Archive for the ‘IVF’ Category

26 January – Question??

January 26, 2009

Thanks for the comments in my last post, they really all meant so much to me!  And I appreciate all the encouraging words so much at this stage, so thank you all!

Now a quick question – I got a comment mentioning doing a “natural cycle with FET” and therefore “no need for BCP”.  Being a newbie to this I had no idea what FET means, so I googled and came up with Frozen Embryo Transfer and Fresh Embryo Transfer.  Now this natural cycle IVF REALLY appeals to me, I am admittedly a bit nervous of doing all those shots during the IVF, but I am very much prepared and willing to go through it if that’s what it takes – but if there’s an alternative way????  Why I’d be welcoming it with open arms!  Mostly I just don’t like the idea of pumping my body full of meds, chemicals and hormones if there was a way to avoid it…so can anyone explain to me exactly what a “natural cycle with FET” entails and under what circumstances it is viable?

Obviously at the end of the day the decision would be made by my IP’s and FS, but I’m still quite far away from that at the moment so I just want to know what the basic conditions are.  I.e. do you need frozen embryo’s (to help with the timing in case my cycle isn’t 100% spot on that month) or does it also work with fresh ones?  I read that you need quite a predictable cycle, my cycle is always between 26-30 days, and my luteal phase is always 12 days, no LP defect etc etc – would that be considered predictable enough?

Any info would be greatly appreciated, I have tried googling for info but it’s all either too basic, or far too complicated – and I just can’t seem to get the answers I need, LOL.  If it’s easier you’re welcome to email the info to me at yv*ytur*ner@ho*tma*il.com (without the stars, lol).

20 January – Back to reality!

January 20, 2009

**DISCLAIMER, mainly for KuKd vets, this post truly shows how clueless I can be about IF – so please proceed with caution.  All I’m trying to do here is put my own thoughts based on my own experience out there, and hope nothing I’ve said in any way offends anyone.  I do realise thoughts like “Oh wow, it never occurred to me that I wouldn’t get pregnant after one IVF” might make you want to b*tch-slap me, yet based on my own experience falling preggy hasn’t ever been an issue so that thought WAS a revelation to me.  You know??

Anyway, if you decide to go ahead and read you have my full permission to roll your eyes (and curse a bit) at my naivete. ” Assvice” also welcome where applicable 😉

Well, the new year is now certainly in full swing! The kids are back to school and life is returning to a semblance of normality.  I still start and end every day with all my homeopathic meds (5 different types in all, 4 to take 2x per day, and 1 to take 3x per day – that’s 11 sessions of meds every day!!!) – great practise for upcoming IVF’s I’m sure!  I’m still very hopeful and quite confident that the meds are working..my energy levels are something else!  I’ve been exercising virtually every day and am loving it!  I try to do different things to avoid boredom, but over the past week I’ve gone on brisk walks through our estate, done Tai-Bo, Yoga, jogging and Aerobics.  And it’s been really fun!!!  The doc mentioned that exercise would help to kick my thyroid into gear so here’s hoping…

I’ve mentioned a few times recently how desperate I am to get this surrogacy journey going – and I truly can’t wait.  But why is that every time I feel POSITIVE that it’s the right thing to do, something makes me stop and doubt for a few seconds?

And it’s not even about the surrogacy journey any more.  I have, without a doubt, made my peace with that – it’s what I want, more than anything, to do.  But I keep thinking about the risks involved in pregnancy and childbirth…and honestly it’s not like I want to keep thinking about it…things just keep happening to remind me that pregnancy is not something to be taken lightly.  And it’s not like I’m harping on about the same issues – I keep hearing about new weird and wonderful things I’ve never even heard of!  I read one surrogacy story about a woman, Carolyn Zinn who had 5 failed IVF’s in a row on her journey to being a surrogate.  That just hadn’t factored into my thinking before…I just figured, you know, go for IVF and fall preggy?!  (yes naive and ridiculous I know, I’m sorry – but it really was like – OMG, she had all those injections, procedures, transfers within a YEAR and *still* wasn’t preggy. Holy Crap!) And for the first time a light really went on about some of the emotional toll just TTC’ing a surro baby must take. I mean – the PReSSURE.  Someone is spending all these huge amounts of money…and you really have no control on the results…yet all this pressure is laid squarely on your shoulders.  And that’s just to get a BFP.  Then it continues – every doctor’s appointment, every urine test, every scan etc…all continuous tests that you feel pressured to ‘pass’.  Scary.

