Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Briefly pregnant after wedding

As an adjunct to my post on our disrupted IVF round three, is a interesting little story!

We have some friends who were married a couple of years and are having some trouble trying to conceive as well.  Different circumstances as they are both young, but having trouble is still having trouble.

Anyway, R said to Dave one day, "there will be no pregnancy for you until there is a ring on your finger!"  He was joking mostly, but it was an interesting thing to say.  Sure enough, two weeks after our wedding, we got the phone call about the pregnancy.  Lets just ignore the fact the nurse also said that it wasn't looking good and she was right.

When we think back, we wonder if we conceived on our wedding night.  What a great story that would have been!  Three and a half years of trying and it took us to get married before got pregnant!

Even though it wasn't to be, I like to think that maybe there is some truth to R's half joking comment.  That now that we are married, will be the time for success!!!

Love and Light!

What will I do?

I was browsing through In Season Mom Cynthias blog this morning, reading some of her excellent articles and interviews, when I decided to look through her links to see what other over 40 mum blogs she had listed.  And there it was...  My name... New Mum Over 40.

I made that my name as a way of bringing into our lives our little one.  When we leave for our honeymoon on Dec 10, I will turn 44.  Seems I should change my name.  I'm no new mum, and I'm soon to be over 44.  The positive thinking is now nearly 4 years old with no results.

I still believe we will have a child.  For me, there is no alternative that I could possibly live with.  But, the further in we go, the more doubts creep in.  Every IVF round has progressively had more complications.  Admittedly, the last one was a result of a late diagnosis of a natural pregnancy that was failing.  But that meant no round at all and more delay and more aging of my eggs. Yet still, I have my fingers crossed for January.  I can't let go of the dream and the belief that it will work.

If we haven't succeeded before we get to the point of not being able to go on with the treatment, which will be next year, I don't know how I will cope.  Being a Mum is the only dream I have in my life.  I have achieved all the other things I've wanted to do.  I've had a good career, finished two degrees, I've travelled extensively, lived overseas and had the time and energy to do a lot of inner work and self development.  But I'm ready to let go of my career now.  The only thing I want in this whole world is to love and cherish and raise our child.  It's what I'm meant to do.

What will I do if that doesn't happen?

Dave and I only last weekend ended up having a conversation around that.  We were at the supermarkets and passed a screaming child.  "Something to look forward to", I said.  And he rolled his eyes and said "I know!"

And suddenly we were having a conversation of how it wouldn't be so bad.  We could go away whenever we wanted, travel the world for my 50th birthday etc etc.  Yes, we had both though of that.  Yet, as nice as that all sounds, it doesn't compare with having our own family.

What will we do if it doesn't happen?

Monday, November 12, 2012

We're married!!

Amongst all the IVF things, Dave and I have been planning our wedding!!!  And on October 20, 2012, we finally did it! 

It was such an absolutely wonderful day!   Everything went so well, the day ran smoothly and we had a blast from start to finish!!

It is so exciting to be married to my wonderful man.  We both thought that things wouldn't be any different once we had tied the night.  But we were wrong.  We both felt it in the first week.  Things are better.  Something has shifted in our relationship and we like it so much better.  We can't pinpoint what it is, but we like it!

Perhaps it is because our relationship is now blessed, perhaps it is because it is now legal and official, perhaps it is the public affirmation of how much we love each other and how we will support each other, perhaps it is the public support of all our friends, perhaps it is the personal acknowledgment between us that we are forever.  Who knows!  
All I know is that I love it!!!!!!

We don't have our professional photographs yet, but I thought I would put up a few photos from our friends to give you an idea of our day.  Enjoy!

During the ceremony

My girls helping me

A pre ceremony moment

Me and my girls!

Post Ceremony happiness

The Ceremony Gazebo

Our Lookalike Clay Toppers

IVF round two

Round Two was a long time ago now.  Back in August I think.  Once again there were complications.

After my first scan to check the progress of the follicular growth, it was discovered that I had a polyp on my uterine wall.  The clinic sent me off for a 3D scan to get a good look at it.

The waiting room for the 3D scan was filled with pregnant women with their young children running around their feet.  They were there to get a look at their new growing child.  I was there from complications with just trying to get one.  But the scan staff were fantastic, kind and caring and the experience went off without a hitch.

The polyp was confirmed and that meant that during my harvest surgery, they would remove it.  It also meant that any embryos would need to be frozen because they wouldn't be able to be put transfer them after the surgery to remove the polyp. 

