Saturday, November 30, 2002

yay, finally have the Internet back after moving house.

so, the second scan yesterday. different dr (still female, which is good)
I've only got 11 numbers, but I'm sure there were 12.
Left: 15, 12, 12, 10,9,8 mm
Right: 15, 13, 12, 9, 8 mm
and endometrial lining 11.

On Monday I find out whether pickup is Wednesday or Thursday. many complicated instructions, including: stop Synarel morning of booster/ trigger shot (Monday for Wednesday, Tuesday night for Thursday). trigger will be sometime between 7pm and midnight, depending when they are going to do opu.
last Gonal-F injection on Monday morning (now on 300 ui
husband to, um, you know, two days before opu, so he has a nice fresh batch on the day.

have to sign two theatre forms tomorrow because I don't yet know what hospital I'll be going to. have another 8.30 am shot.

I forgot my Synarel on Friday in all the rush to get to my 7.45 am scan. fortunately the clinic obliged with a spare sniff, or I'd have had to go all the way back home! that stuff is all that's standing between me and a big popping-early episode. won't do that again.

side effects currently not too bad really. still a little achy in the ovaries, but really not as bad as I'd prepared myself for. it's a bit odd that I have no more scans at all before opu, but I guess they trust that the follies will grow at a predictable rate, and that the Synarel will keep them from popping early.

after the emby goes in there will be either two more shots of heavy-duty pregnancy hormone, or two weeks of vaginal pessaries. not sure which I'd prefer. the pessaries sound gentler, in a hormonal sense.

so now it's just a few more days of what has become almost routine - sniff, inject, sniff, inject - then we're into serious baby making territory. actual fertilisation will be terribly exciting. and after we put the emby in, the two-week-wait will no doubt be excruciating.

Thursday, November 28, 2002

quick blog: told the Mum about IVF treatment last night.
went to dinner; was planning to tell her anyway, then husband sent me an sms message about my synarel. and of course I'd left it in the car and had to explain why I was leaving her sitting there. (after I got back)
she's pretty cool about it. has never given me grandchildren guilt, as she has enough from brothers. told her most of the gory details and she's glad she knows. she *was* wondering if I realised how late I was leaving it, but as we've been trying for 18 months, clearly I did realise it was About Time.
hadn't realised my maternal grandmother had her last at 40, which is good news from a genetic chances pov. did know my mother lost a pregnancy at about 33 - would have been her fourth.
so that's all right. just waiting for tomorrow's scan and will probably get my opu date then. meanwhile, have a very short time today in which to organise my work life so I can have two days off.
ovaries were definitely bugging me last night. feeling very faintly nauseous, a sort of ache like constipation or period pain. and feeling quite sensitive, physically, like my skin is buzzing a little. but nothing tragic yet.

Wednesday, November 27, 2002

A mature follicle is usually between 18 and 23 mm.

how stress causes sows to have worse-quality eggs.

this morning's nurse was nice. blond short hair, glasses, reminded me of my friend P. Jo. trying to get all their names so when I send the thank you cards for my new baby I get everyone!
feeling a bit dizzy. going to have a coffee this afternoon. wouldn't you, with a two-hour session at a conference to sit through in prime napping time? (1.30-3.30)

this paper says women under 30 get about 9 eggs, over 36 get about 6.6. eggs.
so eight would be good.
there's a table further down that seems to suggest that just under 12 is average for 30-35 year olds. and I'm only 36 & 1/2, so I'd like to hope I can still be close to that figure. that's follicles aspirated, though, not eggs. so if all my follies make it through, I'll be on the average for someone a little younger than me. happy with that.

age doesn't just reduce the number of eggs; it affects their quality

A dozen eggs!
well, not eggs, but follicles. after only five shots.
dr was very happy. I'm not overstimulating, and 12 is good. I don't know what's average, but given my age, it'll do me just fine.
Endometrial lining: 7mm.
Left ovary: seven follicles, 8,9,10,9,8,8 and 6mm
Right ovary: five follicles, 11,10,8,8 and 8 mm.

I have another scan on Friday morning and she'll probably decide when to book me in for my booster and OPU. at the moment it's still looking like Wednesday December 4, but it could be as early as Monday. I'm going to plan my work week around not working after Tuesday, with a fallback for cancelling meetings/tasks on Monday and Tuesday.
found I was very happy and smiling as I put my knickers back on this morning; 12 follicles is great, and it means it's all working nicely.
symptoms will/could get worse, she said; the follicles have to grow and the weepies may continue. and of course the scan is only a quick 2-D check, and they will not all hatch. she said she'd be happy with 8 eggs. which, and I'm counting my embroyos before they hatch, would surely mean 4-5 embys.

VERY exciting.

