Monday, January 25, 2010

Feeling yucky

Well the overwhelmed feeling of a few days ago is slowly settling down. I am still having moments of anxiety where I stop and think about all that is to come. I think that is the hard part, the waiting and knowing. I remember the very first pick up cycle, and I was all excited and hopeful. I still have that hope, but I also have alot of dread. Not just for the IVF, but also in case I do get pregnant. I did not enjoy being pregnant, and 9 months of constant nausea is just not appealing. I know I know, it is all worth it for these precious creatures we call babies.

Unfortunately the side effects of the drugs are already making me feel yucky, and I haven't even started on the hormones yet. Encyclopedia google has informed me that with the metformin and the prednisone I can expect to feel nausea, malaise, some depression, and gastrointestinal upset. Sadly to say but I feel all of those. The side effects for these drugs is as long as your arm, which can be a bit scary. Although a positive side effect of the metformin appears to be weight loss, although I saw one website comment that that might be because you feel too nauseous and sick to eat. Great. If this cycle works, it sure is going to be a long pregnancy!

And I am still really stressed about our finances. With one income, this cycle is going to push us to the end of our savings. Making that worse, the other day our dishwasher packed it in. My first response was "oh well, time to start washing up by hand" but my husband refused, and went and got a brand new one at a price more than I wanted to spend. So now it looks like I will have to seriously consider doing the EPU without anaesthetic just to save some money. I have been thinking about it though, and I don't really do general anaesthetics well, so maybe it is a good idea.

But since it is Australia day today, I have just put the pavlova in the oven. Better go check on it!

Friday, January 22, 2010

All aboard the rollercoaster

Today was the day we went to see our fertility specialist. I was anxious about this, and excited. My FS (Warren) is a lovely, quite ocker bloke with a dirty sense of humour. He definitely makes you feel calm and relaxed about everything and that you can ask any question, no matter how silly. He felt that we could start this month without any issues. Eeeps, here we go! First off though he did an internal exam with ultrasound (after which he pronounced that "I have a perfect vagina and that I could show it off all over town"). He had a look at my ovaries and it seems that I am just about to ovulate so we will definitely be giving it a try this month naturally! He also said that I have a "pearl halo" which is typical of polycystic ovary syndrome. I am a bit shocked at this, as it hadn't been picked up in any of my other tests/scans/operations, although he did mention he thought I had PCOS at my last visit to him nearly 2 years ago now. I am a little disappointed that this hadn't been picked up earlier, although it seems I have a mild case of it as my periods are still really regular. But I have other symptoms of it that can now be traced to that. I guess it doesn't really change any of the treatment that I get though but it does increase my risk for OHSS.

I am at day 10 now, and the cycle will start on day 20 with the nasal spray (synarel). But Warren has started me on heaps of drugs from today. So my regime is: 2 x prednisone (steroid), 4 x metformin (to decrease insulin resitance because of the PCOS), 1 x cardiprin (aspirin), folic acid 5 mg, vitamin b, fish oil tablet, zinc. Phew. That's 12 tablets a day, and thats before I even start on the hormones! He has put James on zinc, aloe vera juice, gogi berries, and pumpkin seeds. It is alot, but if it all helps. This is the difference between this FS and my first one, Warren is so much more proactive. He thinks that if there is some research supporting these things, then go for it, it sure doesn't hurt.

Today alone cost us $300 so I am really bracing for more pain to come financially. It seems that we will be out of pocket about $3000, probably more including the anaesthetist etc. Warren did offer to do the EPU without any anaesthetic as it would be cheaper. I just don't think I can do that, I find the recovery excruciating enough, but James thinks I should think about it. Thats fine for him, he is moaning about how stressful it is to provide his sample. Forgive me for not feeling sympathetic.

Knowing that today I was likely to start all these drugs, I gave Charlotte her last breastfeed yesterday. I felt a little sad tonight trying to settle her without it. I gave her a small bottle of milk, which she chugged down. She was a little hard to settle but is asleep now. So that's that, my breastfeeding days are done. For the moment anway. And I got all of my other test results yesterday and they are completley normal, which is a relief. I do have two small lumps in my breast which seem to be cysts and don't need further tests at this time.

So now I am feeling a little overwhelmed, and a bit tired. I am really trying not to think about what is to come, and just trying to roll with it. I know that it will all be worth it, looking at Charlotte today made my heart break, she is so beautiful. Today she kept coming up to me and giving me big open mouthed kisses (which with a snotty nose were very slobbery too!). I love her so much, to not have another baby would just be cruel. But let's hope for the best and hop on that rollercoaster!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Happy 1st Birthday!

With all the stuff that has been going on, I forgot to mention that my precious baby girl turned one! I can hardly believe it. This year has gone fast, although I would say it has been one of the harder ones. The never ending fatigue hasn't helped, but everyday I look at Charlotte and am blown away at how beautiful she is, and how wonderful.

We had quite a big party for her birthday with lots of our friends - and some of hers (from my mothers group). It all went really well, and we had lots of fun. Charlotte took it all in her stride and didn't make too much of a fuss, although she did get a bit shy when we cut the cake. I think it was a very fitting way to celebrate her first year!

