March 30, 2006

So Now It's Been 8

I've had 8 shots now. I keep expecting the bad humor to come along, but amazingly I've been more patient than ever. If it weren't for the hot flashes, the indigestion and the bloated bruised stomach, I'd consider staying on these shots. I do have the PMS-the period should start Saturday, which I understand will be the equivalent of Niagra Falls in my knickers-and so I am a bit irritable, but actually less than usual.

I am still so tired, and even more so, I am so tired of drinking water. I am so exhausted I want to lay my head down and cry, but tears are too much effort.

I had breakfast with my friend Susan on Monday. Susan is a high-strung chick, she has a 5 year-old daughter and is absolutely desperate for more. She's 37, and has finally started sleeping with her (male) best friend in hopes of getting knocked up.

"I'm not pregnant," she says dramatically over boiled eggs.

"Oh Susan, I'm sorry," I reply. "How long have you been trying?"

"Once," she replies.

"Once...a week? A day? A month?" I ask.

"No, just once. One night. We tried one night one month ago and it didn't work."

"Ummmm....ok....Susan, you know even the most fertile of chicks will need to try more than just once in five years, you know."

"I'm going to the doctor," she says firmly. "I'm going to tell him I've been trying for ages and it's not working. Then he can help me, give me medication or something. I can get pregnant then. My clock is ticking, I'm 37 and nearly out of time."

I put my fork down. "Susan, if you do that you're jumping someone in the queue, someone who really has been trying for years. Infertility is hard on women, you have only tried it once, you have no idea if you have a problem or not."

I don't manage to talk her out of it. She's convinced she's not going to be able to get pregnant fast enough, so to the doctor she will go. I don't get angry with her, she's too high-strung to be angry with and anyway, she doesn't mean any malice. In the meantime, my cycle looms forward through the entire month of April and with a sigh, I inject myself in the stomach again.

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March 28, 2006

Day 6

Right. I've had my sixth shot today. I'm so far from being done on this cycle I don't know which way is up. I find if I don't keep drinking enough water then I get a blistering headache, so I am gulping water like it's last year's Ugg Boots. I get tired easily after the shot has been administered. I may have been too optimistic about the shots being teeny-tiny because my stomach is now bruised. The moods are cry a lot.

A lot.

Today at one point I had three delivery men, a utility room to paint, still no working phone, and my otherwise perfectly housebroken puppy walked up to me, wagged his tail, then started peeing all over the floor. I burst into tears. This is what I do.

The satellite installation was complete and a bad Marisa Tomei movie-Only You-was on the movie channel. I watched it, ignoring Marisa's tragic hair and Robert Downey Jr's coked-out appearance, and I cried buckets in the end. Dear God, I cried at the end of a Marisa Tomei movie. It's the end of the fucking world.

And finally, while washing out the paint buckets and feeling my body exhausted all over, I started crying as I thought: Hmmm..I could've had a V8. I cried for a V8, a V-fucking-8. I hate that drink and don't want one anyway.

Big fun here.

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March 25, 2006

I Think I Swallowed My Stomach

It's Day 3.

The good news is that (besides still having broadband, hence me posting) I haven't been having the dreaded mood swings. I remember round one of IVF treatment before, a specific incident involving throwing candles as I screamed and cried about something one of the cats had done (I donít remember what it is the cat had done, knowing my high level of sensitivity at the time it probably was something like breathing or walking or something like that.) The mood swings are absent, and I thank whatever god wants to own up to being responsible for that..

I do have a few other problems-I feel uncomfortable, like my uterus has been filled with concrete. I have severe heartburn. I am a bit bloated, and from time to time I have these moments when I am so hot I feel like I'm standing behind an exhaust pipe. It comes and goes relatively quickly, but when it does I feel like my body is on fire.

But I remember the shot everyday, everyday at 5 pm.

Everyday at 5 pm, for 33 more days, my life is going to belong to that Ronald McDonald colored box.