Tuesday, November 26, 2002

is it possible that highly active ovulation hormones could be making me feel, well, horny?
well, something is...

ps: but I did see an article today suggesting that underweight mothers create fat children.
so with all this sugar and cake as coffee substitutes, I guess I won't have *that* problem. one is in the middle of the normal weight range anyway, despite what certain colleagues rudely choose to call skinniness.

caffeine report: had a latte this morning, then went back to the market at lunchtime. I normally have a long macchiato and a chocolate slice to pick me up off the floor for the afternoon.
instead, I bought three pieces of caramel fudge, and am now sitting at my desk scoffing sultanas and drinking tea and wishing I had a caffeine rush. this bit is *hard*. last night I had about three sips of wine; seems alcohol is easier to resist than coffee. sigh. hope the babies appreciate this. of course they won't...

shot number 5: stomach, at work, not too bad.

am sure I am feeling twinges. then again, maybe not.
the shots seem to be good for my skin, anyway! a little oily, but slightly glowing.
well, you have to be grateful for small things, hey?

so looking forward to the scan in the morning. we'll see how Freddy the Fat Follicle and his team are coming along.

oh dear. Tracy at Indecisive has suffered a terrible loss.
to get to six/seven weeks and then have this happen. poor darling.

Monday, November 25, 2002

Independent article on taking time off work for fertility teatment

oh very funny.

here I was freaking out about the HUGE needle I glimpsed at the clinic.

today I asked the work nurse if they put it all the way in. turns out that's just a big ugly mixing needle; the actual needle needle is much smaller, though I still wouldn't look at it.
she says the injecting pens are great; totally automatic. I want one of those!

Sunday, November 24, 2002

v. quick; still moving. yes, bad pmt is a major symptom of gonal-f, brooke the rather sexily dressed nurse told me today (they don't wear the uniforms any more, that's for sure!) the shot wasn't so painful today.
so I'll just have to manage it. had a talk to husband about that. it'll be OK.

better keep moving. no Internet at new house yet.

Saturday, November 23, 2002

just so I remember; nurse this morning was Judy. think it's her again in the am.

funny scene at the hospital at 8.30 am. several women a lot like me (mid-late 30s) all quickly getting out of their car, grabbing a car parking ticket and trotting in. of course they were also there for shots and tests. but there isn't much acknowledgement of others in the waiting room. all in our own little worlds of suspended animation.

he knows I'm really angry, but I don't think he knows how angry, and disappointed in him.
we had to move today. yes, it should have happened two weeks ago, but despite our (mostly my) efforts we couldn't find a place until now.
so he had one f'n job. to book a trailer or van so we could minimise the number of runs.
I left here at 8 am. he was still in bed. I got my shot (in the hip; it still hurt) at 8.30, had a coffee and by 9.30 was packing the car at our old house. meanwhile, he's at this temporary place, wandering around with phone books and going to LOOK AT trailers for f's sake. what a waste of time.
the day is getting hotter and hotter, and I'm struggling with getting heavy objects into the car all by myself.
at about 11 he rings and says "what about a one-tonne van?" this is after the car is full, and obviously said van isn't going to be got for another hour or so. we end up with nothing but the crappy shallow trailer his parents own. I suspect this is all happening partly because he doesn't want to spend the money on a van. yes, we can afford it.

I'm not supposed to be under stress. I'm feeling very teary (hormones?) and I thought how nice it would have been to have him at the house with a large van at 9.30 so we could pack that, drive to the temp. place, pack there and then just unload it all in one go. and he says "sorry" and things like that but it doesn't make up for the fact I'm now here packing the car along again while he's at the old house trying to get beds into the trailer by himself. and I don't care. (the phone just rang; it's him asking for the address so he can get an insurance cover note. this was the only other task assigned to him; get insurance, get trailer. BEFORE we move.

maybe I'm overreacting but I feel so very badly let down by this - and this after he told me to stop asking him to do it, he'd run his own company, he was perfectly capably etc - that I could just f'n well walk out the door. all I want is for him to do what he promises to do, to take an interest in what's needed. I tried not to feel responsible for the whole move, and this is what happened. if I'd just taken charge and got a van and told him when and where to collect it, it would have been so much better. but I was getting shots and scans and taking the lease down to the agents and talking to the tradesman and getting power and gas and the phone on and writing lists of all the stuff we needed in the house, and working all week. this is objectively not fair and unbelievably inconsiderate behaviour. what a waste of time. and I keep thinking of how stress interferes with ovulation, and that makes me feel even more stressed. has he not realised what is actually happening this fortnight? that this is a crucial time and he should be looking after me, not fucking up my weekend and leaving me spending every night next week unpacking at the new flat?

so I came back here to have a rest and pack, but it was too late in the day to nap. so I just drank half a can of coke and ate a handful of chocolate to keep me going and now I hate myself for that and I feel frozen, like I can't move and I just want to cry. it's either hormones or a nervous breakdown...

