Friday, 11 September 2009

My IVF Story Part II ... The Shooting Star

It's the eighth anniversary of September 11. I remember it vividly, crying and watching the TV all day. I just read this post of Penelope's. I wondered if the owner of the hand she held got out safely. I hope so.


So, Dave agreed to *try* to have another child. This is big .... I was in awe. "Wow, you must really love me!"

He must.

I was elated, and very scared. This is what happens in your brain when you decide to pursue fertility treatments:

What if it works? What if it doesn't? What if it works? What if it doesn't? What if it works? What if it doesn't? What if it works? What if it doesn't? What if it works? What if it doesn't? What if it works? What if it doesn't? What if it works? What if it doesn't? What if it works? What if it doesn't? What if it works? What if it doesn't? What if it works? What if it doesn't .... etc.

All aboard the crazy train, toot toot!

We went to the appointment, got the go-ahead. Living in anticipation that it might work is sweet. Living in the fear of it failing is hard ... and I already had a child. I was lucky. If IVF didn't work for us ... well, it would be very hard, and very disappointing - but I had Max. Some people go through cycle after cycle, year after year. And they do not conceive a child. And I can't imagine how hard that would be.

When I was a kid, there was a woman who lived around the block who was infertile. Her name was Lyn. I remember her last name. She wore her hair high in these buns, and had a fake boob from the chemo she had for her breast cancer. You couldn't tell which one was real and which one was fake ... I stared at it all the time. I remember the inside of her house ... so neat and clean and stylish. I remember my mother gossiping viciously about her, and I always wondered how Lynn really felt. She always looked happy.

I used to knock on her front door and run away to hide, watching her come and answer her door. After a while she would get so annoyed. I don't know why she did this - I liked her. She was a warm and giving person. Maybe I wished she was my mother. Maybe I was just a brat. As far as I know, she never had children.

Some people say silly things, to couples who are having difficulties conceiving. "Just relax" ... "Why don't you just adopt" .... "not everyone was meant to have children." Silly, thoughtless things to say.

I didn't tell anybody about doing IVF. Except my sisters. I didn't like the idea of people knowing how badly I wanted something. In all my outspoken showy-off inappropriateness, I can be very private.

I rang the IVF clinic on the day of my cycle, told them I was good to go. (Actually, I told them I had my period. Strange, calling up somebody and saying "Umm, hi - I just got my period! *Cue gameshow music*).

And so it began. Going on the pill for a month had turned me NUTS, but it was so purposeful. To actually take the steps. To know I had the chance to be pregnant again. It was fucking awesome, and I will be forever grateful to Dave for making that decision. Regardless of what happened next ... he let me try.

The Eggs are Gettin Bigger August 25th 2007 -

I have come to look forward to the long drives down and back to the hospital. And I love .... the Gonal F injections. They were the things I was most worried about! I remember earlier this year, finding out EXACTLY what doing IVF entailed, and crying so hard, I couldn't believe how invasive it was. But, I guess you kind of get used to it. It's amazing how we adapt, how the abnormal becomes normal.So, I'm pretty sure I'm responding well. (Yay!) My tummy feels like this. I have to hold it to laugh.

I showed off to Dave tonight with my Puffy White Pen, and made him squirm as I shot up. Felt pretty fucking tough.I can't actually believe that I'll make it to retrieval, it seems so surreal. After all these years. Sometimes I feel like there's a baby up above, guiding me on, waiting .... and other times I just feel that this will all turn to shit, I'll have a MAJOR meltdown and howl at the Gods and take up smoking again and fly by myself to Paris on a whim. Strange. I'm right smack bang in the middle of an IVF cycle. It's safe in the middle. I like it here. Big bloated gut and all - it's safe. The beginning was terrifying. And the end? I have abso-fucken-lutely no idea.

Day of Egg Retrieval August 30th 2007 -

Dave had to have a sperm aspiration, at the same time I was getting my eggs retrieved. He got a big fat needle in his nethers, for ME! So romantic. I came to, and he's standing over my bed.