The surgery turned out to be a little more complicated, because the polyp was embedded in the uterine wall.  Rather than tying it off and removing it, they had to cut into the wall and dig it out.  Yuck!!! 
And also my ovaries had decided to hide away and they had to push and prod them into place to get out the follicles.  Unfortunately, they weren't able to get them all.

We only got 6 eggs that round.  I think five of them fertilised, but only one grew to a size that was valid.  However, that one was a much better quality than the one we got last time.  So, it was frozen and is waiting for us to implant.

Our Round Three was going to just be a harvest.  We were going to freeze any embryos we got rather than implanting straight away.  The reasons were multiple. 
One, there is quite an argument now about whether it is better to freeze and implant into a natural cycle or put the fresh embryos into a stimulated cycle.  Many clinics are now exclusively doing the freeze and implant later. 
Second, I was really keen to do a harvest and freeze before we left for our honeymoon.  Every month that passes, is a month more aging of my eggs.  I so wanted to get some more and not let two more months pass.  So, that is another thing so dissappointing about our round three.  We weren't able to get any embryos.

My OB is on the fence with regards to natural versus frozen transfer.  However, with the other circumstances going on for us right now that would cause emotional stress which is not good for the success of a round, she agreed that it was best to freeze and implant in January.  With that not happening due to the complications of round three, we will probably do a full round including fresh transfer in January, rather than freeze.

Now, I am concerned about the timing of round 4.  It all depends on when my next period occurs.  They have predicted 10 - 14 days after the trigger injection.  Which means I could start my period after that during the Christmas/New Year week when they are closed.  That would just suck.  So when I go for my blood tests on Friday, I will talk them about all of that.  We still have the drugs, so it is possible we will be able to start ourselves for the first few days and see them straight away in the the New Year.  Or maybe we will just conceive naturally on our honeymoon cruise to New Zealand!!!  Now that would be awesome!!  And the timing could be right!

January will be a great month for me to do a round.  It will be the summer holidays, I will be totally relaxed and refreshed from our cruise and I will be stress free with no work until February.  Keep your fingers crossed that it all works out.

IVF round 3

The roller coaster ride has continued throughout our ivf rounds two and three.

This last round (round three) began with us saying to ourselves, that after round two, that we were due are nice and straight forward round.  Instead, what happened was we started the drugs, then found out I was pregnant, stopped the drugs, tried the support the pregnancy which was unsuccessful, then found out that my follicles were still growing, had to trigger them to release so I wouldn't develop any cysts on the ovaries, but weren't able to harvest them because my hormones were all mixed up with pregnancy hormones and progesterone hormones from trying to sustain pregnancy and excess eostrogen from starting the round and then we had to abstain from intimacy as there was a chance of multiple pregnancy from the follicles that were released.

In a nutshell.

How did it happen that we even started the cycle?   Well, I had a bleed.  It was unusual, but I still thought that it was a period.  My OB was away, she gave a phone approval for us to start and then we saw her a few days later when she returned.  After we started and I saw how my "period" continued, I was unsure about whether I had started taking the drugs on the right day.  I asked her about this and she questioned me on my "period" symptoms, she straight away sent me for a blood test.  She suspected it may have been a pregnancy - and my bleed was either a heavy implantation bleed, or maybe a pregnancy really not getting off the ground and my body was all confused.

She assured me I didn't need to worry about the injections I had taken so far.  If anything, they would have helped the pregnancy.  But she definitely didn't want me starting the second lot of drugs which I was due to start the next day.

I am SO glad I talked to her about what I thought was my period.  Otherwise we would have gone through the whole round oblivious to the pregnancy, spent thousands of dollars and gotten to theater possibly with no result or nothing viable.  The whole thing was totally screwed up.

Since then, I have had to go through multiple ovulation symptoms, my body preparing for a pregnancy and not succeeding, the emotions of the hormones as well as the emotions naturally caused by the circumstances.  The physical symptoms have been huge - all the way to completely erect, hard and painful nipples.  Boy, the things we have to go through.

The one thing I really don't understand is the Catch 22 of the follicles.  The clinic is doing the right thing and being cautious on both sides, but it is confusing and frustrating.  One one hand, the OB won't go to theatre and harvest because of the pregnancy hormones that will be putting everything off.  On the other hand, the follicles are still growing, need to be triggered to release and we have to abstain from intimacy because of the chance of multiple pregnancy.

I feel like there a half a dozen of my eggs just going to waste.  And that is so upsetting.
On the other hand, the last thing I want to do is be initimate.  My uterus and ovaries hurt too much to do anything.  I just couldn't deal with it!

So round three was a big flop.  So much for being due and nice and easy round.