Friday, November 22, 2002

well, I am sure I never feel dizzy. and I was in a store at the counter and suddenly everything was moving clockwise in front of me. luckily I wasn't being attended to at the time and I was able to lean on the counter. yes, it's a hot day and I'm wearing a warm top. but that never happens.

lunch was yummy yum cha at a good Chinese place my yummy husband picked. I went for eggs and fish and protein, did eat some tofu (soy) but I think it was good food. drank green tea. made husband laugh when I said I'd have to replace my afternoon chocolate with something better, like jellybeans. but at least sugar hits don't have caffeine.
he was impressed that I was willing to even try on the coffee. he'd given up nagging. I did point out he'd never shown me any evidence...he's just anti-anything-druglike.

not sure if I'm feeling a bit tingly or not.
I guess I'll spend a lot of time obsessing over symptoms.

I have decided that on the bottom left of my left ovary there will be a follicle called Fred. He will be the chief follicle, leading seven others on the left ovary and six on the right (total:14)

Fred will grow big and fat and juicy and hatch an egg called Eddie. Eddie will make an excellent embroyo called Ellie, who will be selected by my Dr as the prettiest of all, and used first. she will be made of superglue and drill bits and attach herself firmly to my uterine lining within milliseconds, and on December 21 I will be getting a positive pregnancy test.

Under Fred's leadership the other 13 follicles will produce 12 eggs. of which 10 will fertilise. Only one will be lost in thawing, leaving me with NINE stored attempts for the second child.

that is what I have decided. Fred, do your stuff!

well, that hurt a little bit. enough to make me nervous about the next one, and the next one.
the nurse had it all laid out to show me how to do it, but I refused nicely. no way do I want to dwell on the needles. and I don't think I could learn to do that myself. and I don't want husband to do it b/c if it hurts more I'll blame him.
so it's work nursey and driving to the clinic each weekend. no big deal.

Thursday, November 21, 2002

oh hey, and the person who came looking for "IVF chat room Melbourne Victoria"? email me if you like. say hello.

some really scary coffee and alcohol stats here. even my moderate consumption is Bad, it seems.

I drink about a glass of wine a day, on average, and never more than three drinks at a time. I have a tea in the morning, a coffee midmorning and another caffeine drink of some kind after lunch.

I need to get it down to 1/4 glass of wine or none, a tea in the morning, half a coffee midmorning and a tea in the afternoon. that will be a start, at least. that can be my target for this cycle. I should have done this before; I didn't know that caffeine could promote tubal disease as that site says!

and after this cycle, I'll see if I can get it down to two teas a day, and two drinks a week. then if I'm pregnant, one weak tea and no drinks. this is realistic, I think.

OK, I'm done. yawn.
(I think I'm here and on the bulletin boards b/c husband had a stressful day at work. I was blathering on about drug levels and he kind of wandered off. I'm actually not offended; he wasn't being rude, he really is exhausted. but I need an outlet.)

but this looks more sensible: "Some clinics believe that a diet that is high in protein and low in salt and potassium can help you avoid hyperstimulation"
not sure what to do about my caffeine intake. two cups a day and a cup of tea. the afternoon one tends to be Coke or a strong coffee. should at least cut back to tea, but I guess I'm addicted and I'm afraid of headaches/stress caused by withdrawal. yes I know I should have thought of that before.
I could start by getting enough sleep... it's bedtime.

(well not quite: that site is GREAT! full of hints and practical advice, and things I'd not think of, like avoiding shampoos and chemicals on the pickup day so the chemicals don't get at the eggs.

an IVF and nutrition discussion board.

genetically engineered follicle stimulating hormone, sucrose, sodium phosphates and sodium hydroxide.


hmph. that page says "tell your doctor and HE will..."
how archaic. so far it's all been women, which I quite like.

Just like any other medication, Gonal-F may cause unwanted effects. For most people these are mild and cease once therapy is stopped. Therefore the benefits of Gonal-F treatment far outweigh the risk of unwanted effects for most people.
Shortly after treatment is commenced with Gonal-F, the following effects may be seen or experienced: enlargement of the ovaries, abdominal pain, ovarian cysts, ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome, nausea, vomiting, abdominal cramps, bloating, diarrhoea, pain, redness or swelling at the injection site, breast tenderness, dry skin or hair loss.
In very rare cases a clot may form in a blood vessel, this will usually be associated with severe ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome or OHSS (see overdosage below).
Multiple pregnancies such as twins and in rare cases, triplets, sometimes result from assisted conception and may affect the outcome of pregnancies and the health of the new born babies. As with any pregnancy, complications may occur, such as ectopic pregnancy (pregnancy outside of the womb), miscarriage, stillbirth and birth defects.
All drugs, including Gonal-F, carry the risk of possible unwanted effects. You must consult your doctor, pharmacist or nurse if you experience any unwanted effects while taking Gonal-F.

