Thursday, December 30, 2010
For some reason tonight, with next menstrual cycle due in 2 days, I started Googling the clinics stats. I couldn't find their success rates so tried some Spanish searches and translated (via web) loads of review from local women saying they didn't like my consultants manner and one saying disappointed with treatment but she was 40?! Why am only asking for these success rates now, on new years eve? I actually feel sick with tunnel vision, that we have made a massive error just because it suits our health cover and price is right. But what about the waiting room of bumps? Maybe it was their 5th try? God I don't know. The Consultant has loads of CVs online and has lead conferences and 100s of publications on IVF, shit, now I have to ring Dr P tomorrow and I won't sleep..............I keep playing out our phone call where Dr P gives me rubbish stats and we have to start from scratch at a clinic with a different drug protocol so the grands worth of drugs in the fridge will have to go in the bin...no, I'm sure it will be OK.
Last night I dreant I was in an operating theatre and a gowned-up Dr passed me a bloody, sticky baby and I didn't feel anything, I had no memory or sensation of labour and I just kept saying 'It's not mine, it's not a real baby'.
Blimey, N really needs to get home soon and boot me off the internet before I spontaneously combust.
Tuesday, December 28, 2010
As usual, collecting the medications today took an extra hour. I should be used to adding an hour to every task I do here but it still surprises me.
It is 35 degrees today, 2 degrees down from yesterday. The pharmacist eventually arrived with the injections in a large cooler box that seemed big enough to supply a theatre or hospital ward and I'm still shocked now at the quantity. I had to remove one of the shelves in the fridge, (see photo). I double checked with the pharmacist about storage and she seems to contradict everything the Dr said but maybe it's just my bad Spanish? The boxes say 2-7 degrees, out of sunlight, don't freeze and in this heat I decide that in amongst the dairy products and veg is the best place for them.
I was sweating in the heat and with my nerves on the bumpy bus ride home, carrying this box of terrifying medicines after coughing up just over 6000 pesos (£1000)...phew! Now I just hope I get to use them in January. Until then, I await further instruction.
Thursday, December 23, 2010
I rang Dr P and he reassured me that it was not worth the agony of 'down regulation' and so we will let my ovaries be this month and wait for my next period to start. Due on Sunday the 2nd of January. The fact that this still may not go ahead, no matter how small the chance, bothers me greatly.
We have also been invited away for new year to a popular beach resort, as guests of friends who have a house in a nearby country but it's just too risky to leave the country so close to the 2nd. So we said 'No'. I've been thinking about a beach holiday since 2009 when we were struggling to afford a holiday together and then we moved here. The first week here felt like a city break but after that it was a struggle, with me not working and everything here is slow and difficult. I've been longing for a beach, it doesn't have to be really hot, I just want to sit and read a book and listen to the waves. Last January we had a holiday in the mountains. This year our holiday is cancelled and we are still sulking a bit but it seems a necessary sacrifice.
The image of other people taking a holiday with their 'free' babies and children flashed through my mind but very quickly I've come round to the reality of this plan and now all I'm hoping for is that New Years Day will bring all those familiar signs of a new menstrual cycle beginning so I can make that call to Dr P and face the next hurdle...stimulation drugs for a lovely collection of eggs.
Wednesday, December 15, 2010
Today I went to have my endocervical polyp (2mmx2mm) removed but in fact it had disappeared out of view so apparently shouldn't cause any problems.
Then, it was the mock transfer, the dress rehearsal. I wore a gown and the Dr tried various catheters for size against my bendy uterus and it bloody hurt. It quashed all my visions of relaxing during embryo transfer. It's the second time in a month something has been forced through my cervix but if it means I get to experience the weird, wonderful and excruciating experience of squeezing a baby out then so be it.
What's so stressful today is the timing of everything. I was all set for January but holding a little back in case the polyp was an issue. After the procedure I sat down with Dr P and he asked what I wanted to do next, it seemed so obvious...ICSI...quick sharp! But I remember N and I were meant to be thinking things over. I asked to start on my next cycle and he started to write a huge prescription of drugs I have never heard of in all my Nursing days. I had to ask the receptionist for directions to a specialist clinic with an odd name and hand over the cash and then take them to the fridge at home. The next step in the puzzle. But when to start?