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March 24, 2006

Shaky Isn't Just a Name for a Band

First shot done.


The egg share councellor had shown us how to do it on Tuesday. First I get the syringe ready and withdraw 0.50 from the bottle of Buserelin. Then I grab a bit of fat on my stomach (not hard) and inject. The needle is so tiny that I almost didn't feel it, and all I have to show for the shot is a bit of a red rash at the injection mark and shaky hands.

But the hands shake because of the enormity of it all beginning, I think.

Moving house today and getting doggy today.

That, and my RE? She said I can continue to drink while on suppressors.

Don't mind if I do...

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March 23, 2006

All I Need is my Gumption

Yesterday, we got the book I ordered to help us as I feel woefully uninformed.

Tomorrow we take the keys to our new house (so if this site goes a little quiet for a few days it's because I don't have access!)

We take possession of our beautiful new puppy tomorrow.

We move into a sun-swathed house on Saturday, a house we love more than anything, a house we can plan a baby's room in if and when that day ever comes.

We start so many new things from today-a new life in a home we own. A new life as joint dog owners. A new life as people that play with color wheels and dream big dreams.

And tonight I start my first shot in our first IVF round together, and that's a first, too.

Posted by Vanessa at 01:36 PM | Comments (6) | TrackBack

March 21, 2006

And Here is the Protocol...

That's it, kids. Bookmark the calendars, because we have a plan.

In IVF, you have to start with shutting down the system. The world goes silent as you swing into a form of early menopause, which in my case comes in an injection called buserelin (I could've taken nasal spray but I remember that shit and there's no way in hell I'm going down that route again.) After the Buserelin starts I will have a period, which the egg share councellor ssaid will be very heavy (so I will just stand there and hose things down. My periods are already so heavy it's surreal, I just can't wait to see what this one is like.)

I will have a scan to see if my body has indeed shut down. If it has, I will reduce the Buserelin and see that the donee's body is also ready. Once I get confirmation that we are both at the same level I will whiz at three times warp speed into egg production, which is another injection called Menopur (which I will take daily along with the daily Buserelin).

I have many scans.

Once the scans look good I will do what's called triggering, which is when the eggs get all follick-y goodness and get ready for removal. On the day they get removed I get knocked out with anesthetic (which I have to be honest, I usually love. I admit it. I like the twilight sleep.) and half of the egglets will go into a petrie dish with Aidan's soupy love children, the other half into a petrie dish with the other woman's partner's love children.

Then they are replaced and we are in the dreaded 2ww-the two week wait, a version of hell.

So here it is.

I start Thursday night.

Oh my God.

23/03-Start Buserelin
10/04-Scan. Potentially reduce Buserelin
13/04?-potentially start Menopur (depends on how Donee is doing)
24/04?-scan and potentially trigger with HCG 10,000
26/04? -egg retrieval and start of cyclogest (progesterone suppositories)
28/04?-embryo transfer.

Hang on.


(This is a shot of the sharpie box, the needles for the Buserelin, and the Buserelin itself.)

Posted by Vanessa at 05:50 PM | Comments (9) | TrackBack

I'll Book It in Outlook

We go to the hospital to get my protocol at 4 pm today (for those new to IVF, protocol is what they call the schedule of drugs, blood tests, ultra-sounds and activities from Day 1 to end day of IVF.) This is a big deal to me, this day. I believe that the donee started off her activity a few weeks ago, although I have no idea what said activity was. I should be paying more attention to what she is going through instead of just thinking about my own cycle.

So protocol given today. Good. It's a start. Of course, there is a fucking lot on-we move house this weekend, we get a new dog on Friday, and the mood in the house is currently so miserable that watching documentaries on skin lesions may have more laughs, but hey. I guess you can't have everything.

