Our Donor is An Angel

Who had to watch me burst into ugly sobs as the doctor told me they wouldn’t treat me because we have two children in the family.

We’d already discussed the testing we’d need, discussed the Psych evaluations we’d all need to undertake… We’d done it all, had all the test results ready, and then out of nowhere, once again, the rug was pulled from under my feet.

Ca.pe Fer.tility quoted me R72000 for a donor cycle with them. It was going to be R25000 with today’s hospital.

I don’t know what to do. I think the trauma of seeing me burst into inconsolable tears shocked my husband. Dr put me in a side room to get time to cry and poor donor was so shocked and dismayed she sat outside the room, wanting to give us privacy.

I’ve emailed our current private clinic and the Dr who I had seen for a second opinion. But I’m not hopeful. Psych tests, lawyers, her blood tests, her ‘gift…’ It will cost a lot. I don’t know that we’ll do.

You know what hurts the most?

I emailed and asked last year and the response I got was that they’d definitely treat us if we lived in their jurisdiction but that the completely childless would get first preference.

No “first preference.” Just a “The financial manager won’t approve.”

I haven’t learnt, have I? Nothing ever goes right. Why did I expect this to?

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Miracle Pills?

When I first started blogging this rough ride, I mentioned all the supplements I was on and how I knew they weren’t the magic bullet. They definitely are NOT! Someone in a group asked about the side effects and positive efects of DHEA and more than one of us responded that it made absolutely no difference to us, it did not do what they say it does. I was reminded because a sweet member just told me about it privately, telling me her friend’s specialist prescribed it for her, and telling me where I can get it without prescription.

There is no magic pill.

No magic bullet.

You can get great betas, but find just a sac. Or you lose your twins at 17 weeks.

But still, I will continue taking my supplements till they run out.

I don’t know if things would not have been even worse. And I may have to use my own eggs if something goes wrong with GSH…They aren’t magic pills, but they are something we take to feel like we’re making a difference, to give ourselves hope.

We.need.hope.

I Was So Sure!

I used to look or blogs by women with diminished ovarian reserve and as soon as I saw “DE IVF” (donor egg IVF) would look away. After all, I was going to use my own eggs, I’d never end up in their situation.

All that smugness..gone! LOL. Now I’m one of them! Now I need to go find them all over again and gain some hope.

Meanwhile, wow, the difference between the two government establishments is insane! GSH is amazing. I mentioned before how just talking to the lady telling me when my appointment would be showed me how warm they are. They also reply to emails with warmth! And promptly. I asked Ty.gerberg twice if I should ask for our spe.rm sample and never got a reply. Yesterday morning at 6am I sent an email asking if I should bring some info about our donor as she is not anonymous from an agency and by 8:07am, I had a reply.

I’m going to our first consultation with our donor!! Woop woop! I’m so excited. I really hope it speeds things up this way. I hear the financial manager has to approve us first and I don’t know how long our blood tests will take. But ja, I hope they’ll start processing both of us this Wednesday.

Let’s see what Wednesday bring!

 

The Final Gamble

I know two people who have used an egg donor. One has spent through the years of IVF, R400 000. Her final ever attempt led to yet another big fat NOTHING.

On the other hand, another one is 10 weeks pregnant on her donor’s final eggs.

I don’t know what the future holds. But I do know that I can’t even make the two follicles I was making before. And I know that the quality is pathetic. And I know that even IF I actually had a positive, chances are much higher than normal that I would miscarry.

I knew from the negative tests before beta, that I had to choose. My own, or donor? Will she want compensation? If so, my own because we’ve exhausted our money on this painful journey and need every cent for more meds. And I’ve been told GSH runs more exhaustive blood tests than the other government place..which means more money. If it were  my friend, or a relative, they’d just receive my love and loyalty. But I cannot expect someone I’ve only had a 5 minute conversation with, someone I know is studying, to be tested, scanned, interviewed, inject herself, be put to sleep, go through egg retrieval..for nothing. It just doesn’t sit right with me. I don’t know what to do.

But whatever I decide, I have to do it fast. Our appointment is Wednesday and I wanted her to have some tests done just to see if they think she’d even be suitable. If she was suitable overseas, she must be here too but hey who knows?

I’m so tempted to use my eggs because I’m tired of this rollercoaster and have just lost hope. Maybe my womb doesn’t allow anything to implant anyway. There’s a longer waiting period if we use donor because they need to work on her too…I just want to get off.

Nothing is guaranteed to work. All I am guaranteed (I hope) is more eggs.

Implantation… Nope.

This is the hardest gamble ever.

 

What if it never works?

My friend had a beta of 23 and her test picked it up. She went on to have a chemical.

Mine have picked up nothing and beta is tomorrow.

My only solace is that we have our consultation next week with our final hope. I don’t know what to do. Give up on my own eggs and go to donor? That would mean a delay of around 2 months … Or try my own eggs and hope we get a good one and that that one actually STICKS. With IUI, I don’t even know if my one follicle even had an egg. At least with ICSI I knew we transferred an embie. Now I don’t know if one even formed. I could have been praying for the implantation  of a non-existent zygote.

Not exactly feeling joyful. Nor particularly hopeful. I feel like I’m going into this next round just so I can say I tried everything.

