Tuesday, 28 June 2011

Let the counselling begin

A day after we attended the donor information evening we made an appointment to see a counsellor at our clinic and finally discuss the past three years – highs ….. lows ….. and the mediums. Our first session was all about venting. We vented about the lack of support and exhaustions, the fights and arguments, the expectations and failures.

Whilst I felt like I did most of the talking, I could slowly sense that DH was opening up. He was nervous and embarrassed but I knew this would help him move forward. I can’t begin to tell you how therapeutic it was to talk openly and honestly with a stranger. Someone we’d never met before. But we bounced out of that session and chatted the 45 minutes drive home about everything. How we were feeling?  How we move forward? What evenings to schedule our ‘homework’ or discussions for?

Three weeks later and our next session was just as good. This time the counsellor got us talking about moving forward and what our options were. Mostly we talked about donors and we touched briefly on adoption. The donor discussion was slightly heated but this is only because it’s not something we want to face. NO ONE wants to use donor sperm. I certainly don’t! I want to comfort, sooth and care for the children of my husband; the children, who would inherit his mongy toes, dry skin, wicked humour and addiction to sport.

But our dream won’t come true. That dream is dead and we must begin to dream and create an alternate. We discuss the possibility of using an anonymous donor versus a known donor. Neither of us was willing to agree or disagree to either option. We’re fence sitters. Both have their risks and this was what our counsellor wanted us to discuss. Our homework was to weigh up the risks and form a decision.

Again, we got back to our car and started making a list of potential donors; Friends and family members.

The following evening, we were walking our dog sonny along the beach talking about asking these potential donors and then decided it was all too embarrassing. How do you ask someone you love and care about to donate their DNA?

At this point anonymous sperm donation seemed a less embarrassing option.

After a few weeks of see-sawing back and forth, the decision was made for us. A close friend offered to donate. We were both blown away by his generosity, kindness and love. We discussed it at great length and finally came to the decision that this wasn’t going to work out.

Our friend wanted to remain anonymous and he didn’t want anyone to know he was the donor and unfortunately this didn’t sit right with us. DH and I are not ashamed about our journey. Actually most of our friends know what we are going through and everyone in our family knows. We want to be open and honest about our child’s conception.

So, where to from here?

Now we realise we don’t want an anonymous donor. We want someone who will be our child’s life. Someone we know. Someone we love.

Tuesday, 10 May 2011

One small step for man

DH and I attended a Donor Information Evening at our clinic last night. This may seem like one small step forward for us, but it’s a huge leap into unknown territory. The nerves kicked in and my anxiety increased tenfold. I’m sure the people in the lift could hear my heart pounding and my head screaming the F-word.

This was it! This was the moment we admitted our defeat ... and our failure. We had to consider Donor sperm as a new option.

We walked into the room and I was shocked to see about 50 people seated. WTF? I was expecting two or three couples, not a room full of desperate wannabe tribe creators like us.

The Counsellor ran through the IVF procedure and why couples (and singletons) might require a Donor. Blah Blah Blah. I knew this stuff already. Get to the good stuff.

A recipient couple and their Donor stood up and shared their journey with us. The wannabe tribe creators sat forward, pen and pad in hand, ready to scribble notes and devour their information. I was transfixed by their journey – different to us – but still sad, touching and gut wrenching. The couple’s 18yr niece came forward and volunteered to provide the couple with an egg. Three months later baby Grace was conceived.

After they shared their story, we shot them with question after question. It didn’t matter how personal OR how crucifying the question, this was our one moment to seek the answers we needed to make our decision.

“Has your relationship suffered?”
“Does the Donor feel a motherly connection to the baby?”
“Do you feel a bond to the baby even though she is genetically not yours?”
“Does your immediate family and close friends know the truth? “
“How do you feel knowing the baby is your husband and nieces baby?”
“How long did it take you to move past the anxiety?”
“How long did it take for you to accept baby Grace as yours?”