And of course suddenly there is an onslaught of people that I’m aware of with all sorts of weird ‘conditions’ – my one friend gave birth about a week ago and suddenly she’s in hospital with suspected post-partum eclampsia!  Huh??  I was under the impression that once you give birth eclampsia is history but apparently not always?!  Any a million other things that could go wrong…

But then…then there’s the fact that I AM still fairly young, that I HAVE had a history of very easy pregnancies…the odds are in my favour…

and…

mostly…

There’s creating life. Creating a family. A brand new family.

My kids occasionally drive me around the bed but I love. I *love* being a mom.  It’s the best thing in the world.

And if I can help a family – any family – achieve that…then that would be the best thing ever, and the risks are worth it.

8 October – The Phonecall update

October 8, 2008

Soooo…we did the Agency phonecall today and I think it went really well.  It was a great way to open up contact a little more, and to help us get a better sense of each other.  She had a few questions for me and also spent a lot of time explaining the processes to me.  She herself is a veteran of 17 IVF’s so she definitely knows what I am (will be) through from a medical point of view!  It was really a good phonecall.  I’m so happy to be with this agency 🙂  She was also very happy to answer all of my questions and to allay my fears and worries.

I couldn’t be more excited to get this off the ground now!!!

Next step is for Nurture (the agency) to do a background check on me and to arrange a psychological evaluation.  Assuming that those both go smoothly (lol, I’ll be pretty concerned if they don’t!) we’ll then start making travel plans to Cape Town or Johannesburg for me, for a night.  This will be quite a whirlwind trip where I will meet a social worker, lawyer, have a medical work-up and meet possible IP’s.  Exciting stuff!

Because each individual process takes time it’ll probably be 5/6 weeks before we get to that point though.

So next up for me is my gynae appointment next Friday.  Here’s hoping he has only good news for me and my uterus 🙂

29 September – Question for other Gestational Surrogates…

September 29, 2008

So the clinic that I would really like to go with has contacted me after filling in the application form and they seem happy with everything so far – of course it’ll take a while to get all the in depth checks done but on the surface everything looks good so far.

They’ve asked me if I would consider travelling to a particular clinic to have the procedure done (about a 2 hours flight from where I stay).  At first I was not entirely keen as I’ve never left my kids before and the thought stresses me out – but on reflection it is probably a good idea to get away.  After the transfer I could then also go straight back to the hotel and literally just stay on bedrest for at least a night to maximise the chances of the embies taking – does my logic make sense so far?

I have emailed her back with some of my questions but in the meantime – for those of you that travelled for the transfar, can you give me a rough idea of how often you had to go?  Did you initially just get sent instructions and meds and have all your initial consults in your hometown, and then only travel for the actual transfer?  Or did you have to travel often?  Also roughly how long were you away for?

If it entailed me going on one 3/4 day trip I honestly don’t think there’d be an issue, however if I was going often it would obviously be a lot harder to arrange everything!

If I’m prepared to travel then they are confident that they might be able to match me quite soon – exciting days!!!

Would love some comments, opinions or advice please 🙂

28 September – The verdict is IN!

September 28, 2008

He said YES, he said, YES! Holy crap HE SAID YES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

And in case you’ve only just started reading my blog – I asked my dear husband to think over the possibility of me becoming a surrogate mother and he has *finally* answered. And yup, I have to say it again…just for the thrill of it – HE SAID YEEEESSSSSSSSSSSSS!!!

I’m so, so, so excited. I know it’s just one more hurdle (and there are a whole lot more to come!) but it is certainly a significant step forward!

*I have ‘passed’ the initial screening/application
*I have wrapped my own head around the enormity of what i’m about to undertake
*I have my dh’s full support

Now I need to fill in the full application, go for a medical screening, go for a psychological screening, meet IP’s (intended parents). Once I’ve found a couple that I want to work with (and that wants to work with me!) we need to go through all the legalities, make a million and one choices…and never mind all the injections, scans (dildo-cams, ARGH!) etc. Yup, it’s a loong road ahead but what an exciting one. I honestly cannot WAIT to get on it.

I just hope I manage to pass all the other screening tests. My dh reckons I should try to get a ‘surrogate’ to stand in for me at the psychological screening. Grrr…;)

I’m literally bouncing here, I am sooooooooooooooooooo excited!!!!!!!!!

