Wednesday, 30 July 2014

Logistics

 

Picked up my medications this morning from the clinic. I forgot how much waiting around there is. My appointment was 30 minutes late, but luckily I had a great nurse coordinator today, who is incidentally doing IVF herself.

I will be doing 100mg Clomid on days 2-6, then a blood test on day 9 at the clinic. After my results are in, they will let me know when my first ultrasound is, and from that we will know if I need the Pregnyl trigger injection or if I will ovulate on my own.

 

I have a feeling I will be catching lots of taxi's to and from the clinic this month. Usually there is bus that takes me from fairly close to my work, straight past the clinic. Today however the bus must have been early, so I had to catch a different bus, and then walk ten minutes to catch another bus, to finally make it to the clinic in 30 minutes instead of the usual ten or so. There is a taxi stand right at the front of my work, which will be much easier, although admittedly a lot more expensive.

 

There is an acupuncture office next door to the clinic, and I am contemplating having acupuncture done in the days before the transfer. I know the jury is still out as to whether it works or not, but I figure it can't hurt. What's another $80 on top of the thousands that we are already spending! I might have to do a little more digging first though to see if there are any recent studies of the impact acupuncture has on success rates.

Tuesday, 29 July 2014

Appointment booked

I have my clinic appointment booked for tomorrow morning. Initially they weren't going to be able to see me until August 8th but I explained that I was trying to fit it in ASAP so that we could cycle next month, and also that I already knew what I was doing pretty much, so they juggled things around and I got in for tomorrow- hooray!

The appointment is just to pick up consent forms and any medication that I need, so it's not that big of a deal but I need to do it before cycling so it's another box that's ticked.

CD 27 today. Fingers crossed it can hold out an extra few days so that we are cycling in August!

Sunday, 27 July 2014

Excitement

I can't stop thinking about this cycle. I can't help but feel positive that we could fall pregnant and have a child through this. It's hard to temper the thoughts. We have been here so many times before. This one is different because it is the first time we have cycled with my weight in a normal range, which is a big deal, but who know if it is going to be enough to let us fall pregnant.

Saturday, 26 July 2014

Donated embryos again

We received the profile of a couple who have chosen to donate their remaining embryos yesterday. They did IVF in 2004 or 2005 and fell pregnant on a frozen transfer cycle, and also subsequently fell pregnant naturally.

The law in Western Australia is that you can only keep embryos for a maximum of ten years, and then need to make a decision as to whether you wish to apply for an extension (if you still have intent to use them and are of an age where that is still possible), discard the embryos, donate to science (which is not always a viable option as there may not be a suitable program approved at that time), or donate the embryos to another couple. My clinic has an anonymous donated embryo program, which is what we accessed two years ago for treatment.

There are a couple of different couples' embryos available at the moment but the clinic believes that these embryos are a good match for us. The female was 34 at the time of egg collection, they are of similar appearance to us, and have many other similarities such as one of them being a teacher, and both enjoying sport.

The only concern we have is that the embryos are frozen at Day 2 stage, which means they are only 2-4 cells. We originally had said to ourselves that we didn't want to try anything less than a blastocyst, but that wasn't the standard ten years ago when these embryos were frozen. The good news is that the couple fell pregnant with these embryos, and even better that they fell pregnant naturally which makes me think that there isn't anything wrong with either component, and perhaps it was unexplained infertility instead, or more to do with carrying the baby.

I have sent an email to the clinic coordinator to see when we can cycle with the embryos. As usual, my doctor is very conservative and will likely only approve us to transfer one embryo which I am not too concerned about - either it will work or it won't. Financially, it's poor timing, and I'm a little frustrated that we have to pay a fee that we have paid once before that we thought covered us for all future donated embryos we use (a freezing fee which I believe although dont know for certain, goes towards reimbursing the donors for the cost of freezing those embryos. I have emailed the CEO of our clinic to enquirer about the fee and if there is any chance of getting relief from it. In the end, we will pay it if we have to, but it is an extra $700 for nothing extra, and we distinctly remember that they said it covered us for all future donated embryos.

I'm trying not to allow myself to get too carried away, but I can't help it. I'm not anywhere near as excited as I once was years ago about carrying a child. I came to terms with not being pregnant a while back, and the thought of now having to do pregnancy and labour is sort of a weird thing. It's good, but yet, I've been so focused on adoption this last year that it all seems rather odd. One thing at a time though, we just need to get to cycle first, let the embryos defrost properly, transfer without any issues, and hope and pray.

Friday, 18 July 2014

A fertility plan

We had an appointment with our fertility specialist on Wednesday. The purpose was mixed- getting a third opinion on our IVF prospects after the two specialists through the public system had differing views on whether I should consider donor IUI (treat me as a brand new patient post weight loss) or alternatively that I should do PGS with IVF/ICAI if we were to go down that path again due to recurrent implantation failure. While we don't plan on doing IVF through a private IVF clinic again, we also wanted to find out about where the donor embryo program is up to; whether there are any embryos available and what the way pity of those is like.