The bond between the three of them was special. Touching. DH and I talked to the recipient mother after the seminar and asked a few more questions. Next we approached the Counsellor and asked a few questions.

Leaving the clinic last night, I believe we had a clearer picture of what was to come, what we could expect …. And maybe what we need to prepare ourselves for. It’s another grueling journey to consider but one we must look at in our own time.

Wednesday, 4 May 2011

Let the grieving begin

Sorrow. Mourn. Distress. Ache. Suffer. All words you’d associate with Death. And that’s exactly what happened. I’m grieving the death and loss of carrying my husband’s child. DH is grieving the lost opportunity to produce a child with his sporting abilities, kind heart and wicked sense of humour. And together we are grieving the death of our dream to create our own tribe.

It floors me every time I think about the phone call. Never in a million years did we think our FS would deliver the news. That news.

I can’t begin to describe what it feels like to hear that news. Even worse to deliver that news to close family and friends. The minute those sickening words leave my lips, I crumble and cry. Thankfully only a handful of people know the real truth so my crying has been limited to three occasions so far. But the crying is short-lived because I’m not ready to do the ‘ugly’ cry just yet.

Denial, I hear you say? Maybe. I want to cry and get it over with. Crying is usually the first step in moving forward, but not even my BF can make me commit to the ugly cry. BF tries to break me down but to no avail. I shut it down very quickly. I’m just not ready yet.

Soon after receiving the news, I hit the EB forums. Not really posting anything but contacting a few dear friends who have been through a similar experience. It’s sometimes easier to talk to strangers, than the people who love you the most. Which is surprising because I’ve always been close to my friends. But during these dark dark weeks, the only people I want to talk to are those you’ve been through a similar experience.

And DH? He continues to sit in his man cave and remain silent. All I want to do is talk and all he wants is silence. But that’s a whole other post. 

Thursday, 7 April 2011


Just got the call from our embryologist ..... our embryos didn't survive.

Making the call to DH was the hardest call of my life. Devastation doesn't come close to how we're feeling. The FS has said this is probably the end of the ICSI road for us.

Mr Universe, what do we need to do to prove we'll be great parents?

Wednesday, 6 April 2011

Law of attraction

Wikipedia defines 'The Law of Attraction' of as a metaphysical new thought belief that 'like attracts like', that positive and negative thinking bring about positive and negative results, respectively. 

For example, the phrase "I want a baby" allows me to continue "wanting a baby". If I focus my thoughts on the goal (having a baby) rather than the problem (wanting a baby).

This is not a new concept for me but it is a new path I've decided to dedicate some time too. Call it a spiritual journey. Call it a crock of shit. But I have nothing to lose in this quest of parenthood, this is simply adapting to a new way of thinking.

Making babies is hard work. But today DH and I are a step closer. It's a small step, but none the less it's a step to celebrate. My FS retrieved 9 eggs on Monday and 7 of the eggs were mature to use. Whilst I was excited by this result, I also knew the cards were stacked against us.

On Tuesday morning I woke up and the negative thoughts began. What if the eggs didn't fertilise? Was DH's fresh sample good enough to use? What if my recovery took longer than expected?

As soon as I realised negative thoughts had invaded my head space, I stopped, took a deep breath, made a cup of tea and began to list the positives;

  • 7 mature eggs
  • DH was producing sperm again
  • My surgery was a success and I'm not in too much pain
  • I get to have two days off work, rest and relax
  • DH was being a wonderful nurse and looking after my every need
  • We'd be OK no matter the outcome

This gave me the courage to have a chat with the Universe. The Universe and I have only had a few chats in the past, but now seemed like a good time. I told the Universe that we were ready for a baby. I imagined holding our baby. I imagined feeling our baby. Now it's time for the Universe (or Mother Nature) to create our baby.

I believe the Universe delivered. I got the call at 10.41am yesterday to say we had two embryos.

This has given me the hope and courage to continue my thoughts of 'having a baby'.

Saturday, 26 March 2011

Stillness in cycle #3

I think I stumbled across the feeling of writers block.

