week after that and then the 7 week ultrasound.
JP: Hahhahahhahaha. Oh, you're serious.... Um, ok sure, why not?

Not quite the number I was after, though eerily close to DH's dream of being told it was 78.

I really don't know what to think or say at this point. I want to be excited but we've been here before. I can't believe we have to wait until next Tuesday for another beta. I'll be gaga before then.

Thanks for all your kind comments on my last post. Looks like I'm getting one last chance...

Thursday, 20 November 2008

On Life and Death and Motherhood

I must warn you now this is going to be a big post. It's been brewing for a while. Because this cycle is my last, because I'm a pessimist, and because I seem to have so many free hours in the middle of the night, I have been thinking of motherhood. What will it mean for me if I don't become a mother? Am I not a mother yet simply because of genetics or is there a deeper reason? Does the universe think I wouldn't make a good mother? What makes a good mother anyway?

At 19, still a child myself, I took a job as House Mother, living in a house with 6 children aged between 9 months and 16 years. The parents were allowed a 2 hour visit per week but rarely made it that often. One of the them was a he.roin addict, she had a penis and the words "fuck off" tattooed on her foot. She would follow me around the house threatening me, then fall asleep head first in her dinner. I'd call a cab and she'd leave having spent about 0.5 seconds interacting with her baby.

When I worked in Child_Protection I was given the case of a couple trying to reunite with 10mth old twins who had been taken into care at 3 months because they were failing to thrive. The parents were in their mid 20s chronologically, but tested of equal intelligence to 7-8 year olds, emotionally they were around 13-15. Donna had a 6 yo son who lived with her mother, and, as well as the twins she and Paul had a two and a half year old. My job was to evaluate their ability to parent the three younger children. Each morning we would make up the formula for the day and with ticklists and charts and alarm clocks we spent the first few week or so just making sure the babies were being fed. I came back from a day off to find Donna beside herself "I can't do it. It's too hard". And so the twins were returned to Foster Care, then moved into Permanent Care.

Within a year Donna and Paul were back, they wanted my help with the now 3 year old. His tantrums were getting out of hand. His language was quite delayed, and Donna and Paul were having trouble understanding his verbal cues, so everyone was frustrated. I worked with them for close to 6 months. I stood up in court and stated that they could adequately meet this child's needs so he should remain in their care. A few months later Donna rang me to say "It's too hard". I held her hand while she signed another child over to Permanent Care. She was dry-eyed, I went home and bawled. He was a sweet boy, he went to live with a policeman and his wife in the country.

Within the year Donna and Paul had another son, the hospital staff were concerned, Donna told them I would help. They came to live at our facility. She breastfed this time which helped because she had her own, in-built, alarm system, and support available 24 hours. Trevor regained his birthweight and all appeared to be going well. He turned 1 month old on a public holiday, I had the day off. My colleague called an ambulance when she checked in to find Trevor floppy and unresponsive. At the hospital the next day, Donna and Paul were stunned by accusatory questions like "who threw the baby?" when I objected the questions were rephrased to "who dropped the baby?". A few hours later test results showed he had bacter.ial menin.gitis; there was nothing anyone could have done, or could do.

My boss took Paul home, he was pacing the halls, his head red and huge with bottled up emotion. Donna and I were shown into a tiny, windowless, airless room while Trevor was freed of his tubes and wires. Donna wouldn't touch him, so I held him and stroked his face as he grew heavier and heavier in my arms. Donna clung to me and we both cried. We talked about him and to him, reliving our short time together. A doctor would come every half hour with a stethoscope and shake his head slowly at me. Complete and utter torture. A minister joined us toward the end, she had gentle eyes with soft and powdery skin, but I can't recall a word she said. The doctor finally nodded sadly at me. We inked Trevor's footprints on a card, gave him a bath and changed his clothes. We said goodbye and they took Donna's fifth child away from her.

My office paid for a funeral and my boss and I paid for a plaque. I've been there a few times but not since ttc. Donna and Paul separated not long after and within a year both were expecting new babies with new partners. I heard that Donna was not allowed to take her baby home from the hospital. She'd be in her 40's now, I often wonder how many children she had, if she kept any of them, if she thinks of them as often as I do.

Four more children I knew died that year; 2 car accidents, a drowning, and a murder. I lost weight, I couldn't eat or sleep, I didn't menstruate for 6 months, I started getting migraines. I smoked like a chimney and drank like a fish. I broke down. It was too hard. An ex-boyfriend returned from interstate. I knew he was no good for me, I knew I didn't love him. But I threw myself into the comfort of his familiar embrace saying "of course I'll marry you". I fucked up my life completely. I was far too young and soft for that job.

My flatmate's boyfriend, going through his Soc.ialist phase, once told us that she and I were "pretentious middle class do-gooders under the delusion we were saving the world". And I suppose we were. I still believe we did some good work, but we made the wrong decision sometimes, and the kids that I failed will always haunt me.

I went back to Uni then got an office job. It took a while to adjust into the corporate world. I felt that my previous work was so important, while chatting about clothes with my young colleagues and making sales targets were just so not. I had held a woman's hand while she signed away her child, I had a baby die in my arms, I felt children wrap themselves so tightly around me they almost cut off my breath as I took them from their homes while burly police officers held back angry parents or tried to rouse drugged ones. I met mothers who sacrificed their children for the love of a man. I met children whose mothers did despicable things and/or allowed despicable things to be done to them. Plenty of women can get pregnant and give birth to babies, but that does not necessarily make them a mother. Some, like Donna, have the ability to be a mother but not the skills.

I must say that at the same time, I also met women who risked their lives, were stabbed or had their jaws smashed with a baseball bat, trying to protect their children. I'm more familiar with this kind of mother now.

It seems I have always played mother to other people's children. Next week (eeek!) I will find out if I will ever be a 'real' mother myself. I am oscillating between being grateful that at least I have had these experiences, to utter despair that these periods of 'playing mother' is the closest I will ever get.

Tuesday, 18 November 2008

Counting down

Test day is slowly getting closer.... There is no point doing the pee stick thing because of the hcg booster shots. And the last thing I need is a false positive reading.

Still feeling a bit weird. I can feel my ovaries are still enlarged but the pain has mostly gone. Quite dizzy today, but I'm sure there's a dozen possible explanations for that, none of which have anything to do with anything.

6 sleeps to go. The mind games have begun.

Sunday, 16 November 2008

Wine on a Sunday

Nothing like a relaxing lunch and a nice bottle of wine on a lazy Sunday. Unfortunately today's wine comes with a H.

I think I may be over-stimulating. I had two booster hcg shots during the week as well as the progesterone supplement Crin.one since Tuesday. I read the list of side effects for Crin.one on Friday because I was experiencing breast pain (in the breast now affectionately known as 'Lumpy') and yes that is a common side effect. I had almost all the others listed as well.

Last night the bloating and full feeling was insane, accompanied by abdominal pain that wrapped around my back, nausea and I just couldn't seem to breath deeply enough. Its different to the last time I had ohss because that was mostly just abdominal pain, but much worse than last night.

I'm not too bad today, the swelling seems to have subsided a little and the pain has lessened. I can feel my ovaries are still huge because when I roll over in bed it feels like they squash or twist or something and if I happen to sneeze I think they're going to explode.

I hate to whinge, but I'm hoping someone else has felt like this and can tell me if ohss can sort of come and go like this or is it more likely to be just the side effects from the progesterone.

Thursday, 13 November 2008

The Good, The Bad, The Ugly

The Good

I had 2 embyros transferred this morning! One was a genetically-tested-possibly-normal almost blasty and the other was just a step behind. The procedure went well. The Doctor was the head of the clinic (and the author of the book I'm currently reading) which should mean he knew what he was doing. Just before the transfer DH pointed out that today is the 13th and its our 13th cycle. I always like a little superstition with my cycles.

The Bad

Yesterday was a crap day. I feel like I have been lurching from one drama to the other lately. The Nurse rang yesterday with the biopsy results; out of the 10 the tested 7 were chromosomally abnormal and 3 were normal. The 3 normal ones were not growing as well as the embryologists would like, so I should ring in the morning to confirm transfer was still going ahead. She said "Don't worry too much, it might be okay". Needless to say there were long faces and not much sleep in my house last night. I knew that having no embryos to transfer was a posibility but it wasn't one I had allowed myself to really consider. It definitely wasn't the way I wanted to finish.

