Wednesday, June 30, 2010


My husband picked up the antibiotics today and the pharmacy lady gave him the 'Important Information' sheet that comes with it. She then went on to say that she had highlighted the most important piece of information that we as a young couple needed to be well aware of while I was taking this medication:

WARNING: Birth control pills may not work while taking this medicine, (pregnancy is possible) Use extra contraception.  

My husband said we would be sure to do that as we 'wouldn't want to fall pregnant before our next IVF cycle' The pharmacy lady apparently found the whole situation very amusing and they had a good laugh about it. My husband has a bit of a habit of saying things like that - when he got pulled over by a cop recently for speeding up to get through an orange light the cop asked him if he had any excuse as to why he had sped up and my husband replied 'Well, I wouldn't have done it if I knew you were there officer. Where were you hiding so I know for next time?' Needless to say he still got a ticket!


Waiting sucks big time! I have never been a patient person, I want what I want and I want it now (but not in a selfish way!) Well, maybe sometimes, depends if there's a chocolate craving at stake but that's another story. The suckful thing about IVF in NZ is that yes, we get two free cycles which saves us heaps of money, and yes, we are appreciative but the waiting around to START those IVF cycles is a real pain in the ass. You get used to the idea that you are going to need IVF to have a baby and then you are ready and rearing to get started . . . but you have to wait. In my case I only had to wait 7 months which is nothing compared to some of you (and I am moaning on your behalf more than anything!) I can handle 3 months to my next go easily enough, even 7 isn't bad but I have a dear friend who has had to wait so much longer than me, and for HER I am frustrated. 18 months is a bloody long time to be watching everyone around you starting a family while you know that IVF is your only option and you are left watching the days tick by and getting more and more impatient. The typical scenario goes something like this - meet the love of your life, get married, maybe travel a little and have some fun, buy a house or get settled somewhere and start a family . . . easy right? Mine went something like: meet the love of my life, get married, buy a house, accept bribe to get a kitten to detract from starting a family for another year, start trying, waiting while nothing happens, a year of tests and ops (which consists of more waiting!), go on IVF waiting list, waiting . . . start IVF, IVF cancelled, waiting . . . do IVF#2, IVF fails, waiting . . . waiting, waiting, waiting. The story of our lives!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010


Ok, so I thought today was a good day to start with cutting back my coffee intake . . . or not! I had the worst sleep last night and of course, caffiene was my best friend for the day. I now have one day left before my 1st July deadline and I fear I will not be able to go cold turkey without suffering the dreaded withdrawls again. Blah! I also decided to test out a couple of other tests I had heard about in recent times . . . as a woman who is in desperate need to be in control, sitting around and 'waiting' for my next IVF cycle is not to my liking. I feel the need to be doing something, even when what I should be doing isn't what I am wanting to do even if I know I should be. Does that make sense?! I have started temping again so when I go back to my long suffering acupuncturist (I say this because I am always asking him a MILLION questions about everything and anything to do with my chart or what I should be eating, doing, thinking, feeling . . . you get the picture) it looks like I have been doing something. In reality I have been picking up the thermometer in the morning and shoving it in my mouth and then forgetting to record my temp so that my chart is full of 'what I think it would be' as opposed to what it should be, while I spend my evening drinking wine and blogging. He would be most unimpressed with the truth! But that's ok, cos I will start on the 1st! (God help me!) ANYWAY, where was I? Right, so I went to a Kinesiologist a few months ago who told me I was suffering from an overgrowth of candida in my intestines. How he knows this I don't know but I thought I would buy a test from the health shop to see for sure if he knew what he was talking about. If I did have it I would need to go on some crazy strict diet to 'kill' the excess yeast and avoid all antibiotics as they tend to exasperate it big time. Trouble is the OTHER thing I decided to badger my GP into testing was ureaplasma and micoplasma which is a bacterial infection. I don't know much about either of these conditions but thought I would test for them anyway because at this point I will try anything! Well guess what - I do have high levels of ureaplasma and the treatment? Strong doses of antibiotics! Hmm - one says no antibiotics and one says lots of antibiotics. A bit contradictory. Luckily my second home candida test (yes you read right, second test, my first was a dud or perhaps I messed up somewhere between the jabbing my finger with the little needle and bleeding out everywhere which may have distracted me from the test procedure!) was negative. PHEW! So I will be now taking some antibiotics for the duration of 7 days for something I had never heard of, my GP's nurse had never heard of and my GP wasn't altogether familiar with. Oh well, just one more thing on my list of things to try! Who knows, maybe this will be the thing that works! A girl can dream! 

So here's my Q of the day . . . what crazy things have you tried (or did you try) while trying to concieve?

Monday, June 28, 2010


One of the things I have learnt over the past two and a half years is that you cannot control getting pregnant. It is natural for a woman to want to be able to control everything but unfortunately this is one thing that is up to nature and although you can fork out the cash and give it a little helping hand with the likes of IVF and other fertility treatment, ultimately it is out of your hands. And that's where my obsessive compulsive disorder comes in . . . not only that but I have turned into a control freak! I can't control the most important part of my current existance and MAKE a baby take up residence in my uterus but I CAN control how straight the cushions are on the couch corners. I drive my husband nuts! He'll chuck those cushions on the floor to make way for him and the dog or have them perfectly positioned under his head for lazing on the couch, but the minute he gets up to go to the bathroom or grab a drink he'll come back to . . . those perfectly positioned, fluffed up cushions on the couch corners. Always, every time. I can't help it! It drives me a little nuts having them thrown around haphazard. It drives HIM nuts that I can never leave them long enough for him to get comfortable! For the sake of my husbands sanity, I ask you to please let me get pregnant soon. And then I can be obsessive compulsive about the nursery . . . much more exciting!

Sunday, June 27, 2010


I have been so good for so long that when the last IVF cycle failed I went a bit wild . . . not wild in what most people would consider wild but wild as in I have fallen off the TTC (trying to concieve) wagon. Let me explain - for two years I have done everything under the sun to get pregnant. Pregnancy multi's (a million different brands as if it would make a difference!), Folic acid, fortnightly acupuncture, Chinese herbs, fish oil tablets, Vitamin B tablets, Primrose oil tablets, Green Tea, Raspberry Leaf tea, Vitex, Kinesiology, Hypnotherapy, No alcohol, healthy eating, cut out the caffiene . . . you name it and I've probably done it! I even have a Thai Fertility Statue beside my bed!! None of which have worked. So what happens when you have been so good for so long and then you get a BFN  (big fat negative) on your second IVF cycle and have a 3 month break before you start again? You guessed it! You fall off the good girl wagon. I now need to join coffeholics annonymous. Is there such a thing? If so, I really need to join! As I have mentioned before, coffee is my vice. But I quit. And then I started again, the DAY I knew it was all over and I wasn't pregnant. I have gone from none to 4 a day . . . and now I need to quit again. CRAP! On top of that I have stopped my elevit tablets, keep forgetting the folic acid, stopped drinking green tea, haven't had acupuncture in a couple of months, no chinese herbs, sausage rolls for morning tea (ok, and sometimes a cream sponge thingy or chocolate) barely any exercise (ok, I'll be honest, I never did much of that before either!) and I have been having a nightly wine (or two) and now I am two months away from starting our next IVF cycle and somehow have to ditch the bad habits and start being a good girl again but quite frankly, I don't feel like it.  Did I mention I have also put on about 3kg! Wine is not good for the waistline (or maybe it's the sausage rolls . . .) I have decided to start this new improved TTC version of myself on the 1st July . .. watch this space! Oh, and if there really is a coffeeholics annonymous, please let me know! My husband will thank you!

