Monday, July 3, 2006

Diary of an IVF whore

"...Now see here, journal, I don't want to see any miscarriage stories this year in this one! So much progress towards starting IVF - it's quite amazing to find myself in this position - so close to starting after so many, many months and years of waiting and heartbreak.
I had to terminate the pregnancy we had in December '04 (two months ago). It surprised me a little how relatively easy I found it to cope with.
And so, lying in Recovery, I made the decision: we are going to start using Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis with IVF to try and make our family now. I wish it hadn't resorted to this, but then how long do I continue to do this? To my mind and body?"

8.5.05 Mother's Day
"...Bought a bunch of flowers for myeslf yesterday. No one in the family has mentioned today to us at all. Don't know what else I was expecting.
I start sniffing Synarel tomorrow. I am soooooo excited. Really looking forward to seeing how well my body reacts."

"...I'm trying very hard and so far I've not mastered it properly, but I really need to concentrate on bringing in this baby's energy. We're so close now. I have to keep remembering what Steve has started saying: 'Don't look over there, or over there - just keep bringing in that baby.' I really do feel like it's just him and me this time. Funny that surrounded by practically zero family, only dr's/nurses at the IVF clinic and many strangers mostly via the net, we seem to feel really strong and focused. There's not much doubt, certainly not as much as when we were trying to conceive naturally."

"...Did my first injection last night. Weirrrrrrd!! But now I've done it once, I am sure I will be able to do them quite easily. It's funny, I'm not resentful or 'hating' this process or the drugs at all - it's a bit scary, yes, but it still feels like we're heading in a positive direction.
You are so longed for, little one! We want you here with us and would go to any length to get you here safely. I'm feeling very positive about the outcome of all this. I don't think we will be too disappointed. I fear saying that, in case something goes wrong and it all ends in a miscarriage again, or no pregnancy at all.... but I really don't think that will result.
No, I know this baby will be strong and fit and healthy. We are waiting for you. We are ready to catch you. Please don't hesitate."

"...I can't believe it's only a week from today until Egg Pick Up! These years of yearning and trying to conceive our family have been so long and at times painful, lonely, boring, difficult and filled with immense sorrow. That it could all be about to end is a bit incomprehensible. I mean, I was also sure that Ella was "the one", I could never have guessed it would all end up the way it has. So it's very hard to not have reservations. I'm having to let go an 'identity' of sorts.
I wasn't sure before, but now I've seen: You are NOT my mission or purpose in life, little one. Although I am more than willing to have you become part of our lives. xx"

"...Ok, whoa. Trying very, very hard to stay positive today. It's so very difficult to keep focused on you, my little one. You haven't made yourself known to me just yet. I have to keep trusting this process.
This morning I went for my first ultrasound to check how many follicles have been produced. There were 14. I know my eggies are good! It only takes on. One special little one. Come on! We'll always be here in the meantime, but hurry up already, will ya!"

"...Optimism being smashed to pieces here! 6 eggs retrieved from those 14 follicles. Only three have fertilised. We now have to wait all day today and right through tomorrow (biopsy day) to find out many have survived.
The chances of of one of those three being both normal AND living for 5 days and growing all the while is just so slim.
I can't bear it. By far, this is the worst, the most cruel wait I've ever encountered during our years trying to conceive.
To top everything off, that girl has completely done her top over something I vented publicly abouty her behaviour towards me (particularly at Ella's birthday "celebration" where they arrived with their child and didn't even come over to say hi). That and other things she's said or gestures she's made that I find totally inappropriate and insensitive.
I was asked by Steve not to confront her - I see now it's not for me to do that in an attempt to alter her behaviour and frankly, from her reaction, I doubt she would have cared about me if I'd put my heart on my sleeve and gone straight to her anyway, which would have crushed me even more - But I needed to get it out somehow. I was also unsure (as I am about just so many things) if what I was feeling was justified, that maybe I had it all wrong about her.
So I wrote it out, posted it and received pages of sympathetic feedback. I was able to put it all behind me after that acknowledgement/validation. Well, through her own snooping (which she has cleverly skirted), she has come across the post with all the comments now, 6 months later.
Great timing!
And once again, I am left doubting if I have this right in my head - this, however, is denying my feelings. She is simply livid at being called on her two-facedness. If she would just stop going around acting like a perfect saviour and generous person, and stop talking about the same people she's so "generous" towards behind their backs, perhaps she wouldn't be so confused about why I feel like this."

"...Well my goodness. One (at least) of those 3 little embies is normal. Not only normal but going strong.
This morning, when I woke up, I was just filled with dread waiting for "the call". Overnight, I had to get up at least 8 times with excruciating stomach cramps and rather violent trips to the toilet. I've lost 2kg in about 2 days, as this started on Sunday. I believe this is all manifesting from sheer terror. I wanted to feel so fit and healthy to welcome this emby aboard! But I feel quite wretched right now."

"...You're in, little fella! It still may all end in tears (have a blood test on 20/6) but I hope with everything i have in me that it will end in tears of happiness sometime in the first months of 2006. I feel so calm and peaceful, it feels quite surreal compared to the past five days of raw nerves."

