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Saturday, August 29, 2009

Fertile friends and the exorcism of IVF cycle 3

So, we have picked out our donor – wow, it feels absolutely great!! I feel pretty good at the moment, though have had a few really busy days of running around so am pretty tired. I had lunch with a couple of fertile friends yesterday and I had thought that I would tell them of our plans to go to Thailand for the donor egg cycle. I thought long and hard over the decision to tell then and discussed it with Journey Man. Interestingly enough, I realised that one of the reasons that I didn’t want to tell them was that I was afraid that it would tarnish their image of me – I mean, what the!?!? Could there be any more vain and ridiculous reason for not telling my own friends something like this? I have really withdrawn from my friends over the past months so I really wanted to use this as an opportunity to ‘enter’ the circle of my friends again.

It was a lovely brunch and they were hugely supportive. I cried many times but it was wonderful to re-engage with these girls that I love very much. One of my friends was pretty flippant about moving through the steps (donor cycle and then on to surrogacy) which I have found many people to be and I think that a conversation that I had with her particularly really clarified my feelings over what is happening. My friend (let’s call her Preggo) said that ‘it doesn’t matter whether this baby has come from your genes or a surrogate or is adopted, you will love them as if they were from you’. This has never, ever been a concern for me – I have always 100% known that regardless I would love a baby with all of my heart and soul. What I really want my friends and family to understand is that sometimes even though I have moved through each step along the way, it hasn’t been without going through a process of grieving. Like thinking that the baby will not have my eyes or any part of me – it is not going to stop me from doing this donor egg cycle but it does take a bit of grieving to move past it. I grew up wanting a child of my own. Then I discovered that we wouldn’t be able to conceive a child naturally and had to move through the process to acceptance. Then I discovered that I didn’t respond to the IVF drugs well, then that my eggs were not good and would need to go to donor eggs – I am still moving to acceptance on that one. It is all part of the process that I go through to think about things, analyse, grieve and move on. The girls were so wonderful and my friend Preggo said ‘thank you SO much for explaining it that way – it has really helped me to understand’ she also apologised for being flippant, which I didn’t need her to do, I wasn’t offended, just wanted them to understand. It makes me so happy that they do.

So, it’s time to move back to IVF ghosts past with IVF cycle 3. As most of you would understand, going to egg collection and having no eggs retrieved was devastating but when we went back to our fertility specialist, he had another protocol idea up his sleeve for us to try. I honestly cannot remember very much of that appointment with the specialist, it was only a few days after the cycle was cancelled so I was still numb at the time. For this cycle the Puregon was pumped up to the highest amount legally able to be used in Australia and we tried with an antagonist injection of Orgalutran rather than the Syneral nasal spray I had had previously. That cycle, I focussed only on what was immediately in front of me. When I had my meeting with my patient coordinator, she asked how I was and I broke down sobbing in her office. Also at this time, work for me was becoming unbearable. At the first ultrasound, I was so afraid to go – I didn’t want it cancelled like the first time. I had 3 follicles, a small record for me at the time (you may laugh). The day of the egg collection was the worst though. This time they took me in first because they wouldn’t do the needle biopsy on Journey Man unless I actually had eggs at collection. When I woke up, the first thing that I did again was to check my hand to see if there was anything written on it, there was nothing. I started crying and couldn’t stop. I asked the next nurse who came around if she knew if Journey Man was taken if for his procedure because then I would have known for sure we had at least one egg but the nurse said that she didn’t know. I continued to quietly weep and had a cup of tea and a couple of bites of sandwich in recovery. After awhile, to my surprise, I saw Journey Man being wheeled in and I went over to see him. The first thing that he said to me was ‘we have an egg, we have an egg’ – I kissed and hugged him, I felt so much joy at that moment. After that, he promptly went back to sleep and started snoring.

The joy was sure lived when the doctor came to see us and gave us a big lecture on how low the odds were that this egg would fertilise and even last 2 days to be viable at embryo transfer. Happily, the next day (Saturday) I received a call from the nurse that the super egg had fertilised and the transfer was set for Monday. We actually made it to transfer and of course the two week wait was tortuous, I was obsessed. I indulged in pregnant fantasies but it all came to a screeching halt when the bitch AF came. I was upset again and howled my heart out again and once again, I beat myself up mercilessly for even having a small amount of hope. After a couple of days, I did start to see the positive in the situation. At least we got an egg, at least we got to transfer, these were all new things surely I would be successful next time? This time, I waiting a few weeks before seeing the specialist and wrote a list of questions (I think I had 22 in all) for him – poor bastard didn’t even see me coming. We decided to have a break of a few months to get ourselves together.

That is the story of IVF#3 and it is quite weird to me that it is the least memorable. I don’t know if I was still totally numb from IVF#2 or that I was becoming jaded by it all but that cycle is the one that I remember the least details of. I feel like I had very low expectations and those expectations were met.

Well, it’s late – I have exorcised another ghost – thanks for reading....

Journey Girl

P.S. The appointment with the haematologist is on Thursday – not long now!


  1. Congrats on choosing an egg donor! I can imagine that must bring you some relief and excitement.

    I can totally understand not remembering a lot of that last IVF. I am sure you were in a fog. You had made it so far only to lose again.

    Gook luck at your appt!

  2. Choosing the egg donor was the most difficult part of the DE/IVF process for me (waiting was hard, too, but still a very close second to choosing the donor) so I'm very glad to hear you are over this "obstacle."

    That part about friends and family not understanding that there is a grieving process to it all is so true. It's wonderful you can share these things with your friends and have them understand. What a wonderful circle of support you have!

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