The good thing is that we were given a full refund and will try again in January when we get back from our honeymoon.  And as for the honeymoon, we get to sit around the pool with alcoholic drinks rather than mocktails!  While I would rather be pregnant, I am looking forward to that!!!  :)

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

IVF round one

Well, we have finished our first round of IVF – unsuccessfully.  I have a month off now to recover and then we go again.

Unfortunately, we only got one viable embryo, which was of course implanted.  So with no frozen embryos to use, I need to go through the whole process again to produce more eggs.

It was a difficult month.  I didn’t have any trouble with the injections nor did I go through any mood swings which was great.  But I was exhausted.  All the time exhausted. 

And then there was the ovary bleed.  After the egg retrieval, I had what I thought was the usual discomfort after this procedure, only to wake up in complete and utter agony in the middle of the night.  It was excruciating.  Fortunately our clinic has a 24 hour service and we called them at 1 am. 
The doctor on call was fantastic.  He diagnosed what was wrong and I went on a high dose of pain medication and we were able to manage.  I couldn’t move on my own, couldn’t get out of bed, couldn’t straighten.  It hurt so much to pee even.  I was on my back for a week.  And then I continued to get spasms of pain right up until I sadly got my period.  I knew something wasn’t right.  I said to Dave “being pregnant shouldn’t feel like this”.  That night we found out I wasn’t.  Sad smile Even now, a week after my period has finished, I still feel mild symptoms of discomfort which could be the residue of the reproduction system getting a complete battering!

The next working day after the bleed began, I was at the clinic having blood tests and scans to confirm the diagnosis.  Fortunately it wasn’t ovarian hyperstimulation, but a bleed from the ovary.  The doctor is not sure whether it began a day after the surgery or was a slow bleed that took a while to manifest.  Either way, it didn’t matter, we knew what was wrong.
In the end, I had two weeks off work from the exhaustion before the retrieval and then from the bleed.  The end result of all of that, is that I have cut my teaching back a day.  There is no way I can go through all of that again and try and maintain the same workload.  I am so relieved!!  As of now, I am teaching one day less.  Woohoo!

We learnt a lot from the egg fertilisation.  They got 10 eggs and they fertilised half via IVF (natural selection) and half via ICSI (where they inject the sperm into the egg.) 

From the IVF procedure we only got one embryo.  Apparently as you get older, the outer lining of the egg hardens and it is harder for the sperm to break through. That explains a lot.
From the ICSI , we got 4 embryos! 

However, none of the ICSI embryos developed.  It was the IVF embryo that got through to a stage of being able to implant.  But even that had a lot of fragmentation and the doctor wasn’t really happy with it.

So, over the last three years of us trying, if one of the little suckers actually managed to break through the outer lining, we may have been fertilising eggs and they just didn’t develop. 

I am feeling a little disheartened with the results and what we have learnt.  I knew age was a real factor but this bit of science really made it a reality.  Nevertheless, we go again in a few weeks.  And I need every minute of those weeks to recover – both emotionally and physically.

I’m  not doing so well right now.  My anxiety levels are up and I am just not with it.  All I really want to do is hide away in bed and read.  But after next week, I have two weeks holiday, so the timing of that is terrific!

Monday, March 5, 2012


This is the first time in three years that I am looking forward to getting my period.  It’s really quite bizarre!  I am keen to get started on the IVF drugs and get a step closer to possibly being a Mum.

Although I have to admit, if it takes a few days, that will probably be a good thing.  I started the Curves Complete program today and a few days on the eating plan will hopefully put me in a better place to deal with the drugs.  I’m posting about my journey with that in my Creating Peaceful Thoughts blog.  It won’t be an easy one for me either, but it is a wonderful opportunity to get pro-active once again with my positive thinking.

I feel better today about starting my first IVF round.  Last night, I went to bed feeling quite good and woke up the same way this morning.  It has been a while since that has been the case.  I have a strong feeling of things happening as they are meant to.

For instance, one of my goals these last two months was to lose weight so that when I got measured for my wedding dress, I would be down a size.  That didn’t happen.  In fact, although I had lost a couple of kilos, the ladies at the bridal store felt that I would be better to go up a size.  What??!!  Well, they made sense.  The dress will look much better with the laces tied up closer together and it’s only a number after all.  The good thing about it.  I still want to lose weight, but having the next size up dress, will give me room to move if I am pregnant and bubby needs the space!  And if not, it can always be taken in.

So, I’m happy about that.  It’s meant to be this way.  Life has waited until today to bring me to a place of good dietary changes in order to make sure I get a dress size that will ensure I can still wear it when pregnant!

What a confusing and crazy life I am leading at the moment.  It is all over the place.  I am so grateful that my working hours are down this year, so I have time to deal with all of this.  Time to enjoy all of this.  I would be a mess working as I used to as well as wedding planning, baby planning, and healthy lifestyle planning.

