Wednesday, July 31, 2002

it's been a rough couple of days. I've been emotional and weepy and tense, and last night had a huge meltdown, yelled at husband while I was doing the dishes in tears, then cried for ages in the shower. fun stuff. I'm really busy at work and in general and I think I hadn't given myself enough time to get the feel of my new situation.
plus yesterday was the day I was supposed to see the IVF dr in the famous cancelled appt, and I was angry with myself.
i spoke to dr #1, who said it would be good to see if the operation(s) cleared anything up, but I don't think it's likely.

so today I finally called the second dr's office to get pushy. they were very nice. I told them I'll be away in early Sep, which was my excuse for reminding them I'm on the waiting list. then I asked if there was a waiting list for IVF and if I should be getting on that now rather than when I see dr at end of sep. receptionist said if dr decided IVF was for me, it would only be a couple of weeks before they could get me "seeing the nurses" which I guess means getting the first shots or something.
so I feel hugely relieved, as I wouldn't be starting this month even if I did have that appt, because I'll be away. so really, we're only losing two months. I don't know how long the IVF process takes before they try to implant - even had a flash of excitement that I could be pregnant before the end of the year!

It's day 13. will try this cycle, as usual. in a halfhearted way.

Monday, July 29, 2002

ah-ha! I was told by someone that this info isn't published.
but here it is, with lots of Google reference terms so other people can find it via here:
IVF success rates Melbourne victoria pregnancy
it's the annual report of the Victorian Infertility Treatment Authority.
hell, I'll chuck in Monash Melbourne Freemasons IVF while I'm at it.

should be interesting reading... I've asked for my first dr to call me to help me work out what's next. will also call second dr's offices to find out which program she's with - probably Freemason's - and whether there's any chance of booking in to the IVF program before I see her - I see that september appt as a mere formality
after being stupid enough to lose my appt for tomorrow with her, am feeling a bit pushy about all this. not to mention anxious and worried.

Sunday, July 28, 2002

probably won't be on this program, but it's local and the info looks good. read later...

speaking of families, I'm not so worried about mine. my parents have grandchildren, from 18 down to one due next week.
my husband has one sister. she's gay. not that that means she won't have kids, of course.
My mother in law has two siblings, neither with kids. that means that on her side, me, 36 with blocked tubes, that's it, that's the whole reproductive future of the family. on his dad's side there are cousins who are married; no kids yet, I don't think.

she also advises that you have something ready to "meditate" on.
the thing I've found myself thinking of at the worst moments is the totally sweet, angelic face of my nearly-two nephew. I don't know him as well as I like, but well enough that he recognises me. and he's the loveliest, most affectionate child. a cherub type; golden curls, pink cheeks, a smile that lights up a room. I want me one of those, and the pain is just a thing we all have to go through, I guess (hey, but not the men!!!)

she had an HSG which involves x-rays, it says here. I had a Levovist, whatever that is. sounds the same, only with ultrasound instead of x-rays. certainly a similar amount of poking about.

funny, she has the same telling-family issues as me.
I haven't told my Mum yet. I should have told her before I had a general anaesthetic, but it only upsets mothers to think of their little girls getting beat up, right?
we'll tell them both when we go on IVF. I'll tell my boss (who is a sweetie).
I joked to my husband that he should warn our architect about my mood swings so I can really pay out on him. we're not happy with his attitude right now and the renovations are taking longer than this baby.

this girl on the Moon and Stars fertility webring had an HSG a week ago. hey, she was lucky. I guess I should say for those who are facing one that I had, according to dr, a particularly nasty one, what with my tightly closed cervix and reversed uterus and "false passage" for the catheter to get stuck in.
what does freak me out is the idea that ivf involves lots more of this; I hope it will only be when they're inserting fertilised eggs. I think, mentally, that will make it much easier to deal with.
not ready to find out what the needles to take eggs out feel like.
saw a book on pregnancy in the bookshop today. the bit on infertility was brief, so I didn't buy it. but it said the wait to get into public IVF here can be TWO YEARS! it said that just after the bit warning that success rates drop like crazy after you turn 35.
I am so lucky we can afford this stuff. I mean, we'd sell the house if we had to, I suppose. but we don't, and I'm lucky.