"...Well, miracle emby did not stay. I started bleeding on Friday morning, unbelievable pain that went away after I passed a rather sizable clot. Lovely!
Spent the weekend recovering, accepting, gathering strength again. Steve seems to have taken it quite well, no tears from him and buckets from me.
I'm fine now though. Whatever 'fine' is...
We're not quite back at square one and that's a good feeling."

"...I'm currently well on my way through our second PGD cycle. This time, hardly anyone knows and those who do are in the dark about dates, timing, etc.
Interesting to observe that up until this past weekend, Ella was very prominent in my thoughts for over a week or two. I brought it up with Steve last Wednesday night and he said that, yes, he too had been thinking of her much more recently.
We revisited that yesterday and noted that our thoughts of our girl had died down again. Funny thing is - and I haven't really shared this because a) I'm still a tad unsure of whether my mind is playing tricks and getting in the way and b) I wouldn't know how to explain it out loud and still sound convincing - but anyway, I think I have vaguely sensed Ellanor again. There is a very, very slight sense of her around me. I'm unsure about it. I want desperately for it to be a 'sign'... yet I don't want it to be my conscious making stuff up."

"...Trying desperately not to be despondent about today's ultrasound results. Once again, I'm caught up in dates, numbers, measurements, instead of sitting back and trusting."

"...And here I am again, waiting for Egg Pick Up tomorrow. I'm neither excited nor anxious, happy or sad. I feel completely exhausted and somewhat defeated already, to be perfectly honest. Part of my tiredness comes from the drugs, yes... but mostly I really do just feel so exhausted about my 'existence'. That we came so close last ycle but didn't get pregnant, that people around me either continue to fall pregnant easily or have their precious next pregnancy again after miscarrying or losing their own baby.
There is a real sense that so many are moving on (although of course I realise many aren't) and I feel left behind. I surprise myself that I am genuinely ecstatic for so many of the girls I am on this journey with (on EB), when they fall pregnant after their own perseverence. And I am equally distraught if any of them miscarry (which happens all too often).
But I seriously rue my role becoming one of inactive supporter - I wouldn't be so gracious if my own chances got to the point of being futile.

"...Well, it worked. It's happened and I am sitting here again waiting for next week's blood test to confirm whether the embryo transferred last Friday has implanted. Oh, will you grace us with your presence this time, I wonder!?
I have pregnancy symptoms already - bloated, on-off nausea, tender breasts, discomfort around waistline - all caused solely by the Crinone gel which does a bloody good job of mimicking a pregnancy.
So much of my married/adult life has been taken up with shit like this! I say to myself and others, so often, "I'm so SICK of wanting a baby who won't come", "I'm giving up", "I'm not doing THIS anymore"... And here I still am. Writing the same goddamn thoughts and hopes every time I put pen to paper in here. SHITS ME!!!!!"

20.10.05 (first day of period in the cycle Lolly was conceived)
"...It wasn't just the Crinone gel. I did get pregnant with that last little miracle. We knew and were elated for approximately two days before the bleeding started. I'm uplifted and relieved that we have definitely closed the IVF option door.
We always agreed on only trying 3 times but we feel, after achieving our aim (to "get pregnant") on our second attempt and having it end in miscarriage anyway after all that effort to ensure it's a healthy emby, that we have tried this and know that perhaps one day if we kept trying, it would work.
But we're not prepared to keep endlessly trying with PGD/IVF. If anything, that kind of seems more hopeless to me."

"...Who thought we'd get another pregnancy in before the end of the year? I am roughly 6 weeks pregnant and holding out hope that it's a keeper, conceived naturally. Hanging out very anxiously, whilst getting very tired and sick, until next scan next week. God, here's hoping we have another healthy miracle in there."

"...Well, we sure DO have a healthy, naturally conceived absolute miracle on our hands here! "Lolly" is currently barrelling towards his/her July 28th due date. I love you already.
I hope you can trust me and go easy on me! You, your dad and me... we'll be the tightest team. I admire you already for this mammoth task you've taken on. I mean, I know we will see you right and love and nurture you so well - but coming in as you have done, after losing our first daughter, and all these other miscarriages... well I think it's a big task to take on. But I'm so glad it was YOU who chose it.
I can already kind of get the feeling of you. You're much like your direct and unflappable Dad. Not at all 'fragile' or delicate - like I felt with Ella. She herself was strong, but I always had a rather 'fragile' feeling when pregnant with her. Not with you, though! I do believe you're as strong as an ox and having a ball already. You bring us joy."

"...Little Lolly, I was so scared today. Had a yucky dream that stayed with me. Luckily I had an appointment with (Dr Luffley) and I got to see you again on the screen.
Your whole face filled the monitor and you sucked your thumb, then rubbed your eyes. I could hardly believe what I was seeing!
We are ready for you!
I look forward to meeting you every day now. We love you so much already and cannot wait to include you in our daily lives.
I watched your Dad as he slept the other morning and cried silently. With joy, with a bit of melancholy, with the knowledge that you and I are about to make him so happy. I want to watch him be a dad. It was cut so short with Ella. And I look forward as much to seeing you as I do to seeing him hold you and kiss you, bath you and dress you and whisper to you as you sleep.
Come safely, lovely one."


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