Friday, March 2, 2012


And so it begins…

We got all the IVF drugs today and will start our first round when I get my period in a few days.

To be absolutely honest, I am absolutely terrified.

I am going through a tough patch now, just with my life.  I am terrified about throwing this into the mix as well.  How am I going to react?  Will it be too much for me?  Will I lose the plot?  Will I end up in a full blown panic attack and in hospital?  That maybe an overreaction, but it is a thought that I truly and honestly feel all the time.

First thing is, I need to try and get on top of things.  I’m just not really sure how to go about that.  Everything I have tried over the last few weeks hasn’t even gotten off the ground.  But from tomorrow and especially from Monday, things need to be radically different.

The nurse said something interesting today.  She said that for every negative thought we have, we need 6 positive thoughts to counteract it.  Which roughly would mean I would need about 200 positive thought a day!  LOL  and a Smile, but true.  It shows just how powerful our negative thoughts are.

She suggested starting a list of positive things to do, when the negativity / despair etc descends.  So Dave and I have put a little plan into action.  We have a grocery shopping app that links to both our phones.  Occasionally we have fun with it and leave each other messages.  Dave is going to do this for me now.  He is going to leave me positive, fun messages to try and help me through this phase I am in.  That in itself is a wonderfully positive thought!  Smile 

As for me, I need to find my own list.  I need to remember that this IVF thing is the most important thing in my life and I need to battle my inner demons with love and positivity in order for things to go well for me, for us and for our future baby.

Here goes!!

Monday, January 23, 2012

Part One–November, 2011

September.  That was my last post.  My goodness.  So much has happened that I need to catch up on.  So much going on. 

2012.  What a year this is going to be.  IVF.  Marriage. 

But I need to start back in the past.  Back with the appointment that set the new IVF path rolling…


After the disaster of our previous OB appointment, which was right before we discovered that I had conceived and then consequently dealt with my miscarriage, we made steps to organise an appointment with a new OB. 

We spent a lot of time looking for the right one and eventually got a recommendation that sounded great.  We had to wait two months for the appointment and were very excited.

November rolled around and we arrived at the clinic.

An hour later, we were still waiting to go in and Dave was getting quite irritated.  He had taken time off work that he couldn’t afford in order to be there.  And was beginning to be annoyed at such a long wait.  He was happy to take time off for the appointment, but was becoming irritated at such a long wait and felt that we should have received a courtesy call to say that she was running very late.

For me, I was relaxed and really enjoying the time we were spending chatting away in the waiting room.  I was so looking forward to the appointment and didn’t mind waiting.  But I could understand his irritation.  I had the day off.  He had so much work that needed to be done.

Finally we were called in to her office.  The excitement built.  I had all my papers with past results and scans all ready to show her.  This was it.  Finally.  IVF.  Baby.

As we walked through the door, she got a call on her mobile.  “I’m sorry”  she says.  “I have to go.”  WHAT???!!!!

She had a phone call to go the hospital, I think to be with a woman having her baby.  Okay, I get it.  But we have just waited an hour – and two months.  And that’s it???!!

“I can give you 5 minutes”, she said.  I could feel Dave’s irritation building.

It turned out, she gave us about 10 minutes.  Only to tell us that she doesn’t do IVF anymore and she didn’t know why we were referred to her.  What???!!!!  This, after I spent about 30 minutes on the phone to the receptionist when I made the appointment, talking about the fact that we coming to see her for IVF.  What the hell??!!  After the appointment we found out that things had changed in the IVF clinic and she was no longer a part of it.  I suspect it happened in the two months that we waited for the appointment.

I was flabbergasted.  Why no courtesy phone call to all her upcoming fertility appointments to tell them of the change?  Why make us wait for two months, only to come in and get nothing?  They knew we were there for IVF, they whispered it to themselves when we arrived.  Why not say something even then??!!!

She may have given us 10 minutes, but she didn’t assess us at all.  She didn’t look at any of my results, she just babbled a bit about things that we already knew.  And then we were dismissed and she was off. 

We were left reeling.

And then, when we went to the desk to get some information, they said “That will be $165.”  For 10 minutes.  Of nothing.  You’ve got to be joking!

At that point, Dave had to walk out of the clinic and leave me to deal with the final details.  He was ready to snap.

I still find it hard to believe. 

It was all so disappointing and set us back 6 months in our process, 6 months that we can’t afford at my age.  However, we came out of it with one good thing…  a referral to the most fantastic, terrific OB I have ever met!

Stay tuned for Part 2!…