21 September – Nothing to report yet, but a quick question!

September 21, 2008

So dh STILL hasn’t said anything more to me about the whole surrogacy thing.  We do both keep dropping the possibility in conversation though so I presume that means the idea is still floating around there somewhere.  Here’s hoping it anchors itself fairly soon, I’m itching to get this off the ground now!! 😉

For those of you that have done IVF’s or Surrogacies – roughly how often can I expect to be going to a FS?  (daily, weekly, thrice-weekly etc)  I know it’ll be hard to predict exactly but I don’t have the faintest idea, so any comments/guidelines would be appreciated.  Other than daycare (my son goes 3 times per week from 8-12) I don’t really have too many other opportunities to have him babysat – my mom works, and MIL although a very keen babysitter is also a jetsetter and therefore not often available. 🙂

Is it reasonable to assume that I’d be able to fit most of my appointments within my son’s schooling hours?  Otherwise that could really be a spanner in the works considering his hours of schooling will only be extended (to 5 days per week, still only 4 hours per day though) in about 18 months time!!

I would almost certainly be able to find people to help out for the odd appointment here and there, but really don’t want to put people out too much!

Please comment if you can, I’d really appreciate the help, ta!

24 August – The Plot Thickens…

August 24, 2008

ARGH.  Men can be so frustrating sometimes.  You may remember that a few posts ago I mentioned that dh had theoretically agreed to the idea of me being a surrogate, even though we hadn’t really had a deep discussion about it yet…well when I mentioned something about it in passing yesterday he just got this really concerned look on his face.  “What?” I asked, “Don’t you think you’ll be able to help me with the fertility meds…injections etc?” “No,” was his reply, “I’m just more concerned about this whole pregnancy thing.”  “What?”  I pretty much shrieked, “WHY?”  “Well,” he said, “It’s just that I want our lives back again at some stage…”  By now I was getting really worked up and pretty darn annoyed.  “What on earth are you talking about?  It’s a PREGNANCY, and surrogate one at that.  It’s not our baby, it will never be our baby – it’s pregnancy, end of story.  How much can that possibly impact on YOUR lifestyle??”

He had no answer for that one.  Just rolled over and went to sleep.  ARGH!!!  If you want to argue about then at least have a good solid backing argument.  How can you just roll over and go to sleep?  Did it SEEM like the discussion was over???

If you’ve been following my posts then you KNOW that I’m not taking this step of being a surrogate (or wanting to be a surrogate) lightly – I know it’ll be hard and of course it’ll impact my life in a huge way, emotionally, and to a certain extent physically.  Because I have small children I pretty much take it easy anyway, don’t really drink, definitely no bungi jumping (LOL) etc etc..so the only way the physical impact will be really big is if I end up with multiples, or a really awful (sickly) pregnancy.  So yeah..it obviously affects me..

But HOW does this affect my husband?  Yes he may have to deal with my tiredness and some unreasonable moods, but is it really such a huge stretch to allow me to be pregnant again?  Maybe I should just tell him I AM going to pregnant again – he can choose whether it’s for IP’s or our own baby for us.  LOL.  That should shut him up pretty quickly.

LOL.  For all my big talk I’ve never been the confrontational type, and I certainly wouldn’t want to force him into this if he really has valid concerns.  But ‘wanting his life back’?  What kind of airy-fairy mumbo-jumbo is that? 

I vaguely mentioned the possibility of me being a GS (gestational surrogate) to my mom and sister over the week-end too.  My mom was wholly uninterested (didn’t really contribute to the conversation at all, I don’t think she believes I’ll go through with it) and my sister was quite shocked.  She kept mentioning how weird and hard it would be for them to see me with a tummy that doesn’t ‘belong’ to the family.  Lol.  How hard it’ll be for THEM?!  Ai. 

Anyway, of course everyone else’s concerns and negativity just make me all the more determined to go through with it, so the cloud does have a silver lining.  I’ll just need to try and catch dh in a good moment and really talk it through with him.  As I say, if he valid worries I’ll hear them out with an open mind, and if it’s something he really can’t accept then I guess I’ll have to give in gracefully…but I’m still confident we’ll get there.  It’s understandable for him to have concerns I guess, look how many I’ve voiced on this blog just in the last 2 weeks…! The one thing that has cheered me up was realising he is actually validating my request now, I think he’s really starting to realise I’m being serious about this whole thing!

But MY reasons for thinking it’ll work:

It’s something I REALLY want to do, I WANT to help someone out there by doing something truly special.