One Saturday morning I was working what we call "police rounds".
The radio chatter mentioned a group of protestors up near town at a clinic; the clinic did abortions. Eventually I went up there with a photographer, and found a line of people with placards who'd come up from Geelong on the bus.
Margaret Tighe, the head of Australian Right to Life, was there. Can't stand the woman.
So I did my little article, including talking to the doctor in charge, who called and invited me to come and chat after I'd got back from the office. Wrote it, forgot it.
The next week, I got a call from a woman who'd been there too.
She and her husband and her little girl, aged four, had had to run the gauntlet of protestors, asking her to think about what she was doing.
Like she hadn't, as she said.
She invited me to her house to interview her and her husband for another article.
She asked me to call her "Meg", after Meg Ryan. Meg was nearly 40. It had taken her a year to get pregnant. The baby was a Down's baby.
They decided that they couldn't do it to their daughter; that she would be responsible for this child after they died.
But when they turned up at the clinic, these people blocked their way; told them they hadn't thought about it enough; accused them of not caring.
I remember her husband in tears as he said "we said goodbye to our little boy." It was one of the most harrowing interviews I've done, and although probably no one remembers the article now, one of the pieces of work I'm proudest of.
Meg mailed me a while later. She had another baby.
Life's so complicated.

Friday, July 26, 2002

ivf connections; a place to start. better go have a life right now, though.

now I know why they use an anaesthetic. it HURTS when the cervix is forced open. like the worst cramps I've ever had. apparently they usually do that procedure - putting dye and saline solution into the uterus - on women who have had kids. I couldn't go straight to work afterwards, I had to go get a coffee at the market and have a little weep. husband came down from work to see me after I called him, which was sweet. surprised how sooky I'm still feeling about it, 10 hours later. I guess I just wasn't expecting that much pain from an ultrasound.

anyway, yes, I have kidneys, yes I have ovaries with plenty of follicles. no, the dye didn't go through this time either. there was a small fibroid but she pretty much dismissed that as a cause or any kind of problem. my uterus is not horribly deformed in her opinion.

so the tubes are blocked, bottom line. you can't really see the blockage - the whole thing just looks like a grey mass to me until she points out what's what - but they're blocked. so in two months when we finally get in to see new dr, K.S., we will mostly likely be put straight onto IVF. so now I know.

it's taking some getting used to. but I guess I will. I just hope husband really will be supportive and help me through it. am wondering how I'll be with hormones, and my God, the process of getting eggs out (needles?) and putting them in (more pain like this morning). not really the fun way to get pregnant, is it? and I'm trying not to worry about IVF success rates; am assuming that if we have good eggs, good sperm and a good uterus it will be fine.

at times like this I'm glad I have this space to rabbit on about it without any judgements, sympathy or other interferences with just getting it straight in my own head. don't even have thoughts of being so desperate to conceive. just mulling on it, trying to get used to my new role as a "subfertile" IVF patient.


Wednesday, July 24, 2002

letter to a friend:

sorry, I forgot whose turn it was or I was overwhelmed by how much you had to say last time or something.

I am hiding down the back of the house; the owner's exhusband left a msg saying he was "dropping over" to get some stuff, but I think he may have been and gone and discovered he doesn't have a key to the new security door lock, which I'm sort of pleased about. we are after all paying rent here. plus place is a mess.

so, the bellybutton thing: I must have been too pissed off to mail you.
where to start? surgery makes you feel crap. they put two bags of saline solution into me before my blood pressure was OK.

I still had the drip in when a. came to get me, great for guilt factor.

I have three scars and bruises - they are very tender, but getting better. took the whole week off and hardly got out of my pj's, though I did some easy home-basd work.

the bad news is the blue dye didn't go through. so either my tubes or uterus are blocked. plus my uterus looks swollen - as if I was 6 weeks pregnant but I'm not.

good news is there was clear evidence of ovulation. I have to go to that ultrasound place to see a FEMALE specialist on Friday; she will put saline solution and ultrasound for blockages, kind of like radar.

very annoyed that I cancelled an appt with my backup dr - one who operated on me is highly pregnant - and now find it takes 2 months to get in to see backup, and she's the uterus/ivf specialist.

best case will be it's a blocked tube and they fix it. next best is ivf (and probably TWINS or TRIPLETS or WORSE). worst case is my womb is horribly deformed and I can't carry a child.


so that was a fun week, huh? only sat on the floor with dog and cried once, which I thought was pretty good of me. plus I was premenstrual.

the disease *you* have is wifeandmotherhood. it's only 1/2 curable, I hear. I do feel for you; I don't seem to be resenting other people's babies (yet) so that is good.

saw M. monday. did not tell her why I'd been off sick for a week. feel I have no connection to her. have not heard from R., save an SMS exchange on his b'day. I think he's well.

I fly out on August 22. I feel really bad about it. I will be packing on the 21st, and have a class on the night of the 19th; can I see you on the night of the 20th or sometime on the 21st? assume you won't be very mobile? do you have a place to stay?

when are you due again? I'm back on the 16th september, and on the hunt for a new place to live then.

gotta go, the Web ties up the phone line. sorry for all the gory details, gotta tell someone. have some sympathetic mates, others appear not very interested in my fertility problems. mostly the ones that have kids....

