waiting for a miracle

More waiting…

So I knew that IVF had many potential complications, you know, things that could go wrong. I’ve seen countless ladies go through all of the injections only to find that they don’t get enough follicles to be able to go through with actual egg pick up resulting in a cancelled cycle (hey guess what, they still have to pay for a cycle!). And many other countless women go through with promising test results only to get to egg pick up and have either one or none collected. And others go through it all only to have no eggs fertalise.

The whole IVF process is unpredictable. Like when your period arrives (also sometimes unpredictable) – that’s day one. You have to on that exact day go and have a blood test so that you can start injections. The monitoring and blood tests each morning every other day during your cycle determine what medication/s you will have next each evening. While ‘cycling’ in IVF, your regular life goes on hold – you just don’t make plans because the timing of everything is so critical.

So day one arrived for me in January… shortly after my 32nd birthday. I was so excited – most women would agree that day one is usually disappointment that either we haven’t fallen pregnant or that we have to have our yukky period…. Yes being a girl sucks every 28 days for roughly 5-7 days. 🙂 So my excitement was because this day one meant a blood test so that I could finally start another cycle since losing Hope in October (hey guess what? I can sit up and have my blood taken now! Hundreds of needles will do that to you. I still can’t watch or I will faint but small steps guys – I can sit up!).

So off I went with Scott to a new pathology place. With new hope as we have now moved into the house/property we bought while pregnant with Hope (with the expectation that she would grow up here). The lady did the blood test and sent it off in the bag marked urgent.

We called our clinic and informed them I had just had day one bloods taken so they could look out for my results. This is the protocol. When they receive results they will call you to let you know you can come pick up your medications.

We now live approximately 3 hours from our clinic and the chemist closes at 5pm. When it reached 1.30 and we still hadn’t heard from our clinic Scott called them. My results weren’t in yet. It became a bit stressful as we waited for the call to go because if we didn’t hear back by 2pm we wouldn’t be able to get our medications – and medications won’t be released before results are received due to government rules and regulations – and that can have an impact of starting the IVF cycle if we don’t have the meds! See our little dilemma? Thankfully both Scott and I were on holidays so we could do this waiting game without stressing about leaving work early to pick up meds. Had we been back at work it may have been a lot more tricky.

2pm came and went so Scott called. A nurse realised the situation and allowed us to go get meds…. Although before we could get to the chemist, at 4.30pm, we had a call… Not the one I wanted… My estrogen levels were too high to start an IVF round. Too high? I didn’t even know this could happen on a day one bloods to cancel a cycle before it has a chance to begin…. Bit blind sighted here….

I learned a new thing – IVF really is very unpredictable…. And so is my body. Better to cancel on day one before all of the injections than later I guess.

So now we wait again…. This cycle lined up way too perfectly to be true. I’m on holidays so it wouldn’t have interfered with work… but it wasn’t to be.

On an upside, I have now re-met again with our reproductive immunologist. We will be on a similar protocol to last time but there will also be some additions to try and improve our success and to try and suppress my immune so that my body doesn’t attack a good embryo. We just have to hope and pray that we can get some embryos that have no chromosome issues – no amount of meds will fix that complication.

I plan to document the journey to allow others an insight into what some of us do… and also give hope to others in similar situations…. There are other options. You may just have to go and find the doctor that is more specialised in an area that others may have little to no knowledge about. I’m so thankful we have found this specialist. He’s specialised in three areas of specialty… I call him my specialist specialist specialist. 🙂 And through finding him, I have made some good friendships with some of his other patients. This really is a sisterhood that I never knew existed about 10 years ago, but once you’re in (by no choice of your own), you are blessed to get to know these beautiful women to do life with. We celebrate the highs and mourn with each other in the lows. I believe life is all about what we make of it. It is too short to wallow for too long.

So yes there is more waiting… but I have used this time to keep unpacking and setting up in our new home. We love it here and our dogs really love it here. Best decision ever! It will make this next cycle feel a lot better I think. 🙂

So, as the next cycle unfolds, stay tuned and you may hear from me. 😉 Be kind to each other, it’s free and it totally makes this world a better place.

