Archive for November, 2008

And Then More Crashing and Burning

So after my downhill plummet after the EPU and several days of recovery on the couch, transfer day arrived.  We had been anxiously calling the clinic each day to check on the progress of our 9 embryos and unbelievably all had survived.  Then just before we were ready to leave L started spotting.  Total panic – we rang the clinic and nervously waited to hear the verdict.  After about an hour of stressing, the clinic called to say that L should take an extra progynova tablet and to come in as planned., and our FS would make a decision once he saw us.  So we headed for L’s accupunture appointment and I paced the tiny waiting room.

Once at the clinic L was prepped for transfer and we were still not sure if it was actually going ahead.  But our FS was quietly confident that it wouldn’t be a problem and I held L’s hand while one of my AA grade embryos was carefully transfer into her.  After the mandatory rest period (for her) and more pacing (for me) we headed back to the accupunturist for the second appointment of the day.  The stress of the day could’ve ended there.

BUT

For some reason I went into a downward spiral after the transfer.  The last update we’d had prior to arriving at the clinic was that all our 9 embryos were going strong.  However in the hours between that phone conversation and going for transfer, we only ended up with 3 blastocysts.  With the added stress of L spotting I just freaked out.  I was convinced that everything was going wrong and we would ended up with our usual story – BFN cycle and no frozen embryos in the freezer.  I quietly panicked and tried to keep my sense of despair to myself – only to start a vicious arguement with L a couple of hours later – over the damn coffee table of all things!  We screamed and shouted and behaved badly to each other (mainly me to her of course) and then I cried my eyes out.  Twice in a week.  Suddenly my “I don’t cry arguement” is sounding a little hollow.

Somehow we found our way back to each other.  And after feeling terribly guilty and anxious that I had caused so much stress in possibly the first few hours of my offsprings life, I suddenly felt hopeful.  Hopeful.  Such a little word but the power of that one word is huge.  I hadn’t allowed myself to be truly hopeful about a cycle since L’s first pregnancy ended two and a half years ago.  Since then I have hovered somewhere between sad, nervous, anxious, bored, frustrated, angry, depressed and bitter.  The longer the ttc journey was taking, the worse my mental health was suffering.

We had put much thought into our journey, we’d planned and replanned, and researched and communicated and worked and strengthened relationships between the three of us and prepared for our baby.  Yet that was the one thing we couldn’t seem to get, despite our efforts.  When we first started planning to have a baby, we didn’t know any lesbians having children.  Three years later we seemed to be the only ones without a child, and I wasn’t sure how much more I could take watching everyone else get what we so desperately wanted.  I was turning into someone I didn’t even like very much.

But there is always hope right?

Crash and Burn

So the day after EPU we headed off to our most sedate Fair Day experience ever.  Usually I have the enough gear to survive several weeks in the desert and I am there waiting for the gates to open.  The week leading up to the day is spent emailing and texting plans with everyone, deciding where to sit and who should bring what and where we’ll head to afterwards to continue celebrating.  I love that my birthday is always around the same time – and I consider Fair Day my personal celebration.  This year of course we weren’t even sure we would make it.  We were conspicuously quiet about our plans and told a few friends we were tied up with fertility treatment without giving any details.  It was actually easier than I thought – mainly due to so many friends being away this year, and our main social circle having started to disintigrate several months earlier due to gay boy pride (as opposed to Gay Pride).  The irony.

We managed to wander around enough to be seen and catch up with some friends.  Mainly we hung out with some good friends (and their precious baby girl) who knew exactly what was happening.  We nervously phoned the clinic and found out that out of the 13 eggs that were big enough, 9 had fertilised.  I felt pretty good all in all, and we headed home for a quiet night.  What a change a couple of years of fertility treatment makes.

