Monday, October 30, 2006

Still 4

They forgot to phone me today. Of course, I went about my day ... calm ... not thinking about it ... barely even remembering I had important news today ... (yeah, right!!!). AB phoned three times until I eventually phoned and got hold of them at the clinic.

I'm waiting to hear from someone, I tried not to whine.
Oh, hasn't Scientist Sparkly called?
Not yet.
Wait on hold while I call them .....

The sound of trashy daytime radio on the other line was torture. My heart was in my throat as I waited for her to return.


Finally ... well StellaNova, we've got some good news. We have 3 at 8 cells and one has already started compacting. She said they're looking very good.


I did a quick backtrack to last cycle. That time, the best one only got to partially compacting - and that was Day 5! This has got to be better.

Thank you, I'll see you on Wednesday.

I know it sounds good. It is good. But my self preservation has deep roots and I am not allowing myself to get too hopeful before we even transfer. I am happy with the news. They are doing me proud. I so wish there was something I could do from here.

I said to AB tonight, maybe we might even have something to freeze this time.
Now that's getting a bit too far ahead.
All we want is one healthy one.

Just one healthy one.

Is that too much to ask?

Saturday, October 28, 2006


Don't get too excited until you read the next sentence, but all of the 5 fertilised overnight. One of the 5, however, was a bit of a party egg and decided to invite not one, but three swimmers in to play. That meant that this morning, there she was ... busted ... with four pronucleii as evidence of her indiscretions! The other 4 were well-behaved and modest eggs and looked exactly as they should, ready (fingers crossed) to keep growing and dividing into the future.

Despite the strangeness of the news, however, I feel good about it. Even though there are only 4, it's a far better fertilisation rate than either of my two previous cycles. Only one less than my last cycle (with 10 retreived) and only three less than the first that actually resulted in a pregnancy (and I retreived 13 eggs that time). I'm not entirely sure, but it seems to indicate that the quality of these eggs, whilst smaller in number, are better in quality. Or perhaps I'm just fooling myself. Monday will give me more information to base my decision on.

Tonight, I am supposed to be going to a 30th birthday party of one of AB's colleagues. Really, I'd rather be hibernating at home and catching up on my latest trashy mag stash. It's very cold here today and I think it's meant to be an outdoor event. AB will be in his element and I'll have to stand around with heavy ovaries making small talk while he's off being the social butterfly. He loves a party and, normally, I do also. Today, though, I'm not enthused at all. If it was closer, I would go for a while and then come home, leaving AB to catch a cab, but it's just a bit too far away for that. And even though AB is half expecting me not to go, I still feel like I'm letting him down a little.

So, anyway ... 4 embryos. Not many, but hopefully enough. Part of my ambivalence remains, although I have changed with the news. They're mine. They're ours. I feel protective towards them and I want them to live. I want to check in on them and tuck them in to sleep. To read them a story and kiss them on the forehead as they drift off to dream. I feel for them, all alone in the lab. I want them inside me right now. I want to see them smile.

Should I be a party egg tonight?

More importantly, what have I got to wear??!

Friday, October 27, 2006

Back on line

Back on line again! This week, my laptop had a meltdown. It actually belongs to my work (lucky!) and the tech people have had it the whole week, copying all of my multitude of files, fixing it up and finally getting it back to me late yesterday afternoon. In the process, they wiped all of my settings and I had to get everything reconfigured again before I could even access the internet. It's been torture (not to mention all of the actual work I didn't get done also).

Egg pick-up was today. It went well, although I am feeling a little disappointed because we only got 5 eggs, even though there had been 10 follicles. Dr Challenge was also a little disappointed as some of the follicles weren't big enough to contain mature eggs (but might have been if we had waited a little longer). So, I have been left with 5. Given my usual pattern, that could mean only half of these will fertilise and then we'll be lucky if even 1 of them makes it.

Scientist Serene told us afterwards that, while she can't be 100% sure until she removes the surrounding cells tomorrow, they all looked mature and a good size and shape. According to her, we could be lucky and all of them will fertilise overnight. Now, I'm not sure if luck shows her face to often in my neck of the woods, but, she just might.

AdventureBoy and I have really been looking after our health this cycle and taking loads of vitamins etc to increase every chance of healthy eggs and swimmers. I don't know if that will make all that much of a difference ... but it certainly can't hurt.

So I'm sitting here feeling a little bit sore, but nothing unbearable (I've certainly had a LOT worse in the past month or so). AB is going to cook me dinner and hopefully be a bit of a slave. I might even watch a movie or two.

