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Life as we know it for us is full of twists and turns which effect us in many different ways.  So far we have found out we cant have children, I have lost weight (and continuing still to lose more to get to my goal weight), made the wait list for public funding for IVF treatments, and began the emotional journey of waiting to start our treatments. This is no easy feet!

There are so many emotions that I am going through (and Todd as well), just last week I went through some emotional times where I thought my body was doing one thing but surprise surprise it tricked me and laughed at me.

I was due for my period and when it didn’t come like it has been previously (finally getting into routine with regular monthly periods) on the date it was meant to I went into overdrive thinking what if!!! What if we did succeed and we were the 1% and it was a miracle that we could be pregnant?  I mentioned this to Todd and we agreed that if it wasn’t here by the weekend we would by a test! I swear that the universe was laughing at me hearing me say that…..a few hours later I got my period and a nasty nasty painful surprise.

I started getting period pains from the moment it arrived but, like normal period pains they didn’t subside and as the morning went on the pains become more and more intense and I ended up doubling over, the room began spinning, I ended up laying down on the floor trying to get to the couch in the staff room.  I felt like I was going to be sick and the intense pains continued to come in waves more and more intense at each wave.  I ended up in the toilet on the floor in the fetal position.   My lovely and caring bosses came, looked at me and made the decision to take me to the hospital (shorecare) as she mentioned it could be something else….all I could think about was the pain, not passing out and what could be happening to me (all the while pale, sweating and trying not to vomit).

We ended up there and they made me go toilet to do a urine sample which ended up a pregnancy test.  A little while later the result came in there was no HSG levels in my body so i wasn’t pregnant and never was! I felt another wave of emotion come over me!! I knew deep down I could not be pregnant but because I was late there was a slim chance….but no it turns out the slim chance was reduced to no chance.  I was given tremadol and was told that it looked like period pains!! SERIOUSLY!! FRIGGEN PERIOD PAINS!! WTF!! Seriously!! I have had pains before but for some reason I have never had something like this!! I felt like such a dick being told it was only period pains!! I’m like this has never happened before, so I was so upset and confused as to why this happened!!

I am now worried that next month are the pains going to be like this again? I dont want to go through this ever again!!! Im also going to be going to the doctor next week to work out why this is happening!!! As I know this shouldnt happen not to this extent!

I am going through a period (not that kind) of looking at everything baby related…..pins on pinterest, baby items on webpages and clothes!! I am longing to purchase these things….I was sitting down before with Todd and felt this urge and feeling like something was mission and it was a baby! I am having a lull moment of being down and wanting the year to roll around for us to start our treatments.  I want to start a list of things that we need to get for this baby, however Todd ( and deep down I know as well)  has said that we shouldnt start and I should wait until we get the confirmation that we are! It just is so heart breaking and sole distroying to have this longing and not knowing when or if we will become parents!! Sitting down at this moment in time it is just Todd and I in our lounge, but I cant stop but think what would it be like with a baby of our own here with us! I think of this and get sad and almost start crying knowing that right now in the moment it might not happen!! I have all these visions of what I want to buy, how I want the nursery set up and the clothes (and cloth nappies) I want to buy for our child.  But right now all I can do is just sit and think, and not hit purchase on the websites of baby clothes or furniture just in this moment in time.

I am happy that I have made one purchase….its an IVF Journal which arrived the other day. It consists of pages for appointments, drug doses and times where I need to take them.  I am also going to purchase Journey cards which will be another element in our documentation of our journey.

For now however I just have to keep trucking on, lose weight, hold Todd tight and pray for our turn to come up!