Saturday, June 26, 2010


I just want to say a HUGE thank you to Athena for allowing me to share her story on my blog. I hope it gives you all as much hope as it inspired in me . . .

“To dream anything that you want to dream. That's the beauty of the human mind. To do anything that you want to do. That is the strength of the human will. To trust yourself to test your limits. That is the courage to succeed”


I’m lying on a squeaky bed. I can feel the metal bars across my back, the crisp smell of potent detergent in the sheets. I’m being rolled along a corridor and all I can see is the dirty sealing and the lights flashing as I go past. People in white, blue and pink uniforms dash from door to door. One of the lights somewhere needs its bulb changed as all I can hear is the buzzing and buzzing, fading, fading. Welcome to day surgery Athena. The first operation in my life, ever. I was always a healthy kid, even as adventurous as I was; I never had any bumps or broken bones. But today at 32 years old, I was having a laparoscopy. In layman’s terms, 4 probes. One through the belly button, 2 above the groin and one conveniently in my hoohoo. One of them was thick enough to have the tiniest of cameras attached to it. My Fertility Specialist wanted to take a look inside my uterus and see whether there was anything to explain my infertility. Infertility - the word I had become quite accustomed to now for nearly 2 years. And today was not the happy ending story. There’s another 4 years to this adventurous journey of holding my child in my arms.

My husband and I met when I was 21. We dated for awhile, went on holidays drank, partied, lived life. We moved in together when I turned 24. Having come from a strict Greek background, this was finally my time to shine. To really express myself, not be bogged down by rules and finally experience adulthood. We lived happily and started to become more involved with our careers and saving cash for our first home. We got married when I was 27. Throw in a few more holidays, helping our families and establishing comfortable jobs. I was 29 when we finally opened the door to our own home. The thought of children never really entered our minds. We were so happy together. Everyone around us was the same age and only now starting to have kids. We weren’t far behind. So we decided to have a go. How hard could it be? Everyone else was having kids.

Everyone but me.

I can’t tell you the amount of times I cried in those 6 years. Some of them were loud and destructive when no one was around to hear. Other times it was in the shower, holding my mouth shut so tight so that my husband wouldn’t hear my pain. There were times when I sat in the train, my head against the window and silent tears trickling down my cheek, a packed train full of people minding their own business completely oblivious to this woman sitting close by wanting to just die. So many reasons set me off, if it wasn’t my best friend who hated kids but found a good bloke to keep and is smsing me she’s pregnant with her second, it was the filthy stinking sister in law pregnant with her third or a 1st birthday party with my husband and I being the only childless couple whilst an old Greek lady approaches me, rubs me in the tummy and in broken English asks “no beby yet?”. To top it off, being a youth worker helping adolescents didn’t help either. There was always that 15 year old excitedly telling me she was pregnant after a night out of booze and drugs. “My baby’s daddy is a loser and doesn’t want me to keep it, what should I do Athena?” While she’s inhaling a cigarette. Um well you can help me by tightening up that noose around my neck. And then all those times, peeng on a stick with one line not two. Big Fat Negatives. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not trying to bombard you with all this negativity about my experience, but only a woman who has experienced infertility and the challenges to have a baby can truly understand the feelings and thoughts that I went through. My story does have a happy ending, and by reading this I pray that it gives others out there hope that miracles do happen. But first we must acknowledge the journey in order to welcome the accomplishment.

The road to becoming a mummy begins. I’m 30 having baby danced whenever wherever. See what happens approach. Our schedules sometimes didn’t synchronize, so a year later it didn’t really bother me that I wasn’t yet pregnant. I embraced new sweet smelling babies with delight and awe. I then began the process of getting blood tests just to make sure that I was healthy and to correct any obstacles. My doctor discussed with me timed sex. Basically I had a perfect 28 day cycle and somewhere in the middle were my ‘fertile’ times to get jiggy with it. No pregnancy. I then had ultrasounds to check that I actually had a reproductive system that was functional. All clear, baby dancing resumed. No pregnancy. I then said eff it, time to see a specialist. I’m not a procrastinator. And now there were just too many babies to meet, christenings to attend, 1st b’days where my Oscar winning performing fake smile reared its head. So I had the laparoscopy. Bingo. Endometriosis. A disease that no hyped up ten thousand degree fertility specialist has given an answer as to why women get this. Surgery fixes it, but it can still come back. My uterus was now squeaky clean. Baby dance, timed sex, ovulation predictor tests, spit in this and see a fern test. You’re ovulating Athena. Vitamins, Elevit, gave up the smokes and coffee. No pregnancy. In between all of this, my husband got his swimmers checked much to his delight. Not. All perfect.

The road to assisted conception begins. I’m 33. My body gets prepped up for an in uterine insemination. Basically a more relaxed version to IVF. Small amounts of hormones injected in my tummy daily till at least one follicle is primed ready to ovulate. Once it’s big and strong, another injection to ovulate it and then my husband’s swimmers are inseminated into my uterus. Just like they do to cows. Moo. Fingers crossed. No pregnancy. Another 2 attempts at this. Nothing. My specialist doesn’t believe in putting women through further IUI’s if unsuccessful after 3 goes. So now we’re recruited for the Big League. IVF. More higher and potent amounts of hormones. We want more follicles. However not too much as what the body would normally discard as crap is now kept for harvesting. But the crap ones can affect the quality of the good ones. Every second day are blood tests and vaginal ultrasounds. Counting how many follicles are in there, size and ripening up for the harvest. Back to that corridor again, wheeled down to surgery for egg collection. 16 are written on my hand when I wake up from the morphine. Hmmmm morphine…… 7 fertilise and become embryos. We do twin transfers at Day 2 growth. A grade embryos. Excellent chance of pregnancy. I didn’t care if I had twins. Although I’m feeling bloated, sick and my tummy looks 6 months pregnant. I have a mild case of hyperstimulation. We still go ahead with the transfer. No pregnancy. 5 of the embryos are frozen for when we do the frozen cycle transfer. Similar to an IUI. Twin transfers again twice in consecutive months. No pregnancy. On my way to the clinic to get the final last frozen embryo transferred, the nurse calls me. “Sorry Athena, the embryo didn’t survive the thaw”. Gutted, here come the tears again. Depression kicks in. What now?