I promise I'll get to all of you guys this weekend ... I know I've got LOADS to catch up on.

Sunday, October 22, 2006


I'm due for my next u/s tomorrow morning. On Friday I had 10 follicles ranging from 8-13mm in size - 4 on the right and 6 on the left. Not bad, considering the recent surgery to remove the endometrioma in the left one - and I only had 4 on the right last time (it's a lot smaller due to the extensive surgery last year). Pick-up is not until this Friday, so hopefully they'll grow to a good size (but not too big) by then.

I don't know how I'm really feeling about this cycle. I forget so often that I'm even doing it. Most evenings, I remember with a jolt that I have to inject myself and I'm really not feeling very much different at all (apart from a bit of big ovary action the past few days). I have almost forgotten each appointment and epu has really crept up on me. I look at my blog and realise 7 days have passed since my last post.

I think the best way to describe it would be, ambivalent. It's not that I don't want it to work. I want it more than anything I've ever wanted in my life. But my naive faith and excitement in this process is gone. And it's almost become part of the routine - it has characterised my year and now it's something that's there / not there. Almost like having brown eyes or being left-handed. It's just something that makes up me. I'm not consciously thinking about it and therefore I forget.

I haven't let it get in the way of work this time. I haven't let it change or influence my patterns or behaviours. I can't dwell on it - I can't afford to lose myself in it again. I don't know if I'll even be as devastated if it doesn't work.

I know that it might sound like I'm not committed enough - like I don't care enough - like I've given up.

I haven't. I think I have simply needed to reclaim myself and my life again. To fight against the highjacking I wrote about last post. To be all of the other things I have spent 38 years becoming. I can't waste all of that hard work.

You all know - the things that were important before all of this. The things that make us rich and full and awesome women as individuals. As we have the right to be. The things that are so easy to forget when we feel that we have failed in something that even the most lowly creature on the planet seems to be able to do.

We were all of these things before IF. We still are.

I can't let it take from me more than it already has.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Used to be ...

How do we get ourselves back again? After devoting so much of our time, energy, personality and years, will I ever return to me?

I feel like a lot of what is the essential core of me has been hijacked. Of course, to the casual observer, I still seem like me. But to those who know me, the spark has gone. The energy, the drive, the determination, the freedom - not seen in a long time.

I have just sold my apartment that I lived in when I met AB. I kept it when we bought our house and we rented it out for a few years. I liked that I still had it - I always imagined my children would use it as a stepping stone to independence when they first wanted to leave home. But, it made us a lot of money and AB's accountant brother told us it's time to cash in and use the money elsewhere (yeah, like IVF maybe?).

The other day we went out to give it a final clean and change a few light globes etc. before it settled. I had the deepest feeling of melancholoy while I was there that stayed with me all day (and a few after that as well). I regretted selling it and remembered choosing colours, my Dad helping me paint, the wrought iron stair rail that a friend made for me and, most of all, the life I had while I was living there. It was a 5 minute walk to work, to the beach and to town and it was just me and my cat, my work and my friends. I had a busy social life (that I didn't resent), I travelled, I was studying and loving it, as well as work and life in general. I was fit, happy and healthy.

I wasn't infertile.

AB asked me what was wrong, so I told him of my melancholoy. I told him of the me I was then (the one he met and fell in love with) and that I really loved my life at that time. He asked me:
"Don't you like your life now?"
"Not so much," I replied.

I'm not unhappy, but I have no joy. I don't enjoy myself as I used to and I carry this burden with me everywhere. Even when we're not thinking of it, it's always there, isn't it? Even when I'm trying to be normal, it's there. I just want to lose myself in mirth again. To remember the excitement of anticipation and to just be silly.

I fear that it has been lost forever. And I'll be this serious, obsessed, boring person for all who meet me. I wan't to say 'fuck it' and let loose ... have a few drinks and roll around laughing ... to forget about IVF and IF and enjoy my husband, my friends, my family again, rather than avoiding them because it's all too hard.

The only social interaction I seem to be having is inside my computer. Not that I don't appreciate and value these relationships of course, but I miss my real friends as well.

Most of all though, I miss myself.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Keep pushing

I think I have become rather pushy lately! Last week, during my post-op appointment with Dr Challenge, I discovered that he wasn't going to be around for the day of my proposed egg pick-up, but would be back the next day. Now, he suggested this one in the first place, but he said that he could possibly schedule me for a really early morning pick-up before he went to another hospital for his all-day list of surgery with Dr Charming (the day I would have been waiting for if I had not pushed for earlier surgery in the first place).

