Friday, 30 May 2014

33 follicles

Yikes. I'm still confused. I've had two scans this week and while I was hoping for lower follicles numbers (with the hope of higher quality eggs) my body has decided to be as oppositional as ever and has decided to grow heaps instead. I'm only on 112.5 Puregon so I can't work out why I have so many. They've been growing slower than last time and so I'm due for my 10,000 HCG trigger shot on Sunday night for egg retrieval (EPU) on Tuesday (CD 16). I'm very worried about OHSS as I came very close last time and it wasn't fun. I also found the Cabergoline (anti-OHSS drug) awful. I feel a bit unclear of how it's all going to go. The technicians who did my ultrasounds were unfamiliar with the process so I'm nervous about the accuracy of their reports. All I can do is trust that everything is going as good as it can.

Everyone keeps saying to stay positive and I just nod and smile. I don't know why I can't feel optimistic but my brain just seems to push down any glimmers of hope in an effort to protect my heart from the pain of further disappointment and overwhelming grief. I almost feel as though people are thinking "does she even want this?" as I am hardly a beacon of excitement and positivity. I hope they understand the drive and determination needed to do 6 IVF cycles in 13 months. I couldn't have gone through numerous blood tests, scans, procedures, drugs, needles and appointments on top of all the financial, emotional and social sacrifices if I didn't want this more than anything in the whole world.

So now we wait for next Tuesday. I hope it all goes well...

Friday, 23 May 2014

The last time

Yep- I am stimming for the last time. This is it. If we don't get any viable embryos from this cycle we will stop and look at other options. We have decided it's all or nothing- we will take any embryos we've got to day 5 if we can but will not transfer any earlier, even if we only have one or two. I'm on low dose stims- only 112.5u Puregon and have not had any extra Menopur, testostone or human growth human added to the mix this time. I was supposed to start 3-4 weeks ago but my cycle just wasn't playing ball and I kept spotting so my doctor put me on the BCP for 3 weeks. AF arrived on the predicted day after I came off the pill and I'm now on day 6 of my cycle. I started orgalutran yesterday and will have bloods taken, my intralipid infusion administered and an ultrasound on Tuesday. I'm hoping the 4 months on melatonin, vitamin D, fish oil and CoQ10 help with my egg quality but we'll just have to wait and see. Hopefully the 10,000Hcg trigger shot also helps with egg quality compared to the 250 Ovidrel I've had before. This was a recommendation from Dr Sher in the US who I contacted on his online forum.

So it all comes down to this. The next few weeks will determine if I will have a biological child or not. It's a massive thing to get my head around but we couldn't logically keep flogging a dead horse (me being the horse). I want to send more time with my children and less time doing IVF. I don't know how we will have a family but I know if this next cycle doesn't work we need to invest our time, energy and money into options that are likely to bring us closer to having a family.

We know what avenue we are likely to go down next if this doesn't work but I'll leave that for another post if we need.

I don't know how I feel. I don't know how I feel...

Friday, 16 May 2014

Let Her Go...

There are many songs that have resonated with me along this journey and I've been thinking about doing a post about a particular song for a while. It wasn't until I was reading through the blog of another woman on a similar journey (RunCC you're amazing) who wrote of a song that summed up how she was feeling that I thought I'd do the same. The song that stops me in my tracks and makes me cry every single time is "Let Her Go" by Passenger. I know it is a love song rather than a song about infertility but there are some lines that are just so true they take my breath away.

As a background to why this song means so much my friendship group has seen an explosion of babies in the last 6-12 months. Amazingly these have nearly all been little girls. When I here "Let Her Go" it makes me think of all my friends with their beautiful healthy daughters and makes me ache for the little girl (or boy) I have longed for but may never have. I imagine my little embryos as daughters that I love so deeply being lost and the ache being all the harder afterwards for the knowing that they were there. They were real. Even if only for a short while. I will put some lines of the song below but listening to it is much more powerful...

                                                     Staring at the bottom of your glass

Hoping one day you'll make a dream last
But dreams come slow and they go so fast

You see her when you close your eyes
Maybe one day you'll understand why
Everything you touch surely dies

But you only need the light when it's burning low
Only miss the sun when it starts to snow
Only know you love her when you let her go

Only know you've been high when you're feeling low
Only hate the road when you're missin' home
Only know you love her when you let her go

Staring at the ceiling in the dark
Same old empty feeling in your heart
'Cause love comes slow and it goes so fast

Well you see her when you fall asleep
But never to touch and never to keep
'Cause you loved her too much
And you dived too deep

Friday, 9 May 2014

Facebook and infertility

I don't know about you but the Mother's Day messages have already started flooding my Facebook news feed. Now I would never want mothers to not feel special about all the amazing things they do but it was a chance for me to reflect about how hard it is to be on social media when you are trying to conceive- especially when you are having difficulty. I feel there is not a day that goes by when I don't  have to see a pregnant belly post, an update about "Jonny rolling over at 4 months 1 week and 3 days" (seriously- 4 months is fine), or a proud statement of just how proud such-and-such is to be a mummy (mommy for USA readers). I don't know why mothers feel the need to constantly post statements along the lines of "LIKE- if you love being a mum", "SHARE- if being a mother is the most important job in the world" or "LIKE- if you're kids are the most special thing in the world" etc etc. Are they looking for validation? Is there a special feeling one receives from the acknowledgement of other mothers? Or is being a mother just so amazing that one cannot stop their fingers typing posts to let the whole world know about it? I'm sure it's not a deliberate attempt to rub their own joy in the faces of those who are not so lucky but I can't help but think do these women ever stop and think about how it makes others feel?

Now some people may say "just stop going in Facebook then!" The problem with infertility is that it is already so isolating, that face-to-face social contact can often be so hard, that if you're like me Facebook is a way to stay connected with others when all I feel like doing is staying inside on the couch for weeks at a time. I am a member of Facebook infertility and IVF groups that allow me to stay linked with other women going through similar things. The interesting thing about this is that we post all our shared joys and disappointments in a closed group. Is there a reason why mothers can't do the same? Why can't fertile friends make their own closed group where they can put all their "I love being a mum" posts and pregnancy/ baby photos posts without the risk of hurting others. I know if I had a friend whose father had passed away the last thing I would be saying either online or in her presence was comments about how much I love my dad, how I love being a daughter, or inviting others to share their stories about their father. Maybe comparing infertility to a family death is too extreme for some but I'm sure many of those who have been through infertility would relate to the significant feelings of grief, loss and isolation.

So in preparation for Mother's Day I'd like to send my love to all the women out there who know what it feels like to scroll down their Facebook page and feel the gut punch when a new ultrasound photo or mum-related comment comes into view. I know we are more considerate and caring people because of our journey and if one day we are lucky enough to become mothers I believe we will share our joy in ways that reflect our knowledge of the women who still wait...