Dr Thonpson was happy with my weight loss and thinks that we have nothing to lose by pursuing donor IUI, however he thinks we are good candidates for pursuing donor embryos. We will need to do our donor counselling again as we last did it around four years ago and they like to renew it every two years. We are booked in to do it on Wednesday afternoon just to get it out of the way.

After that is done, then we can look at see if what donor embryos are available. Last time we pursued this, it took a while for them to become available and they weren't the best quality, however the donor coordinator suggested that it is quite different this time as they have cleared a lot of people from the wait list, and many people have returned the forms to donate their embryos which is promising.

We have said for a while that we don't have a preference of how we build our family, and although we have heavily invested in adoption, we particularly have a heart for embryo adoption/donation and would like to pursue that option.

Obviously we have also committed to our Europe holiday so funds aren't flowing freely, but thanks to a promotion Murray had received, we are in a position that we can do one embryo transfer as well as our holiday, so we are going to consider doing it if the right situation and embryos present itself.

We are throwing ourselves back into the race!!

Wednesday, 16 July 2014

Adoption update & a White Christmas!


On Friday we spoke with the adoption agency again. We are trying to restrict ourselves to only calling every three months or so, because realistically, if the agency hasn’t called us then there isn’t any news.
In WA, you don’t get told whether or not your profile has been put forward to a birth parent to help prevent disappointments, so we wont know that we have been considered until we are actually chosen.
This week marks eight months on the waiting list, which in reality isn’t a long time, particularly when there are so few children placed for adoption. I wont lie though, it is definitely a little disheartening

In terms of information from the agency, there are currently no children with special care needs in care, which is a change from the 50% last year, and there are around six children in care, however some of those will likely return to their parents. While we remain hopeful, we know that in all likelihood, we will not be placed this year.

We were not planning on making any holiday plans as we know that we wouldn’t be able to get a passport for our adopted child if an adoption did take place, so this year was a holiday free zone. After speaking with the agency however, we decided that it wouldn’t hurt to at least think about going on holiday. 24 hours later and we have now booked flights to Europe for Christmas!!! Completely unplanned, but we found an amazing deal flying to Amsterdam right at the beginning of our annual leave period, and so we jumped and bought them! After a week of furiously looking through dozens of websites and Lonely Planet guides, we think we are going to doing some travel through Germany and France, heading to Cologne, Frankfurt, Strasbourg for Christmas, and then a few days in Paris before heading back to Perth on New Years Day. It’s just our sort of thing, short train trips to explore new places, although I’m not so sure how I’m going to cope with the freezing cold weather! Even in the midst of winter here in Perth, I’m sitting inside with a short sleeve shirt and skirt on a balmy 18 degree day (64 fahrenheit).

Part of us is hoping that, having bought the flights, we have jinxed ourselves and we will be placed for adoption and not be able to go on the holiday. We would lose the money on the flights (non-refundable tickets), yet it would be worth every cent. So who knows – let’s make God laugh by telling him our plans!

Sunday, 6 July 2014

The super amazing kitchen machine!

I am completely and utterly spoilt. It is both my birthday and Murray's birthday this month and in combination with that, I also finished uni this month. Yes I finished my degree !!! More on that later...

As a joint birthday and graduation present, we bought a Thermomix! I have been wanting one for about a year after going to a demo and seeing how awesome they are, and know I finally have my own! For those out of the loop, it's basically an amazing kitchen machine, it combines the functions of half a dozen kitchen appliances and can blend, mix, mill spices, cook, stir, pulverise, grind- basically whatever you need it to do!

So far I have used it to make pasta, sauces, rice, brownies, cakes, cinnamon scrolls and dip! I'm hoping to document my thermomix adventures on the blog as I go along. I bought a few specific recipe books, but I'm also having fun just playing around to see what works. I've never had a food processor before so that part of it is very much a novelty, and being ale to mill my own floor and spices is great, as is being able to cook food in it without having to watch it or stir.

It is ridiculously expensive and like I said, I am very spoilt, but it is replacing a broken blender and mixmaster so I don't feel terribly guilty. And it is a reward for finishing uni!

Speaking of which, once I get my exam results back in two weeks, I will finally get my graduation date!!! I have been studying part-time at night for the last six years while I worked full time to do my degree in Business Administration, focusing on management, and I completed my final two units this semester. I am so proud to actually have done it, being the first person in my family to get a degree! While it won't change my job situation that much right now, it definitely helps me in the future if I decide to pursue a career in management, and it's also a huge source of pride for me to have achieved it.

I am hopefully going to do some postgraduate studies ins field later on but am planning a year off uni study while I do some vocational study in training and assessment through my workplace. The bonus of having worked while studying is that I have also paid off my HECS (student loans) completely as off this tax time which is awesome!