XXOO

As part of using science to help us have a family I need to go through tests for many things that sheds light on my body information that helps with my treatment on our IVF journey.  
Did you know….. “The ovaries contain the greatest number of eggs before
a girl is born, around two million. By the time she has reached puberty the average number has fallen to about 300,000, by the mid-30s it is 30,000, and at menopause the number has fallen to fewer than 1000. Most of these
eggs degenerate and are absorbed well before they ever
get to the stage of ovulation. About 10% of women experience menopause five years earlier than average – around 45 years of age instead of 50 – and their fertility also declines five years earlier than average. For 1% of women their loss of fertility is even faster and they can enter menopause by the age of 40. Women who lose their fertility earlier have either fewer eggs to start
with or lose their eggs faster than average as they age.
The number of eggs still left in the ovary is called ‘ovarian reserve’. Estimating ovarian reserve can be
useful to help:
• Identify women who should plan having a family
sooner because they are likely to lose their fertility
earlier than average
• Predict the number of eggs that will mature in
response to IVF drugs
• Predict over-response to IVF drugs” (information provided from Fertility Associates New Zealand).
One of the ways that can estimate how many eggs a woman carries and obtain in an ivf cycles is from having an amh test done.   AMH stands for Anti-Mullerian Hormone. It can help predict how many eggs you are likely to obtain in an IVF cycle. It may also identify women who may undergo early menopause, and therefore who may lose their fertility earlier than average. Although an AMH test can help pick up those who might lose their fertility more quickly, it cannot show who is more fertile than average, nor does it predict ovarian reserve in women with Polycystic Ovaries (PCO).
I was asked at our first appointment with our fertility doctor to get this test done.  I was scared and not wanting to go for this as I feared the worst possible outcome – I wouldnt have any eggs at all and then our journey would be very complicated.  Never the less I went for the test and as I sat there it suddenly hit me that this blood test is the start of the needles that will be pressed into my body!! I was a little scared about this and almost cried in the seat!!
I waited two weeks then rang the nurse at the clinic who informed me that I had quite a high reading of the AMH which was actually common with woman who suffers from PCOS! I asked what this meant for our ivf cycle…..she mentioned to me it would just mean that I would be on a lower dose of drugs for our cycle as they didnt want overstimulate my body.  We would gain more information in our next appointment….which I then also found out when this would be and when we would start our cycle!!
All I can say now is exciting times are going to happen for us soon!!!

So this waiting game is so hard!!

We made the public funding weight list back in November 2017, with being told that the wait time would be around 12 to 14 months.  I thought to myself that yes this is going to be great we can survive this! It was a time to celebrate and be happy that we are going to be having the chance to try for a baby.

But then it soon became clear that this elation of making the list was short lived as we returned to our every day lives, hoping and praying the days come to an end sooner so that our letter will come in the mail.

I have come to learn that this is something that I have wanted like nothing else before.  Every time I hear or see shop advertisements for baby item sales, or hear that people are planning to have a baby, get pregnant I want to break down and cry.  Every time someone says to me Oh you will make a good mum one day I can see how you are with these children (I’m an early childhood teacher) or I get asked the questions of so do you have any children, or when are you going to start trying? I want to cry.  In fact I did cry the other day, when a co worker said to me as I was giving a baby their bottle, that I would make an amazing mum! It took everything in me not to burst into tears in front of her.  She knows that I am going to go through IVF as I have not hidden it from my co workers.  She went on to tell me that she couldnt have children and she adopted her son! I tried so hard not to cry in that moment but tears just fell down my face as she told me the exact moment of her adopting her son!  I went into the sleep room to put that child to bed.  I stayed in there for a little while and cried pure tears of sadness, wishing that it was so easy for me to get pregnant, that adoption in New Zealand didnt have these hoops to jump through and that I could be in fact a mum!

I get really upset and frustrated at that question “do you have children” or “when are you going to have children?” These are the questions in which I have stopped asking people long ago.  As I dont know what they are going through and if its anything like my situation then I know how they feel every time someone says something like that.  It eats me up just a little bit at a time, knowing I cant answer them.  But recently I decided that I would tell people the exact answer in my mind to them.  I am trying, we are on the IVF wait list and when our turn comes up we will be having a baby! I feel that people dont know my situation, they dont know but I shouldnt be afraid of telling people who ask.  Its the truth and its real and I feel that more communication and openness needs to be happening in relation to making IVF a non talked about subject.

Tomorrow I am going to get a blood test done, testing my AMH levels.  This is an important blood test which gives an indication of likely menopausal age, likely reproductive time frame and likely response to drugs in an IVF cycle (how many eggs you are likely to get). AMH also can be used to confirm polycystic ovary syndrome and gives a guide to egg quality. However what AMH cannot tell you is whether you are going to have a baby.

So I am worried about this!! It is a test which can make or break what is going to happen in our IVF journey! It is an important test which will give me a lot of answers to a million questions that I have going on in my mind!