"YOU LIED." (I may have told him that it wouldn't hurt.) I ate a ham sandwich, groggy and sick ... and he looked at me like a wounded bull. I could not believe how he still had trillions of sperm. Through his pain, he was pretty impressed with himself too.

I'm so overwhelmed - driving home, I teared up, and told Dave that what he did today - was the most amazing, most giving thing anyone had ever done for me in my life. And how much I love him.

So tonight, right now, right this second, in a hospital clinic west of Sydney, some of Dave's MANY sperm are all dressed up, on their best behaviour .... one may even have a rose clenched in his teeth .... smooth talking the hell out of my freshly harvested eggs. "How YOU doin'?"
Please send them Barry White thoughts!

The Shooting Star 2nd September 2007 -

Well. I have MUCH to say. So please get comfy! Firstly, I'm still in shock ... that my husband is so freakin virile. I'm still dumbstruck by Thursday's Cup Overfloweth Sperm Episode. I've slowly realised that I really, honestly thought that he wouldn't have any sperm left. That at least going to all this trouble would stop any relationship issues down the road. Of course, I hoped and dreamt, but during the treatment my mind has tried to stay calm, not letting me get carried away with the whole Baby Dream, lest the fall be too much.

To have 22 eggs retrieved - out of which 12 fertilised, 1 was transferred yesterday, and 8 were frozen. Now, I have slowly realised that my clinic should be called IVF's-R-Us ... I have never seen the same doctor or nurse more than once, so personalised care is non-existent. So I don't even know their criteria for freezing - but the scientist (that's what they call themselves!) was pleased with the whole nine.Watching my embryo transfer yesterday, I was dumbstuck, dumfounded, enthralled, excited. I couldn't wait to see the embie. I wanted to take a photo of the monitor - but instead, I actually had to hold the ultrasound to my uterus! I had to help the doctor! In another room, the scientist was getting the embie ready - and there it was on screen, all four cells, waving hi. Look mum, no hands! Un-freakin-believable! Like an episode of Star Trek! Through the microphone, the scientist said "Topcat, C. Whiskers, is that you?" His voice was so distorted, it actually sounded like "Meat or bean or half and half?". I had to confirm the embie was mine, then watched it get sucked up in the catheter "Wheeeeeeeee" - he comes in and hands it to the doc, who told me to watch the screen. I did - and saw the precise moment he was shot into my uterus. It was like a shooting star in a galaxy.

"I saw it! I saw it!" I was so giddy. "Wow! OMG! That is SO amazing! Isn't that amazing?" The doc just nodded, amused. "I guess you're used to it now, hey." He said he was. Aware I was babbling, I couldn't stop. "It's still amazing though! Wow!"I walked out, four cells heavier. I thought that it would have been more than four, but the scientist said they like them to be four at 2 days old. Had an HcG injection, given a date to return for a blood test (September 19th - 17 sleeps away!) Then drove home. In amazement. I rested as much as I could yesterday - the nurse said I didn't have to rest, to go and do something nice for myself. But I wanted to lie down. Felt a bit fragile, not wanting to move around much.So, my scientific quest on "What the cells are up to now" .... has led me to some interesting discoveries. For instance, technically, the embie should still be travelling in the tube towards my uterus. Being released early, for good behaviour, makes me wonder what's going on in there? Is the embryo just like a pinball, cruising around wherever it wants? I guess it's instincts will lead it over to implant ... or not.

How incredible. How totally ..... random. This is all such a big gamble, really. All bets are off, at this point. The roulette wheel is still spinning. Black or red? Implant or die? Pregnant or not? Ecstasy or heartbreak?I did POAS yesterday, just to see how strong the second line would be, so I will have something to compare the inevitable future pee sticks to. I'm feeling calm. A few silly thoughts .... I feel like a Coca Cola IT'S A CRAVING! Twinges down below I'M OVULATING! I love my husband so much HORMONES KICKING IN! Undoing my pair of socks this morning, foolishly punching myself in the tummy - hard YOU'VE KILLED IT! Don't count your chickens I'M PREGNANT UNTIL PROVEN OTHERWISE!