Anyhow, I'm off to play some more with my thermomix! I made the most incredible spiced pumpkin cupcakes with cream cheese frosting last night- recipe coming soon!


Tuesday, 1 July 2014

Hope

I had a phone call today on my mobile from a number I didn't recognise, and once again I got that feeling of 'what if'. My heart started beating faster and I felt my body stop all at once. Of course it was nothing to do with the adoption, but for the second time to date I had that feeling of craziness.

I can't wait for when that phone call finally comes.

Monday, 23 June 2014

Staying still yet moving forward


"So, have you heard anything".

"How long do you think it will take before you get your baby?"

"I'm praying for you".

Nearly every day someone asks Murray or I how the adoption process is going. It is lovely that so many people care about us and are supportive of what we are doing. At the same time, it can be a little hard to have to say over and over again, that no, we don't know how long it is going to be before we get our child - if we get our child. Yes it's not fair that some people can have children very easily while others can't. Yes we would make good parents. No we don't mind if it is a boy or a girl and no we can't choose.

Sometimes we come home weary and hold each other, tired of the questions and wishing for a simpler life. But I would never give up what we have. Because each question asked is a statement of support for us, and for the child that will eventually be part of our family. While it might be a source of frustration at times, it also is a source of strength and encouragement.

Each day brings us closer. We can stand still and yet still move forward at the same time. I think that is the beauty of this whole process. I don't have to do anything more. Nothing I do now makes a difference - it all comes down to how God wants this situation to work out. Whether a birth parents chooses to parent or relinquish. If they want a home with dogs for their son or daughter to grow up with and love. It's out of our hands.

And while we wait, we thank God for the support and love of our friends and family. Because regardless of the questions, they keep us grounded and faithful in this journey.

Friday, 16 May 2014

Adoption playgroup

I had the day off from work today and was able to attend a playgroup which is for local adoption children. I had emailed one of the Mum's who organises the group and she encouraged me to come along and meet everyone and see what it was like.

I had a great time meeting all of these different people who have been through the same process that I am going through right now. A lot of the children were from the special care needs pool as well which gave me some idea of what might be expected. I got a great insight to some of the challenges that are faced but also the awesomeness of having a child through adoption!

One of the things that came out of it, was some information about the Philippines inter-country adoption program. One of the Mum's 'S' was on the list for both the Philippines and local and her local adoption had a placement first. S said that the Philippines program is usually foster care, and priorities adoptive parents who are Christian as they are a Catholic country. Also they only require the adoptive parents to stay in the country for three weeks, which was of concern for us. It is also close enough by that we would be able to retain links with the child's culture which is great as well. S suggested that I look into it a little bit further, and I'm definitely interested in learning more about it.

Overall the morning was a really great reminder that we are on the right path and that adoption is really in my heart.

Friday, 9 May 2014

My love

The two of us spending time together last weekend

Friday, 25 April 2014

Babysitting duty

I am on babysitting duty tonight for my two beautiful nephews. William is nearly three, and Kevin is four months old. Murray and his sister go to the football together every fortnight and his sisters husband is away at the moment so I got the pleasure of the little guys' company for the evening.

We played with cars, cooked dinner together, watched some football and then had milk and off to bed. Little Kevin has been napping with two bottles drunk around his naps. I swear there is something beautiful about feeding a baby. Kevin was looking in my eyes, drinking his bottle and snuggled up next to me. It's peaceful and so loving. I hope I get to do a lot of that with our child.

We have been focusing all our attention on adoption for the last year or so, but over the past two weeks, I've been thinking about the possibility of seeing my fertility specialist. It's just an idea at this stage, to investigate what donor sperm is currently available at our clinic, and consider the possibility of perhaps doing a cycle of donor insemination.

I sought counsel from some friends, because I feel unfaithful for even considering the idea. I don't want people to think that adoption is my second choice, or a 'backup' because its not. I'm committed to it and I would love to parent a child that we adopted. However does that mean I should just so and wait and not consider fertility treatment any further. At last count there were 46 couples in the approved adoption pool. Even at an above average number of 8 children placed per year, that's potentially a 6 year wait- if we be replaced at all!

We don't have the money to consider IVF unless the public program starts up again, which is likely to be at lest twelve months away. But donor IUI works out to around $700 out of pocket per attempt once we reach the Medicare safety net which is definitely doable. Our previous know donor doesn't have any frozen sperm left which would mean fresh samples, and to be honest, I don't want to have to ask anyone for anything. The idea of using the donated sperm that is already at the clinic appeals to me at the minute, where we just select it, and don't have to think about the logistics of anything.

We have sent an email to the clinic donor coordinator just to see what the donor list is looking like, and from there we will consider our options. There isn't much point pursuing something that isn't available, so once we have all of the information available to us, we can make a decision.

We shall see...