I am going to think positive and just go from there.  It is the only thing we can do right now….oh and just wish the year would end so that we know where we are standing!!

I’ve decided to believe and have faith love and baby dust!!

 

 

 

We made it!!!!

We did it!!!! we made the list!!!! We are on the waitlist for our ivf treatments!!!

So we went into the appointment not knowing what the outcome would be…and boy we were surprised!!!

The lady we met for our appointment was super supportive. She wanted to know about my history and stuff. She then asked about my height and weight….this was something that I had been dreading!!!! but it was super relaxed as I told her and then told her how much I had lost. She was so impressed with how much weight I had lost she proudly put me on the list!!! I have to get some blood test done when I have my period for finding out about my egg quality..(which I am a bit worried about) and need to send my scans that diagnosed my pcos into the clinic.  But its happening!! I am so happy!!!

We were so over the moon and I started asking a million question.

We got the letter yesterday AND its has been the letter we have been waiting for.  This letter is so exciting and so now the wait begins for us to start our journey.

I am hoping that we don’t have to wait to long….I am hoping that we will be called up after 6 months.  So I have decided that next year in June I will be starting to take the woman’s multi vitamins for producing good eggs!!

But for now we can relax a little bit, knowing that we have a journey which we know will test both of us!!

So just like the title says….today can change our future!!

Today is the day we get told whether we are on the public funding list!!! Today is the day that we have been waiting for a very long time for.  However it did not happen like the previous post I wrote about.  This appointment is a day earlier.

Last Friday we got a phone call stating that our appointment has been cancelled and that they placed a new date on.  This new date was for the 13th December about two weeks after the first appointment….I was not happy.  So Monday (This Monday just been) I rang them up, stated that I was not happy at all because we had been waiting for this appointment for such a long time and had been emotionally ready for this date.  The lady then had a look at the appointment and found that there was an opening on Thursday at 330.  So without a second thought I grabbed that appointment.  Then I got on the phone and thought about it….SHIT…FUCK…it was in three days time!! My bmi was coming down but I didnt know that it would be enough.

So after some drastic measures I have gotten my bmi down to 32!! Exactly!! I am over joyed at this so much.

Now its a waiting game to the appointment!! I am nervous even though I am at bmi requirements!!

Will write another blog soon…

xxoo

 

This is a letter which came in the mail the other day.  This is a letter which means so much for the journey so far and for the continuation of the journey that we are on for our dream of becoming parents. This letter has been a long time coming and could change and will change the outcome of our future. As you can see this is a letter in which myself alongside Todd have been waiting for, for a very long time.

You see this letter is to confirm our very first appointment on the 1st December 2017 with Fertility Plus! This letter is one step forward in our journey with infertility and IVF.

This letter also means that this date is the date in which it all rests upon my shoulders (oh and the Dr who is seeing us and who makes the decision) to have made the 32 BMI reading to then be put on the waitlist.  This is the date where all the hard work that I have been putting into my health pays off! This is the date that the Dr will see not just that I have been losing weight for being placed on this list, but also I have been losing weight to get healthy (long before we ever knew we would be using IVF).

The night that Todd and I got the letter we were sitting down on the couch and dreaming about our future together!  Is it wrong of us to do this? Is it wrong of us to assume and want the best for our future?  We were dreaming about the future and putting the dates in our minds of when it could potentially happen for us to be successful at our rounds of IVF and have the family that we have been dreaming about.

We worked out that if we are placed on the list that day, then it would be this time in a year that we would maybe be starting our treatments.  The wait list time for Auckland is about 12 months, however the information that we have gained highlights that people constantly drop out of the list and the wait time gets shorter.  So we are hoping that our wait time on the list will only be about 11 – 12 months and no longer! So like I mentioned before this time next year we could be starting our treatments.  This would also lead us into January or February 2019 we could be pregnant! This is the year in which we have chosen to get married! We have chosen our date for November 2019.  So give or take a few months by the time we have our wedding in November I hopefully would have either given birth or be nearly about to have a baby!  Wow imagine that! That would be some year for us! But somehow I feel that that is the year in which it all is going to happen for us! I don’t know why I am getting this feeling but I can’t stop feeling that this is the year that it will all happen.

Part of me want to start buying little things in preparation for a baby! For example I keep seeing all these cute little outfits that I would like to purchase, or have seen a cute soft toy that I feel needs to come home with me.  But Todd doesn’t want to start buying stuff so soon, just in case things might not work out the way that we both want.