Second IVF cycle begins. The same results. 16 follicles. Though this time as I’m now nearly 35, the specialist decides on a Day 5 blastocyst transfer. 7 fertilise, only one makes it to transfer. No frosticles. Big Fat Negative. Those 3 words again. Devastated, on the brink of checking myself into a psychiatric hospital. I speak to my husband about divorce. He is such a good man, deserves better, a more fertile woman. Not this woman I have become. Consumed with having a child, entrenched in this Trying To Conceive world. He laughs at me. “I’m effing serious” I say. He yells at me, walks out the door. We don’t speak for days. He loves me. He would never leave me. I’m the one – mongrel head, infertile yet funny girl of his. I’m a keeper apparently.

It’s time to take a break. Yeah right! My age didn’t help, but my body was tired. Physically and mentally. I needed to have a baby now, oh please god now pretty please. The finances are just too tight. My husband sold his motorcycle just to afford the 2nd IVF cycle. So it’s a break from the big league and time to explore other more affordable and natural options. As long as I was trying everything and anything, I felt better about achieving my goal. Chinese herbs came into my life. I heard it referred to some many times. Surely this was my miracle? Geez how many Chinese people are on this Earth? Billions? Well here we go. I walked out of that consult room elated. This herbalist was amazing, constructive and believable. Well if she can get 40 year old Naomi Watts pregnant then I shouldn’t have any problems. Chinese herbs are not so great to drink. Take it out of your head those delicious sweet pork rolls, coconut cakes and the lush jasmine tea. These herbs are disgusting. If I ever drank shit that came out of an aged and decrepit dead animal, sprinkled with the vomit of a sewer rat then this is how I would describe it. Nevertheless, the stuff worked and only after one cycle. Those 2 blue lines on the pregnancy test came up quick. I was late by a day and thought I would check before I went into see the herbalist again for more stock. I was pregnant. Like really pregnant. I envisioned the smiles and laughter of my husband and including my beautiful parents so eagerly waiting to become grandparents. My sister the sports fan already is picking out the baby Nike’s. For one whole week, the dreams danced around in my head. The nursery, the name, the little hands and feet, my beloved little child. Then the bleeding began, the cramps soon after. I miscarry. 7 weeks this little one held on. Loved and never forgotten. This little angel gave me the strength to believe that miracles do happen and overall I was fertile, I could fall pregnant. Further extensive tests later couldn’t conclude why I miscarried. Unexplained infertility and now unexplained miscarriage. I just had to keep going. Hope is all I had in the end.

And then came Callum. My sweet glorious little man. I was 36. I was just about to embark on another IVF cycle. But because it was Christmas time I waited till the clinic was opened again with its usual friendly staff. Knowing that we saved to go down this path again, feeling a bit more optimistic and concluding that no matter what, I will have as many cycles till my body says no more. I would scrape, scrounge and borrow. Nothing will stop me. Hope. So I relaxed. New Years Eve and my period is late. Surely I’m not pregnant. This cycle was about whatever whenever sex. I don't remember ever secreting any of that egg white fertile mucus. Or maybe I just didn’t bother checking this time? Peed on a stick. Negativity creeping in again, I’m probably menopausal. So young for that. But just my luck. The universe hates me, God hates me. I hate me. Waiting 5 minutes for those two lines to appear is everlasting. I could live another life in that time. Prays, my eyes shut as I make my way into the bathroom where that plastic stick is waiting for me. “I swear God, if I’m pregnant I will be a better Christian, I will say my prays of thanks every night. I will never bitch or whinge about anything or anyone. Oh yes and if I am pregnant can this one be a keeper?”

Thank you Lord! Pregnant and silly. Raw emotions flooding my body. I want to scream, I want to cry. I’m scared. And scared I was for 9 whole months. But that’s another story. My Callum arrived on the 8th September 2009. One day before my wedding anniversary. The best gift I have ever received. Healthy and content at 4.1 kgs. Oh and did I mention that Callum in Gaelic means Dove – The Harbinger of Hope.


So the journey ends. The little man in my arms. My son. His mum. I will never forget that long, frustrating and arduous journey to have him. I learnt alot during those years and I think I'm a better person now. I'm still tired though. Dear Reader - My only advice I can give you if you are experiencing a similar journey is this: Never give up. Do anything, try anything. Explore all your options. There's a saying that I stuck on my fridge, my office cork board, in my diary when I was trying to conceive "Regret what you haven't done, not what you've done". This always gave me hope. The other important thing to have whilst you walk this path is to always have some kind of support around. Whether it's friends or family or someone you can confide in and who understands. My journey lead me to an online forum. The support I received from these wonderful women also with their own issues and journeys was one of the best things in my life. Just getting a reply to my posts lifted my spirits up so high after a day of tears. People I never met, but who understood exactly how I was feeling. And last but defintely not least. Don't forget your man - he is going through the same thing as you. They hide their emotions so they don't add to your pain. They love you and they are with you all the way.

Athena Field

June 2010


"To accomplish great things we must not only act,
but also dream; not only plan, but also believe"

Hope is something that is so important to hold onto when you are confronted with a challenge as difficult as this. If we didn't have hope we would fall apart because you need hope in order to believe that you will achieve what you are working so hard towards. Once you lose that hope you have nothing to keep you going. I think having the opportunity to read other woman's success stories is really important when you are on this journey and so I have asked a few of the beautiful friends I have made along this road if they would share their success stories with you. Over the next few weeks I will be posting these stories inbetween my own blog entries. I hope you enjoy reading their stories, feel inspired by their success and remember that what sometimes feels impossible IS possible.

Friday, June 25, 2010


"Failure is only the opportunity to begin again,
this time more wisely"

We had a week to get used to the outcome before we went back to our FS for the follow up appointment. My FS was absolutely wonderful and really took the time to help us understand what had gone wrong and where we could improve. As he had mentioned at our scan, I am just plain over sensitive to the drugs. You always hear about couples who under respond but we had no idea that over responding could be just as challenging and complicated to deal with. My eggs grow too quickly and like anything, if it grows too fast and there are too many the quality isn't going to be very good. My follicles were growing at double the speed of a normal responder.  A close friend of mine once explained it like this: 'When there are too many follies they fight which ones get all the nourishment and it doesn't allow the good ones to get enough so that they can be of the best quality. Amongst all those follies there are only a few that will be great, hence the crap ones stuff it up for all the others. If you had a bunch of naughty kids and one good kid in a room eventually the good kid will end up learning to be naughty too.' I thought that explanation was spot on! What the embryologist didn't tell us was that we had alot of fragmentation (see explanation at the bottom of this post) in our embryos and even the blastocyst that was put back wasn't perfect. We had been told initially we had about a 75% chance of success given the quality of the blasty and our age but our FS said he would have only given it a 35% chance. This made me feel a hell of alot better as crazy as that sounds - a 75% chance and failure made me think that it was me, that my body had rejected our embie and that I had potentially done something wrong that had affected the outcome. A 35% chance made me believe that that little one just wasn't meant to create life. The good news is that we have nothing wrong with the two of us - plenty of eggs, great sperm and fantastic fertilisation results. Our issue is the drugs protocol. No one knew that I would respond the way I did and so there was no way of knowing the way things were going to turn out until it was done and dusted. Next time we will be on an even lower dose and hopefully we will have less but better quality eggs to work with. And hopefully one of them will be our baby.