I think it sounded like a damn fine idea. One less day off work ... I can even just phone in sick and so won't have to tell them anything ... no need for an extra week on suppression ... no hanging around all morning waiting for others ahead of me ... time to go home and watch the latest batch of movies I have just bought. Perfect all round really.

When I told the clinic nurses, however, of this plan, they were VERY negative and even a little bit cranky at Dr Challenge.

"Well, he can't just make plans like that - there might not be a theatre available".
"Oh" ... deflated ... "he said it would be very early"
"But there might be no one else available at that time to assist".
"Right" ...
"He will have to look into it himself. He is never in on a Thursday - they won't be expecting him".
"But it might work, mightn't it?"
"Unlikely - you will just have to stay on the Lucrin for another week".
"Right" ...
"We'll call him and sort this out".

The end of the phone call left me in no doubt as to what they would be 'sorting out'. Get that Dr Challenge back into his place and tell him when it can happen, not the other way around.

So I sent him an email ... hoping that the Thursday morning would work out, telling him why it suited me better ... telling him I don't want to keep waiting any more ... telling him that he needs to look into it so that we can time the start of my stims appropriately.

His return email was a bit reluctant ... possibly regretting that he had suggested it in the first place ... realising what a big day he had set up for himself. So I was compliant. I understood. I told him I would just have to live with it. It's OK, I said. Whatever suits you best.

And then he replied this morning. Thursday will be fine. Dr Charming doesn't ususally arrive at the other hospital until 8.30am, and we will do our bit before that. I'm not sure what's happening with assistants etc. I'm sure he's covered that. And I replied, can you let Negative Nurses know ... they won't believe me?

Now I know it could all still change again, although after Saturday, if I start stims, it can't. That means EPU will be 26th October rather than the 1st November. Not a big wait, I know. After all the waiting I have done, what's another few days, but I just ned to feel some control. My last 2 cycles were extended by a week and they didn't work (not for long, anyway) - I want this one to be different. I wonder if that is something which has made the difference. And I want less time off work.

But now, it's my sister's birthday today. She will be 36 and we are going out for lunch. I need to finish wrapping her present and get ready. We will be sitting by the water and it's a beautiful spring day ... I think I'm going to have a good day.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Update 2

Cough, cough, splutter, splutter ...

Of course, to top it off, I got the flu as well!! I'm feeling much better today, but my week has been a shocker. I've barely been out of bed - today was my first venture out of the house (to pick up and sign the paperwork for this cycle). And so tomorrow I will start the Lucrin and be on my way. Pick up should be about the 25th. Although my belly is not really looking forward to more jabbing - I still have stitches in 4 spots, although they are coming out tomorrow.

AB bought me an iPod the other day - to give me something to play with while I've been laid out. I've never had one before and I think I'm in love! It has so much storage space on it (80GB) and I really doubt I'll ever be able to fill it. I have only put about half a dozen cds on it, as well as all of my uni interviews and I want to keep a back up copy of all of my digital photos as well. It's going to be a long term project to get everything onto it, but I'll get so much use from my new plaything. I'm planning to walk to work a lot more, especially now that the weather has started to warm up and, when I'm up to it, walking in general. Lucky, however, I'm still on holidays for the rest of next week as well. Walking to the kitchen has been a challenge this week.

I think that's the only exciting news I have for tonight. I haven't been anywhere or done anything ... although I plan to get to some of those tags tomorrow after my appointment with Dr Challenge. They're probably a bit past by now, but it will give me something to think about.

Mrs Precious wants to visit tomorrow as well - she is now officially on maternity leave - and I'm not sure I'll be able to fob her off (I managed earlier in the week as I was so sick - I even had AB do it for me - but I can answer my own phone calls now). I don't want to see her smug belly and hear about her nursery renovations, but I think I'm going to have to suffer it. You know, I'll probably be able to handle it better now that I'm cycling again. At least I feel that I am doing something and that I have a chance again. I won't be telling her, of course, but that news will at least keep me company.

And it's been such a bonus starting this cycle without any extended lead-up or planning. It feels like I'm half way through already ... and I only started on Monday. Normally, I am thinking about it for weeks before starting the first meds - this way, I'll be on the Gonal next Friday - that's only a week away. It really doesn't seem like a long process when you do it this way. Maybe this is how they should do it all the time - sneak it up on us and then surprise us with a 'start now'.

Yeah, I know, probably NOT. But I must say, it's been a good way to do it.