But I am also being realistic about this as well, as I know that IVF cycles don’t always have the greatest success rates first time around. But I want to buy these things and live in hope. For me I feel that if I feel positive then positive things are going to happen.  I want to so buy these things and live in hope, but at the same time I want to have the same understandings around this journey that Todd has.  However I am hoping that all of the work that I am putting my body through, that this hard work will pay off and the prize be a healthy embryo which sticks and grows into a beautiful baby!

So until December 1st rolls around I have to keep sticking to my routine of making healthy choices and exercising as much as I can (despite the arm constantly giving me the most painful pains in the world, but that’s another blog….and another  x ray and ultra sound day) to get to my goal of making the BMI level of 32 for public funding list and join the thousands of other couples from around New Zealand waiting for their turn to try and create a baby through the wonderful world of science!

“Look
If you had
One shot
Or one opportunity
To seize everything you ever wanted
In one moment
Would you capture
Or just let it slip?”

These are the words from Eminem’s song lose yourself…..these are the words in which capture what I think we need to remember when we go through IVF and the preparation that is needed to happen in order for our IVF cycles to be successful! Why not?

So that is what I have done, I have taken over reading everything I can about IVF and what I can do to increase my chances of my body working to allow us to have a family! Why not?

One of the first things that I have done is lose weight (as you have read it is going well), joined some support groups through facebook, brought and read cover to cover “It starts with an egg” By Rebecca Fett where I followed her suggestions and have brought a fertility bracelet to wear!, researched as much as I can about IVF and what it entails and read other blogs about other people’s journey’s on the IVF roller coaster.

But let me tell you this! It is so overwhelming to read all this information  and read other people’s stories of the highs and lows of fertility treatment! I am so scared of so many things within this journey.

One of the biggest things I am finding is that there is huge amounts of pressure placed on the female to firstly get her bmi down to 32, have her body get regular cycles, go through countless amounts of blood tests, scans, inject herself with medicines (which from what I have read so far turns her into an emotional monster who has no control over her ability to withstand partners just breathing), to allow her body to create eggs full of strength to get through to the important stage of making it through to being transferred into her body where the embro has to stick.  The women then has the pressure of her body keeping the pregnancy viable.  Then the women has the pressure of giving birth! Seriously all the man has to do is provide the little swimmers! But at this point I do understand that the male feels horrible that this is the only thing they can do.  When talking to Todd about this he has said that he feels like he has been benched in a sports game and isn’t allowed to help the team win the game! He feels guilty that all he has to do is produce his swimmers and watch as we go through this turmoil with our bodies.  (I am going to get him to write a blog from a male’s perspective which will come soon)

But then this is the hand we are dealt so instead of sitting a pool of self pitty, we are facing this head on and first thing first is to put into place suggestions that Rebecca Fett has described in her book to help produce good egg quality. She suggests eliminating products with BPA products from your life…SO out went plastic from our house and in came glass, wood and metal.  I use glass containers from serving food through to storing food, wooden utensils when it comes to mixing things and metal bowls and measuring cups! I also do not handle dockets from supermarkets or other places as BPA is found in the paper that they use to print these onto.  I have also tried to get fresh and organic as possible.  But sometimes its hard and can be expensive.  I have also changed our cleaning products and my beauty products to natural and free from phthalates (Which is a chemical found in cleaning and beauty products).  I love the smell of my natural beauty products.  I have also made the decision to not dye my hair or get fake nails.  This is something that has made me sad, but I know I am doing it for the well being of myself and the eggs I want to provide.

In the next few months I will also be looking at taking vitamins in which will increase my fertility and also looking at fertility acupuncture.

Like I mentioned before we are going to be given limited chances to get this right, why not take the steps to help now.  I know that what I am doing may seem silly to other people, but this is so important to us, I don’t want to get to the stage and say we should have tried this…..

Like the book’s title states “It starts with the egg” so I am doing everything I can fucken do to help. As I am staying a big FUCK YOU to infertility and the reasons why we are here!!!

End note: These blogs will also contain swearing, I am being frank and honest and feel that I am entitled to write exactly how I am feeling.