What do I do if I suspect overdosage?
Hyperstimulation of the ovaries, known as ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (OHSS) is a rare, but potentially serious complication of infertility therapy and can be the result of excessive doses of Gonal-F. Without proper hospital management, this condition may even be fatal. The initial symptoms may consist of lower abdominal pain, abdominal swelling and/or nausea and vomiting. Should one or more of these symptoms develop, you must consult your doctor immediately. The risk of producing the syndrome may be greatly reduced by adequate patient monitoring during therapy, and by correct adjustment of the medicine.

this is just getting compulsive; there's so much going on and I feel i must blog every move.
saw nurse; she's cool. she's really quite interested in it all. so first shot just after 9 tomorrow!

suspenseful's confirmed she's not PG. it makes me a bit sad.

my dose is 225 mg of Gonal-F every morning. the nurse got a needle out from her supplies to show me how small they were, but the one she picked by accident was HUGE and looked like it was made of rusty iron! so I made her stop trying to show me. I have to Just Do It.

Suzanne the nice Nurse, who looked like she should be hanging out at a coffee shop (spangly t-shirt, denim) did my scan. lining under 4mm, ovaries quiet as. she seemed fascinated with my ovarian arteries pumping away...
so it's all go. as usual, lots of instructions to remember.
I have a bill for some huge amount that we need to pay next week. got more synarel - down to one sniff morning/night from tomorrow.
shots start on Friday morning! have to be at the clinic twice over the weekend; I guess eventually I'll just learn to to the shots myself.
an early scan next week, but looking at OPU around December 4. have even estimated that I'd be doing a pregnancy test around December 21having a good time with my buddies over at the CARE centre in the UK, with a group who are all coming up to down reg scans now.

um, what else? can't reach husband on the phone. dying to talk to someone about it. haven't done any work since I got in.

starting to think eggy thoughts. expect a burst of links to that kind of stuff.

better go see the nice nursey here about my shots...

Wednesday, November 20, 2002

called the dr to check on why the bills keep going to an address I house-sat.
the receptionist got me worried my scan might not be happening, as dr is away until monday.
lovely Felicity the nurse at the clinic put me right; the nurses will do it (dr's locum could do it too).
there's not even a blood test!
fingers crossed.

I'm going out after work tonight - now, really - so I have to sneak into a quiet room upstairs I know of to sniff my snyarel. hope I don't get all snuffly - the people at the function will think I'm on Coke or something!

down, little eggies, down! sit!

Monday, November 18, 2002

some things that help make a good cry really satisfying:

- Pachelbel's Canon in D cranked up really loud on a good turntable system
- a gin and tonic, drunk about 1/2 an hour earlier
- a fluffy dog who comes and sticks his nose in your face to see what's the matter with you, allowing you to hug him and wail even louder

don't know where that one came from. it just did. maybe I'm feeling the stress. maybe it's the hormones.

poor suspenseful. it must be so awful.
the "keep trying" thing is a hard one. how long do you go on for? when are you sure, really sure, that it will not work? how do you get up the energy to keep going and be hopeful, as you must, to try again?

all this lies ahead.

Sunday, November 17, 2002

what a useful site. it has a searchable database of all australian prescription drugs. will be good for my future stuff.

I'm on 4x200 mcg a day! 400 g/day produced down reg in 100% of patients! they're not mucking about...

Down regulation may be defined as serum oestradiol < 50 pg/mL (184 pmol/L) and serum progesterone < 1ng/mL (3.2 nmol/L); the majority of patients down regulate within 4 weeks.
this site also seems to suggest that Synarel is very, very effective at down regulating. 10-15 days is defined as a "long" cycle, and I'm in on day 15. so it should be enough. if it's not, I'm going to make them check that bottle. still not sure it's working.

they have a general IVF page. don't know how good it is yet.

found an Australian ivf journal; haven't had much time to read it, and the front page is a slow-loading animation. but she's right in the thick of it, it looks like.

off the Pill as of Friday. period started Saturday. waiting, waiting for the scan on Thursday. assume Synarel is working, hope so at least.

m-i-l sat down to tell me husband had told her about ivf and they were thinking of me. the inlaws are the last people I want to discuss all this with. too much, and it will go on for too long, and not enough control over the emotions.

waiting, waiting.

Monday, November 11, 2002

confided in a work colleague I can trust.
he has twins, and his experience is one reason I worry about twins
he said that of 10 sets in his family's twin support group, SIX are IVF sets.

also that his kids - now about 18 mths, I think - are getting easier. they play w. each other etc. which souns cool. but we've decided that a greater chance of one healthy child outweishs two with more risk of problems.

these are such massive, life-altering decisions we're making...

Sunday, November 10, 2002

I still feel fairly OK.
which worries me.
shouldn't I be bloated, tired and headachy?
at least then I'd know it's working.