And so we start again in September 2010 for our last publicly funded cycle. I am relieved to have this break as I really felt that my body needed a break after two back to back cycles of drugs and procedures. Not only that, I also needed the time to be emotionally ready to go through this again. I don't think you can underestimate just how difficult this path can be but I don't doubt for one second it isn't worth it in the end.

Fragmentation: Embryo fragmentation occurs when cells divide unevenly, creating bits of membrane-bound cytoplasm that have no nucleus. The majority of embryos created during IVF cycles are observed to have some fragmentation, however, the more fragmentation, the less likely an embryo is to develop normally and implant successfully. The extent of fragmentation is an important indicator of embryo quality. Some research has also shown that the size of fragments also has an effect on embryo viability.


On Day 3 we still had 14 of our 15 fertilised embies still dividing nicely (or so we thought) The embryologist who rang didn't go into too much detail except to say we would be going in for a 5 day transfer on the Monday at 9am. We were so excited, this was it! What all this hard work had been leading up to! We were nervously anticipating what the embryologist would have to say but I have to say I was completely unprepared for the news. I get teary just writing about this as it really was the prelude to the way this cycle turned out. We had one blastocyst (a 5 day embryo is called a bastocyst or blasty for short)  ready for transfer but all 13 of our other embryos hadn't made it to the freezer. A few of them had arrested (stopped developing) between days 3 and 4 and the rest of them had gone to blasty stage but apart from the one that was transferred they were never going to become a baby. At the point that our blastocyst was actually transferred we were still hoping that one or two might be ok to freeze so we left that day with one onboard and a bundle of positivity which turned to devastation for me the following day when I had the phone call to say we had none as back up. I think because we had so many to begin with this news was particularly difficult for me to handle. The embryologist never shared with us the quality of our embryos as they grew in the lab and so we were completely unprepared for this news. It had always been especially important to me to have some frosties (what we call frozen embryos) as let's be honest - IVF is extremely expensive. In NZ it ranges between $9,000 - $15,000 for one cycle. I wanted to get as many opportunities for a pregnancy from my two free cycles as I could and really believed we would get at least two tries (one fresh and one frozen) but to only have one . . . it felt like the pressure had suddenly gone up a hell of alot. So much was at stake. If this didn't work then we would only have one more free go and then the financial pressure was going to be absolutely enormous if we wanted to carry on trying to have a baby. It felt so unfair and I really never recovered from that initial blow. The whole two week wait to the day of our pregnancy test left me a nervous wreck and instead of being excited I was a mess, crying at the drop of a hat and convinced it hadn't worked. When I actually had my transfer we were very nearly cancelled due to the state of my ovaries. We had quite alot of fluid and internal bleeding around my ovaries plus my ovaries were extremely swollen but because I was feeling ok and my weight hadn't gone up too much they went ahead. I was in pain afterwards for a good hour or two - I felt like I had a major stitch and was really limited in movement I was so sore. Transfer is supposed to be much like a pap smear in that it is a painless procedure so I couldn't understand why I was in pain. It didn't seem right.

By the time our two week wait was up I knew it hadn't worked. I had had cramping from very early on and no symptoms that would suggest a pregnancy had occurred. I was devastated but tried to put on a brave face for my husband and everyone else around me. As  expected the morning of the test I woke up to find I was spotting. It was all over. My hubby was still trying to be positive but I knew it was over despite the hope he was holding onto. The ironic thing is that we had the best day together that day despite the fact we were waiting for that phone call. We went to a wildlife sanctuary and a wildlife park and had a ball! I felt prepared for the bad news and even had a good laugh about the fact that the one day we had taken the day off work for a phone call we had decided to go to the one place where there was no phone reception! When the phone call did come the nurse started to give me the news and then it cut out halfway through the results - I later had a message on my phone saying that she understood that the news of a negative result was just too painful and completely understood why I had hung up on her and to call back when I felt up to it! I rang back and explained I hadn't even heard the news and hadn't hung up on her but had just been cut off but that I already knew. And I stayed strong until we got home. I text my close friends and family who had been supporting me through the whole ordeal and it wasn't until the texts and emails started coming through that I lost it and bawled. Not only are you incredibly disappointed that something you had put all your heart, soul and physical effort into had failed you also feel like you have lost that baby as you have such high hopes for that little embryo that is put back. You have a photo given to you at the transfer and that embryo to you is your potential baby. And not to have any frosties was the final straw for me . . . my strength that I had shown throughout the last two years of this TTC journey crumbled. I took another day off work to come to terms with the news and then tried to get back into the swing of life as soon as possible. And with time it does get easier. It just becomes another disappointment of which woman who are trying to concieve with infertility have so many. I wasn't one of the lucky ones who concieved on their first IVF cycle and nor am I alone but I am not going to give up. Giving up is not an option for us. I truly believe that we will get there and we will hold our baby in our arms. We just have to keep trying.

Thursday, June 24, 2010


I wonder if there is some kind of sign that shouts to stray felines that I am desperate and childless and therefore anything cute will be able to manipulate me. I find it even MORE amusing that I would happen to attract a pregnant cat to my front doorstep night after night but this pesky, adorable and lost looking cat has decided it wants to adopt me. Or me to adopt it. Or perhaps just me to feed it. Whatever the reason, I now have a preggers kitty who sits on my front porch and cries for hours until I feed it and give it attention. It has even taken to slipping past me into the house and attempting to make itself at home. Oh well, if I can't be pregnant I might as well have a pregnant cat to amuse myself with. Except pregnant cats make kittens . . . and my cat is NOT impressed by this situation one bit. Soon I am going to be known as the local 'cat lady' . . .