The journey into IVF is one in which I never thought I would be a part of.  I never imagined that on our journey to becoming parents and extending our family, we would not be one of the statistics you hear about in regards in infertility! But then again I guess no one actually does.

But alas this has become our life so far and I know we will continue to be interwoven into IVF and what it actually means for us to have children.  So far in our blog post you have read about how we became to be on this journey.  This blogging has been one of many debates both internally and externally for us as individuals and as a couple as we make our way though this emotionally and draining IVF journey.  I have been mulling over in my head about firstly writing a blog, and secondly whether to post it.  Posting it would mean putting our journey out for the world to see.  IVF is kept quiet and often not talked about among others…why?

Well for me it felt as if I was failing as a women to not be able to do something so natural and something we as women are designed to do.  For Todd I know he feels a sense of failure at the same time; that he failed to be able to help in the process he is meant to do as a male! So for both of us that sense of failure was on high.  I think next would come judgement from others surrounding this failure and lack of knowledge surrounding infertility.  This to me is why infertility and IVF roads are kept quiet and taboo.  But why should it happen this way? Why should we keep hush hush over something that is as I am finding out more common than people think about? I am finding that the more I communicate about what we are going through, the more support there is out there from other families going through the same thing.

It does get to me sometimes when a) people comment on my lack of children or questions surrounding if I have children or not and the reason why (It’s not as if I am not trying…but then again they don’t know my story and my reasoning why I don’t have children), B) it becomes so easy for people to fall pregnant and then some of these parents end up mistreating these innocent children and C) the process of adoption within New Zealand compared to other parts of the world.

I am so scared that we only have a few chances to fall pregnant through the gift of science and the chances of successful pregnancies drop after the age of 35 due to the quality of female eggs dropping.  If we are given the chance of try, why not try everything we have to get it right first time?

So this blog is about Todd and my journey to becoming parents.  We ask that you respect us and what we write on here, as this is a huge thing we have to go through.  However I want to put our journey out there for a few reasons.  One being it is our way to document what we are going through (highs, lows, positives and negatives that will come our way) and to highlight the journey to others who will be embarking on their own IVF journey’s.  We want to change the way people view IVF and infertility.  Please don’t have pitty on us, please support us on this journey we are embarking on!

For us it is the fight of our lives we are embarking on.  We are not going to give up until we have a baby in our arms!! We are never going to quit!

 

NOOOOOOOOOOO!! I just sat there and laughed at the doctor as she gave me the results of the xray of my arm! But before I tell you more I will explain how I got here in the doctor’s office laughing at her when she said you have a fracture in your arm you need to go into a cast.

It was a rainy morning but Todd and I decided that we needed to go for our morning exercise of running/walking.  It was only rain it wouldn’t hurt us….oh I had no idea that in fact it would hurt me! We made our way down a street which was steep, so I decided to walk down it slowly as I didn’t want to injure myself as too was happening to us in the next month so best to play it safe.  However, I did not know that my life was going to change the moment I stopped running to walk.  My footing gave way as we went down a steep part.  Todd being the man he is grabbed me and tried to save my fall, (bless him) but I still landed funny on my right hand.  It hurt but not to much and carried on with the walk and the rest of the day.

Then when we were heading up to see his parents in the car my hand and arm started to hurt like hell, I got tingly sensations up my arm and my arm started to swell and a lump had formed.  I ended up heading into get it looked at where xrays revealed a squiggly line down my arm!

The doctor said she wanted to place me into a cast.  It was at this point I looked at Todd and started to laugh….she can not be serious….A CAST!! SERIOUSLY!! NOOOOOO, FUCK FUCK FUCK was all I could think of….My timing in things in my life has not been on point and I don’t do things by halves.  So when she said cast I laughed! In that instant my life I began to worry about the timing and impact this was going to have on so many things and especially our ivf appointment where I need to have a bmi of 32!!

So off I went to get the cast put on!! As you can see I was not happy about this!!

But Shit does happen and I just have to roll with what life has to throw at me.  I had two choices in which I could make….I could look at it as a failure, give up and just let it over take me and my life….or I could just say fuck it I am not going to let this stop me from achieving some pretty important goals.  So being me I decided that I was NOT GOING TO LET IT RULE MY LIFE! I had goals in which I was working towards to I decided to say fuck it lets move on and still focus on whats important…losing the weight and getting on to that list!  I must admit I did have a day where I wallowed in self pitty and pretty much was like why me! But then I actually hated the negative feelings that I was experiencing with this! So I got back up and carried on!