I'm in the 2WW. Today is Fathers Day down here in Oz. I made Dave a teeny, tiny card. On the outside it said "Happy Fathers Day!" On the inside I wrote:"Dear Dad, Thanks for giving me a chance. If this works out, I'm really looking forward to meeting you. Lots of love,Your Four Cells xoxoxoxox"

Dave nearly cried.


It's incredible reading that now, knowing it was Rocco. (I even called him a him, back then.) I imagine Rocco as four cells, bashing and headbutting all the other puny embryos out of his way. "Outta my way, motherfuckers."

It had to be him ... had to be the toughest one. I wonder if he knew what was coming? Because I certainly didn't.

NEXT: If a woman pees on a pregnancy test and it falls down the crack of her car console before she looks at it ... can she still be pregnant?


  1. I am absolutely loving reading these installments, Eden! You have no idea how much.


  2. Very interesting stuff. I had infertility issues, and I can vouch that I absolutely hated the "try to relax" and "if it's meant to happen, it'll happen" pep talks. No shit Shirlock. My absolute favorite was people I hardly know asking "when the hell are you going to start having kids?" Hey Dipshit, I'm trying.

    The world of IVF is very interesting. I am floored by your previous post that showed the difference in cost where you are and here in The States. I've known people that have forked over 10 of thousands of dollars on treatments. Insanity.

    Keep the entries coming!

  3. I love reading these too -- and you that line about the shooting star took my breath away....

    and it is interesting the difference in procedures -- for instance though I was awake for the transfer I couldn't see anything except the Dr. rocking to his CSNY -- though at the time I thought it was the Grateful Dead -- either way I found it sort of funny and appropo because there were years and years where that was the kind of music that would've been my happy music...

    I do look at her embryo picture a lot and think its the most beautiful thing I've ever seen -- I do wonder which one she is...




  4. This story is so beautiful. Thank you so much for sharing it. I truly appreciate it.

  5. I remember all these posts as if they were yesterday.

    And isnt it funny how you wrote him? I wrote "they" before I even knew it was twins and then was all like "wait, i just wrote they... what if that means I am having twins.." and we all know how that turned out.

  6. I do love reading these posts Eden. I have to admit with a little envy...

    Sounds like an amazing experience and I hope to someday be in those same shoes! BTW...hearing the "just relax" a dozen times makes a person want to stick a screwdriver in their ears. Seriously ain't always that simple!

  7. Awesome - you gotta know your man really loves you when he consents to have sperm extracted...

  8. I remember reading these, too! (jeez, have I been around that long?) I love that you are doing this, E. Mwah!

  9. 'outta my way motherfuckers!'

    That's my nephew!

  10. I love this too!
    Laughing a bit at the thought of poor Dave after all those needles but what a guy to do all that.
    It's interesting too how different IVF is there compared to here. Not to mention cheaper.

  11. I knew I should have moved to Aussie for our IVF treatments! Over here you get 2 govt funded sessions IF you meet certain criteria. Guess who didn't?

    I still have my emby pic - I had it as my screen saver for a while till someone pointed out you could see sperm still trying to get in. I was the only person in the company allowed a cum shot on her computer!

    Loving these posts - and Dave, what a man. It's really nice reading this - and knowing the outcome too which helps with the suspense :-) Keep going keep going!

  12. I remember the shooting star the first time around :)


  13. 22 eggs and 12 embryos? I am so jealous.

    If anyone says " try to relax" to me, H comes flying across the room to do damage control as he knows that it turns me into a flaming dragon and the person is toast. At the last count, I was down to 2 friends.

  14. Aug 30th 2007 is a big day for me too- the day I peed on a stick and found out The Boy was here.


Write to be understood, speak to be heard. - Lawrence Powell

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