The Ugly

They sent a meek and blushing little 20yo genetic scientist down to talk to us this morning. She went through the biopsy results; two with trisomy 13, one with only one chromosome 13, one with trisomy 22, another with trisomy 26, and two with no nucleus. She stressed many times that this was just a screening process, only one cell from each embryo was tested and that if this cycle did result in a pregnancy then pre-natal genetic testing would be very important. Ugly all over the place. We asked if the most likely cuplrit was age, she said yes. She proceeded to remind us that women are born with all their eggs so at my age they have been sitting there a very long time, which is why they encourage women to get pregnant younger. Wait - it gets worse.... She told us about a study they are doing which shows that if "women my age" are successful with IVF its usually in their first couple of cycles. She was very excited about this because they look like being able to publish their findings in the new year! She then produced a graph which showed that the embryos of "women my age" (39) were 53% likely to be abnormal continuing up to 60% at age 42. Being the non-confrontational type that I am, I took a few deep breaths and sent her on her happy way.

If I were the confontational type (which at times like this I desparately wish I was), I would like to point out that
1) I have been trying to get pregnant longer than you have been breathing so don't you dare insinuate that I've just left it too late.
2) If you had bothered to consult my file you would have noted that this is our 8th IVF cycle, so telling me that "women my age are most likely to have success in their first few cycles" is like telling me this cycle has next to no chance and I shouldn't even bother being here.
3) Showing me a graph that quotes 53% as the average abnormal embryo rate for my age group, when my abnormal rate was 70% does not make me feel better.

Needless to say that DH and I both left on a bit of a low. I now have absolutely no faith in the cycle working. But I suppose what I need to keep in mind is that I now have (some) of what I wanted from this cycle - Answers.

Monday, 10 November 2008

Stepmonsterhood

I am feeling great today, still in a little pain but the bloating has subsided a lot. 14 of my eggs were ICSI'd and 10 fertilised which is great news. I am spending the day at home with the intention of working. I have SO much work to do, but I need to talk. There are lots of BIG issues rolling around in my head that will not fit in one post, so I'll try to break them into more digestible bites. Today its step-monsterhood.

I am a very calm person (except perhaps when taking HRT drugs LOL), I tend more to tears than temper, and hate confrontations of any kind. My DH has a quick temper, it flashes, he swears a bit, then its gone. But he can control it. My stepkids, on the other hand, have no control over their tempers. They are such angry kids its unbelievable. Their mother is know on this blog as the Screaming Banchee because of her incessant screaming and yelling. This is why DH left and tried to take the kids with him.

Last week when she picked up the kids from our house she started screaming at them in our driveway. The kids then started yelling back at her, swearing and slamming car doors. Hello? Do you mind? We live here!

Every other night at our house is interupted by kids ringing with "Mum's yelling at me so I've locked myself in my room" or "I hate Mum, I can't live here anymore" or "Can you come get me". DH talks them through, calms them down. You know its really bad when all 3 are calling at once. The Banshee has taken to ringing as well. She wants DH to admonish the kids for the way they speak to her, he says "they speak to you the way you speak to them", she denies it, he laughs, she yells and swears at him, she says "I'm never ringing you again", he says "good". Next week she rings and they have the exact same conversation over again.

The kids know they can live here anytime, but never last more than a week. They say its too hard to get to school, they miss their friends... but I think its because our house is so quiet, they miss their mother's drama. Tiger says he's moving in here when he finishes school in 2 years.

I love them and I love them being here, but sometimes I find it hard to relax and fully be myself with them. I'm always on edge waiting for the boys to start fighting or the swearing and yelling to start. Our superfast internet connection is not fast enough. Our dvd's are boring. My dinner is not what they wanted. Seriously, their language would make a sailor blush! I lie in bed and listen to the boys throwing stuff and swearing at their video games until 3 in the morning. Tense and unable to sleep.

DH is in court today with his eldest son who at 17 got drunk, stole his mum's Loser Boyfriend's car and crashed it into a house. (I wonder if he will ever realise how incredibly lucky he was?) If the case is heard early enough he may then have time to go to the school to meet with one of Rose's teachers to discuss concerns about her behaviour.

Rose tells me she feels terrified when the Loser Boyfriend is angry and jumps out her bedroom window to go to her friend's house next door. How long before she's doing that to meet up with a boy, if she's not already. Last Saturday she'd been in her pj's all day, then suddenly got dressed at 11pm. Her "friend" was staying the night at her boyfriends house in the next street and wanted her to go over. DH sent her to bed and dead locked the doors. Another friend recently had a pregnancy scare. They are 14 years old!

It's easy to sit in judgement and blame any undesireable traits on the custodial parent, but what if DH and my child was just as angry as its brothers and sister? How would I deal with that? Would I cower from my own child? Would I turn into a screaming banshee?

Last week I met up with my RL stepmother friend. Hers are 11 and 13 (going on 21) and she's having a really hard time, she's at a point where she's finding it hard to like the kids. She told me she's so glad she decided not to have children of her own, she said she'd be devestated if her kids turned out like these and she found she didn't like her own children. She had always prided herself on being a good stepmum and is disappointed to think she's turning into her own stepmother, who she felt never really cared about her. She used to have activities lined up for the kids, camping trips, visitors, but now she refuses to take them anywhere because they are so sullen and ungrateful. She secretly hopes each fortnight that they will ring and cancel their visit.

She told me in one of our first conversations that even though she'd been in the kids lives since they were babies, if she left they would not miss her at all. I've always thought this as well. A few weeks ago DH was talking about his death with Rose and Tiger (I think they were telling him he works too hard). DH said that one of my fears about him dying was that I would never see the kids again. They both said no way, they would still keep coming every weekend and Tiger would still move in after school. Its funny that they say sweet things like that to their father but never to me.

It is such a tightrope we step-parents walk, wanting to be engaged in these children's lives but not step on toes of the "real" parents. I have spent years caring for other people's children. I've always thought that parenting my own child(ren) would be easier. I hope it would be easier. But would it? Is it?

Sunday, 9 November 2008

Twenty

Retrieval went well yesterday with 20 eggs collected.
Bloody sore.
Can't wait to hear fert report on Monday.
Thanks for your good wishes.

Thursday, 6 November 2008

Cluck Cluck

A woman I work with has two chooks in her inner-city backyard and she sometimes brings in cartons of eggs for us with stickers attached "with compliments of Laverne&Shirley". And they are great eggs - always so fresh with the brightest yellow yolks.

I'm going to need a few of those cartons to give Laverne&Shirley a run for their money. My scan this morning counted 43 follies, with the possibility of 20 eggs of around 17mm. Can I tell you how uncomfortable I am! But the good news is that I only have to hold out until Saturday for retrieval. We were expecting ER to be Monday, which I'm glad its not because DH's 18yo has a court appearance to get his learner drive permit back. But, thinking we had plenty of time we kind of, well, ahem, cleared the pipes last night. But the nurse said 3 days is better than 7. Imagine having a job where you had to ask people when they last had sex. Weird.

Anyway there's no going back now. What will be will be. Please send me sticky vibes, baby dust, good thoughts, prayers, whatever takes your fancy, I'll take all currencies.

Ovid.rel injection tonight then a drug-free day tomorrow (yay!).

Wednesday, 5 November 2008

Worried

I'm starting to get worried....

Worried that I will run out of Syn.arel and ovulate before egg retrieval
Worried that retrieval will fall on Monday when DH has made other plans
Worried that all the embryos will have chromosomal abnormalities and we'll have nothing to transfer
Worried that it won't work
Worried that it may work
Worried that we'll have another chemical pregnancy or miscarriage
Worried that I haven't done enough to ensure the success of this cycle
Worried that my future will be determined by something I have no control over

Stimming seems to be going well, I can certainly feel things growing. I have a date tomorrow with the dildo-cam, so will have a follie report and ER day by tomorrow afternoon.