Wednesday, June 23, 2010


I was fine by the time we got home. I had a large flat white in my hand, feet up on the couch, a bunch of the latest DVD's and a doting husband to look after me! Actually, I really think it was the flat white that made all the difference (that's the coffee addict coming out in me, caffiene fixes everything!) The rest of the day was spent relaxing and nervously anticipating the next days fertilisation results. Heeding the FS original statement that we weren't to think that just because we got a large number of eggs we would have that many to work with, I was hopeful to have 8-10 fertilise. I figured half would be about right and was happy with that, so we were very pleasantly surprised when we got the phone call the next morning saying that 15 of our 18 had fertlised! Wow, we were so proud of ourselves and joked that my eggs and his sperm were definately willing and able but clearly were getting lost somewhere along the way or we'd have a million kids by now! I was also intrigued by the mysterious abdominal pain that had set in overnight - if I didn't know better I would have said I must have been doing thousands of sit ups in my sleep because I could barely move! All the muscles in my abdomen were so stiff and sore that any movement hurt alot. It only got worse from there. In hindsight I think I had a mild dose of OHSS . . . I had trouble breathing (which I put down to my asthma), I felt a bit sick and spent one sleepless night battling nausea and vomiting; my stomach swelled up so I looked 3 months pregnant and I put on 4kg in one day! I also had back and shoulder pain which wasn't pleasant and would wake up in the night in so much discomfort all I could do was cry. I know, I know, this is not normal and I should have called the clinic but all I could think of was that if I drew attention to it they may do a freeze all cycle (where they don't replace an embryo becuase the risk of hyperstimulating are too great so they freeze them all) and I didn't want to do that. I was being stubborn so I put up with it while madly googling the symptoms of OHSS and hoping it would get better before I had to land myself in hospital. Luckily the pain did ease by transfer day so we were all go. In hindsight though, I now know how uncomfortable even a mild case of OHSS can be and I don't recommend doing what I stubbornly did. If you feel anything out of the ordinary call the nurses as I sometimes think that my end result may have been influenced by the state my body was in when our little embie was put back . . .

Oh, and just one more tip: Do not watch comedies when you are experiencing abdominal muscle and shoulder pain becuase it REALLY hurts to laugh! I was trying to watch a movie and wouldn't you know it, it just happened to be the funniest movie I had watched in a really, really long time. It was hilarious and it had me in FITS of uncontrollable laughter that HURT SO MUCH!! I was having to push pause to be able to stop laughing and ease the pain. If anyone had been witness to this they would have sworn I was in labour as I was laughing and trying to do the contraction type breathing through the pain. Not a good combination.

My advice - stick with thrillers!


WARNING: I just want to say in advance that my experience with egg collection is not the norm! If you are going through IVF or planning to go through IVF and have yet to experience this part of it then I don't want to freak anyone out with the details of my experience by having you think that this is the standard. It's not! I have spoken to MANY woman who have been through this who had none of the side effects I did so please remember that I am just one person and this is just one perspective. GOOD LUCK!!
For those of you who have no idea how egg collection during IVF is performed then here is a brief outline (not for the squeamish!)

A vaginal ultrasound probe with a long fine hollow needle attached to it, is inserted into the vagina. Under ultrasound guidance, the needle is then advanced from the vaginal wall into the ovary to suck out the fluid from the follicle which contains the egg. Each egg is removed in turn through the needle by a suction device.

I had hoped that the pain relief would make me dopey enough not to fully comprehend what was going on. I knew I would be awake but I had heard from friends that they were so out of it that by the end they couldn't remember much of it at all. I'm not sure if perhaps I am just one of those people who the sedation drugs don't work too well for or it was just my bad luck that it was worse for me than it had been for others but I remember and felt everything. They inserted the drugs into a vein in my hand, fitted the face mask and then we started . . . in the beginning it wasn't that bad and although I had some mild discomfort I felt I was handling it quite well, however by the end I was in agony. The trouble was that my FS had been right, it was like having 2 collections in one as it took alot longer to empty out all my follicles and by the end he was trying to reach the follicles that were more awkward to get to. I don't think the fact I was shaking in pain and therefore not lying still helped but it was completely involuntary and I couldn't stop it. The nurses at the clinic were absolutely wonderful though and I said to my husband at the end that I wasn't even aware he was stroking my hair because I had been so focused on the nurse next to me who was rubbing my arm and murmuring supportive words about how well I was doing! They counted them as they went but I was so focused on handling the pain I wasn't paying too much attention but by the end we had 18 EGGS!! As I went to sit up though I very nearly passed out! My blood pressure dropped and pulse slowed and they said I was in shock from the pain and had to stay lying down breathing deeply for about 15 minutes before I was wheeled out to the recovery room in a wheelchair! How embarrassing!

After a nice hot milo and some biccies we were ready to leave as I felt alot better. As it is a procedure performed under sedation, I hadn't been allowed to eat past midnight the previous night so I decided I wanted something greasy (the whole comfort food thing that comes into play when you're not feeling well, you all know what I'm talking about!)  so off to Macca's we went. I was still in a bit of pain (more uncomfortable than anything, just mild abdominal cramping and tenderness) but the second we sat down with our Big Macs and fries I started feeling incredibly faint again and felt the blood drain from my face, my body tingling and started swaying feeling like I was going to faint right out cold. Not a good look and I think I scared the hell out of my husband who wasn't looking too keen on picking me up off the floor of the local McDonalds and was looking around rather nervously before I started feeling a bit better and decided we'd be best to take our lunch home!

MORAL OF THE STORY: Don't go to MacDonalds after egg collection!! (At least not until after you have had a large coffee!)


Once I got home from Melbourne I had my follow up appointment and much to my FS surprise my body had sorted itself out and it was straight into Cycle#2! I was on a much lower dose of the ovarian stimulation drug (down from 150iu to 100iu) so we hoped we would have a much better result. This time it wasn't so easy on my body - I had a horrible time with the pill which made me feel quite emotional and down and out (not like me at all!) and by the time we reached the point that we had been cancelled last time I was a bit of a nervous wreck! I don't know how one experience on these drugs can differ so much from the next but emotionally I just wasn't as confident as last time. Last cycle I hadn't had any of the side effects from the drugs but this time I had headaches, lethargy, low energy and mood swings (poor hubby!) The only thing I can put that down to is that it was the second time in only a couple of months that my body had been put through this and it still hadn't recovered fully from the last attempt. Maybe it was because by now I knew what can go wrong and I was a bit more on edge. My first blood test for my E2 levels came back right on track - WOOHOO! We were over that hurdle and into new territory which added a bit more excitement to the mix. I got instructions from the nurse sent to me via text message so I wasn't as clued up as to what was actually going on with my levels until we went in for our first scan . . . the first thing my FS stated to me was 'You're a sensitive wee thing aren't you?!' Here I was thinking that everything was textbook perfect when in fact my body had responded in a similar way AGAIN. My E2 levels had risen perfectly and then shot through the roof before steadying out. We could save the cycle but I would need to be coasted. I was a wee bit apprehensive about this as I had heard that when you are coasted sometimes it can lower the egg quality but to be honest, by this time I just wanted to get on with it! I didn't want to cancel again and have to start from scratch for a third time. Coasting (for those of you who don't know) is when they stop all ovarian stimulating drugs and let your body carry on growing the dominant follicles on their own with the hope that the smaller ones will stop growing without the drugs and therefore lower your estrogen levels to a safe level for egg pick up. It's all so complicated as you are at risk of developing something called OHSS (ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome) if you do the trigger shot (the injection that releases the follicles for collection) while your levels are too high and can end up in hospital in severe cases.

