Archive | January 2013

Our first IVF clinic visit

Today we had our first appointment with the IVF clinic where we’ll be undergoing treatment. It’s one of the biggest fertility clinics in the state, and their rooms are at a private hospital in the city centre. I was surprised by how swanky the clinic is. There’s a big waterfall in the middle of the waiting room and a fully stocked fridge so clients can help themselves to juice, nuts and cheese.

I felt really weird and awkward in the waiting room. All the other couples there were at least ten years older than us, maybe fifteen. I felt them staring at us and thought they were judging us. I’m 26 years old but I look about 18 with no makeup on (and I wasn’t wearing makeup today) and Doug looks young as well.

There was one lady in the waiting room who I was sure was pregnant. She looked about five months. I felt happier as I could see the clinic was achieving results. Then they called her name and I overheard she was here to have her embryo transfer. I was completely shocked and all the colour drained from my face. That was how big you got on all the hormones??? How was I going to hide that from my family!

Finally our names were called. The appointment itself went for about 90 minutes and we met with one of the nursing coordinators of the clinic. She was lovely and reassuring. She talked through all of the IVF protocols, how our cycle would progress and taught us how to inject the needles. Watching her stick the needle into a pin cushion made me feel physically sick. Doug noticed immediately and reached out to grab me. I have a history of fainting when I’m confronted with blood or guts (I even passed out when I got my belly button pierced 10 years ago!). Doug got me some cheese and juice from the fridge and I felt much better once I had a few sips.

We’ve been put onto an antagonist protocol. We will also be doing ICSI which is a specialised type of IVF. A single sperm will be injected into my eggs by the embryologist to combat the fact Doug has some morphology issues.

Once I get my period I’ll start on day 2 of my cycle with Gonal-F injections. I’ll be doing 100iu per day. This hormone will stimulate my ovaries to grow more eggs. Then on day four of the cycle I will also start a second injection of orgalutran. It will prevent me from ovulating early so that all the lovely eggs that have grown can be collected. I will go back to the doctor on day eight for my first scan.

The nurse offered to let us take home the medications today, but stressed that if we take the medications then don’t start the cycle we’ll be liable thousands of dollars because Medicare won’t cover us. We opt to leave the medications at the clinic and Doug promises to come and collect them the minute I start my period (haha how weird does that sound now I’m writing it).

When we got back to the car park we were shocked to find that 2 hours of parking had set us back $35!!!!! Next time we’ll park further away on the street and walk the 10 minutes to the hospital. Cause…..we won’t be able to afford the IVF cycle if that’s how much they’re going to charge for parking!

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Ouch

I had to go back to the specialist today because one of the wounds from my surgery has become infected.

I can’t even describe the level of pain I’ve been experiencing. It’s worse than the day I came home from the hospital when the pain medication wore off for the first time and everything was fresh. If I move quickly I almost burst into tears and sliding my skirt or pants off when I go to the bathroom or have a shower feels like I’m being stabbed. I literally double over in pain and have to stay there for about fifteen minutes until the pain slowly dissipates.

The specialist has given me antibiotics to clear up the infection and hopefully they start to work soon because the exciting news is WE HAVE SET THE DATES FOR OUR FIRST ROUND OF IVF!!!

We have to give my wounds a while longer to heal, and then on 31st January we’ll be having our first appointment with the nurse at the IVF clinic in the city. We’ll go over my treatment plan and medications then.

For now, I need to give myself a week to clear up my infection and then I’m starting on a course of ralovera tablets. Ralovera works in a similar way to progesterone and these tablets are usually given to menopausal women as part of hormone replacement therapy. They’re being used in my case because my cycle is irregular. I will take two tablets a day for 7 days then hopefully a few days after that I’ll start to bleed. Once I’m bleeding IVF can begin.

I’m so excited!! Just bummed that I have to wait this long. Waiting, waiting, waiting…….this whole thing is just an awful waiting game. I just want to start the cycle!!!!

Recovery

Home from the hospital and feeling extremely sore and sorry for myself.

I ended up only having to stay in overnight which is great. My mother has brought me back to stay at her place because Doug had to go to work again today and I need someone to look after me. Unfortunately it’s swelteringly hot and that isn’t helping me. I’m trying to stay really hydrated but I’m feeling so poorly I don’t want to eat or drink much.

Arnold (our dog) is here at my mum’s house too and is running around the house like a crazy poodle. At least someone is happy with their lot in life!

The surgery went well. The doctor removed endometriosis and treated the cysts on my ovaries. Unfortunately, he also discovered my right fallopian tube is blocked and my left is partially blocked. This means that IUI won’t work for us and our only option is IVF. I feel devastated by this development.

I keep on saying to Doug and my mother “if this was happening even 30 years ago, I just wouldn’t ever be able to have children” and I know it’s true. I feel like maybe I’m not supposed to be a mother. Isn’t that why my body has created all these obstacles for me? Because I’m not ever supposed to actually have a child? My mum says if that’s the case I wouldn’t have been born in an age where technology is advanced enough to give us the chance to have children. I’ve been born now and not 30 years ago because I am supposed to be a mother. I hope she is right.

 

Hospital day

I’m updating from the hospital. I’m sitting in the waiting room, well…..waiting.

I’m so relieved and excited and nervous at once. Finally we’re doing something! Our baby journey is starting in earnest today, a year since we started trying to conceive.

I’m having the surgery at a small private hospital and everyone has been really nice and efficient. Ironically, my mother is here with me instead of my husband because he actually does have a big meeting at work today. I’ve told my boss that I’m having surgery, but not explained why. I’ve also told my mother the truth about why I’m having the surgery, but everyone else in both our families is still in the dark. I need it to be that way otherwise I won’t cope with their constant well wishes and questions.

My mother has been great and super supportive. I’m really glad that I have her to rely on now as well as my husband, because it takes the pressure off him a little.

My surgery is at 2.30pm so I have a few hours to wait. I’m fasting so I’m really hungry. I’m not even allowed to have water and the nurses are concerned I’m going to get too dehydrated in the air conditioning.

Last time I had this surgery I can remember sobbing while they were prepping me because I was so nervous. I feel a lot calmer today and I don’t think there will be any tears. I am determined to get through this with a positive attitude.

I suppose there’s nothing else to do now except keep waiting…..