Although, I must say in his defence that John is a much more moderate and rational type than, say Nordog, who seems to think IVF=cloning=the movie Alien Resurrection

why do I get so riled? about people who given half a chance would stop me having kids? oh, I can't think. my poor little hormonal female brain just ain't up to that one, Rhett Butler.

John, information wants to be free.

"This reminds me -- the pro-life movement likes real science. The more we learn about early human development, the clearer it becomes that life really begins at conception.
Opposing research that creates and destroys embryos isn't "opposing science;" it's opposing the destruction of embryos, and the creation of them for that purpose."

I can't see how IVF could have been created without such research. And the position that life begins at conception clearly implies that life is being destroyed in the IVF process. yada yada.

as for this below, well just call me bad. I never agreed not to publish nuthin'. this isn't a debate. it's my personal Web page where I say what I think about my life, and stuff on the Web. your opinion on how I go about what is essentially a self-defining activity is irrelevant. linking and commenting is what we do here. if you don't like it, you can a) take your stuff off the Web or b) link back to me in your space, with your views.
no further (private) correspondence, etc.



I'm sorry I apparently gave you the impression that I think you're

If you've read what I wrote, you would see that the axe that I'm
really grinding is against embryonic research. I was taking on the
strawman argument that anyone who opposes embryonic research is "against

I referred to IVF as "troublesome." I did not write anything
remotely resembling, "Any person doing IVF is evil."

While I do have my reservations about how IVF is practiced, I hope
your cycle is successful.

In the meantime, you might want to learn the difference between
questioning a practice and calling anyone who practices it "evil." And if
you have a serious answer to what I've written, I'd appreciate seeing that
rather than this silly "National Idiot Week" nonsense. When someone has to
resort to sarcasm and name-calling at the very start of a debate, I tend to
think she doesn't have much of substance to say.


John McGuinness

Friday, November 08, 2002

a forum I'm in, just so I can find it again.

"baby dusting" is cute. the unpregnant women come in and get "dusted" by the ones carrying babies or with newborns. really cute and warm and fuzzy.

discussion boards are interesting; should eat lots of protein during the egg-making cycled (injections).
the boards are full of jargon, though. can hardly understand some of it.

had to take a break from updating my links to go sniff my Synarel. I think I'll make it my personal mission to annoy these people who think I'm evil by getting pregnant the very first go.
that'll show 'em. yeah.

it's definitely idiot week.
Even in the Pro-Life world in-vitro fertilization seems to be largely forgotten. I think that this is an obscene procedure especially considering that they implant multiple children in the hope that one will survive. To me this is tantamount to throwing six to eight children in a cave with one piece of meat and then keeping the one that manages to survive. I can understand the frustration of parents wanting to have their own children, but at what cost? We are talking about immortal souls which God has created and destined to live with him forever, not just some clumps of cells for us to manipulate at will. Sometimes when multiple children survive in the womb they kill some off and call it "Multifetal Pregnancy Reduction".

Even if they managed to be 100 percent effective and only implanted one child it would still be an evil since it is an act apart from the unitive act of marriage. I've decided to spiritually adopt a clinic which does IVF in my area to pray for the doctors, staff, and the men and women desiring to become parents. May God give them light.

Jeff, I am not evil. I'm just a naughty girl. anyway, I don't understand how it's "apart from..." oh, I see. the unitive act of marriage is a normal f*&k, no doubt missionary style, isn't it?

hoo-boy. funnily enough, I got all these nutters when I put "IVF blog" into Google. maybe I'll start a "men who think I'm evil" section of my links list.

the pro-life movement likes real science. The more we learn about early human development, the clearer it becomes that life really begins at conception.

what, is it National Idiot Week?

(thought: maybe the Synarel is kicking in and this is what it's like to be a grumpy menopausal lady. hehehe.)

"assume that soul is united with the flesh when the sperm is united with the ovum."

what a stupid person. so the storage tanks are full of little frozen "souls"?

now, I have concerns about late-term abortions. but we are talking about four-celled things that aren't even dividing at the time. they're frozen. they may as well be dormant eggs.


aargh. a complete idiot in Toongabbie, of all places, who seems to think IVF should be banned because some embryos may not get used.what was the Monty Python song?
"every sperm is sacred".
when there are so much worse human problems in the world, people dying of lack of clean water, you'd think these sanctimonious gits would find something better to occupy their time.

wow. in the States you can do a "shared cycle", give the other couple some eggs and they pay for your treatment. how, um innovative. wouldn't it kill if they got babies and you didn't, though?

seem to be IVF-obsessed right now. only to be expected on the first cycle, I suppose. a coping mechanism. so much to learn, too. and not knowing how the side effects will hit me doesn't help.

a detailed IVF blog. she's a little ahead of me in her second cycle. very informative b/c she posts lots of technical data, will be good to help me know what to expect. fthere are lots on that site. funny blogs, though; arranged by date, seem to be part of some conception site.

is is maudlin to go looking for other women having trouble? northern town's baby dreams is having a month off. she needs it.