Maternity Wear and Gonal-f

I am veering between hope and heart-searing pain. Last week was hope. I watched pregnancy announcement videos, looked for ‘pregnant after infertility’ testimonies and even bookmarked maternity wear from overseas so that as soon as I got my positive beta, I could order it. (Things take ages to arrive via Wish and eBay.)

This week is the opposite. I feel like I am crumbling, losing my mind. I’ve had nightly insomnia since 6dpiui and tonight’s was the worst. The couple who had the surprise pregnancy (AGAIN) aren’t helping. Every time the husband chats with me he talks about “her condition.” They know what I’ve gone  through. But he totally missed it when in response to the news I said, “I have been waiting for this news since January.” And he wrote, “And it happened! 😀”

This week I face reality. If this has failed, I’m going into my last ever cycle. (Unless we receive a miraculous and huge cash injection.) I know they use Gonal-f at GSH and I tried googling to see how many people with my situation (very low ovarian reserve) have had success on it. Then I decided it was pointless. I found  stories of hope for menopur and clomid, then femara and clomid, believed..but still ended up with failed cycles. Just because it happens for others, doesn’t mean anything for me.

Reality is overwhelming.

How will I survive the rest of my life with constant reminders of the ease of falling pregnant and staying pregnant when I was denied the chance?

I don’t want to heal and thrive after failure. I want to be pregnant and give birth to a healthy baby.

Only one more attempt.

 

My One Child’s Birth Mother

She sent me a personal Mother’s Day message today.

And we both realised that no-one spoiled us so I told her next year she and I would run away and pamper each other 😉

Sometimes the sweetness in the bittersweet that is adoption overwhelms the bitter. This is one of those times.

5 Days Till Beta

7dpiui

I am scared to hope. I’ve cried the ugly tears and know the devastation of a failed cycle all too well. I don’t want to hope, for when hope is killed, the damage is far-reaching. I don’t want to see signs where there are none. I don’t want to feel anything that can be a positive. But is also normal.

I wish I could sleep till beta.

The headache, the intermittent breast pain, the cramps… Those may very well be progesterone side effects. I’ve never used Cyclogest before, so I don’t know if it has different side effects to crinone.

I was awake from midnight to 2am. Headache. But it could be stress. It could be anything.

This is why I would rather have NOTHING to wonder about. Because reality is, lots have ‘symptoms’ that end with a BFN.

I don’t want to hope. I’d rather be pleasantly surprised.

But for many of us TTC-ers, that is and will forever be impossible. And so we wait, in limbo, hoping, praying, scared to hope but wanting to have something to cling to..

Till beta day.

When results end our hell.

(Till the next wait for them to rise..then for the scan..then throughout as you hope nothing goes wrong… But for now, this is the mental torture lots of us go through, the torture I am currently going through.)

The two week wait.

5 days to go. My clinic only contacted me the day after beta. But I trust at- home tests to at least tell me SOMETHING, and have a GP friend who can look the results up if they don’t get back to me again.

5 interminable days to go.

I’ll start testing at home in 3 days’ time.

Must.Have.Sex

(Firstly- Betsy, are you still blogging? How’s everything going with your little one? We need updates!)

I warned my husband in the morning that I’d read that even patients whose husband don’t have sperm are told to have sex after the insemination.

I arrived on time. Receptionist spotted that I was alone and asked if they should rather wait for my husband to arrive. I told them he was going to come-to collect me-but he had a very hectic work day so he didn’t have much time. She didn’t sound convinced, bless her, so I reiterated that I was ok with proceeding.

Doctor called me in. Asked if my husband was parking the car. I said no. He asked if I’d driven myself there. I told him I’d used Uber (Actually, I forgot I’d used Taxify) and that my husband was coming to take me home. He asked if we should wait for my husband to arrive.

See, I’m apparently not like the women in the forums. They feel that it’s not supportive for my husband not to be at any appointment-though he was there for retrieval and for transfer. But we need the money he makes from working. And I am totally fine going alone. I really don’t need that kind of support. I don’t need him there to count follicles. I really don’t. Though I would have preferred it if he didn’t have crisis meetings yesterday for the insemination. We know he’ll always be there or pregnancy ultrasounds, for labour etc, so why not save the time off? (Yes, still living in hope.)

So after convincing the doctor that “No, my emotional state is just fine without him here,”” we went ahead. He wanted me to hold the sample but my hands were too cold so he kept it warm and prepped one handed.

Speculum went in ok and he told me my cervical mucus was great. (NOT a conversation I expected!) and after a lot of pressure, we were done. He said he expected it to be more difficult but I was definitely ovulating because my cervix was low and open-which is why it was easy to insert the catheter.

And he suggested we make love.

Which led to last night, lying next to my husband, feeling the abdominal pain starting, and wondering if I should just forget about the ‘suggestion’ till he says, “Ok. You said we must have sex. Are you ready?” Hahaha!

Yeah, not particularly romantic. I actually can’t imagine having sex with my wife when I know someone else’s semen is in there. It just feels weird for some reason! But hey, he wants me pregnant so we did the deed.

Now we wait 12 days.

I’ll start testing at home on day 10..or maybe 9. But I’ll try be good and wait till day 10.

PS. I’m on 1 Cyclogest a day. Had horrible pain in the night. Still uncomfortable, full feeling, pain when I laugh or cough or walk. But nothing unbearable anymore.