One of the things I couldn’t do was compete in the tough mudder which I was really upset about, instead I ended up being the support crew for the team, which I loved being. My team mates all felt bad that I couldn’t compete with them, but they stated that they were out there because of me and that they wanted to make me proud by doing this! Next year we made a pact that I would be with them and we would be competing in the full one…a joke was made that I was to be banned from exercising the week before the comp! What an achievement for my team mates! I was so proud even though I was so ready to compete, but mud, water and physical activities did not mix with my broken arm.  The look on my face in this photos shows it all how Im feeling at the start of the race! 

 

I am determined to get through this rough patch, I am exercising despite my arm being a bit broken. Like the photo says I am not letting this broken arm get me down and stop me from reaching my goals!!!

Okay

So Todd has been referred to the fertility clinic and so have I…which is amazing and life changing.  But somehow this very important appointment date has turned into a shit show and has left us feeling confused and frustrated at the lack of people’s knowledge of how to read forms!!

Todd’s done his part for his part in us making a baby; he can relax (even though he feels frustrated and his feelings of being not helpful and a failure are popping up and down at any given moment) I need to take charge of this baby making journey train! I don’t want to and would rather it wasn’t left up to me and my body to decide our fate of if we can have a baby or not!

So anyway I needed to have bloods taken on day three of my period…which being my body didn’t come when scheduled (surprise surprise, I am hoping like hell that aunty rosa is nice to me when we are engaging in our ivf cycle at some stage).  So when it finally did I was like Yay praise be…I am on the track to our appointment! See at this point we were told that we could pay for our first appointment.  But Todd and I talked about it and decided to wait for our free appointment as with the free appointment it takes about 12 weeks to hear from the fertility clinic for a date, and two I was still getting my bmi down to 32 so the extra time would help my bmi level!

Well we waited and waited and nothing back in regards to an appointment time.  We rang the doctor who said that my referral had been denied as Todd needed to have a sperm analysis done! But he had that done when he froze his sperm.  My doctor sent in the form again stating that it had already been done.  Yet again it got sent back with the same thing! Seriously we were getting so annoyed, we were on the phone to the area manager of the fertility clinic who told me what I needed to do.  I did this and still we were getting the same thing back!

We went to my doctor and demanded to know what was happening and why this was going through.  Todd was so angry and I was so frustrated that I pleaded with him to make the appointment regardless of time frame or cost! But deep down I knew we needed to wait for my bmi level to drop!

Finally my doctor managed to get hold of someone who infact read the whole form correctly and I was rung with the confirmation that I had been accepted for an appointment with the fertility clinic for an appointment to get on the wait list!

Holy crap Shit got real in that moment…..I was told to wait a few weeks and I should have my date…but being me I couldn’t wait and decided not to and rung in after a week of waiting! I had a date!! We had a date for our appointment!! This one appointment!! I couldn’t stop crying as shit just got real! I came to the realization that I needed to lose another 8kgs in I think 9 weeks at that point! I thought crap oh nooooooo!!

Holy crap I started to panic! Seriously then ever before there was so much pressure on me to lose weight to get on that list! I went to my personal trainer and cried to him, stating shit got real and that I need to do this. He looked at it from a different angle and said okay lets set this goal but not make it one in which has huge pressure on it.  I had seen an event that I wanted to partake in next year…the tough mudder! Its a military style course that we do as part of teams. It was going to do be smack bang in the middle of when I needed to lose weight for the appointment so why not! Ok I said lets do this! Then a team got together and we started doing boot camps which was a lot of fun and I started making new friends! I wanted to do this even though I had no idea what I was in for!!

I also needed to knuckle down with my eating again, and decided to give Papps another go.  This time I noted that there was changes to the plan than what they gave me last time.  Included in this support from Papps was a body scan which showed you how much body fat you lost, muscle mass you gained, water retention, bmi reading and a few other body things which helped illustrate a healthy body.  They also coach you each week supporting you through the journey that you are going on.

I had my first scan and I lost 2.8 kgs of body fat! So this was a good start!

I am so glad that this appointment has happened and am so focused that when we leave that clinic we will be on the wait list!!

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