PS: Congrats to the USA for making the brave choice! Now Mr Obama if you could just get on and fix the credit crisis we'd much appreciate it.

Saturday, 1 November 2008

meme

Topcat suggested this meme might help take my mind off Tuesday, but I've only got around to it today. Melbagirl - consider yourself tagged!

1. Where is your cell phone? Beside me
2. Where is your significant other? Racing around on his ride-on mower (his favourite toy)
3. Your hair color? Brown
4. Your mother? Means well
5. Your father? Grumpy bastard
6. Your favorite thing? My i-pod
7. Your dream last night? Telling. My friend had a baby who I held so much it grew more attached to me than her
8. Your dream/goal? To find comfort and acceptance in whatever the future brings
9. The room you are in? Dining room
10. Your hobby? Blogging
11. Your fear? Spiders
12. Where do you want to be in six years? Happy and drug free
13. Where were you last night? Laughing at Ron in a Harry.Potter movie with Rose
14. What you're not? Bitter. Well its a work in progress....
15. One of your wish list items? New house
16. Where you grew up? Lots of tiny country towns
17. The last thing you did? Sniffed some more Synar.el
18. What are you wearing? Jeans, long sleeve t-shirt
19. Your T.V.? Corporate gift. Non-HD LCD. Ripped off!
20. Your pet? 2 cats ScaredyCat and SuperCat, 2 goats Mavis and Maude
21. Your computer? Finally free from 16yo boys looking at p.orn
22. Your mood? Slowly coming down after a stressful couple of weeks
23. Missing someone? Always my grandmother
24. Your car? Volvo SUV
25. Something you're not wearing? Shoes
26. Favorite store? Stationary shops
27. Your Summer? On its way!
28. Love someone? I adore my Darling Husband
29. Your favorite color? Red
30. When is the last time you laughed? Last night with Rose
31. Last time you cried? Major meltdown in the shower Wednesday morning

Thursday, 30 October 2008

Benign!

Tuesday at the breast clinic was a surreal day. 4 hours in a room full of ladies my mothers age in dressing gowns. Four women touched my breasts, 3 of whom I wanted to punch in the face because they hurt me so much. (Not quite the male fantasy you were expecting hey googlers?)

Everyone could feel the lump but no cyst or anything else ominous was showing on the mammogram or ultrasound, so they sent me across the road to the hospital to see a specialist breast surgeon. She suggested it was a fatty tissue deposit most probably caused by the IVF meds. She did a needle biopsy and sent me home with a band-aid on my breast. Her office rang yesterday afternoon to say the tissue sample was benign fatty breast tissue. Yay! Today my breast is bruised black and blue, oh and a spash of red as a reaction to the band-aid. Boo!

I have to see the surgeon again in 3 months and the breast clinic in 12 months. But in the meantime I can continue with Cycle Number 13! First stim injection was last night, so we are off and racing.....

PS: the weekend away was fabulous. We ended up inviting some friends to stay Saturday night with us so it was a bit more boozy than relaxing but a lovely change of scenery all the same. I highly recommend Marks Restaurant in Lorne. Yum.

Thursday, 23 October 2008

Tuesday's the day

I found a breast clinic who could fit me in next Tuesday for an ultrasound and mammogram. They said to leave 4 hours for the appointment as they do the assessment, diagnosis and treatment plan all at the same time. I have my baseline blood test Tuesday morning as well.

I rang my IVF nurse to let her know what was going on. She will speak to my doctor today and we will make the decision about my cycle after Tuesday. I refuse to worry about anything until then. I've been getting loads of headaches lately and spent most of yesterday in bed with a migraine, so DH is worrying enough for two anyway.

Thankfully, I had already booked a weekend away with my Darling Husband for this weekend. We leave tomorrow and come back Monday. The weather is meant to be warm so I envisage lots of romantic walks along the beach, relaxing, reading and eating. Our mission, should we choose to accept it, is to find the best restaurant on The Great Ocean Road.

Tuesday, 21 October 2008

What now?

I rang to make an appointment with my local doctor today. The receptionist said there were no appointments until next week which didn't surprise me, but when I mentioned what my problem was there was a sudden cancellation this very afternoon! I guess everything has its up side.

I have a lump in my left breast. Sigh.

The breast clinic the doctor referred me to has an 8 week waiting list. I will try another clinic tomorrow to see if they can get me in any earlier. I don't want to wait 8 weeks.

It's probably a cyst. Most lumps are benign cysts. I know that. But for fucks sake! Cysts in my ovaries, cysts in my breast. Is any part of my body any good? I hope this stupid headache behind my eye is a tumor, so we can just get it over with already.

Should I cancel this cycle? Would it make any difference?

Friday, 17 October 2008

Sniffing

I started syn.arel this morning. The monster headache has started already.

Psychosomatic I know.
What! You calling me a psycho?

Go away I'm not even talking to you.
Fine! I hate you!
Sorry, the bcp hormona-bitch keeps interrupting me. Thankfully pill stops Tuesday.
Why don't you like me anymore?
Did I do something to upset you?
Just. Go. Away!

Ahhhhh. I can't believe I pay through the nose for these side effects.

Wednesday, 15 October 2008

Warning - baby photos

Introducing my gorgeous nephew. Two weeks old and wide awake. The first pic is with his dad and the second shows that the brain washing starts early in their house with the football team dummy.

And this stunning vision in pink is my 2yo niece posing with one of our goats. She's a city girl but has no fear of animals and kept trying to cuddle the horse's leg, definitely not something I would recommend. This tiny tot is well and truly brain washed - she can sing the whole bloody football team song!

Tuesday, 14 October 2008

Guest Ettiquette

My brother, my SIL and her mother, 2yo B and bonny new baby S came for the weekend! Someone needs to tell baby S that he is not even 2 weeks old yet and so should not be so alert and wakeful. Although I suppose if you allow for delays in prem babies, you should allow for advances in overdue bubs too, which actually makes him almost 1 month old. But still... the boy hardly slept and his eyes were always open, arms and legs constantly moving! Absolutely gorgeous though. I was given loads of time with him, pity time I know, but still I sucked it up. I took some lovely pic's of him with his dad which I'll post when I can be bothered to find the camera.

Both of my SILs are the same, they come for the weekend and never bring any food for their children, then raid my cupboards to feed them. I know that as guests they expect to be fed and that includes their children, which I do, fine, no problem, what I find odd is that they just help themselves. There is no way I would just reach into their fridge and take food without asking first, I don't even do that at my mother' s house. I even take my own food when I go to babysit.

The stepkids stayed Friday night (a whole other story!) and Rose brought a friend. I walked into the kitchen at one point to find Rose's friend eating the olives and fancy dip that I had bought especially for my visitors.

Kids are different of course, but what is the ettiquette with guests? I guess they think that I have bought the food to feed them, so there's no need to ask if they can eat it. But my SILs will even help themselves to leftovers and will happily eat that last chocolate biscuit you've been saving without saying a word, things that clearly have not be purchased for them. I am pleased that they they obviously feel at home in my house, and they all say they love coming here because they do get looked after so well. But I am stuck at the thought that I would not behave the same way at their houses. Are they the normal ones here, is it just me being overly sensitive? Be honest. Tell me. Am I a food prude?

Edited to add: I guess my concern is linked to what they are likely to find whilst ferreting about in my fridge - my very large stash of drugs with giveaway words in large lettering, like preg.nyl and follitrop.in beta. They are very nice women but the last thing I need is people ringing me up and asking if I'm pregnant yet, thank you very much.

Friday, 10 October 2008

Topcat's Inaugural Downunder Dork-Off




In the interests of Topcat's sanity (and pure entertainment value), I am entering her Dork-off Competition. It's easy - just find the dorkiest photo of yourself and post it for the world to see! Link it back to her blog.


The first pic (can you tell I don't know how to add photos properly in blogger?) is me in 1984 around my 15th birthday. I had insisted that I be allowed to get my hair permed for my 15th birthday. I think my mother let me have it done just for a laugh, but at the time I thought it was so cool. Later, at the height of Howard Jones' 80's popularity, I spiked it up even boofier and cut the sides above my ears really short. Camera's were obviously banned in our house during that period. My hair colour looks quite red in this shot and although I have the skin tone of a red head I'm not really, I think its just that the photo is so very old!