>Subject: Re: blah blah
>Date: Wed, 24 Jul 2002 07:26:01 +0000
>No word from you.
>I hope you have recovered well from the nasty people sticking their
>nasty things in your belly button?
>Will be home Aug 18 - oh god, oh god.
>I just want to stay here and forget it ever happened. Unfortunately
>the heartburn wont let me.
>Trust you're not working too hard.
>I have cooked twice in the last week. I think I have a disease.

I forgot to mention the little hard bump under the bottom cut. it's soooo sensitive. but I guess that's normal for such an abnormal thing to to do your body.

oh, maybe I am pregnant after all. I certainly have the chocolate craving.. but that's really just getting over the tiredness and flatness post-surgery, post-a week off.

got some lovely yellow bruises coming up on my pubic hairline and under my bellybutton. the cut over my left hipbone is almost healed - it's at the point now where I have to resist picking at it!

my hsg is Friday. I expect to be told my tubes are blocked and my uterus is weird. like I didn't know that.

another person at work is pregnant. about five minutes after getting married. I wondered what would happen if I said "I'm so jealous" instead of "that's great!"?

so I have three close friends (one girlfriend, one sister in law and one ex-boyfriend's wife) and my Dr, all due from now to September. I think I DESERVE a trip overseas in August, don't you?

Sunday, July 21, 2002

Couldn't get an appt with the new dr until the END OF SEPTEMBER!
sat on floor with fluffy dog and cried.
going for the HSG on Friday next week.
have feeling the tubes are not my real problem; this "globular" uterus thing is. my period was very bright and non-crampy. and my temperature's still up a bit.
going for my first bike ride in a week shortly. don't care if it pops the scars, must get normal life back.

Thursday, July 18, 2002

quick blog. got to get the dog out and I'm sick of thinking about this.
taking stitches out felt like hot needles.
dr says I need the HSG (saline ultrasound) to check both my uterus and tubes. lots of blue dye went up, none came out!
probably not fibroids; they're lumpy. but my uterus was softer than normal, as well as larger, and the second dr (and I've just CANCELLED an appt with her, before I knew I'd need to see her!) said it didn't look normal.
3rd dr does the ultrasound. my regular specialist says she'll be off work for only 2-3 months with this baby (her 3rd), so I go get ultrasound, then maybe if my tubes are blocked, dr 2 does IVF stuff on me, as my eggs are fine; you could even see where I'd ovulated.
then, if I'm lucky, back to dr 1 for the baby. at this point I don't care if it has to be twins. this is all getting way too scary for me. 36. no babies. enlarged uterus. blocked tubes. 12 months of trying and not a hint of conception. can't be in denial about that: I actually am infertile!
go walk the dog now.

Wednesday, July 17, 2002

another day of staying inside, trying to keep warm and heal.
I ventured to the park with the dog because he was going mad in here with me.
that emboldened me to go to the shopping centre late in the day for a replacement goldfish; I shouldn't have. one girl brushed past me quite hard (and unnecessarily - there was lots of room) and I discovered I'm still in the cringe-and-retreat phase of injury. there were small children there too, and I kind of kept my hands in front of me for fear they'd knock me on my stitches. the dog jumped up on me last night, right on one wound, and I practically howled with pain. it's OK, as long as I don't touch them.

sore throat is normal. they stick a tube down there. all those undignified things that happen to your body when you're not in it. where do you go when you're out cold, anyway?

if it is fibroids, this page has some useful info on treatment, especially how different treatments affect fertility. anyway, we should find out what's blocking the path to my tubes before we stuff around with my uterus, I think!

this site has some interesting theories about immune responses causing infertility. must ask about that. yes, I'm supposed to stop surfing this stuff...

also must ask if a horribly sore throat after surgery is normal. maybe I'm just catching a cold.

anyway I see dr tomorrow; I think I'd better stop looking at this stuff on the Web, it's only upsetting me.
breasts are swollen, I'm totally premenstrual. wishing it would all go away and I'd just magically get pregnant.

so my dr thinks it's not fibroids, it might be adenomyosis. which, on a quick survey, is worse. they don't seem to know much else to do with it except - I can't even write the word - and there's no way at all i'm even thinking about that.
after all, I feel perfectly fine. I have no abnormal symptoms. I'm just not getting pregnant. if i hadn't gone in for the surgery, I wouldn't even know there was a problem; I feel that I've suddenly gone from being a well, fit girlie to someone diseased....

