Down Under

I created this blog to help me as I go through IVF. I feel quite isolated and have found other blogs very helpful. I need somewhere to vent and ramble on, whilst I'm probed and prodded down under.

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Bowled a Bouncer

I've been cruising along ok, probably as I was only back at work for two days and then we had a long weekend for ANZAC Day.

Anyway, last night I was watching TV when they announced that Princess Mary of Denmark is due to give birth in October. I was momentarily shocked, I told my husband and started crying.

On Tuesday morning they seemed to be talking about it constantly on TV. They kept interviewing Danish journalists and quoting Danish polls etc. I know it's fantastic news for them and I admire her, because I can't imagine what it's been like thrust into the public spotlight, people commenting on your fertility like it's their right. But it just makes me feel left behind. I was due in October. I feel panicky, may be we should have transferred one and gambled with the OHSS? I wonder when we will transfer next month? Will it work? What if we run through all 7 embryos over the next 3 to 4 months? Back to bloody stims and the threat of Medicare being taken form us.

I feel like a batsman, settled in making a few runs, then even starting to tonk a few 4's and forgetting all the stress, then suddenly you have a bouncer bowled at your head and you no longer feel in control.

Wednesday, April 20, 2005


I like many Aussies undergoing IVF treatments you are probably angry, upset and pissed off about Tony Abbott's proposed changes to Medicare. Although he claims this will save the government money, I've only seen $7 million quoted. This is very small in the scheme of things. I e-mailed Tony Abbott the following:

Dear Tony Abbott,
I am angry and disappointed about your
proposed changes to IVF under Medicare. IVF is an expensive,
invasive,stressful and exhausting procedure. I did not choose to
undergo this treatment on some whim. My husband and I desperately want
to conceive a child or children. He has been diagnosed with male
factor that isn't curable, and our only option is IVF. The only way we
can afford treatment at present is to use my wage and the Medicare
partial funding of it has taken some of the sting out of the cost. We
have, however, spent thousands on treatments.

If IVF cycles are limited you are disadvantaging us, as with each
delay time is against us. Despite what the public think IVF doesn't
usually work the first time and it may take a number of cycles before
the Dr can establish the best protocol for a patient. In other words
it is not an exact science. Even if it doesn't work for a couple at
least they have had the chance.

I'm betting that like me most of us have worked for many years and
paid taxes during that time. Perhaps like me going to the doctor, let
alone the hospital, was a very rare experience, until beginning
infertility treatment. However, I have always been a strong supporter
of our health care system and know how lucky we are to have it, this
is especially brought home to me when I have traveled in countries
such as the US.

Recent statistics have indicated that 1 in 10 babies are conceived
using IVF and related techniques. These people all vote and there was
nothing said about this before the 2004 election.

Please reconsider, until you have walked in my shoes or any one else's
struggling with infertility, then you have no idea of the damage that
it does. IVF offers us some hope at least.
Your sincerely,

What I politely neglected to say was that I think he is influenced by his conservative Catholic agenda and his personal objection to IVF. I also neglected to tell him that I think he is the "C" word.

Perpetual Waiting

This morning we got to the clinic half an hour before transfer. This is because we had to drive through peak hour traffic, but also because I have this thing were I have to be super early to every thing. Then I'm bored as I have to wait around for an hour. It looks like I've read all the magazines in the waiting room.( Including the ones announcing Brittany Spears' pregnancy. Just one more thing to piss me off in this whole IF crap.) My husband commented that this would hopefully be the last of waiting around for various IVF procedures. Sadly this is not the case.

Our Dr rang me just before we left to let me know that we may not transfer. He said we would talk about it when we got in. We knew this was a possibility as Melbourne IVF's policy is to defer transfer on a 20 egg or more collection. Also because of my history of OHSS it was even more up in the air.

Any way to cut a long story short we have taken his advice and frozen our embryos. He said if I screamed and carried on and demanded a transfer he would do it, but only one not two. We deferred another time, so I wasn't that upset and I prefer the thaw cycle, no drugs. Last time I got pregnant off a FET.

It looks like we have 7 to freeze, but we won't know for certain until tomorrow. I'm pretty sore still and just fit into some of my work clothes as the mild OHSS I have is causing me to bloat. He said that if I got pregnant on this transfer it would probably mean hospital time. I still have vivid memories of my first bout being unable to breathe and dry retching into the toilet regularly.