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March 17, 2006

I Don't Wanna Grow Up

There's something about me that screams of being a kid. My desk is littered with toys-a stuffed turtle, a dancing i-Dog, my Family Guy action figures, a frog that dances when he's turned on. I've always been big on toys, on childhood films. Disney is something to be revered, Pixar is something that should be adored and protected. Things that make me laugh is something that is likely to get purchased as I love to delight in things that don't make sense in the real world.

On the plane back from New Zealand earlier this week they showed the film Chicken Little, which I watched four times. That's right-four times. I thought it was hilarious and fantastic, and not just because I nurse a nice crush on Zach Braff (which I do, as my heart always goes for the geeky guys you expect to tumble and fall).

I've always been a bit of a kid at heart and sometimes I worry it's because I am so screwed up. After being diagnosed with a disorder that means I have stunted emotions, emotions that have been fucked up and caught in a jar and locked away for most of my life, I worry that I like things that make me laugh because a part of me still is a kid. What do I do if that is the case?

I asked my therapist about this before we went on holiday. Sitting there across from him, we talked about the fact that sometimes my emotions catch me out. Like a kid, sometimes it takes me some time before I work out how I feel about things because I have spent my life running from feelings-more often than not, things hurt so it's just easier to close it all off.

I look up at him. "You know we're going to start IVF soon" I say softly.

He nods.

"What....what happens if I'm not any good at it? What do I do? I didn't exactly have the model childhood, and I didn't have the model parents. What happens...I do I keep from being like that? All I want to do is do this right, all I want is to give my child a childhood that is completely different from the one I had? What happens if I'm no good at this?"

He smiles kindly. He is only kind. He has never been anything but kind, although I know part of the process will be hard and he may turn unkind when he'll need to be. "Vanessa, I think you're going to be ok. The fact that you're here and trying to work through all of this is a sign that you know you can't keep going in life like this. That you're worried about being a good mother and worried about breaking the cycle that has been in your family for so long is actually a good sign." He leans forward. "I would be concerned if you weren't worried about this."

And so I smile and think about the road ahead.

And I wonder when I can get Chicken Little on DVD.

Posted by Vanessa at 07:49 AM | Comments (6) | TrackBack

March 15, 2006

That's the Way That It Begins

My period started on March 4.

March 4, in a strong tropical climate, the heat caressing and assuring, the sun bright and uplifting, saw the start. A bright red splodge lodged on the center of the toilet bowl proved that the uterus was working like clockwork, and as I got out the tampons that I call my bichon frises (they're huge. Picture a hamster, then picture plugging that into the zone, and you'll agree the size of them.) I knew that this date was a major date.

And so it starts.

When I finally got to GSM coverage in New Zealand I called my clinic. My clinic, a world away in Surrey, answered. I was giddy, tired, and feeling like my real life was so far away I could almost cut it with a knife. When I got my Egg Share Nurse, I smiled into the phone.

"Hi, it's Vanessa," I say into the phone. "My period started on March 4. It started Saturday, March 4. That's when it started."

I am nothing if not redundant.

"Excellent news, Vanessa," she said back. "Are you ready to start IVF this month then?"

Am I ready? Yes. No. Yes. Yes. I look back at the table inside the restaurant we are at, Aidan laughing with his two kids. My seat is empty as I'd come outside to make a call, my seat snug between his two kids. I look at his daughter, who I'd helped when she was air sick a few days before. I look at his son, laughing and joking with Aidan, who has a big smile on his face. I turn back to the road, and to the real world. "Yes. Yes, we're ready."

"Fantastic. I'll let the egg donee know that we're ready to go, and we'll get her started, too. We'll see you on the 21st then, when you and Aidan come in and get your protocol schedule?"

"Yes, ok." I reply.

We hang up, and I walk back inside the restaurant.

We have a start date, then. I start with the hormone supressors on the 25th of March, as it will be 21 days after Day 1 of my period. I have a start date.

We're finally here.

I am not sure I know how to express how fucking happy and how fucking scared I really am. The 25th of March. A circle on the calendar, and the beginning of a new world.

Please please please please please...

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