Friday, 30 September 2011

The countdown begins

Every minute is filled with excitement. On Sunday, we will be jetting our way across the world to Europe. To be honest I can't believe we are actually, really going. It feels a bit like a dream, that part when you first wake up and can kinda remember what you were thinking about, but you don't know if it is real or not? That's the state I am in at the moment.

I always thought going to Paris was a pipe dream for us, and if I'm honest, I never really allowed myself to even dream about it because I believed it simply wasn't achievable. Instead we did a lot of travel around Australia and south-east Asia, which was very satisfying. But to actually be heading to Western Europe is mind-blowing.

The itinerary is set! We have two weeks spread across London, Rotterdam and Paris. My Dad has given me lots of information about where my Oma and Opa lived in Holland and I am hoping that their house is still standing (it's in an industrial area) so I can take photos to bring back for the family. We are going to see a show at the West End, visit the Anne Frank house in Amsterdam, watch a Euro 2012 qualifier at the Kuip, and taste French wine in Paris.

This trip has given us something to look forward to during the really rough parts of this year. I can't wait for Murray and I to go on this adventure together.

Sunday, 25 September 2011

Plan C, D & E

On Tuesday I met with Dr T to review our failed IVF cycle and to talk about the future. I came with my own ideas of course, but I was really pleasantly surprised to see the empathy from Dr T about our situation. We didn't dwell on the results of last cycle too much, as there are too many variable that could have impacted the lack of embryo development, and we just don't have the funds anymore to finance anymore IVF treatment. We have been very lucky that my in-laws have paid for this cycle on their credit card, and we will slowly pay them back, otherwise we would not have had the opportunity to cycle. However, we have now reached the Medicare safety net, which means that any medical treatment we do for the remainder of the calendar year is significantly cheaper - up to 80% moreso than normal.

That being the case, we have decided to try something completely different, and attempt as many Clomid DIUI cycles as we can before the year is out. As I have never used Clomid before, it is possible I wont respond to the drug, or alternatively I respond too well and multiple follicles develop. IUI only has an 8-10% success rate at our clinic, however I feel that it is worth a shot, and considering the cost will work out to under $200 out of pocket for each attempt, it is good value to have at least some kind of shot at falling pregnant. We won't hang our hat on it working, but it is a shot, and I can't ask for more than that right now. I am taking the Clomid overseas with me in case I get my period early, so that we can squeeze as many cycles in as possible - hopefully 3 but more likely just 2 cycles. That's the short term plan at least.

There is a bigger picture though, and it something I was only vaguely aware of previously, and that is the public IVF clinic here in Perth. Apparently King Edward Memorial Hospital run a public IVF clinic, which we can go on the waiting list for. There is around an 18 month wait to be seen, but we will be able to start IVF immediately after that 18 month period, with no cost to us as they only charge the amount that Medicare give to them directly. 18 months is a long time, but it is not a lifetime away. It is doable, and it would take the pressure off of us financially, giving us a chance to recover, pay off some of our credit card debts that we have racked up, and perhaps allow me and Murray time to heal a bit. The timing works out to around March 2013. It's a long time, and I may take me some time to get used to taking a break for that period of time- by then we will have been trying for a baby for seven years. Seven. That's a scary number.

There is also a BMI limit for the public clinic, which means getting my BMI under 35. Tough, but with a year to 18 months of waiting time, I can do it steadily and on my own terms.

Who knows, maybe we will fall pregnant with the DUIU cycles. But I am preparing myself for the long wait. Maybe it will be good. Maybe it wont. Either way it's about our only option, so I willing to grab it with both hands.

Saturday, 24 September 2011

Friendships and life stages

This week has had a lot of ups and downs, sometimes even at the same time as each other. One of my closest friends called me to announce her pregnancy. They have had their own battles trying to conceive their second child, and I love them dearly and am so grateful that they will have their long awaited for sibling. But another part of me is broken. Not that they are pregnant although that is bittersweet in its own way, but that our friendship has slid as much as it has.

When my girlfriend fell pregnant with their first child, the same month that we started trying, I was the second person to know after her husband. I distinctly remember screaming and laughing down the phone, so happy that she was having a baby and I wouldn't be far behind, and we would do all those 'Mummy' things together. Time has passed and her life has moved on from mine. During the pregnancy and first year we remained close, but after a while we had less in common. I'm not exactly the best of company during fertility treatment, and after they started trying for a second child unsuccessfully, I felt like I was reminder to her of the things that can go wrong. None of this is her fault, and I don't believe it's mine either. It's just the way it is and it's hard.

Now we are in different places again. I hope our friendship is able to pull through it all.

Friday, 23 September 2011

Planning as therapy

Murray and I recently went for some support counselling to help us process the results of our last cycle. One of the things the counsellor said that resonated with me, is that fertility has become a job to me, and I over-plan everything. I spend all my time planning fertility treatment, and basing our life around the 'what-if's' should I fall or not fall pregnant.

The counsellor is right, I do all of those things. But I have accepted that this is the way I deal with things. I am a planner. I know that this can sometimes be painful as you can't plan fertility - it chooses its own time. I really do get that. But it's my method of coping. Without a plan I am lost, and I can't allow myself to relax because I end up feeling like I don't have control of anything. While I may not control the day and time we have a child, I can damn sure control other things, and so that is what I will do.

Thursday, 1 September 2011


I have my period. Another reminder of how crappy this all is. Plus I have a wicked flu that has knocked me for six. Coughing up green gunk really isn't the best way to make yourself feel better about your life.

This afternoon, one of our dogs decided to try on their escape artist skills. Eventually we found her, thanks to my gorgeous friends who spent time in the rain scouring the streets near our house, but I broke down and cried my eyes out when she got back inside. Everything about these last few weeks came pouring out of me and I couldn't stop sobbing.

I am devastated over my infertility, but there is no choice but to put the pieces together again, and continue the battle. There is only a month until our holiday and I want to really enjoy our experience in Europe. So the next month is about getting back to normal, or as close to that as possible. Once we are back from our trip, and get over the Christmas hump - well, I have some ideas about what we might pursue then. But for now, it's about finding my centre.