So that's it for the moment. Dr is amazed at the amount collected especially when the scan showed 16 on Sat. But my husband and I are pleased to have some in reserve so I don't have to go through a stim cycle anytime soon. So now I just have to wait for my period.

Back to work tomorrow. I wish I taught PE so I could wear tracksuit daks to work.

Monday, April 18, 2005

In Shock

Just got back from hospital and I'm in shock. This has been my usual result.
1st IVF 11 eggs
2nd IVF cancelled
3rd IVF 13 eggs
4th IVF 26 eggs
This was on even smaller doses of Gonal-F. I had to see the nurse as if it's 20 or more they assume OHSS. I'm pretty happy, but you all know the rollercoaster this is, so I'll use the old cliche, of not counting my chickens before they hatch.

Also felt sad in the recovery room, a women was wheeled in after me. We have the same Dr and I saw him talk to her with a really grave look on his face. When he left she started crying. I don't know for sure but I don't think she got any eggs. Her husband came over and she couldn't stop. Just after our Dr had left a pregnant woman walked past us and into one of the cubicles. I thought that was so harsh, then a few minutes later another pregnant woman came in. Both were ready to give birth. It's strange how you seem to be constantly remined of IF, especially when you have just been kicked in the guts. When I was leaving I asked the nurse how she was and almost started crying.

I'm going to bed now as I'm still a bit woozy, infact J just caught me on the computer and has ordered me into bed.
Thanks everyone for your support. I'm just hoping the OHSS doesn't kick in. So far, so good.

Sunday, April 17, 2005


Yesterday I had my 3rd scan for the week. After 4 rounds of IVF there is no embarrassment or selfconsciousness left. Pants are off in record time. It's kind of weird as the Dr was talking to me about his daughters all the while the wand is up my clack. Surreal really he says he doesn't know how teachers cope teaching teenagers all day, I was thinking the same thing about his job. Imagine looking at women's fannies all day. Even though I've gone through all this I'm still one of those people that gets out of their bathers under a towel at the swimming pool change rooms. I have never been able to bring myself to parade around in the nude.

Retrieval is on Monday, so that means I have to organise work to e-mail in for my classes that I'll be missing. I'm just going to tell them that I'm sick, to stop nosy questions like the Vice Principal's when I was pregnant. " Is this related to why you were in hospital at the end of last year?"
Me "No, not really, but sort of."
I thought of a better come back half an hour later: "Mind your own fucking business"

After the scan I saw the nurse to pick up the trigger injection. She asked me some questions about OHSS and I told her I have been feeling nauseous. Then she asked me if I was bloated and I was momentarily lost for words. Isn't everyone bloated out on these drugs? Then she said we may have to cancel the cycle if the signs become worse and I thought no way. Is still remember the 2nd cycle being cancelled and breaking down and howling in front of everyone at the clinic. Then being hysterical in the car on the phone to J.

I can't wait for Monday, I'm at the stage where I just want them out. It's uncomfortable and hardly anything in my wardrobe fits me. I also feel a little nervous. The first thing I always ask when I wake up is how many?

Thursday, April 14, 2005


This morning I went for another scan and everything is progressing well. So far 16 follicles and looks like pick-up on Monday or Tuesday. I'm hoping Tuesday as I will be back at school from holidays next week and need the Monday to organise my classes. It's just a little added bit of stress, it would have been easier if it could have happened this week during the holidays.

I actually really hate my job. I loathe it so much that I can't believe I make it to work everyday. Probably because I have such good friends there it keeps me going and obviously the money, morgage, bills etc. Many people have said to me why don't I take long service leave, I have a bit saved up. I have contemplated it, but I don't want to spend long service leave having needles, spray, scans etc. done. I want to spend long service leave free of all that stuff. Besides it's only been with the start of IVF that I have taken days off work. Most of my appointments I take at 7.30 am and 5.00pm so I don't miss work. I'm rarely sick and have a huge amount of sick days saved up. So for the moment I'll keep working and dream about winning Tatts, so that I never have to teach again and could do IVF without having to pay off thousands of dollars on my credit card for every Stim cycle.