Tuesday, July 16, 2002

would like to know how these things stop pregnancy. are they stopping it implanting? must be. my charts so far show I've never even been pregnant for a day or two - though there were one or two high-temperature days that got me quite hopeful.
if they're just stopping the sperm getting through, couldn't we do IVF? i don't suppose pregnancy is very viable with those LUMPS in there. if they're there @ all...

fancy that!

erk. the treatments, on that same site, range from hysterectomy - NOT! - to birth control pills - well, that will help me have babies, won't it? - to something called myomectomy, which involves an operation to cut the fibroids out. watchful waiting is not a good option if it's fibroids - if they're stopping the baby from happening, I want them gone. otherwise, they're welcome; they haven't caused me any pain or other trouble.

this looks like the diagnostic method dr was talking about: ultrasonography.

btw, isn't it strange how even nurses in a women's ward will refer to the dr as "he" when they are unaware of gender. her name is Samantha, or Sam, but all the same... I had to make a point of saying "she said."

very interesting is that fibroids can create the need for frequent urination. which I have almost always had - I was diagnosed with a small bladder when I was very young - but which got so bad 18 months ago that I went in for hypnotherapy and naturopathic treatment - I was waking 4-5 times a night, and while I think I produce more urine at night than most, it never seemed to be enough to be worth waking for.
it's been good lately - I can rely on only one or two wakeups a night - but maybe there's a connection?

feeling a bit tired and sore, so this will not be my most coherent post. luckily no shoulder pain or nausea - went into theatre at 2.30 and was home by 8pm. felt rotten of course, but that's the fasting, low blood pressure (they used two drip bags on me to get it back up) and the general beating-about.

endometriosis - yes - symmetrical, which is unusual. but it was far away from actual ovaries.
of more concern is that a) my uterus is enlarged to the size of being six weeks pregnant- which I'm not
and b) that they couldn't get the dye through my tubes. she even got another dr who was nearby to have a go!
which means it's unlikely sperm are getting thru, I suppose. have an appt on thursday to discuss, but my quick surf so far suggests it could be fibroids (or cancer!), which requires more surgery. there's a non-surgical ultrasound test first, done by another dr.

would explain the very dark, clotty or stringy flow I get quite often. but my period cramps are never very bad. I'm dismissing cancer as a possibility - that would be just catastrophising, and I'm determined that all I need to do is keep getting treated by competent drs (thank God I have insurance and my husband has enough money in the bank to pay for whatever's needed, it would be hell to think "can I afford treatment if there's only a 50% chance?")

will try to post pix when I get my camera organised to snap the photos I was given

Monday, July 15, 2002

hmm. blog is blank. no time to investigate now. double-sigh.

so it's 10 am, I get admitted at 1pm and probably operated on about 2.
and I should be having deep thoughts about what all this means, but all I know is that I'm not allowed coffee or food and I really WANT a coffee!
husband has a stupid 2-day management meeting thing. it even has a dinner tonight he's meant to go to. he's going to pick me up instead. I had been hoping he could take me in at lunchtime and maybe take tomorrow morning off to look after me, but it's just not possible. my best friend has the flu, other friends have babies and jobs and I didn't quite get around to telling my Mum I was getting this done - she lives an hour and a half's drive away anyway, and has enough on her plate.
I sooked last night because I didn't feel enough fuss was being made of me. even if the problem is with me - and there's no guarantee it's not just some incompatibility of our bodies - I felt like I was the one going in to get cut open and I should be given a bit of special treatment for that. sigh.

Thursday, July 11, 2002

it looks, now that I'm actually researching it on the Web, like the main reason to do this is to check for endometriosis. and I SO don't have that...

oh yeah, great. looks like a lot of fun

last night's dream: I woke up and found that they'd gone in through my bellybutton, against my instructions, and I was left with a kind of stretched rubberbandy looking circle.
must remember to remind the dr not to do that.
my stomach isn't as flat as it was, but it's still relatively good for a 36-year-old - lots of exercise balances out my liking for cakey things.
but in a week there'll be a little scar there. at least, I hope it'll be little.

Tuesday, July 09, 2002

operation in less than a week.
and even if I go to IVF, there's not guarantee I won't accidentally get someone else's babies!

Wednesday, July 03, 2002

aren has me as a baby blog. sorry folks, no actual baby here. only theoretical, potential ones.

shouldn't be doing this now. tired. too much wine.

two mornings ago I had an ovulating moment, or thought I did. so I dragged him back into bed. it was very nice. until I came and he didn't and we soldiered on for about ten minutes too long. ouch. it was bloody awful, actually. sex is only fun when you're into it, and an obligation/going on because one must is horrid. in the end we just gave up so it was pointless.

surgery in less than two weeks... oh well, at least I can hang around recuperating afterwards, work is stressing me out anyway.

far too much wine...

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