Needless to say I was feeling pretty nervous but after being coasted a couple of days we were good to go! My levels hadn't dropped as much as would be ideal but my FS chose to go ahead regardless but warned us that the egg collection wasn't going to be a pleasant experience because he would need to collect all the eggs to lower my risk of OHSS so it would be like having 2 collections at one time . . . GREAT. I had about 11 dominant follicles counted at that first scan and about 13 at the second but I was told early on that even if they collected 15 they could tell from the scan that only half of those would probably be mature so we were told not to get too disappointed if we ended up with less than we initially counted. I was INCREDIBLY nervous about the egg collection because during a public cycle in NZ you are awake for the procedure and just given pain relief drugs but you are aware of everything that is happening. I had heard a few nightmare stories so I was hoping I wouldn't have it too bad - I guess it's a bit like childbirth stories, you have the horror stories but at the same time others have it easy. I hoped I'd have it easy! It didn't sound fun to me but I was excited about getting it over with and finding out how many eggs we had but nervous about the whole prospect. But the day had come and there was no turning back! We were off to egg collection . . . 

Monday, June 21, 2010


"I believe that certain people come into your life for a
reason and they change your life when you don't expect it.
These are the people you will never forget"

After our first IVF cycle was cancelled prior to egg pick up I needed a break. It had been two years of trying to have a baby by this point and I was physically and emotionally exhausted by it all . . . so on the spur of the moment I booked a flight to Melbourne for a holiday and to meet some amazing women who I had connected with over the years. I have been a part of some online forums for three years now and I can honestly say that they have been the only thing that has kept me sane for so long! Over that time I have been a part of three different boards and for a year or so of that time I  was co-mod on one of them. I have seen many women come and go, achieving their dream of becoming a mother. I have also seen some women leave without a baby for reasons beyond their control and for those women my heart breaks. I have met women who have suffered devastating losses that I can't even comprehend but I am in awe of how they have coped and they are some of the strongest and most amazing women I have ever had the pleasure of knowing. Then there are those of us who are still battling on and refusing to give up on our dream no matter how hard it is or how much the odds are against us. Some of them have been trying alot longer than I have and I just hope that one day soon we will all get the opportunity to hold our newborn baby in our arms. I cannot express enough how valuable I have found the support, love, advice and friendship that has been shown to me over this time and going on holiday and getting to meet a small group of these brilliant woman was just what I needed to pick me up and give me the strength to carry on and it also gave me a much needed break from it all!

When I ponder the beautiful friendships I have made it makes me realise that although this journey wasn't one I would have chosen for myself I am glad I have been on it . . . I know that sounds crazy after I have said how much infertility sucks but at the end of the day, if I hadn't had infertility I wouldn't have all these wonderful women in my life. I look back and think that my husband and I have learnt so much on this path - we started TTC at 25 years old and are now 28 years old. Our marriage is stronger and we have discovered what a wonderful team we make. I also think we will be better parents because of it as we have been taught patience! I read something once that said that everybody has something - I may be dealing with the struggle to concieve while another may be dealing with a broken marriage, cancer, money problems, recurrent miscarriage, depression, a sick child . . . everyone has something and we just have to take the hand we are dealt and try to make the most of it and learn from it and become a stronger person for it.

Having said all that though I really hope it will be our turn soon!

Sunday, June 20, 2010


On a side note from my journey so far, I want to share a little bit about how it feels emotionally to be struggling to get pregnant (for those of you who are lucky enough to never have had to travel down this path . . .)

Infertility sucks. There is no avoiding it. It hurts. Every time you hear a pregnancy announcement no matter how happy you are for someone, you hurt for you. I will be honest - until you have been through it it is hard to understand how hard it can be to hear other couples happy news, to see pregnant bellies and wish it was you, to struggle at such thing you might have once enjoyed such as baby showers and toddlers birthday parties. Infertility can make you feel like less of a woman for not being able to achieve what is supposed to come naturally. Sometimes it feels like you are the only person in the whole wide world who isn't pregnant. You are even jealous of pregnant pets! Yes, you sometimes feel a bit crazy but I guess that is the nature of struggling to achieve something that seems to come so easily to others. Let me be clear though, an infertile woman is genuinely happy for you when you get pregnant or have a baby. We are only unhappy for ourselves. So if you are reading this and have never experienced infertility firsthand I encourage you to try and stand in our shoes. Try and be sensitive when letting us know your happy news - every pregnancy can feel like another loss to us as it feels like we are being left behind once again, so sometimes an email can be good so we can have a little cry and then call you to congratulate you. Don't tip toe around us like we are going to break or avoid looking us in the eye when speaking about your pregnancy or baby or child but don't forget us too. Don't forget to ask us how we are. I know it can be a taboo topic and some people don't like to bring it up but a simple 'How are you?' will be enough and if we want to talk about it we will. And whatever you do, don't tell us to 'relax and it will happen'! It won't! Relaxing won't fix what is wrong with us - it will not repair blocked tubes, clear up endo or make sperm swim faster. I know you're only trying to help but never tell an infertile to relax or to stop thinking about it; to stop trying and it will happen or try and tell us we are 'lucky' we don't have children as they are such hard work. I know you are only trying to be helpful but we've heard it all before and it really doesn't help!

Anyone who is reading this who is on the same path as me, please feel free to add your comments and anything else you ever wanted to say not to say or do! It may help someone who wants to be supportive but doesn't quite know how . . .


For some reason I thought I was going to be one of those woman who responded to the IVF drugs perfectly. Much like I thought we would be one of those couples who concieved just by looking at one another. Especially after all the hard work I had put in to getting to this point - did my ovaries not realise how much I had sacrificed for them?! Why couldn't they just do what they were supposed to! I had quit coffee - now THAT was commitment! I am a coffee addict. And yet, I stopped drinking coffee for this IVF cycle. It sucked. I had horrible withdrawls - headaches, lethargy, mood swings . . . my husband would go so far as to pop down to the local bakery at 7.30am on a Saturday morning and buy me a flat white which he would present to me in bed on the pretence that he had 'forgotten' I was quitting. I was that bad without my caffiene hit that he had to tempt me just to have a peaceful weekend together which didn't involve me snapping at him or being a general grump. He knew I couldn't resist when a large flat white was placed in my hand in the early morning (let's be honest, who would!) Eventually the cravings subsided somewhat and I was so proud of myself for giving it up. I actually felt better for it. I was less tired, had more energy and could stay up later and I was a nicer morning person than I had been as once upon a time I needed that caffiene hit to be human. I also ate healthier, drank green tea and exercised more (and I HATE exercise!) But this isn't about my caffiene addiction or lifestyle changes. My ovaries had gone CRAZY on these drugs. Basically the ideal number of eggs they want you to develop would be 8-12 as too little doesn't give you much of a leeway and too many can lower the quality of the eggs. My E2 levels had shot through the roof - those ovaries had gone mad with follicles! My E2 at this stage was supposed to be 1000-2000 . . . mine was over 8000!! Holy crap! Basically, I was over responding and had to go in for a scan the next morning to see what was going on in there and whether our cycle could be saved. I was so upset - all those injections and we could potentially be cancelled without even getting to the good stuff! AAAAAGGGHHHH!