The second pic is of me at about 10 when I entered (?) and won (!) the "Miss Nowhere Town" at the Nowhere Town Show. In my defence, I vaguely recall that my mother and her friends made me enter because no-one liked the mother of the girl who had won the past 3 years. Checkout those skinny pins! Oh, and the glow in the dark sandals. Noice!

For almost 2 years I have kept this blog anonymous, now in the last month I have spilled my name and posted photo's of myself. Oh dear. Although I'm pretty sure no-one would be willing to associate themselves with me in the light of these photo's - if you do know me, please don't tell anyone.

Go join the laughter and dancing at Topcat's house. There's a prize on offer!

Thursday, 9 October 2008

PGD cycle

DH and I had an appointment at the clinic yesterday, we were told it was to be a Genetic Counselling session, compulsory for couples doing Embryo Biopsy/PGD. I wouldn't exactly call it counselling but it was interesting none the less. Basically an embryologist took us through a picture book of what the biopsy actually entails, the particular chromosomes they test and explained half a dozen times that they cannot guarantee that the end result will be a pregnancy or that a child born from this procedure will not have any abnormalities, or indeed that there will even be any embryos without abnormalities to transfer.

I have been so focussed on "okay lets do this to see if we can get some answers" that it didn't occur to me until halfway through the session that we are going to have to pay for this today. We can't really afford this right now. Oops. Minor detail! Bloody hell, where do you just find $6,500? Sorry kids Christmas has just been cancelled.

I've been on the pill for a week now so the sniffing is due to start next week. Yay bring on more headaches. Just what I need. This cycle is the first one where I'm thinking that if the drug side effects get too bad I'm just going to stop taking them and call the whole thing off. Yep, I definitely think this will be our last try.

But then what will I blog about? I'll just have to become a serial lurker.

Monday, 6 October 2008

Weekend Warriors

During the week DH and I are slaves to our 2 cats, while on weekends we become slaves to his kids. This was another weekend full of driving kids hither and to, and generally being at beck and call despite our mutual feelings of crapiness thanks to some sort of cold/stomach bug thingamy.

Rose had a friend stay Friday night and decided to have a horror movie night. They tried to slip a couple of R-rated ones past me in the video shop; nice try but no cigar. So all night we were subjected to various high pitched screams, squeals and laughter. Quite funny really, reminded me of that TV ad where a sleep-deprived-looking mother opens her daughter's bedroom door to see squealing girls with sheets, blankets and doona's over their heads running around wildly, the voice over says something like "the sleepovers won't last but the sheet's will".

I had to go into work early on Saturday morning but was too sick to get as much done as I had hoped. I rang home to see how DH was doing, "I couldn't stand the squealing and giggling any more so I'm outside doing manly things like washing my car". Hee hee. Poor baby had to cook dinner Saturday night for everyone as I was in bed by 5pm!

Tiger won another g.olf tournament this weekend to add to the other one he won during the week. He thinks this should bring his handicap down to 6. He's obsessed. Thank God though, we often say it's the best thing for him because it keeps him off the streets. Quite a few of kids he used to hang out with are now regular dope smokers, "greening_out" at school and getting into trouble. Most of the people he plays golf with are much older then him. He gets on really well with the retired old men at the Club. They love to teach the youngsters about the etiquette and rules of the game, and they all know his grandfather, which helps keep him in line too. A wise old woman who met Tiger as a toddler told DH "keep this one entertained".

I've been wanting to organise a weekend away for DH and I for a while now, but it keeps getting put it off as things for the kids or family pop up, but I'm quite sure they can all live without us for one weekend while we go lie on a beach. I am going to book it today if it kills me.

Friday, 3 October 2008

What was I thinking?

I weighed myself this morning.....

The horror! The horror!

Wednesday, 1 October 2008

Is this thing on?

Cycle Day 1 was Sunday, and I finally got around to ringing the clinic today. Up to yesterday I had been oscillating still on whether to start now or give myself a break and wait until next year, but then the baby news came through.... So I start on the pill today. Nothing like a little competition to spur a girl on! LOL

My brother and SIL had a boy! Yay, I was hoping they'd have a boy. They used our maternal grandfather's and our father's names which has pleased our parents no end. I'm yet to meet him but already he seems to be taking after his father by proving himself to be a bit of a handful. They were preparing V for a caesarian because bub would not engage (he finally did at the very last minute) and then he gave everyone a fright by choking during his first feed and turning bright blue. The pictures are very cute. My mother tells me he's going to be a stunner like his dad.

Surely it must be my turn next?! Hello? Universe? Can anyone hear me? Is this thing on?

Wednesday, 24 September 2008

Insanity

If the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result.

Then this my friends is insane!

I am starting another cycle. Lucky 13.

Just waiting for the witch to make her appearance then I'm starting on the horrid Pill. If all goes well, embryo transfer should be in early November. The only change from last time is that we are adding Embryo Biopsy to the list of expenses. My Doctor moonlights as a nerdy scientist, so he wants to be able to understand and explain the implantation failure. The most likely culprit at my 'advanced' age is a chromosomal abnormality of the embryo. If nothing else, the biopsy may give us some answers and help us make some decisions about what to do next.

I'm feeling quite negative about the whole thing really. I think I'm preparing myself for the biopsy revealing bad news. Confirming once and for all that my eggs are old and crap and to continue would be useless. I probably need to hear this but I don't want to.

Wednesday, 17 September 2008

Bumped

I took my mother-in-law out for lunch today. I had invited my mother as well, but she was waiting on a phone call so couldn't make it! Her fourth Grandchild is due any day now you see. God forbid that she'd be wasting time with me when such important things are happening 100kms away from her.

Oh, I suppose I shouldn't be bitter. I think that my mother is jealous that she's not needed this time, my sister-in-law's mother is here from the UK, so all she can do is sit and wait for the announcement. But, really, I do get sick of being bumped for the Grandkids. Oh, and with every new baby celebration my mother turns to me and whispers "You should at least try to be happy for them". I am Mum, this grimace IS my happy face. ARRRRGGHHHH! I should never have told her!

I love my brother and his wife and I absolutely adore their 2 year old. I truly hope this baby is a boy, my brother will be an awesome dad to a son. But I can't wait until its all over so that we might talk about something else.

Friday, 12 September 2008

Catching up with my age

As a kid, life seemed to roll on so slowly didn't it? The school week would seem to stretch on forever, and the year between birthdays or Christmas was interminable. Now it all goes so fast, before I even wake up properly in the morning the week has gone! And the months are barely registering. It scares the bejeezus out of me. My husband must be the same as me; we have so many neglected projects at the moment that I wake at 3am and worry and berate myself until I am a buzzing ball of anxiety. I wonder if its just a winter thing, and now we are heading into Summer the days will become longer and I can get more done. I sure hope so. I'd really like to get more sleep.

Work has been so very busy lately, probably a good thing, to really focus on something. We seem to be having the kids over every weekend lately. Leading me to plee with DH "I just need one weekend without kids pleeese" which is kind of disconcerting considering that my main aim in life at present is to have a child myself. But these kids are teenagers, which is, like, totally different. They are selfish and messy and need constant attention and entertainment..... see the difference!!!

Whenever DH's kids are sick, they ring us. "I feel sick can I come to your house?" or "My throat is really sore... what should I do" or "Can Louise take me to the Dentist?" I don't know why they do this. Lately they've all been sick so DH's phone rings off the hook each night. Its great that they keep in such regular contact at their ages, but selfishly I'd occasionally just like an uninterupted evening with my husband.

On Saturday night Dh was about to drive 16yo Tiger to a party. Tiger was getting money out of his wallet and fussing with his hair, I saw DH looking intently at something on the back of the couch, then he quickly stuffed it into his pocket and they left. From my angle, the something on the couch was shiny red plastic about 2 inches square. After they left I suddenly thought OMG that was a condom! Thats why DH shoved it into his pocket so quickly! But Tiger's too young! He can't be having sex! He's just a boy! He still watches cartoon movies for god's sake and uses his baby voice to tell me he's "Hungy" or "Tirsty"! I didn't know whether to be worried or proud he was at least using condoms. When DH returned I learnt the red shiny thing was in fact a lolly wrapper!