I’m young, in good health and conceive easily.  I’ve had really easy pregnancies and deliveries that resulted in healthy, happy babies – I really believe I can do good.

I love being pregnant and it’s a bonus to experience it again.

The timing is just really good right now – I’m working from home, the kids are in school most mornings, things are just going smoothly.

and lastly: I just want this so badly.  It just feels RIGHT.

Well, I will broach it with the dear man next time we have a few minutes to ourselves (har! har!), and will definitely report back here again.  Keep everything crossed please!  I’d really like to get this ball rolling now 🙂

Completely off the topic, have any of you watched ‘How I met your Mother?’  My dh and I are half way through the first season and loving it.  It’s really funny and just keeps getting better!  Loads of fun.  We look forward to our quiet time every evening when the kids are asleep and we snuggle up in bed and watch an episode with coffee and chocolate.  Mmmm….bliss!!!

13 August – In absolute awe…

August 13, 2008

Since beginning this new journey of mine I have literally been eating, sleeping and dreaming of surrogacy, infertility etc etc.   I am spending countless hours in front of my laptop reading every single scrap of information I can find on the topic.

The in’s and out’s of the procedures, although interesting, are last on my list at this stage.  What I want are real insights into the world of surrogacy.  I want to know how people have managed on their journeys (from both sides of the fence, GS and IP’s), what’s been difficult and what’s been special; what regrets they have, and what parts of their journey have been priceless, rewarding, irreplaceable.

On this journey I have stumbled across countless blogs of infertile couples and all I can say is Wow.  I have the greatest respect for all of you that are grappling with such huge obstacles in your lives.  My thoughts and prayers are with all of you and I so desperately hope that one day you are granted your deepest wishes.  I’m in awe of the way that you are able to face what you have been dished up, and how beautifully you express yourselves.  Some of the emotions I’ve come across are so very raw, and if nothing else it just solidifies my commitment to make a difference.  Seeing those emotions…has made me more convinced than ever that I have to, no I WANT to, do something to make a difference. Admittedly I still haven’t come too much further in my decision making process, but that’s ok for now.  I will continue to read, and pray.  And I am confident that things will happen, just the way they should.

 

And to all of you showing such strength and courage in the face of such adversity, I take my hat off to you all.  You are more woman than I think I’ll ever be.

12 August – Decisions, decisions…

August 12, 2008

Gosh I’m still so conflicted about this whole decision making process…  I know there is theoretically no huge rush for me to decide, but I don’t like leaving things up in the air, it just doesn’t gel with me.  As far as I’m concerned there’s dilemma followed by consideration = solution.  Done, dusted, move on.

This is so not like that.  I’m constantly see-sawing – ‘yes I’ll do it’, ‘no I must be mad’, ‘first I’ll do egg donation’, ‘no maybe surrogacy first’ etc etc.  It’s really consuming me at the moment.

My current dilemma is the health risks involved in these procedures.  I’ve done some googling on the topic and have found a number of articles on reputible sites and penned by reputible authors, that lament the lack of thorough investigation on the drugs that are used for these procedures.  They’re throwing around words like ‘cancer’ and ‘fatalities’ which is pretty terrifying.  It makes me wonder – as much as I want to do this, is it worth the risk?  Is it worth taking the chance that this procedure may leave my children without a mother somewhere down the line?

I know I’m probably over-analysing this completely, but these are all things I need to think about now.  I need to face and accept any possible risks and outcomes so that eventually I will never be consumed with guilt and regret. 

Am I making too much of this all?

Possibly.  But it’s only because of my children.  I gave them life first, so they deserve priority.  They need to be first in my considerations!

I keep wishing there was an easier way.  I think if they could do an egg retrieval without all the extra drugs (to stimulate more egg production etc) I would be a LOT more relaxed about doing it.  Same with the surrogacy, if they could somehow just inject the egg & sperm in without having to go through all the hundreds of hormones, injections and meds I’d be so much happier about it all.  But it’s such a huge decision anyway…I guess it was never meant to be easy!

But at the end of it all, no matter how many arguments ‘against’ there are in my mind, I cannot stop thinking of those couples that would be so, so thankful to have a little bit of help on their journey.  It makes me think that I can’t just wimp out now – I have to find a way to make it work.  Somehow.

Can you tell how much this is playing on my mind??

Any thoughts, ideas or new research results welcome 🙂

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