I've just surfed some of my ttc and baby blog links, and some are out of date. sorry, will fix.

some have also graduated to photos of the baby walking. that's how long I've been doing this blog for; as long as we've been ttc. since may 2001, since you ask.

it hurts a bit. I don't like the idea of resenting other people's kids, or finding the sight of them difficult, but I do. the hospital, for instance, is FULL of pregnant women and proud dads with their new sons on their knees.

I think I'll stop now. this doesn't help.

it's weird having tits

Babies have never been less in fashion. The Bureau of Statistics reports that Australia's fertility rate fell to a record low last year, and women on average bear 1.73 children each over their lifetime.

not sure why that was written by the "economics editor".
are children and fertility rates only about economic growth these days?

these are some kick-ass hormones.
oestregen (sp?) blocking is already happening, so I'm bleeding a little and feeling slightly queasy.don't know if that's ovaries or uterus complaining.
snort, snort. I am the hormone hog.

Thursday, November 07, 2002

sat in the park with my mobile this time.
stop the Pill next Thursday, 14th, and go in for a scan to see that everything's "down regulated" (quiet) on the 21st. so I guess we're looking at OPU in very late November.
and in the meantime, keep snorting those hormones.

"Paraesthesia, alopecia, chloasma, asthenia, breast engorgement, arthralgia, insomnia, oedema, seborrhoea, hirsutism, depression and mass gain have been reported."
it's almost like a little chant or song, isn't it?
cloasma, asthenia.
breast engorgement, arthralgia
insomnia, oedema.
(then quickly, all at once)
seborrhoea, hirsutism, depression and mass gain!
Have. Been. (long pause then very slowly) re-por-TED!

so I took the first spray this morning. think I stuffed up spray one, but spray two worked fine. I hate nasal sprays. am aiming for between 7-7.30 each morning and night, to allow for my varying going to work/coming home schedule.

the dummy run was fine, really. not good as such, but nothing like as bad as the last catheter job. apparently it's a smaller catheter. wish she'd said that last week.

and we sat down for the 2 versus one talk. if I make good embroys, we'll put them in one at a time. I think the drs don't like making twins. there are major risks of early birth, not to mention all that boring two babies at once stuff afterwards. she was talking delivery as early as 28 weeks, which is horrifying.

each embryo has an independent 17 per cent chance on average. and I guess if mine are good, and I'm "young" and healthy for these programs, the chances are good. if the embryos don't look good, we'll put two in.

blastocysts are all very well, but they are more likely to split into 2. which brings us back to twins, and identical ones at that.

anyway, I had better actually do some work at this point. as soon as any exciting nasty symptons occur, I'll be updating this exciting journey into the hormonal wilds.

Wednesday, November 06, 2002

from Melbourne IVF:
For example, 245 of women less than 38 years old at the time of their first stimulated cycle egg retrieval in 1998-1999 will have at least one baby from their fresh or frozen embryos from that first egg retrieval, 40% by the second and 51% by the time all frozen embryos are used in their third egg retrieval. (Of course some of these couples will have had more than one baby.)
the rates over 38 drop fast, though...

Melbourne IVF (our program) do blastocyst transfer: "A number of research studies have demonstrated that many embryos stop developing after the first few days. Culturing embryos to day 5 allows identification of those embryos that will not continue to develop, and avoids their transfer. This potential advantage must be balanced against the extra time spent in the laboratory and the less predictable ability of any excess blastocysts to withstand freezing."

this lot have a total rate of 57 per cent. that's fresh and frozen. it looks to me like taking it slowly if we have "good" embryos, especially if we can wait a few days, if the dr lets us, is better. but if fresh have a better chance, which we're not sure of, we might do 2 first, then 1 x however many times it takes.

can I just say that caesareans, and the whole thing really, scare me sh*tless?


In women with at least 4 good quality embryos, transfer of a single embryo prevented most twin births. This study demonstrated a non-significant absolute reduction of 15% in pregnancy rate when 1 embryo was transferred, compared to 2 embryos.

finnish study

the thing about this is that after thaw cycles, the single-embryo lot actually appear to have had more deliveries, even though of course the twins pushed up the overall baby rate of the two-embryo group.

it's called blastocyst transfer

more cooked ones have a better chance of working (if they don't die first)
but our program does it at 2 days.

two is better than three

we also had a big talk about the one vs two thing last night.
it worries me he's so keen to avoid risking any disability. not that I don't concur, just that he's not sure how he'd deal with a disabled child, and we can't ever guarantee it won't happen.
will probably go for two first time to avoid risks of freezing, then will ask: what are the risks of twins? is there any reason apart from speed of putting two in at at time? b/c if it's just that one in 10 will take so it takes up to 10 months to get one, rather than five to get one and maybe two (they have about 20 % twins on this program), then maybe we should be going more slowly. I'm only 36 and it's so much safer.
I also want to know if there are any rh implications of twins; eg eliminating second-pregnancy risks, or perhaps two at once risks one being attacked?
I'm rh negative, he's positive. bummer.