Ironically, that night we sat with 13yo Rose and watched the movie Juno. I bawled almost all the way through it. Sadly, I had not thought to warn DH what it was about, so I noticed a few tears on his cheeks too. After it finished DH was giving me a hug in the kitchen, Rose came in, looked at my face and said "Soooo, that was a sad movie for you guys?". They don't know about IVF, mainly because we don't want their mother to know, but I thought that a simple "I'm Vanessa" would have been a great way to introduce it to her. Anyway she loved the movie but thought that the way the father and stepmother dealt with the news of the pregnancy was unrealistic. "All parents would skitz if their 16yo daughter got pregnant". Oh. Okay.

At the moment it seems that the Screaming Banshee has lightened her attacks on Rose, and now has Tiger in her sights. Every week lately she rings DH threatening to kick Tiger out of her house. I doubt that she will, because in her eyes keeping the kids with her means winning whatever twisted competition she thinks divorce is. But if she does, boy won't that shake things up around here. Am I ready for this? I have a theory that babies are small and cute and cuddly and smell so good, so that you still love them when they become aggressive, moody teenagers.

Thursday, 28 August 2008

Enter at your own risk

Be warned: following is a long, rambling, possibly incoherent post by an emotionally fragile middle-aged woman struggling to cope with the shitty cards life has dealt her, most recently two biochemical pregnancies in a goddamn row. Oh, and it will probably contain several swear words.

We met with Dr No the other night, and while he had no answers he was excited that we'd gotten so close. I expected all doom and gloom and 'you should be considering donor eggs', etc, and so burst into tears almost as soon as I sat down. Damn stupid emotions. But instead he said he was pleased with my egg quality and fertilisation rates and recommended that we try again. He said he didn't consider me old, or unhealthy, or obese (come to Australia WordGirl, we might well be the fattest nation but we live happily in denial!). While I admit to being the heaviest I have ever been, I have tried IVF 10kg lighter and had no joy then either so I don't really think weight makes any difference.

It's so frustrating to not know why IVF isn't working. All of the tests are clear, and for all intents and purposes I am perfectly 'normal'. My eggs and embyro's look okay but obviously just turn to shit after blastocyst stage. Or maybe I just have the womb of doom, which kills anything that even attempts to implant. Either way, it completely and utterly sucks.

I have become aware in the last six months that IVF has overtaken my life. I live, breathe and sleep TTC and IVF. While I am not yet willing to give up blogging, I am attempting to reclaim my life in all other areas. I have gone back to work full time, resigned from the IVF support group, and even spilled the beans to my brothers. Sadly I think this is my way of preparing to stop the TTC battle. My life has been in a holding pattern for too long now, it can't continue. I am not living, I'm just existing until I have a baby. But I need to concede that it may never happen. As much as it makes me cry just to type that sentence. It's the truth. It has cost so much, financially, spiritually and emotionally. It's not fair on my husband. I. Need. To. Move. On.

But in typical Louise fashion, why make a decision today when it can be put off until tomorrow. I think that I need one more try to be able to tell myself that I did everything I could. Its such a momentous decision. I have to live with this forever. I have to be sure. Fuck. I'm so upset that I have to deal with this shit. Why can't I just be deciding on whether or not to get a fucking tattoo!

Monday, 18 August 2008

Bad news day

The hpt this morning was negative.

I have not gone in for the blood test. Not strong enough today..... maybe tomorrow, maybe next week...

Thursday, 14 August 2008

Hello again

Welcome back to Purgatory, weren't you just here in May?

I am a little bit pregnant, not very much, but more than last time.

My beta came back at 62.

Although Wednesday's pee stick was slightly darker, I knew it would be low but I was hoping for over 100. Now we have to wait until Monday for the next test.

I can't thank you enough for your support. I wish I had something more definitive for us to celebrate, but according to my husband I'm not one for doing things normally. I honestly would be lost without all of you. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

I hope to have better news on Monday.

Tuesday, 12 August 2008

Pee sticks are evil

This is my first experience with a positive pee stick before the blood test.
I think I'm doing it right; same brand, first pee of the day, more than 10 days after the trigger shot.
Yesterday's second line was faint.
This morning's was bordering on the invisible.
I have no symptoms.
I tried not to get excited. But in rode Hope wearing her full regalia on her fancy white horse, Moet in one hand, party shoes in the other. Haven't seen hide nor hair of her this morning. I imagine she's trying to sleep off a hangover in a corner somewhere, tiara askew, one shoe missing.
Today I'm confused and scared.
Mostly scared.
Why is my line disappearing?

Thursday afternoon is an age away.
How do I function like a sane person until then?

Monday, 11 August 2008

8dp5dt or 13dpo

The HPT this morning had a very faint second line!

Please continue doing whatever you are doing. Wish me up a big fat beta result on Thursday and real live take-home baby. Please.....

I do believe in Dr Weston, I do, I do

Thursday, 7 August 2008

Midweek madness

Am I waiting for joy or waiting for heartbreak?

News on Monday was that out of 40+ follicles, 21 eggs, 10 embryos, and 2 blastocysts transferred - non of the remaining embryos were good enough to freeze. In fact, the nurse said they had all started to degenerate. Bugger.

Maybe they shouldn't give you this information until after the pregnancy test, because of course now my mind is thinking that if the rest of the batch were no good then there is no hope for the two transferred.

I am trying to push past this by spending embarrassing amounts of time just staring at photos of the Jolie.Pitt non-ivf twins, as if I can will the same into my uterus (though mine of course will be loud and proud ivf twins).

A funny thing happened at the transfer, besides leaving my wallet and phone (which my darling husband went back to collect the next day). My Doctor, whom I call Dr No because of his refusal to consider scientifically unproven treatments, told me to "just believe". Mind you, this was just after he told us of his personal 50% success rate, so perhaps I'm mistaken in thinking he meant I should believe in the universe giving me what I want or like in Peter Pan 'I do believe in fairies, I do, I do', perhaps he meant I should just believe in him. To cover all bases, I'm doing both.

Sunday, 3 August 2008

Blast off!

I survived the early wake up call this morning and didn't smack anyone! I was so proud, but then I left my wallet and phone at the hospital, so not so happy with myself now.

There was another Dr on duty today but my new FS came in especially just to do my transfer. I think he has control issues, but still it was very nice of him. My other FS personally performed exactly none of my previous 9 retrievals and 8 transfers.

Anyway, I had 2 lovely looking blastocysts transferred into, I think, the fluffiest lining I have ever produced. So if this one doesn't work I'm not sure there is anywhere else for us to go, but that's a worry for another day.

Feeling very crampy, so its off to bed for this little black duck. Good luck to everyone cycling this month.

Saturday, 2 August 2008

All set for transfer

7 little embies are still growing this morning, so everything looks set for a 2 blasty transfer tomorrow. Unfortunately I am booked in for 7.45am! I have two small problems with this; 1) we live about 2 hours from this clinic, and 2) I am not a morning person at the best of times. I am a very cranky woman if I have to get out of bed when the time starts with a 5 on a weekday, so on a Sunday, oh boy, its not gonna be pretty.

And while I'm having a whinge, can I just say that my insides hurt like a motherf*#^er when I sneeze, which is all bloody day! The things we put our self through....

“Any child I might possibly bear had better be an absolute angel. I’m talking breathtaking physical beauty and slavish obedience.”

One of my favourite quotes from Ovagirl's book Legs up & Laughing.

Wednesday, 30 July 2008

Then there were ten

Of the 21 eggs, eleven were good enough for ICSI and ten fertilised.

Still sore and sorry. Sunday will be transfer day.

Tuesday, 29 July 2008

New trick - old chook

21 eggs collected today.
21!
Not too shabby for such an old chook!
From 40+ follicles
Polycystic much?

