Game on.

Yipee! I finally received my treatment plan yesterday afternoon. It would seem that the clinics email server was down for two days. I’m sure they got bombarded once they went back up, and not only by me either.  So I can now relax. Our flights, accommodation and hire car are booked and paid for, all is well with our donor and her screening.

The loose schedule

  • Depart Melbourne – 20 March
  • Arrive Cape Town  – 21 March
  • Lining scan –  22 March
  • Estimated Egg Pick Up – 24 March
  • Estimated Transfer – 29 March
  • Depart Cape Town – 2 April
  • BT – 8 April

I need to send off my treatment plan to my fertility specialist here so she can add in her tweaks – God knows how long that might take. If she doesn’t get back to me, I’ll just sort of wing it going on the last plan she gave me. We did have a quick chat in our last appointment and she said to start the antibiotics, prednisolone and clexane when I started estridol, so I don’t think there’s too much to worry about there.

So now I get my medications and wait for my period. Judging by my tests and my boobs, I ovulated last week and she should turn up on Wed next week.



It’s Oh So Quiet…

Everything has gone quiet with my nurse at CFC. Her last correspondence with me was last Friday saying my donor had been screened the day before, the results weren’t in but everything should be ready to send on Monday this week.  No problem I thought, that’s reasonable, I can make it through the weekend…

Then Monday came.  I checked my world clock and waited excitedly by my email at the time my nurse would start work. Nothing. Like a teenage girl waiting for a her crush to call I sent myself a test email to make sure it was all working ok.  Yep… no issues on my end.  And I waited… at 11pm my time, which is almost her knock off time I sent an email. Just checking to see if all was ok with the results?  and waited up until 1am to see if she would respond. Nothing.

Pissed off, I went to bed with one ear open for my ‘you’ve got mail’ chime. Nothing.

Tuesday night. Nothing. At midnight Tuesday I send her another email to ask again politely what’s going on? I don’t get her normal immediate ‘out of office’ reply stating her hours of work.  I email the donor agency I used to see if they can shed any light. I just want to know if the results were ok… I can wait a few more days for the treatment plan. But I just want things to be ok with our donor.

Wednesday night. Nothing

Thursday I wake up to an email bounce-back to the email I sent on Tuesday night.  So this morning I emailed my Doctor directly to see what is going on. I’m sure fertility specialists love being bothered with admin stuff, but now I’m just kinda pissed off. And I can’t help thinking I’ve sent $4k overseas to Africa and suddenly all communication has ceased. Thank God I have been on the fertilityfriends and bubhub boards for over a year now so I know it’s not a scam, but imagine if I had no prior knowledge of this clinic?  Believe me, my nurse will hear about this once I am there.  All it takes is a simple ‘things aren’t ready yet’ or ‘it will be with you by the end of the week’ to appease someone. Ceasing all communication only worries and antagonises people.

Imposter Mama…

I had one of those awkward moments the other day – I’d been at an appointment in the city and was in the car park paying for my parking when the ticket machine went a bit haywire, it took my $50 but was taking forever to give me my change. While the machine was having conniptions I noticed a woman was waiting behind me, I gave her an apologetic smile and said. “It’s taking forever to come out!” and she laughed, “Yeah kinda like giving birth!” She exclaimed. I was a bit taken aback but then nodded heartily in agreement and laughed along with her. Who was I to ruin her joke? “Ha! Exactly!”  I said, and at that moment I realised I was an imposter mama.  I then had a vision of how funny it would be if I started off on my infertility life story, “Oh God, Birth?  I wouldn’t know about that, I’ve just done my 6th round of IVF but it ended in a miscarriage…so now I’m going halfway around the world to use the eggs of a 22 year old… talk about taking forever!” Now that would be awkward.  I’ve done it before, just gone along with these conversations with strangers when they make an assumption given my age that I would have kids and I always feel a degree of satisfaction when I do it… hey it keeps me entertained.