I'm wondering why I got so upset last night (apart from hormones).
And it seems to me that sometimes it's not until I get to that point of being really distressd that you take me seriously when I have a problem.
I know you don't enjoy it and I'm sure I don't. It's not always that easy for me to "just explain" whatever is is that's bothering me, especially if I don't feel you're actively interested in finding out. Maybe that's why I get to where I do, where you see how much it matters.
I think I kind of bottle it up, trying to be "sensible" and waiting for you to be interested, so when it does come out it's as bad as it can get - a bit all or nothing.
But with something like this IVF think, it would be so much better to have your help before I get to that point, becuase the "all" could be very yucky indeed.
And I can't always just tell you what I need because at times like last night I don't have the strength to reason that out and express it. I need all that energy for myself when I'm that upset.
I will try to be good and not be horrible to you. But as I said last night, if you could relax your standards a bit, be a bit more forgiving of me, that would help.
I am scared - of the pain, and the uncertainty, and maybe not succeeding - and I don't know yet how the various drugs/hormones will affect me.
I may not have the resources to be as generous to you with my understanding as I should be, though I'll try. If you can find any sapce in what is also a difficult time for you to put some forgiveness or empathy my way, it might be that extra bit of help I need to get us both through this.
I love you,

(and this afternoon is the dreaded "dummy run" implantation, read cathether into the uterus - I have two extra strong painkillers and will top 'em up with half a sleeping tablet, and he'll come and pick me up aftewards. )

Monday, November 04, 2002

couldn't stand it.
snuck into an empty office with my mobile and called the Nurses.
explained I had no idea when to start, etc. even said "embryos" in a normal voice instead of whispering.
they said I should start the Synarel (nasal spray) on Thursday and call for a scan date/date to stop the pill then. the scan date will be the one to see if the eggs are cooking nicely. so that's the 7th; dr is away from 14th to 24th, so I'm hoping I'll be doing opu (ovum pickup) and therefore implanation THIS MONTH!!!
I think the below post is confused. nasal spray and pill are simultaneous for a while. not sure whether the pill and needles overlap.

feel so much better. so tired of uncertainty and hovering. I know it won't be a sure thing, but at least it will be happening.

roll on the menopausal symptons...

couldn't stand it.
snuck into an empty office with my mobile and called the Nurses.
explained I had no idea when to start, etc. even said "embryos" in a normal voice instead of whispering.
they said I should start the Synarel (nasal spray) on Thursday and call for a scan date/date to stop the pill then. the scan date will be the one to see if the eggs are cooking nicely. so that's the 7th; dr is away from 14th to 24th, so I'm hoping I'll be doing opu (ovum pickup) and therefore implanation THIS MONTH!!!
I think the below post is confused. nasal spray and pill are simultaneous for a while. not sure whether the pill and needles overlap.

feel so much better. so tired of uncertainty and hovering. I know it won't be a sure thing, but at least it will be happening.

roll on the menopausal symptons...

nurse in the company health centre is surprisingly nice and friendly; Robyn, must remember name.
should be no problem for her to give me shots for the week or so it's necessary. she has to OK it upstairs, but I'll make a fuss if they say no. after all, it's less time off work, isn't it? she says the needles are small and easy; even diabetic children can give subcutaneous injections to themselves.
there are rooms in there for migraine naps! funny, when I get sick I never think of going there. I just go home. now I know. as I said to her, when the hormones kick in, I might need to use a room to have a sob in.

nurse in the company health centre is surprisingly nice and friendly; Robyn, must remember name.
should be no problem for her to give me shots for the week or so it's necessary. she has to OK it upstairs, but I'll make a fuss if they say no. after all, it's less time off work, isn't it? she says the needles are small and easy; even diabetic children can give subcutaneous injections to themselves.
there are rooms in there for migraine naps! funny, when I get sick I never think of going there. I just go home. now I know. as I said to her, when the hormones kick in, I might need to use a room to have a sob in.