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Bloating out

Not much going on. Have had six Gonal-F injections with a 7th coming up tonight. Had a scan today and everything is on track. Then another scan coming up on Thursday morning. I'm starting to feel uncomfortable already, there is swelling and it's about this time that I don't like doing much yoga or pilates. I can't stand the feeling of pressure being amplified on my stomach area. Also that squeamish thing comes into it again. The cycle I had cancelled due to OHSS (40 wasted eggs), was when the Dr described how my ovaries were so big they were touching and something other else about them being folded back. I tuned out as I was feeling grossed out.

I don't know how other people feel about exercise. I can generally keep walking the dogs, although I get a bit breathy towards the last few days of injections. The Drs and nurses always say it's ok to exercise but I'm scared I'll burst an ovary or something.

Still on the synarel. It makes me sneeze and swells up my sinuses. I wake up in the morning feeling like someone poured concrete in my head overnight. Then after the spray for a few hours it feels as though someone is poking hot wire up my sinuses. Don't feel as cranky as last time as was virtually straight on Gonal-F and not just on the spray.

Went to the dentist yesterday and refused to have an x-ray done. I suddenly got all paranoid and didn't want radiation near the eggs. Of course I didn't want to tell him the whole truth, so when he asked if I was pregnant, I said I didn't know as I had miscarried recently and had to see my Dr today. He said so you might be pregnant best not to x-ray then. Then he preceded to tell me the miscarriage was for the best and finished off with at least you know you are fertile. I couldn't wait to tell my husband and for some reason we just found it one of the funniest things, almost funnier than the acts we saw at the comedy festival last week.

One of the things that helps me forget this IF shit. At least something's fertile around this house.

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

Embarrassing moment

I must be getting better as on the weekend we went to a wedding of one of my work colleagues. There is a group of us at school ( cocks and hens) and we go out drinking, socialising and to each others weddings. Yes we are a bit of a clique especially the hens (6 of us).

Any way M was getting married and he knew that I was pregnant. Only problem was that someone forgot to tell him that I miscarried and the last few weeks at work I have kept my head down and haven't been able to speak about it.

The wedding was 3 hours out of the city, so we all went up on the Friday night. We all had dinner at the pub. The bride to be came up to me and said congratulations. It was doubly embarrassing as my SIL and close friend (hens) are noticeably pregnant and it was directed at them as well. The funny thing was though that I found myself reassuring the mortified bride to be that every thing was ok and it was 4 weeks ago. It's stressful enough before your wedding.

I won't say that I was completely ok all weekend as I wasn't. Especially in private with my husband. And sometimes it was hard with the attention that my pregnant friends got. It seemed that there were many conversations and references to pregnancy all weekend. And of course I thought about how I would have been showing and what I would have worn. However I did seem to be able to deflect some of the pain. Maybe I'm just becoming better at wearing the mask. Or may be it was all the bubbly and red we started drinking at lunchtime and kept going until late at night.


Things have suddenly started moving quickly again with IVF. It's funny how there is so much waiting and then next thing you know you are on the Gonal F and they are asking if your admission forms are filled in. I panicked at first and thought I'm not ready. I only had my D&C 30 days ago, I'm drinking coffee like crazy and red wine. I also have 4 extra kg on since the last stims in December and the recent miscarriage. I'm actually a bit concerned about putting on weight during this cycle. Of course if I end up pregnant I won't care.

I started the nasal spray yesterday and had to see the nurses today. I don't have to take the pill this cycle , which I'm really happy about as it always makes me feel nauseous. The first time I ever took the pill was during my first 2 cycles of IVf.

I start Gonal F injections tonight. This is probably the part I hate the most as I can't give myself injections, I feel like I'm stabbing myself. I can't watch someone give me one and I faint at the sight of blood. So my husband has to do it. Strangely he quite likes doing it he also enjoys watching his blood being drawn back into the syringe during blood tests. These are the kinds of things that make me feel swimmy in the head just thinking about them.

Overall I'm ready physically. Mentally/emotionally much better as I'm on holidays and without the stress of school I feel more able to cope, even getting to the appointments is no big hassle.
The main thing I fear is failure. But I know I have to try again and take the risk. If I think back on my life some of the most rewarding things have happened because of risks I took.