We went in for the scan the next morning and as suspected, I had a GINORMOUS amount of follicles growing in there. My FS counted over 30 before deciding it was futile. We had to cancel, it was just too risky and the quality of my eggs would be crap. Great. We were pretty devastated after waiting so long and coming so far but the good news was that that cycle wasn't counted as one of our publicly funded cycles and we were given a follow up appointment in 6 weeks time to see whether my ovaries had settled down enough to start again. CRAP, CRAP, CRAP!

I needed a holiday . . .


After 7 months of waiting the time had finally come just before Christmas in December 09 - We were starting our first IVF cycle! This was such an exciting time for us and even just the idea of starting the pill which is the first step was exciting (as crazy as that sounds!) We were doing the long protocol and they're not joking when they tell you that doing an IVF cycle is like doing a military operation - it really is! There are all sorts of drugs to take and everything has to be taken at a specific time, plus you need to remember blood tests, scans . . . it can be complicated but once you get into the swing of things it isn't so bad. I had to take the pill for a month which seems crazy because you have spent so long TRYING to get pregnant that the idea of actually taking the pill to prevent pregnancy is against everything you have been trying to achieve. After 3 weeks of the pill we started the buserelin which is a drug that is injected into your abdomen which you do in the morning and puts your body into a temporary menopausal state so they can manipulate your ovaries to do their bidding. I was so nervous before my first injection - during an IVF cycle you inject yourself so I nervously removed my drugs from the fridge and drew up my first dose. I tried not to hesitate and just jabbed it in there and it really wasn't as bad as I had imagined. One down, only about a million to go! My husband and I got a bit of a routine going with the drugs where he would draw up the injection for me in the morning and I would jab it in. It meant we felt like we were doing it together rather than me feeling like I was doing it all by myself. Once it was confirmed via a blood test that I was down regulated it was time to start the puregon to stimulate my ovaries into producing lots of eggs for collection. I was on 150iu puregon and had to dial up a special pen to administer the dose. At this point in a cycle you are doing two injections a day, in my instance we would do one (buserelin) in the morning at 6.30am and the puregon at 7pm. I was so excited! It had taken approximately 6 weeks to get to this point, 3 weeks of which I was stabbing myself with needles and we were finally closing in on the exciting part! After several days of injecting the puregon it was off for our first blood test to check how I was responding and test my E2 levels (estrogen) The more follicles that develop and the bigger they get the higher the estrogen. I eagerly waited on that afternoon phone call from the nurse to see how I was responding . . . my cell phone rang and I answered it in nervous anticipation. It never occurred to me that there could be a problem but the first words the nurse said were 'It's not good news I'm afraid . . .'


"There are no impossible dreams
just our limited perception of what is possible"

I had a new obsession by May 09 called temping. Why had a I never thought of doing this before?! It's amazing what one will do to achieve a dream and I was no exception. The next thing I know I am taking my temperature every morning and meticulously recording it on a website called Fertility Friend, obsessing over every little pattern that emerged. I was going to acupuncture fortnightly and lying with little needles sticking out all over me and listening to the sounds of nature. I was also taking little chinese pills every morning and night, little tiny foul tasting herbal pills that I took 15 of at a time! I know they tasted foul because I dared my workmate to bite into one and he was stupid enough to do it (I've never lived that down but why would you agree do that?!) Like I said, dumb. Anyway, this went on for months . . . the temping showed very clearly that there was no way I could get pregnant. The way it works is that prior to ovulation your basal body temperature is low and after ovulation it peaks and stays up during the luteal phase before dropping the day your period is expected to arrive or staying high if you're pregnant. Mine was low in the first half, rose up at ovulation and then promptly dropped within a few days. This was not good. If your temp doesn't stay up it shows low progesterone in the second half of your cycle which means it can't support a pregnancy. My acupuncturist said he could fix this but it could take months as my body was totally out of whack. In chinese medicine terms, my qi was unbalanced and not flowing through my body properly. I was willing to try anything and I wanted to give my body the best possible chance of concieving during my IVF cycle so it was the beginning of a year of fortnightly treatment. It did fix the problem and I felt great - I no longer was plagued by daily headaches, I slept better and never got sick. Unfortunately though the first month my temping chart actually showed a good enough pattern to support a pregnancy was the month prior to starting the IVF cycle but it meant we had laid a great foundation for the IVF working and I was so excited to be FINALLY at our IVF start month! Woohoo! Bring on the big guns!

SIDE NOTE: During this time we also found out my uterine polyp had grown back so it was back off to the hospital for another op to remove it for the second time in September 09. Bloody polyps! Unfortunately I am always going to have to keep an eye on this as they can become cancerous so every time I start getting symptoms of these again I need to let them know and then go back on the waiting list to have them removed. My FS seems particularly concerned about this due to my family history of cancer so it seems I could be in for a few hospital visits and ops in my lifetime but better safe than sorry.


We had our follow up appointment with our FS (fertility specialist) in the beginning of April 09. We went in expecting to be told to be patient, that it would happen and perhaps a tentative talk about IVF in the future but we were in for a shock! Our FS isn't the type of man to beat around the bush, he's straight up and honest which is probably why we like him so much. He doesn't give false hope where there is none but he is also sympathetic and thorough in explaining things to us which, being a control freak and wanting to know every little detail, is great for me! We stepped into his office and no sooner had we sat down he told us the only way we would be having a baby was through IVF. If I recall correctly, he said something along the lines of ' You have 4 fertility problems, not one, not two, not three but FOUR. Your chances of concieving on your own are very very slim, if not impossible' I should have been upset but in reality I felt like a weight had lifted off my shoulders at this point because he was telling me something that deep down I already knew. IVF was going to be our only way to start a family. I had a blocked tube, a uterine polyp (which was removed but are notorious for growing back), polycystic ovaries and low progesterone. We were told we had already reached the threshold for publicly funded IVF treatment and were on the list to start in December 09 which was a 7 month wait. At the time that seemed like a lifetime away but I now know how bloody lucky we actually were with getting on the waiting list so soon (after only 16 months TTC) and that Wellington had the shortest waiting lists in the country. I soon found out through others that in Auckland the waiting list can be up to 26 months! Suddenly 7 months didn't seem so long and I chose to count my blessings that we were on the list at all! Thank god for listening to my intuition and getting tested so early. But did I leave it at that? Did I enjoy those 7 months and try to stop thinking about it? That would have been too easy and as always I had to take it one step further and try to control the situation - acupuncture, chinese herbs and temping here I come! My little candle of hope was reignited with the idea of taking a 'natural' approach.