The next morning I crashed severely.  I woke up in absolute agony and cried hysterically.  Poor L totally freaked out – I don’t cry very often.  In fact, in six and a half years she has seen me cry about 5 times, which isn’t a lot considering everything we have been through in that time.  She rang the clinic and they told her to bring me straight in for a blood test to check for OHSS.  We then had to ring my Dad and tell him we wouldn’t be able to make it to his 60th birthday.  L told him I had gastro and needed to go to hospital for an injection to stop the vomiting.  She is such a bad liar, but my Dad didn’t seem to notice.  I felt absolutely terrible for not being there – it was his first “milestone” birthday since my Mum died in 2001, and I felt very guilty that I wasn’t there to share it with him.  I consoled myself that if everything worked out, giving him a much wanted grandchild would make up for it.

Four days of becoming one with the couch and I felt almost human again.  I realised how much I love our couches.  Our friends have exactly the same ones and theirs always look so pristine.  Ours always look like they have come from the Rolling Stones tour bus, and have done since quite early on in our relationship.  But no matter how trashed and squashed they look, how many odd socks live underneath them, how the cushions refuse to sit up properly, they are unbelievably comfortable – and were my lifesaver.  Well, that and a gorgeous devoted girlfriend on hand to supply favourite foods, magazines and DVD’s galore!

Who’s Eggs in Whose Basket (Part Two)

So anyway – after a monumental meltdown of epic proportions (even by my standards) I regrouped and we headed into our next effort of trying to harvest some of my eggs.  Our FS upped my dosage and the injections began again.  Truthfully the needles didn’t bother me that much – I thank a mispent youth of self-piercings and other reckless hobbies!  But the thought of another cancelled cycle terrified me.  So it was with much relief that the first blood test showed level of 1300, much higher from the last cycle.

Following blood tests showed nicely rising levels and internal ultrasound showed some nice sized follicles, which was reassuring.  The only glitch in the situation was the cancelled cycle had meant we were cutting it fine to avoid EPU on my birthday or Fair Day (start of the Pride Celebrations in Perth).  My absolute love for Fair Day is well known among our friends – me not showing up would certainly not go unnoticed.  Which would make keeping things a secret from people slightly more difficult.

As it was I triggered on Thursday night – meaning EPU was scheduled for lunch time on my 29th birthday.  On the one hand I felt this was pretty lucky but I was kind of miffed it wasn’t a day earlier so my eggs were still a year younger (at least on paper).  We told a few friends were we in the midst of treatment (without mentioning it was actually me, not Lone, having treatment) and managed to fob off family and everyone else and were all set.  Except that it turns out I didn’t cope with everything when the time actually came.

Firstly, in my defence, I have never had any kind of surgery.  I have never been in hospital more than a quick trip to emergency for various minor incidents (ok inhaling exit mould was not so minor but you get the picture).  I hate anything medical, and have been known to not set foot in a doctors surgery for years at a time.  I really believe that your first time surgery should not involve “no knickers” and stirrups.  Seriously.

I totally freaked out.  FS was running late and I had to sit in the inner waiting room wearing my gown and ridiculous socks for almost 2 hours.  A nurse made the mistake of asking what I was thinking about and when I replied, “I am wondering if I can make a break for it and whether I could catch a taxi in a backless gown” she raced off to get L to come and sit with me.  Big mistake.  I was scared and angry and feeling very vulnerable – not my best time.  So I glared at L and refused to speak to her until I got taken into theatre.  She rang J in tears, thinking that I hated her for having to do this.  He was his usual calm self and reassured her that sometimes I really am just a brat and just to ignore me because I would forget all about it afterwards.

I woke up in theatre all sweetness and light – and apparently first words out of my mouth were, “Did I talk under anaesthetic?”  I am still astounded that I didn’t utter a single word.  L came very tentatively to see me (expecting another glare) and was greeted by a somewhat drugged up totally loving partner saying how much I loved her.  If only I could’ve said all that an hour earlier!  Both of us were totally stunned to hear we got 20 eggs!  Just before surgery the embryologist told us from my levels they were expecting 8 so that was a massive difference.  So 29 didn’t turn out to be such a shitty birthday after all.