Dr No was bragging that he can collect more eggs than most of the other surgeons, but tomorrow will be the telling point. How many will be mature enough to fertilise?

Still bleeding, pain about a 6 out of 10, but thats the easy bit done, now comes the hard part...

Friday, 25 July 2008

Good Golly Follie

The sonographer today counted 40+ follicles! No wonder I couldn't get out of bed this morning!

I have been worrying about doubling my dose of Pure.gon this time and overstimulating, but the follie count hasn't gone up terribly much from last time and my hormone levels are fine so it all looks ok so far.

Most of the follicles are about between 12-14mm so I'll have 2 more stims and then trigger Sunday night. Retrieval will be Tuesday. I have to travel about 2 hours to the other clinic because Dr No wants to do the procedure himself. To be honest I actually prefer the other clinic, the view is not as good, but they only do gyno procedures so its more comfortable, and prettier too.

Thank you all for your comments on my last post, I really appreciate your input. Rose is coming this weekend so I'll talk to her then. Pam at Wordgirl, I have to say that step-parenting is the hardest thing I've ever done too. LL you make me laugh so much my ovaries hurt! Unfortunately yes, the Screaming Banshee is definitely a wanna-be Rober.ta Willia.ms, with purple hair!

Tuesday, 22 July 2008

Teenage Angst

I read somewhere that the two most difficult years of a woman's life are the year she turns 13 and the year her daughter turns 13. My stepdaughter, the gorgeous Rose, is halfway through her 13th year. DH and I have no problems with her whatsoever, but admittedly she's only with us a couple of nights a fortnight. At her mother's house there are almost nightly yelling incidents between her and The Screaming Banshee (her mother) and sometimes the Loser Boyfriend, which all too often escalate into violence, verbal abuse and tears.

We, of course, just get Rose's side of the story. She is a strong willed girl and I'm sure she could be a handful if she wanted to be, after all she is her mother's daughter. And as the name suggests, her mother is a Screaming Banshee with a very short fuse. She is prone to massive temper tantrums in which she will scream, yell, and throw insults (and the occasional object). Her most popular insult at the moment is to call Rose a slut, which has its desired effect of reducing Rose to tears. Rose rang DH this morning upset because she heard her mother telling someone else that 'Rose is becoming a real little slut'.

There have been many incidents over the years that I have felt warranted our intervention, but DH has always been reluctant, he doesn't want to give the Banshee an excuse to enter our lives so we shouldn't enter hers. But I am struggling with this. Rose is on the cusp of that age when boys become all consuming, I don't want her to be making decisions with thoughts in her head like 'oh well Mum already thinks I'm a slut'.

I talk alot with Rose about body image and self esteem but we haven't spoken directly about this. I sent her an email today with a daggy little 'I love you' song (so cute!) to cheer her up, but I apart from "your mother is an idiot" I'm not sure what to say.

Sorry about my rant, but I'm in need of some assvice. I understand that parenting teenage girls is difficult, but what kind of mother calls her 13 year old a slut?! How do you ask/tell a co-parent to change the way they are parenting their child? How do I undo the poison this woman is putting in her daughter's head? Am I making a mountain out of a molehill?

Monday, 21 July 2008

Multi-tasking Mania

DH and I have so many projects happening at once we are giving multi-tasking a bad name! Poor DH is working ridiculous hours but still can't catch up, which is not helping him to get over his Shingles. Oops, that's 2 posts now that I have called him "Poor DH". I shouldn't do that, he already thinks that DH stands for 'd!ckhead' so 'poor d!ickhead' is probably quite insulting. In case you thought the same... DH actually stands for Darling Husband - which he is by the way and not a d!ckhead at all (well except for that one time when he got drunk at my brother's wedding, but lets not go there!)

Anyhoo, back to the point. We have sooooo much on that life is just not much fun at the moment. We are paying out money hand over fist and not really getting anything in return. We know that there is light at the end of the tunnel and eventually all this mania will pay dividends, but its hard to remember that right now.

We went out for dinner with friends in the city on Friday night, so rather than drive the hour home only to get up and drive all the way back in the morning, I booked a Hotel room. It was lovely to be 'home' so quick after dinner and relax with a nightcap (or two) then get up and have a leisurely breakfast in the morning. It's very hard to make the injection part of the evening romantic, but I got dolled up, wearing make-up and even matching underwear! I think this was the biggest surprise of the night! Not sexy underwear mind you, just the same colour. I don't want you to think I went totally overboard!

Saturday was spent putting together an I.KEA kitchen in our almost finished brand new office building. I think their instructions are written in Chinese first then translated to Swedish then to English, and the person who draws the little diagrams aspires to be a political satire cartoonist. But we got most of it built, although it took all day and we got no other work done. I did suggest to DH that we get a kitchen manufacturer to build a kitchen for us, but he suggested that I pull my head in. Personally I think if you have to build it yourself it's not cheap at all, but maybe that's just because I come from a family full of technically-inept men.

Dinner was interesting on the Friday night. W is quite a few years older than DH and this is his second marriage, his children are all adults. C is my age and said very plainly that she has never wanted to have kids. DH and I looked at each other and I knew right away what he was thinking. So many of our friends are like this. We thought of at least 4 couples right away who are childless by choice or whose children have left home, who would be extremely disappointed in us if we suddenly (in their minds) announced we were having a baby. This makes me feel sad in one way, that we would probably lose friends if we had a baby, but strangely happy in another, if this IVF lark proves impossible at least we have a network of friends who won't ask why we don't have kids.

Friday, 18 July 2008

Can you believe it....... Cycle#12

In the wise words of Chris Martin and Cold Play (The Scientist)

nobody said it was easy
oh it's such a shame for us to part
nobody said it was easy
no one ever said it would be so hard
I'm going back to the start


Injections started last night for Cycle number 12. This is only the second full down-regulated cycle I have done, the first being my very first IVF. But this time the new Doc has doubled my Pure.gon dose which could be interesting. I'm terribly worried about over stimulating but we shall wait and see, it could be the one thing that makes all the difference. I truly hope it is.

Monday, 14 July 2008

Weighed Down

My weight loss goal of 5kg before the end of July is not going well. I have been to the gym twice in the past week and have had 2 migraines in the past week. My migraines usually only last about 24 hours but leave me fuzzy and feeling pretty drained for a few days afterwards - during which time I eat lots of lovely comfort foods to make myself feel better... I dare not weigh myself this week.

My old Pilate's instructor told me that if the body is weak it will not get pregnant. I keep trying things to strengthen my body, but this happens every time. I suffer regular headaches at the best of times (my theory has something to do with weak neck muscles), and if I persist with the gym work maybe I can fix whatever the problem is and be rid of them forever. But my body seems to be blocking any attempt I make at trying to help it. I don't understand this body of mine. Why can't it just work properly?!

I read an article recently, written by a kinesiologist, about the subconscious, the part of the brain that connects with the nervous system and tries to keep our bodies safe from pain and fear (fight or flight responses). It said that the subconscious can put up mental blocks that can work against us getting pregnant. In a life or death situation like starvation it will tell the body to 'shut down' certain functions to preserve itself. In term of trying to conceive, the article says that if you have pets (or even a job) that you mother, your subconscious may tell your body to 'shut down' your reproductive functions because you already have babies to care for. Or, if you have unresolved emotional issues to do with childhood trauma involving a parent or parental figure, your subconscious may block pregnancy trying to save you the pain of reliving the trauma should you become a parent yourself.

I am wary of kinesiologists. The few I have met have all seemed a really flaky and weird. But I'm starting to think that there may be something in this particular theory. Because I was se.xually assaulted as a child, my teenage years were horrible as I dealt with my emerging se.xuality and I still have a few hangups. So it's safe to say that I probably have a few subconscious blocks relating to this, but whether or not they are to blame for my infertility I'm not sure. But, just in case, I have recently started trying to deal with this by saying out loud (to my empty house) things that happened and repeating to myself that "I WILL be a great mother" and "I CAN protect my children". Perhaps I should also add "My body is healthy and strong and ready to reproduce".