The next day of my menstrual cycle it seems. Approx 3rd January. When it comes, I call Dr P and then go in for an USS with the drugs and they give me the next part of the puzzle. BUT if there are left over follicles from my last cycle (this current one) then the treatment will be abandoned?!! Dr H, the big cheese, is off on his hols in February and N is travelling in March and April so this was not good news. I now know after much googling that this is a short cycle IVF. The is no down regulation as with long IVF where the breaks are put on on day 21 of the cycle to ensure an empty base line on Day 1 of new cycle, this is the ultimate in control but symptoms are menopausal like and hideous. Well, tomorrow I will call him to see how this decision was made between the long and the short.
I have postponed my TEFL course, from 3/1/11 to 31/1/11 to allow for this cycle so if it doesn't happen it will be really, really tough. Oh for a glimpse into a magic crystal ball into this terrifying and uncertain future. I have spent the last 6 months, on and off, feeling physically sick at the thought of it all and drifting in this limbo between hope and hopelessness.
Tuesday, December 14, 2010
Today was decision day and I hardly slept a wink last night. I collected the last of our results from the other clinic and went to the posh fertility place, suitably dressed this time to face the lovely but far to glamorous receptionists. First piece of good news. I am a crap at interpreting Xrays and in fact the fluid filled sack I saw veering off to the right was in fact my uterus which sits at a very bizarre angle but this has no affect on my fertility. Tubes are both normal and patent. Marvellous.
We do still need the most expensive form of fertility treatment there is but again good news, it costs 30% less than I calculated originally so my maths is worse than my diagnostic skills.
In this predominantly catholic country, fertility treatment is widely available and seems to hold more importance than Britain. It seems, to be childless is no way to live and I often hide my age here to avoid the blunt comments and questions locals freely hand out. I feel more pressure here at my age to be a mother already but looking around the waiting room I finally saw many other women aged 30-40, sitting, staring at their shoes and whispering to their smartly dressed husbands. So this is where they are all hiding. It gave me a little more perspective. There were a few pregnant bumps too which outside the clinic ignite a deep pain somewhere inside me but in this waiting room I looked on with awe and wonder. Feelings that I thought I had lost along the way these past, long, dark months.
Monday, December 6, 2010
I've been reading about adoption again. I've looked at it on and off over the past year as I always tend to jump ahead. I am a natural born worrier and I have found that it's comforting to explore the worst case scenario, so I can feel more in control and prepared. Each time I enter a building, boat, train, bus or any public space I wonder what would happen in the event of fire or flood or any disaster. It's a waste of time really.
Not that I am saying adoption is the worst case scenario, rather that being denied by some horrid social worker would be awful. Perhaps turned away for being to old? The whole process sounds dreadful. Of course there are few babies up for adoption too so not I only would I miss out on my own baby but it would be an experience I would die never really knowing, which is really scary and not something I am willing to give up hope on just yet.
I suppose all this makes one question the reason for wanting a family, wanting to become a parent. What are the driving forces? I feel a lot of pressure to create something with my genes and N's genes and I wonder how much of it it the desire to be able to experience pregnancy, labour, birth etc...well it all needs more thought.
When I have felt maternal (I'm still not sure what that means to me) or thought about becoming a parent I always imagine a walking, talking child. Until that point everything feels very uncertain. I can imagine how the baby might look but I can't imagine the bond that I hear about all the time and maybe it's just one of those things you have to experience first hand. I had all sorts of romantic and also negative ideas about what marriage would be like and I filled the gaps with an imaginary person. When it does happen it's never the same (much better of course). I suppose it's the relationship with a walking, talking child I look forward to most. What do they think and feel about the world? What is it like to be him/her? What makes him/her unique?
I have just been sobbing over adoption blogs, listening to the struggles and rewards. An 8 year old buying her adoptive Mother a shiny, gold Mum bracelet from Argos and the Mum crying because it's so touching but also so tacky and not her taste at all. Giving a 6 year old his first proper birthday party and the simple things these children need and want after such a rocky start in life. It would be an honour really to adopt but I can understand why so called experts say couples must mourn the loss of the child they could never have first. It's a very different experience.