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Relief

She was a girl! We really felt like she was a girl, and our genetic testing on her confirmed that she is a girl. She had Turner’s Syndrome (google this if you want to know more). It was a relief to read up about this and to know that there was absolutely nothing that we could have done. That most babies that have this condition end in miscarriage. And there is nothing that we can do to prevent that. There is a very low chance of having another baby with the same conditions. What a relief all of this was to find out. No, it doesn’t bring her back. Yes, we would have loved and adored her, got the best medical help for her that we could have gotten…. But the fact is that my body, despite having all the drugs to keep it from attacking the baby growing in my body, recognised the issues and ended things in the miscarriage…

It’s a relief to have finally had a full cycle since Hope passed away. Of the last few weeks and months, I have bled for approximately 8 weeks on and off. Probably explains why I have had literally all of my energy zapped away. I still feel completely energy drained (on top of my usual fatigue related to other health issues). It is a relief to know that this is all related and not a new challenge to combat.

So I feel like we have renewed Hope. Hope that our next time, that we finally see those two little lines, that our baby will eventually come to be part of our family here on earth. The grief is still there, and it catches me at moments where I completely don’t expect it to surface. But together, Scott and I, have managed to walk the road together to where we can look back and find some understanding (however small) of the big picture…

I felt so deserted and abandoned by a Father in Heaven that I always thought would carry me when I couldn’t. I felt like he wasn’t listening… I can now look back and I know that He was. And in those moments of utter despair He was right there in the midst of it, holding us and gently pushing us forwards. When we were screaming and banging on the door, after politely knocking, He was on the other side, whispering… only we couldn’t hear him through our anger and hurt. He was whispering that he wasn’t going to open the door for Hope to be with us, that she instead would go be with Him to where she would be healed of her Syndrome. I got so angry with God. I almost stopped believing… but then I look around me and I see miracles and fingerprints of God everywhere. How could I stop believing over one unanswered prayer, that in reality was answered, we just didn’t realise it. When we are kids, we all get angry at our parents, it doesn’t mean that we stop loving them, or that they stop loving us. I’ve learned that it’s okay to be angry with God. I’ve learned that through this, our relationship has been strengthened.

So where to from here? Our specialist thinks that from here we should have genetic testing on any embryos that we have inserted. That means we will have to go through a private clinic which means in excess of $10,000 (probably closer to $15,000 due to the additional testing that will need to be done and extra monitoring). This is just not an option for us at the moment. And probably not for a long time. So we will give the current clinic one more try and we will hope and pray like mad that we get some great quality eggs, that turn in to excellent quality embryos and that then live long enough to be inserted and hopefully some frozen. And we will also try another specialist who may have more suggestions. Especially when I had severe bleeding mid cycle and mine didn’t even make time to see me to check that I was okay. Many times a D&C can miss parts and later you can haemorrhage severely, and if not checked early can lead to death (worst case scenario). My GP sent me for an ultrasound to check for this the day before Christmas, and thankfully I was okay, just hormones going nuts.

The IVF journey has so many steps to it. Many ladies that I know have gone through the whole process to have none of the eggs make friends with the sperm. Each step of the way is an anxious wait. But this time we have an army of a praying community behind us to fight for us.

I listened to a message from Pastor Brian Houston. It was about Encouragement. Perfect timing. I took this away from it and wanted to share:

Encouragement – to inspire with hope. Who are you inspiring with hope? Encouragement is the fabric of our being. Comfort and encouragement are intertwined. Encouragement tells us that it’s going to be okay, it brings us to come alongside each other, to pull someone up, to be refreshed or embraced. It breaks the binds of reality and loosens the holds of possibility. Encouragement is a language negativity does not speak. Encouragement is an investment into someone’s future. Speaking a world of hope when there is no hope. There are people who try to take encouragement out of you. We need to always bring life and hope to our world. Never underestimate the power in your hand to bring hope. 
Silence can be a nasty weapon. Some people can be so caught up in themselves that they find it difficult to speak life into those around them. Marriages thrive on encouragement. Children thrive on encouragement. If you appreciate and respect someone – tell them. Don’t expect them to telepathically know. 
From Jeremiah 29.10: I know the plans I have for you, of peace and a future of hope. Plans are good. There are better days coming. Encouragement changes the atmosphere. 
Never underestimate the power of your words.

This message renewed my hope and my inner spirit. I hope it renews yours too. I think we can all remember to encourage someone…. It’s free to do and you can lift someone out of despair with some gentle encouragement. Always remember that you are very loved, through ups and downs. Whatever you are facing, you will get through this. We will get through this.

[Photo description – this was our very early 5 week scan. I wish we had photos of our 8 week scan when we could see her formation start to take shape and her little heart beating. But this is our little image from early on.]

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