Monday, 7 July 2008

Verbally advanced 2 year olds and impending births

My DH has been so stressed and overworked lately that he's had a dose of shingles, poor baby. He's had it before and it tends to reappear when he's run down. Unfortunately, there is nothing to be done for it so he has just had to suffer through. Mind you, he's very good at this - a martyr from way back!

We were on our way to my parents house on Saturday when my younger brother rang to invite himself to see us, so instead he invited himself to our parents as well. Both Mum and Dad are quite sick with colds so it was just meant to be a very quiet weekend, a bit of a pity party really, but all of a sudden Mum had to cater for an extra 2 adults and a 2 year old. Which of course she did fine, because she's another martyr!

I love my brother and his wife, and their daughter is just gorgeous too, but as always my stomach drops and I wonder how I will cope seeing my SIL in all her 7 month pregnant glory. My concern is my wayward emotions, its not that I envy her or hate her for her ability to do what I can't. I just worry that I will cry at an inopportune time or say something terribly bitter or morose, like "Goddamn it, why can't I be 7 months pregnant!" and make everyone uncomfortable. We have not told them about our struggles, although I'm sure that my mother has. We get on really well and I'm positive they would be very supportive (her 2 closest friends are doing IVF, one has 2 kids the other has none as yet) but I just can't seem to find the right time/situation to bring it up.

How do you drop "we've been trying to have a baby together for 5 years and are about to start our 12th attempt" into general conversation? Especially when there is a verbally advanced 2 year old and an impending birth to talk about. Consequently, we didn't tell them and my mother accused us of being quiet, and DH didn't get the relaxing weekend I was hoping for.

As an aside, my SIL had this picture book about a new baby coming into a family. It was terribly disturbing. The family were zebra's, the mother wore a dress but the father only wore a hat (feeding the theory that women should be ashamed of their bodies?). Anyway Mama Zebra goes away and comes back with a baby which has a speech balloon on almost every page of "Whah, whah, whah". Little Boy Zebra wants a cuddle from Mama Zebra but Mama Zebra is too busy feeding, cleaning or otherwise placating New Baby Zebra. Little Boy Zebra gets increasingly distressed throughout the story "Can I have a cuddle now?!" until finally Mama Zebra gives him a cuddle and reads him a bedtime story. My brother and SIL had better hope that their verbally advanced child cannot understand the moral of this story - that once this baby is born she'll be ignored all day until bedtime - or they'll have a mutiny on their hands!

Saturday, 28 June 2008

Mega-bitch

You know, strange as this may sound, sometimes infertility has its advantages. Infertile people don't have worry about contraception. Take the birth control pill.... because I sure as hell can't!!!

My new protocol involves taking the pill for a month. I am 7 days in and I am a bitch, a horrible, nasty, angry witch who'd bite heads off chickens! I have to keep my mouth shut tight in case the nasty thoughts in my head actually make their way out. All I want to do is curl up in a ball and bawl. I have a thumping headache and the startings of a cold which don't help either, but I know its mostly due to the pill.

I remember when I moved in with my first husband I started taking the pill, and I think I lasted a similar amount of time before he threw them out and told me not to take them ever again. The change in my mood was so dramatic. I took it again for a few months when I first started seeing my DH, but I don't remember any adverse reactions then.

I hope this is temporary, or this cycle will have to be cancelled. HELP! Any ideas? Vitamin B maybe? St Johns Wort? Crystal m.eth? :0(

Friday, 27 June 2008

Depleted Optimism

I've decided that I need to increase my level of optimism. I am entering into a new IVF cycle, with a new FS and a new protocol, even a new hospital, and I should be hopeful and excited about it. Who knows, this may well be my last shot at motherhood (but please don't quote me on that, I'm almost out of steely resolve too).

My Darling Husband is an eternal optimist with everything in his life. In his business he constantly bites off more than he can chew and then just chews like mad, never doubting that it can be done. I am the naysayer of the relationship. I'll even admit to being a little resistant to change. DH comes up with grand schemes, for a holiday, for rebuilding our house, for the business. Like a puppy, he comes bounding up and starts playfully nudging my hand "let's do this, why don't we do that?". Then he hits a brick wall. Me. Within seconds I can come up with 10 reasons why we can't. The usual one is "we can't afford it" and, oh, how he hates that one.

With IVF, he is certain that each cycle will be successful, which is probably why he finds the whole thing so hard. Each month he asks when I'm ovulating. I have PCOS, I do not ovulate normally. Do you not understand why we're doing IVF? But each month he is optimistic, despite the diagnosis, despite 15 years failing to conceive, despite 12 unsuccessful cycles of ART treatment, that we will miraculously fall pregnant 'naturally'.

Oh how I envy him that optimism - its almost like a religion. He kneels at the alter of Optimism and will not waver in his beliefs. How good would that be! But how do you 'catch' that sort of religious fervour? DH thinks his optimism stems from playing sport. The mentality that even if your team is down by a huge margin, you can't give in to negative thoughts, you have to keep playing as if winning is still possible. He cites a beautiful example, forever embedded in Australian sporting folklore. An Australian was competing in the speed skating final at the 2002 Winter Olympic Games, five competitors were skating around and around in a circle with our Aussie coming way last. On the final corner the leader slipped and fell taking out the three competitors directly behind him and our man was able to glide right on past to win Australia's first ever Winter Olympic gold medal. He later said that was exactly the outcome he was hoping for. So very Australian.

At this point I should explain that this train of thought began at 3.30am, but don't worry I'm almost done! I am wondering if it's possible to change from being a pessimist to become an optimist? I really want to be positive about this cycle, after all there are many things to be excited about, so I will attempt to change my spots. Negative thoughts and pessimism consider yourselves banished.

Monday, 23 June 2008

I think an apology is in order

Thank you kind friends for checking in on me. I can't believe its been so long since my last post. I am very very sorry for being so slack. A couple of things have been going on but nothing to excuse such an extended absence.

I have a new job! I have never really done this sort of work before so have been doing some training and struggling just to get my head around it. To be honest I'm a bit scared that I will completely stuff it up, but diving in head first anyway.

The D&C has also thrown me a bit as well. It sounds ridiculous because its not the same at all, but since the low positive and the D&C I feel I have been grieving another miscarriage. Not the raw grief and tears like last time, but this time anger, confusion and isolating myself (which I have always been good at). I considered giving up altogether, I considered donor eggs, I even considered moving to a third world country and setting up an orphanage. After all this considering, my only decision was to delay any decisions until after hearing the results from Doctor No.

Which we did last week. The barrage of tests have all come back offering no discernible reason for my 'recurrent implantation failure'. His only advise was to keep going with treatment, but this time try a 'standard' IVF with the contraceptive pill and long down regulation protocol. DH and I barely had time to discuss what we wanted to do when AF unexpectedly arrived and forced my hand - we either start now and transfer at the end of July, or wait to start in July and transfer late August. I decided on the former, so apparently Cycle Number 12 has begun.

I have joined a gym in the hope of shedding at least 5kg by the end of July, and trying to get my diet under control. I need to cut back on my sugar intake, it does my PCOS absolutely no favours but I do love and crave it so. I am an average cook but a lazy one and not a big fan of my winter vegies, but I put it in writing here that I will make more of an effort. I even made pumpkin soup on the weekend! My Chiropractor says I need to include 15+ fruit/veg in my diet daily but I just can't see that happening.

First AF since the D&C has been a true bitch. I haven't had one this heavy and painful for years. So bad that it has been waking me during the night. I think this is what's been causing my weird dreams. The last few nights I dreamed that I was pregnant (one night I was carrying 4 babies, one for me and 3 for one of you!), last night I went to bed hoping to have the same dreams again but instead some guy shot me about 6 times in the back as I was running away and left me to bleed to death. I prefer the pregnant dreams please.

I've been doing some quick lurking so I'm aware of what most of you are up to, but it may take me a couple of days to catch up on my commenting. Slacker. Sorry.

Saturday, 24 May 2008

Empty Uterus

The hyster.oscopy wasn't as bad as I expected. I am recovering quite well with a heat pack and ibopro.fen. No fibroids or polyps were found which is good, but still leaves us in the dark about what the hell is wrong. I have to wait until next week to have my blood taken and then meet again with Dr No in a couple of weeks to discuss the endometrial biopsy results. I hope there is a treatable answer in their somewhere.