So a bit has happened in the last week and at the same time, absolutely nothing has happened. Our donor was due for screening last Tuesday but was apparently hopsitalised with dehydration due to gastroenteritis. I got the email on Thursday to let me know that it would have to be rescheduled to the 13th.  I won’t lie, I was pretty upset on the day and torn in a lot of ways because I feel bad that she is sick, but also so frustrated with all the waiting I’ve already done, only to have to wait another week.  Mr Practical (my husband) came out with his practical arsenal; “There’s nothing we can do Hon…” and “Another week isn’t going to make much difference…”  Gah!  I did calm down after a few hours, but was still in a crappy mood all day as a result.

In other news, I had my appointment with the hematologist today which went pretty well. He’s not too concerned with me using estrogen or flying considering I have Factor V Lieden, he says clexane will eliminate the problem – he seems to think my consistently low platelet counts indicate possible Idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura [ITP] that’s another fantastic ailment to go with my Methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase! [MTHFR] – it’s not too serious in my case and is normally managed with predisolone which I’ll be on anyway. He also said my red blood cells were a bit high so sent me off for more testing, but I’m breathing a sigh of relief that so far he’s not alarmed. There’s nothing like looking at someones business card and seeing Hematologist/Oncologist to put the fear of God into you.

So now I wait for Thursday and just pray the donor is not having second thoughts. Husband is off tomorrow on his world tour and back on the 3rd so I’m home alone and there’ll be no one to reel me back in if there’s another set back. God help us all, I might just have to blog it out.

Holiday time

We are currently on holidays up north visiting my parents and it’s been a very welcome break from the fertility grindstone of the last 12 months. Husband needed this more than myself in a lot of ways I think – he works so hard. I’m just sort of coasting through my job at the moment, it enables us to do IVF and fertility treatments, but I don’t exactly LOVE what I do anymore. I don’t hate it, but I don’t love it. I think if I had 12 months off on maternity leave it might re-ignite my fire a bit, but for now I just want a break and I want to be a mother.

I have been working since I was 10, yes 10… full time since I was 14, I’ve always been fiercely independent and that drove me to get out of dodge as soon as I could (an alcoholic mother also fanned that fire a bit as well).  I started my working life as a chef because my family are all in hospitality and it is what I knew how to do, then moved into music journalism (a really natural transition right? ) and now I work in book publishing.

The company I am with right now is great – they have treated me really well and I’ve been there 10 years this year working my way up the ladder, but I’m tired and I want for more. Over the years I’ve seen co-workers get pregnant, sometimes more than once and while I’m happy for them, I’ve always wondered when it would be my turn.

I have to say my darkest years were when I had just broken up with my first husband because the thought of a baby was just so far away that it seemed impossible.  I was in the dating wasteland for 4 years until I met my new and improved husband. Let me tell you nothing makes you feel more infertile than not having a partner – in this whole time of IVF, I’ve never felt less hope than I did when I was single and not able to afford (nor have the courage) to do fertility treatment by myself .

It just so happened that in this same time frame all my friends started to have their families. I was suddenly being invited to 1 year old birthday parties not Bill Callahan shows and to my credit in the first couple of years I did actually attend, but when you’re the only single girl at a kids birthday party, your singledom kind of sticks out like a sore thumb.

I feel now that we are on the verge of the next chapter in our life. A lot of the conversations on this break have been about the upcoming trip to Cape Town and the donor cycle.  Talking my parents through the process and setting their expectations.  We dare to hope, but at the same time reel ourselves back in.  It’s getting more and more surreal and more and more real as the dates get closer.

We bought our donor a token gift at the market on Saturday, an Australian opal pendant. The woman at the store was asking who the gift was for.  “A friend…” I said. But she’s more than that and the pendant seems insignificant to the opportunity she is affording us.

Our donor begins her testing tomorrow but I don’t feel nervous about it, if she’s been honest in her profile (and I am sure she has), I know she’ll see this through, and at the end of the week we will have our treatment dates.

In all honesty, going back to work tomorrow will be a blessing, to help time pass more quickly.