Saturday, June 19, 2010


"Not everything that is faced can be changed,
but nothing can be changed until it is faced"

The next step was to go on a waiting list to have a laparoscopy and hysteroscopy plus a dye test. This means going to the hospital and having keyhole surgery to check for such things as endometriosis, polycystic ovaries, uterine polyps or cysts and a dye test to check that both fallopian tubes are open and in good working order. The wait in NZ is up to 6 months but I got the call in to have my operation on the 28th January 2009 which happens to be our wedding anniversary - what a way to spend my 3rd wedding anniversary! I was very nervous but at the same time I was determined that I wanted them to find something. I wanted (and needed!) answers! I wanted to know WHY we weren't getting pregnant and I couldn't think of anything worse than being pinned with the 'unexplained' diagnosis which would make getting publicly funded IVF treatment in NZ almost impossible. You need to reach a certain threshold of points to be eligible and it takes 5 years of trying to concieve to become eligible if you have an unexplained diagnosis. I couldn't wait 5 years . . .

I came to after the operation in some pain with my husband by my side and after much negotiation prior to the op I had convinced the specialist who was performing my procedure to come and see me and let me know what they found. The usual would be to get results at a follow up appointment with your fertility specialist but there was no way I was going to wait that long! So we braced ourselves . . . would they say they found nothing and everything was perfect (please no!) or would they tell me they found something wrong? I know it seems strange to think that someone would WANT there to be something wrong with them but at this point anything is better than nothing. And they had found something - we had answers! Firstly, one of my tubes was completely blocked. It appeared that that tube had never formed an opening as in my specialists words 'It looks perfect with no scarring but there is just no opening' I was told this was likely a birth defect and I was born with it this way. Secondly, I had a uterine polyp which was removed during the surgery which can affect implantation and I also had polycystic ovaries in appearance. So, not just one answer but three potential fertility issues! I was quite excited (believe it or not!) because knowing one of my tubes was blocked explained why it was taking so long (or so I thought!) as it potentially halved our chances. In other words a years effots could have meant we only ovulated on the open side 50% of the time and therefore it would in theory be two years before we hit that 12 month mark. We were told that many couples go on to concieve with just the one tube and that we just had to be patient. We made an appointment for April 09 to follow up on the specialists results with our actual fertility specialist and hoped we would be up the duff by then and would have no need to carry on down the fertility treatment road.


"Keep trudging or you'll never reach the top"

Quite frankly, I think our stork got lost somewhere. We went into that first month of TTC (trying to concieve) with nervous anticipation and excitement - we were going to have a baby! This was it! But nope, that month came and went and we weren't one of those lucky couples who concieved first month trying . . . nor within the next 11 months that flew past. My woman's intuition told me something was wrong after about 6 months. It made no sense to me that a woman who had always had cycles like clockwork and was only 25 years old could have any fertility problems so I was convinced that it was something to do with my husband (the poor bugger!) He had glandular fever at the time so I googled that madly wondering if it could be the reason we were having trouble. Next came the thought that all those years of painting and chemicals he works with were to blame - I put him on all sorts of natural vitamins and minerals (so many he used to say if I shook him he'd rattle!) to try and get rid of everything and anything that could be in his system or perhaps all the beer was making the little boys too drunk to know which direction to go in? Being the control freak that I am it was off to be tested at the 8 month mark (even though they say anything up to 12 months is normal I couldn't wait that long!) Hubby's analysis came back fantastic despite the glandular fever which had knocked him for six and left him 8kg lighter . . . which left me. How could that be? I was initially told my blood tests came back normal but upon our first visit with the specialist I found out that in fact my progesterone was on the low side. BUT we had a solution! He prescribed us the fertility drug clomid which helps with ovulation and told us we would be pregnant within a year. WOOHOO! This was going to get us pregnant! Much to our dismay this 'solution' wasn't to give us any results either. All it did was make me grumpy and hormonal and prone to the odd manic feeling of wanting to smash plates for the fun of it (anyone who has been on this drug knows what I am taking about!) They say if you haven't concieved within 6 months of being on clomid then it isn't going to work. I was devastated - now what? Back to the specialist we went . . .

Friday, June 18, 2010


"Our greatest glory is not in never failing
but in having the strength to rise up every time we fall"

My husband and I first got together when we were 12 years old. Little did we know at that time that we would one day be husband and wife but he was my best friend and we were 'together' for a whole year. This 'relationship' mostly consisted of sitting next to each other in class sharing my little handheld radio and sneakily listening to live cricket matches or me being the doting girlfriend sunbaking on the beach while he showed off his surfing skills. We also went on one random overnight camping trip (that neither of our parents had a clue about) with two friends  and boy were we WAY too young to be wandering off two and a half hours around the coastline into the middle of nowhere during a storm that he (gazing into the clouds and with all the knowledge of a young surfie stated would 'clear up in no time'!) He was right about that but I'm still not sure it was the smartest move given the bulls that lived along that coastline and that we were too young and stupid to know better than to put out our fire with our only fresh water instead of the seawater! Needless to say we were dehydrated by the time we got home but it is a fantastic memory we share and we had the time of our young lives. By the end of that school year and the summer before high school we 'broke up' (apparently I held hands with another 12 year old boy but that is a whole other story!) We spent our teens at the same high school but avoided one another like the plague as he made it very clear that he wanted nothing to do with me. To cut a long story short, when we were 21 years old (yes, it took us 9 years to kiss and make up!) we started off back down the tentative path to friendship. Within a few months of coming back into each others lives he proposed and I accepted. It was a very intense time as my mum was in the hospital at the time suffering through the last stages of breast cancer and he was my rock. I couldn't have got through it without him by my side and we have never been apart since (well, except for my 3 month Contiki bus tour around Europe!)

We were married in January 2006 and waited two years to start a family so we could spend some time just the two of us as a newly married couple and buy a house. By January 2008 we were ready! This was going to be easy . . . or so we thought! We honestly believed (probably as every infertile couple on the planet does) that this was going to be a piece of cake. I had always been fascinated by the concept of infertility, I couldn't think of anything more heartbreaking than being told you wouldn't be able to have children and the concept of IVF seemed so alien and something that celebrities did to have a family when they had left it too late. We were young and healthy though so it never crossed our minds that we would become one of 'those' couples. Who knew that within 2 years we would be finding out firsthand the reality of this crazy last resort of In-Vitro Fertilisation and I would be jabbing myself with needles day and night in our quest to become parents. It has been a long two and half years of trying everything under the sun and we are still in the process. This blog is my way of sharing our journey with everyone who is interested - those of you who are on the same heartbreaking journey, those of you who are just starting off down this road,  those of you who had a small taste, those of you who have never had trouble concieving but wish to have a little insight into the plight of friends or family who are experiencing infertility firsthand but most of all this is my way of keeping my sanity by writing down how I am feeling as I go through this journey.  I am optimistic. I hope one day in the near future that we will achieve our dream. I pray that somewhere out there their is a baby that is waiting to become a part of our little family. I hope you enjoy my blog and sharing in our journey to parenthood.