Wednesday, August 27, 2008

IVF Cycle 2: Shocker

I went into my clinic today to get the early results of the stimulation drugs.

I seem to be what is known as a "low responder". The point of IVF is to get a decent number of follicles as not every follicle contains an egg and not every egg fertilises. Other women I know can get around 20 follicles or more on the same doseage of the stimulation drugs as me.

My first IVF cycle, when I got pregnant, I got nine follicles and only two eggs, which is a very low response and I was extremely lucky to get pregnant. Last cycle, I got four follicles initially, which went down to two, and the cycle was nearly cancelled. No miracle pregnancy that time.

It's been a worry to me because we are only allowed three tries with our original donor and we are already one down.

My specialist prefers a cautious approach to the drugs, which can have some pretty bad side effects, but he agreed to raise my doseage of stimulation drugs from 150 to 200, which is just a little above average dose. I tried to argue him up even higher, but he wouldn't agree.

Despite my fears, I have been feeling positive and was optimistic that we would get a good result this morning, but it was a shocker.

My response was so low that it took them ages and two ultrasound nurses to even find any response at all. I can't tell you how humiliating it is to lie there with a camera up your clacker while nurses dig around for what seems like forever until they finally find two tiny follicles.

It was devastating. I hate to cry, but I had to go hide in the bathroom and sit there weeping and hyperventilating. Then I cried in the clinic, all the way back on the bus (extra humiliation of concerned strangers) and tears are starting even now, three hours later.

I had almost forgotten how much I hate this. What a horrible, miserable experience it is to feel like such a failure.

And now I have to go off to work and pretend everything is fine.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

IVF Cycle 2

We have started our second IVF cycle and already it sucks.

Synarel is a very evil drug. It's one of a number of drugs the clinic can use to shut down the patient's normal cycle before they start resurrecting it and putting it into overdrive to produce multiple eggs. Side effects include: hot flushes, headaches, mood changes (including depression), muscle and joint pain, tiredness, insomnia and changes in blood pressure and weight. It's like pre-menstrual tension multiplied by 1,000.

Basically, I am a very tired, sleepless, grumpy woman with a continuous bad headache experiencing huge emotional lows, even aside from the fact that I have just thrown my life into turmoil and paid big money for this experience. I am more than happy to have someone to take all this out on.

So you will appreciate just what a bad idea it was for the Big Dude to completely forget to call the clinic this Saturday to get my initial results. He did this at the worst possible time - right when when I was expecting to take the stimulation drugs the next day and had no one to call to find out if I should take them or not because the clinic promptly closed for the weekend.

IVF is a very sensitive process. You have to do exactly the right thing at exactly the right time. So this was not a small error. This was putting the entire cycle in jeopardy after I have already been through three weeks of this. Also, it would be our fault it failed, so potentially no refund.

The fact is, the man just hasn't been focusing on what we're doing here. His head is so full of the Olympics and other things he is more interested in, that he really just hasn't registered how important this is or how much crap I am going through with very little support from him.

I would like to say that I feel bad about yelling at him, because that would make me a nicer person. Actually, I am not at all sorry. I yell at the Big Dude about once every three years and at least it gets his damn attention.

One of these days, some woman's husband is going to get killed for forgetting to make clinic calls when his wife is on Synarel. No jury of that woman's (very grumpy) peers would convict her.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

He's Gone

I had one of those emails from my dad a few weeks ago: one of those send-money-immediately e-mails.

My heart sank. Regular readers will know that this has happened before - in fact, over and over again. The first stage of these dramas with dad is always a request for some money. The second stage is a request for even more money. The third stage is the news that he is stuck in jail somewhere in Asia and it will take thousands of dollars and endless running around to get him out.

My dad is now so hopelessly grandiose and demanding that he doesn't even have the sense to keep people who are trying to help him on his side. He went to the Australian Embassy for help. When he didn't get what he wanted right away, he demanded to see the consul. When the consul came down, genuinely attempting to investigate his case, dad punched him in the face and had to be escorted off the premises by security.

But also, he has finally alienated my sister, who is the one person who has stuck by him all these years and kept saving him from himself. They had a huge argument after the last time this happened and she is barely speaking to him.

Previously, my sister has rescued dad every time, even when she has said she won't. This time, she did finally succeed in drawing a line. She refused to give him any of her own money and simply sent him a card by which he could access the amount he'd asked for (but no more) from his own bank account in Australia. She also told him there would be no more.

I have been quietly worrying about him since then. I have told myself over and over again that I can't allow him to manipulate me any more, and that I need to support my sister in taking a stand, but its been difficult, wondering if he is safe. Until today, the last I'd heard was that he was sleeping rough outside the local police station for his own safety.

And the latest news is only partly good. The embassy says that dad has accessed his money and also his pension and appears to be in no further trouble. Stages 2 and 3 have not (yet) been reached. He has also told them that he plans to live in Cambodia permanently.

I should be pleased. He is safe and apparently okay and out of my hair. I don't have that problem to deal with any more. Now that he knows there is no money coming from us, I suspect that he won't even bother to stay in contact. My dad is not the type to hang around just for emotional conversations.

But instead, I just feel very sad. He's gone. He's gone for good. I will probably never fully reconcile with him now and never resolve those jumbled feelings of love and rage, guilt and frustration.

He's gone.

Sunday, August 03, 2008

I Love You

Yesterday was a red-letter day in my life.

My Little Dude and I were playing contentedly with his trains and he suddenly looked over at me with a quiet, solemn gaze and said, "Mummy, I love you". It was the first time ever.

My boy loves me! And, at two and a half years old, he can say so!

Recently, during some unusual work-related training, I was asked what I would do if I was told I had only six months to live.

Now, previously I would have assumed that what I would want to do if I knew my time was limited would be to travel the world, enjoy the kind of passionate, sweaty, energetic sex I can't get at home, and throw myself into all kinds of adventures I haven't had. After all, my life is kind of boring, right? Kind of unsatisfactory on a number of fronts.

Actually, I found out that, if that was the case, what I would want to do was spend the next six months making sure my Dudes knew how much I loved them. I wouldn't leave them to go have adventures somewhere else, away from them. All I could picture myself doing was writing letters, making videos of messages, for all the birthdays and christmases that I would miss, all saying the same thing: I love you. I'm thinking of you. Even if I am dead, my love for you is not dead. It will last forever.

I love my Dudes and I am loved in return. I am a very lucky woman.

Friday, August 01, 2008

Feeling Good

Okay, so I lied about July. Not lied, exactly - just failed to fulfil my good intentions.

In the meantime, I've travelled for work, I've actually managed to chase up some (face to face) friends, I've looked after my Dudes and I've had house guests.

But it's early August and I'm back, baby!

And kindly giving me something to write about, my Big Dude interrupted our evening this week to tell me not to make other plans because we would be "busy" later.

It'd been a while. I'm not sure how long, exactly, but it might have been as much as three months since we were busy in that particular way.

And oh, it was nice. Very nice. There was deep kissing. There was holding and caressing and grabbing. There was enthusiasm and affection and intimacy. There were three orgasms - one for him and two for me.

So, despite the fact that I have just come back from the clinic where I signed up for another gruelling, expensive and probably heart-rending IVF cycle, I'm feeling good. Very good.

How about you?