Sunday, November 03, 2002

ah-ha. that post below had killed my blog. it was pasted from another site and contained the dreaded little boxes that make blogger go stupid.

fixed now.
just for the record, nurse on friday was Tara, counsellor Louise. am putting this in so I know who to send cards to when babies come.
also in case we are told the wrong thing; eg below I've said Diana scheduled us in, when she clearly hasn't.

speaking of names, there is a 48-year-old woman with almost the same name as me on their books. don't know if she's currently in treatment. (I'm 36). but the counsellor had her fact sheet when she saw me. all the records are kept under the woman's name. I have to be extra careful, all the time, that they know who's who; ESPECIALLY when it comes to things like getting the right frozen babies out.

upside is it gives me a very good excuse to correct people who get my name wrong. my actual name is a diminuitive of a more common, longer name, and the longer name is so not me, and I hate it when I get called that. now I can look shocked and say "you've got the wrong records, haven't you?" hehehe

i ching on: any babies?
47. K'un / Oppression (Exhaustion)

---- ----
---------- above Tui The Joyous, Lake
---- ----
---------- below K'an The Abysmal, Water
---- ----

The Judgement

Oppression. Success. Perseverance.
The great man brings about good fortune.
No blame.
When one has something to say,
It is not believed.

The Image

There is no water in the lake:
The image of Exhaustion.
Thus the superior man stakes his life
On following his will.

The Lines

Six at the beginning means:
One sits oppressed under a bare tree
And strays into a gloomy valley.
For three years one sees nothing.

() Nine in the second place means:
One is oppressed while at meat and drink.
The man with the scarlet knee bands is just coming.
It furthers one to offer sacrifice.
To set forth brings misfortune.
No blame.

17. Sui / Following

---- ----
---------- above Tui The Joyous, Lake
---- ----
---- ---- below Chen The Arousing, Thunder

The Judgement

Following has supreme success.
Perseverance furthers. No blame.

The Image

Thunder in the middle of the lake:
The image of Following.
Thus the superior man at nightfall
Goes indoors for rest and recuperation.

husband and mother in law are still asleep (why am I living with my mil? too long a story. won't be for long, I know that).
and this is the first chance I've had to redigest all the stuff from Friday and the feelings that are developing.
first, no, we don't have dates for the first cycle yet. it seems the nurses didn't schedule me in when I called 3 weeks ago. I won't know until Wednesday, which is killing me. I like to have some control, be able to plan. very much hoping they won't just treat this as Day One, as then it can be 6-7 weeks before they fit us in. in fact will be quite angry about that, as we will have missed a cycle for nothing. but hey, I'll be able to talk to my dr about it on Wednesday when I go for my "dummy run".
this dummy run is scary. she wants to see how she goes getting a catheter into my uterus, because the hsg or whatever it was had trouble.
the hsg was also really painful and yucky and it seems unfair I have to have another procedure because it was painful and yucky. had a very tense moment with dr when she said that if she couldn't manage it she'd want to do a hysteroscopy to see what's going on. basically, I won't allow that. the hsg dr eventually managed - we could see on the ultrasound - so I will take a lot of convincing that I need a major procedure - I think it's a general anaesthetic, not sure, but it's a big deal - just because current dr can't do the same.
the pain is another thing. I have some strong tablets for Wednesday, and if possible I will be wanting something like that for every time.
the problem is I have a "false passage" that makes it hard to get the tube in the right place. that, and a very tightly closed cervix.

but this is all backwards. the catheter is necessary to put the embryos in once they're ready, so I may have half a dozen or more of those over the next year or so.

first, we have to get embroyos. the Pill is to set a baseline of hormones and control when my cycle starts, for the lab's convenience (fair enough - a happy lab is a lab that does good work).
then I have nasal sprays - Synerol - to make me premenopausal - yay - in other words quieten my ovaries down. this will mean hot flushes, mood swings, tears, etc. seven days or so
then seven days of both that and ?Clomid? or the other? can't remember - anyway, injections that will supercharge my ovaries. this could mean overstimulation, which is Bad. each follicle is about 2cm across when ready, so if 100 pop, I have a thing the size of a football in each ovary. we're aiming fro 6-7 each ovary.
some scans etc to see when they're ready
then a big booster shot at night, and exactly 37 hours later, they sedate me and use a needle through my uterine wall to vacuum out the eggs. whoo-hoo, sounds fun. luckily they have an anaesthetist there and apparently no one ever really remembers it.
then husband provides sperm (yes, that's his total effort. a wank!) and they mix up some babies.
two days later they put two in ( wondering about this twins risk, but that's another post), and two weeks later you do a pregnancy test - I wonder if I'll use my charts - and if they'd be reliable with all these hormones floating about.
the pregnancy test is a proper blood test.
and if it doesn't work, there ought to be a few frozen embryos to try again on a "natural thaw" cycle, which is where they just wait for you to ovulate and bung the embryos in then. not all thaw out right, of course, but most do.
simple, really.

we also spent 45 minutes with a counsellor talking about fun stuff like what if one of us dies while there are frozen embryos, and how to cope with the stress.
she says we should find one place to live and stay there. hear hear. am pushing to be moving next weekend. yes, we're spending a lot on renovation. but bottom line is we can actually afford to pay rent instead of living here, and this IVF thing is a big deal, and if it costs a couple of thousand to be in a situation where our marriage survives, it's probably worth it.

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