Surely I should be bursting with information on day 7 of cycle #3 but my mind is still for some reason. It’s a strange feeling to be honest. Normally I would be on EB ten times a day, researching my every symptom and side effect …. But my latest post was about a bloody iPhone app.

Hmmm. Where did my crazy and obsessive nature towards IVF disappear to?  Trust me I don’t want to send out a search party but I’m trying to diagnose my latest feeling. Am I just becoming a regular to IVF? Or have I finally left my worrying nature behind …. and turned a corner? Time will tell.

………… Ah! Just thought of something to type about. Injections!

The manufacturing company that makes the drug Orgalutran has closed its doors for a month. This means there is now a worldwide shortage of the drug and thousands of women have had to cancel or delay their cycles. Devastating for some.

But I’m one of the lucky one’s. My FS has a secret storage of the drug under a generic name Cetrocide. Feeling grateful? Bursting with it. 

Tuesday, 8 March 2011

Third time lucky?

For the past 12 months DH and I have debated on the following issues; moving house, more overseas travel, changing jobs and upgrading the cars. We decided to spend some money on the things we were compromising on our two year IVF journey.

Not once did we contemplate doing another IVF cycle. Strange? Not really. Having a break from IVF has been a blessing for our relationship. I did change jobs and DH has just upgraded his car. Two out of four ain’t bad.

But folks, it’s that time of the year again. IVF time.

Whilst it’s hard to believe it’s been 12 months since our last cycle, we feel it’s time to jump back on the IVF rollercoaster and ride it again. Highs and Lows, we’re ready! DH and I are stronger, we’re motivated and we’re remaining positive. It’s time to attempt this for the 3rd time.

Our FS has given us the green light and is happy with the latest sperm freezing results. We’re thrilled the new drug Arimidex has worked; DH’s swimmers are looking good and are waiting in the freezer for us to utilise.

My best friend asked if I’m nervous and funnily enough this time I’m not nervous about the outcome. My FS and I have a slightly different plan this time and to be honest, I know DH and I will be OK if the outcome is negative again. We have all the strength, love and support to get us through the roughest of patches.

Excited much? Hell yeah!

Wednesday, 12 January 2011

Aborting due to gender

This week should have been about Crown Princess Mary and the births of her twins, a boy and a girl. A new brother and sister for Mary's two older children and a new prince and princess for the people of Denmark (and lets face it, for the people of Australia). 

But the week was overshadowed by another twin story that had us all disturbed. The media reported on Sunday about a Victorian couple who aborted their IVF pregnancy when they discovered they were carrying twin boys, all because they wanted a girl. 

To be honest, this story made me sick. If this story was distressing for me, then it sure as hell must be distressing for every other couple out there dealing with infertility and miscarriage. It's a bit like a punch in the guts for anyone desperate to have children.

The anonymous couple have three sons, all born naturally. What a blessing that is! The mother also gave birth to a 4th child, a daughter. However the little girl died shortly after childbirth.

Losing a loved one is hard enough, so I can’t imagine the pain of losing a child. It must rock you to your very core. But this couple needs help and they need it fast because their grief is causing them to make some very stupid and upsetting decisions. 

The couple desperately wanted another daughter and had no luck conceiving. They turned to IVF and achieved a twin pregnancy. This is something infertiles dream about.

But the minute they found out they were carrying boys, they aborted the twin pregnancy. Their reason? The couple don't want any more boys and believe they ‘deserve’ a girl.

Some insane steps have since been taken in their quest for a daughter. The couple have gone to court and have demanded they deserve the right to choose the sex of their next child because they lost a daughter and they deserve a daughter. Sex selection in Australia is no long available for family balancing reason. However sex selection is still available to those families (like us) linked to genetic diseases.

But I just can’t my head around this. How could they terminate a twin pregnancy because of gender? I’m sorry Mr and Mrs Anon but you don’t deserve any more children in my opinion. Be thankful for the three ‘deserving’ sons you already have.