Posts Tagged ‘IVF’

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).

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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 🙂

2 October – How much panic is normal?

October 2, 2008

Lol.

Now that I’ve started setting the wheels in motion regarding the surrogacy thing I keep having bouts of panicky thoughts where I think ‘Uh-oh, this is so huge, can I really do this?!’.  I’m thinking this is completely normal, and good too as it means that I am really coming to terms with it fully, it’s not like I’m just igoring the realities… but how much panic is ‘too much’…when do I cross the line from ‘positive with legitimate concerns’ to ‘wanting to run for the hills’?

Don’t get me wrong – 99% of the time I still KNOW that this is the right path for me, that this is something I really want to do etc etc…and the frustrating thing is the nature of my concerns.

I’m not worried about the really big, life-changing stuff like handing the baby back to her parents at the end of the pregnancy – I’m not saying it’ll be easy but it’ll be something I can prepare myself for.  No, my worries are far more superficial than that.

I’m worried about all the injections and invasive procedures.  I think I’ve done too much reading up on them and now I’m psyching myself out completely!  So how bad are those IM Progesterone in Oil injections really, hmmmm?

I’m also worried about how my poked, prodded and ultimately pregnant (not to mention moody and hormonal) self will impact on my children’s lives.  I would hate for them to really suffer because of any of this – they do have to come first!  BUT I really think I’m over-thinking it somewhat…

There’s also just the logistics of the travelling to think through : if I need to fly out to the FS’s a couple of times, what on earth will I do with my kids?  The grandparents and daddy work, their schools only run half day…not to mention that I’ve never been away from them for even a night before so a week away sounds terribly daunting!

I know it looks like a lot of reasons NOT to do this just yet, but those thoughts only catch me every now and again, usually at 3am when I’m trying my best to go back to sleep after getting up for Jamie.  By far the MOST of the time I’m so excited to be on this journey.  I want to get going and logically, realistically I KNOW that my kids aren’t going to suffer just because their mommy is going to be pregnant again.  And hopefully, hopefully they’ll learn a very important lesson from it too!  The injections…well, I guess I’m just going to have to suck it up and be brave as all hell.  🙂

For any IVF veterans reading this post – is it the ‘usual done thing’ to do a mock cycle before your first IVF run?  I can understand the reason for this, yet I really don’t like the idea of all those meds, all those injections (eek, can you see this is really becoming an issue, lol) for nothing! 🙂

So this is the part where I need some help and encouragement…anyone???

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!

11 August – Result!

August 11, 2008

Well, it’s official! I’ve passed the ‘initial’ screening test and have been mailed the full application form! I am both incredibly excited and completely terrified.

I want to do this, I so, so badly want to do this – but I have so many questions running through my mind. Once I agree to it it’s just so final – no turning back. Deep in my gut I have to say that I feel this is the right thing. THIS is the difference I could make to the world. THIS is the way I could make the world a better place, give something back…

But I have so many questions, questions that nobody can possible know the answer to. Like how will I feel once we start the process? Once I’m impregnated with somebody else’s child? Will I want to weep every time the baby kicks, knowing that I’ll never be able to keep him/her? Or will I just feel joy and peace, knowing what a wonderful gift I am giving to the IP’s (Intended Parents)? Will I regret this? How will I feel when giving birth – will I be able to cope with all that pain and trauma with no baby to show for it at the end of the day? And then of course the first few days after giving birth are so revoltingly awful, and having a baby is just about the only thing that makes it bearable – the milk, the madly diving hormones, the blood… how will I cope? Will I get past it?

I have decided that I could definitely, never be a traditional surrogate (undergoing AI – artificial insemination – where my own egg is used with donor sperm), it would just be too hard knowing that that is actually MY child in every way – my egg, my womb etc…it just wouldn’t work for me. So knowing I’d be going the gestational surrogate route (where only my womb is used, donor eggs and sperm are implanted by IVF) I know, I *KNOW* that giving up the baby wouldn’t be a problem for me. The baby is in no way or form mine so it wouldn’t even cross my mind to keep it. Yet it must be so hard…especially at the end.

You spend all this time, energy and sacrifice striving for this HUGE goal of creating life, and at the end you’re just empty – left with a saggy tummy, utterly confused hormones, bodily fluids pouring out from everywhere…and just emptiness, loss, sadness… Yet at the same time it must be fill one with such euphoria to part with such an incredible gift.

And of course I have my own two children to take into account. They are so small still, how will they feel with a pregnant (read: hormonal) mommy? Especially if it’s all ‘for nothing’ (as far as their little worlds are concerned) at the end of the day. How much quality time will all the doctors appointments, hospital visits etc take away from them? And how will they feel when they’ve experienced the entire pregnancy, but have no sibling to show for it at the end of the day?

So many things to consider…

It’s all still too much for me to comprehend – can anyone provide thoughts or insight?

But I want to do this. So very, very much!