Wednesday, 21 May 2008

Trading blows with Doctor No

My Doctor is away for a couple of months and planning on retiring soon, so last night I met the Doctor who is taking over the practice. Camp as a row of tents but very blunt and to the point. The first thing he said was a comment on how big my file is. When I asked why we seem to be having trouble with implantation his first answer was "the biggest factor would be maternal age". Ouch. Nice right hook you have there mister.

I asked if we needed to look at my estrogen levels (no, they're fine), immune testing (no, don't trust the science) and PGD testing (no, waste of money). I forgot to ask about assisted hatching, but my guess is that he wouldn't like that either. Poor DH and the medical student just whistled and studied the ceiling while I threw all my DrGoogle questions at the Doctor and he hurled his blunt answers back at my head. They must hate patients who do their own research.

So our new plan of attack starts with more bloodwork and a investigative hystero.scopy and D&C. Tomorrow!

I'm scared. I hate the gas they fill you with during these things and all the feedback I've heard about this new Doctor is that he is very thorough and so his procedures are extra painful. I'm pretty sure, after all the procedures I've had in the last few years, if there was anything to find it would have been found already. But at this point I'm just happy that he's willing to cover all the bases with me, and if we rule everything else out and just leave "maternal age" then maybe I'll be more willing to accept that its time to stop.

Monday, 19 May 2008

Weekend Fallout

It's official. I have become my worst nightmare!

I went to a friend's place on Friday night, for a cocktail party where a dull woman undersold the many merits of very expensive plasticware. There was about a dozen women all known to my friend through their children's school, then myself and another friend. I should have known. I shouldn't have gone in the first place. The conversation was all babies and children. I was coping, barely, until a woman near me started to talk about how her 6 month old was born despite her husband having had a vasectomy. The other women huddled around, including my two friends, making comments like "oh you poor thing", "you should sue" and "if I fell pregnant again I would just die". And then it happened... I started crying and had to leave the room. I hid in a bedroom, and the tears just wouldn't stop.

K1 and K2 are my closest friends and we have known each other for 15+ years. They are the only friends who know that DH and I are doing IVF. Both of them are Social Workers, but their reactions couldn't have been more different. K2 came looking for me and apologised for her insensitivity, she said she hadn't put herself in my shoes before and it only just occurred to her that moments like that might be hard for me. She sat and talked with me while I cried. K1, the host of the party, was immensely pissed off and kept coming into the room looking for things then going out again leaving the door wide open. I don't know if she was jealous that K2 and I were doing something without her or if she was just uncomfortable with the open display of emotions. I didn't bother to ask. The next morning we went out for breakfast and K1 announced that we should go to Phu.ket for a week early next year, in celebration of us all turning 40, and because "its the first time in 10 years that none of us are pregnant or breastfeeding".

Does everyone else have trouble maintaining friendships IRL? Should I try to explain things, ask for more support and sensitivity from them, or just let it go? Its so hard. I wouldn't cope at all if it wasn't for my soul mate, my darling husband. And you guys are just brilliant, you always comment with love and are a great support to me, even when you are having a tough time yourselves. Yet my RL friends won't even ring me in the next few weeks to check if I'm ok. Perhaps I am too high maintenance for them now?

Wednesday, 14 May 2008

How quickly we fall

11dp5dt - beta 27 , progesterone 300
16dp5dt - beta 0 , progesterone 6

Fuck. Fuckitty. Fuck. Fuck.

Monday, 12 May 2008

Purgatory

Purgatory (pronunciation: per ga tawr-ee)
  • any condition or place of temporary punishment, suffering, expiation, or the like.

What to feel? What to think? What is happening? I wish I knew.

To be honest, I am finding it hard to think of anything else. I am feeling sensitive breasts with sometimes sore and tingly nipples, off and on cramps, stitches in my side, sore lower back, not quite nauseous but light-headed and weirdly cranky if I don't eat regularly. I. Feel. Pregnant. And then it all stops and I feel 'normal' again. And then the symptoms start up again....

I POAS on Friday and saw a faint line. I POAS this morning (different brand) and saw nothing.

Surely a tiny amount of hCG cannot wreak this much havoc? It must be in cahoots with the progesterone gel just to mind-f*ck me. Could my symptoms purely be from the progesterone? Has anyone has this before? How did it end? Honestly.

I got my dates all messed up - AF is due Tuesday the 13th and 2nd Beta is Wednesday 14th. When all/more will be revealed. Being a realist, I am expecting the beta to back to 0, praying it's not ectopic, but secretly hoping for a story like this. Can I please? Huh? Can I? Huh Huh? Please Can I?




PS: Whilst trying to keep myself occupied over the 2ww, I have been neglecting my blogging duties. I have been trying to keep up with you all but have failed miserably in the commenting department. I will do better this week.

Friday, 9 May 2008

Cycle #11 Results

It's a BIG. FAT. WTF!!!!

My beta is low, too low to be considered a BFP, but not low enough to be entirely written off either. My Progesterone levels are very good.

"INCONCLUSIVE" is my clinic's new scientific term of the day.

I am disappointed, despondent but not defeated. The lovely Morrisa and I had our transfers on the same day, and her BT is not until Monday. She thinks her test is too late, and I think mine was too early. My AF is not even due until next Wednesday. I test again on the 13th, which my nurse calculated as 5 weeks but will in fact be exactly 4 weeks.

I am hoping for a miracle but not expecting one.

Thursday, 8 May 2008

Almost crunch time

Blood test is tomorrow! My head (and body) has been all over the place the last few days. I really have no idea what to expect. I hate going into these things blind. What the fuck will I do if its negative? We had 2 text-book blasties this time, if they won't stick is there really anything else to try? Any logical reason to put myself through this again?

The only thing I am looking forward to about tomorrow is regaining some sanity. So, for that reason alone, bring it on.

Monday, 5 May 2008

Negativity has set in

It seems to have arrived early this time. Today is 7dp5dt and I wish I knew what the hell is going on in there.

DH is stressed and grumpy with work and I am stressed and grumpy with the 2ww. What a fine pair we make.

Friday, 2 May 2008

No Frosties and Avoidance Issues

Having finally given up on the clinic ringing me, I rang them to find out that none of the remaining embryos were suitable for freezing. This doesn't bother me too much as I have very little faith in FET cycles, and the HRT medication I was on last time was awful. Yet another thing about menopause to not look forward to.

Speaking of, I am reading the book 'The other Bo.leyn Sister', and feel for poor Queen Catherine who cannot produce Henry _VIII a living heir. Last night I read as the Court reveled in the news that Catherine's "courses" had apparently stopped and she was officially "too old" to conceive, and so the King's open affair with Mary Boleyn was accepted as his right. Its a tragedy that some cultures still consider infertility with such blunt insensitivity. The International Consumer Support for Infertility group (iCSi) report that in countries such as Zimbabwe, Uganda and Kenya infertile women are often forced to take subordinate roles in their homes while their husbands take new brides, or are forced out of their communities altogether.

Sorry, I will pack my soapbox away for now... I have been researching World Infertility Month for another project.

Providing they are still kicking along, little SD and TA should have hatched and be thinking about implanting soon, if they haven't already. Depending on your source, implantation should happen between 6-7 and 10-14 days old. They are at 9 days old today. I wish I knew what was going on! DH gave my the last Preg.nyl injection last night so I hope this helps. The use of hCG during luteal phase has been shown to increase ART pregnancy rates but also increases the risk of OHSS. It's most certainly the reason my breasts are heavy and sore, but I have no signs of OHSS which is great. Although certain movements can still cause pain which feels like an ovary is twisted or caught on something (very painful and very weird - does anyone else get this?) so there is obviously still swelling but not too much fluid.

Its funny, because of the additional hCG I can't trust by body this 2ww or even pee sticks, but this post has been a very scientific look at my physical state 4dp5dt! I'm obviously avoiding the emotional, which is my usual blogging fodder at this stage. If so, this avoidance will continue over the weekend as we have the kids with us, and an absolute pile of paperwork to do.