All dressed up and ready for the party
A very proud mummy and daddy

Later that week we got her one year old immunisations and also got her weighed and measured. She weighed 11.2 kg and 79cm long (although we think she is longer). That puts her at 97th percentile for length and 93ish percentile for weight. So she has grown a little bit taller and leaned out, but is still a big girl! I have been putting her in some size 2 clothes.

On her first birthday she was taking up to 8 steps; clapping; saying cat, what's that, hello, mumma and dadda; using her hands to manipulate objects; started chucking tantrums; and has 7 and a half teeth!

Actually since her birthday she seems to have had a developmental spurt, and she is now walking across the room. Her conversation skills have increased (she will talk into the phone for ages) as have her fine motor skills. Today I watched her grab my comb and try to brush her hair (what little of it there is) and she will "wipe" her hands or rub cream onto her skin. The tantrums are continuing but I am trying not to give in to her. And I don't want to jinx it, but we are so close to sleeping through!

Tomorrow I get all my test results, it has been a nervous few weeks getting all of these tests done, and then Friday we go back to see the FS. Very nervous about that, but will also be good. Better head off to bed, I still haven't shaken this cough so I am having sleepless nights, even though Charlotte is sleeping better (although she is coughing most nights too still).

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Stop it

Ok life, you can stop kicking me in the head now, I've had enough. Seriously. So much little stuff keeps on happening that all rolled into one makes life really hard at the moment.

Charlotte had her 12 month immunisations earlier this week. They went ok, she screamed once she realised that a big needle was going into her arm but perked up soon after. However while seeing the doctor we had a big talk about some issues that have been affecting me, and 90 minutes later, I had referrals for tests up the whazoo. The doctor is concerned about my blood pressure. It has always been high, and I just shrug it off as family related, but she wants to rule out other issues and then refer me on to a cardiologist. I am ok with this as I'm not getting younger, and it is not getting better. And it definitely affected my pregnancy towards the end. I also have a lump in breast so need to have an ultrasound and a mammogram. The doctor doesn't think that it is anything serious, probably a cyst, but better be safe than sorry. I thought I was ok with this, but suddenly the possibility of it being something worse has me a little worried. I am also worried about how much all of these tests are going to cost although to date I have been lucky and the doctor has bulk billed me.

Which brings me to my next issue - someone, somewhere in the world, has gotten our credit card details and decided that buying over $350 dollars of lego online would be a good idea. Now I love lego, but that is alot! So we are tyring to sort it out with the credit card company but based on other people's experiences it may take months to sort out. In the meantime we have put a stop to the card which means we are down a card, with the possibility that we have to wear that cost.

And we are not getting much sleep over here. I have dropped Charlotte's breastfeeds down to one a day which I am actually really happy about. It was alot easier than I thought in terms of how it would affect me. The main problem has been night times as I had been feeding Charlotte to sleep for ages now in the vain hope that she would actually sleep. So the last few nights she has woken up and wanted a feed, which I haven't been giving to her. It has taken a fair bit of patience to try and settle her back down. On top of that, the virus that I had over Christmas is still lurking and I have a terrible cough at night time which is really troubling me. But today we bought a vaporizer so I will try that and hope it makes some difference.

But on the plus side, at the doctors we got a referral back to our IVF specialist. I am booked in to see him in a few weeks. The thought of doing it all again is simultaneously terrifying and exciting. The other day I wasn't sure if I did want to do it just yet, but then I saw a teeny tiny baby and got all teary - I really really really want another baby. So here goes. And other positives, did I mention that I'm down to one breastfeed a day! I have really had enough of it, and I don't think Charlotte really wants it anymore, and I can't see the benefit. So in a few weeks we will drop that last feed. I have to do that before going on IVF anyway so it is a good incentive.

Ok, so that's it for the moment, life you can go back to being nice and boring please.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Time to be thankful

Sometimes life rolls along and we barely notice that a day has passed, often complaining and moaning about trivial issues that at the time seem monumental. Other times life comes up and gives you a giant smack on the head. This feels like such a time.

In early December, my much loved big sister gave birth to a baby boy, D, at 32 weeks. She had had several issues with her pregnancy, and at 29 weeks her waters broke. An infection had taken hold and the baby was delivered by emergency caesarian. Unfortunately the infection was resistant to antibiotics, and D died in my sister's arms only 15 hours after he was born.

Initially my grief was overwhelming, not just for the loss of my nephew, but also for the pain which my sister and her family were going through. I kept looking at Charlotte and bursting into tears, thinking how I would have felt had something happened to her. We travelled interstate to attend the funeral which did help with the grief. The service was held in the grounds of the crematorium and the location was just lovely. The sun was shining, and at one point, a little blue wren was hopping around near the casket. I am not a religious person by any means, but I saw this as a sign that D was with us. It was also great that the family could all be together at such a difficult time, and I felt that some of the healing could begin.

Unfortunately, only two days after the funeral, my grandfather suddenly passed away. He was nearly 89 although it did happen suddenly. The juxtaposition of mourning for a life lost too early and one who had lived a long and good life was all too acutely felt. I felt though that I had cried my river of tears already, so found that I wasn't overly emotional at this time. But it did affect me, and physically my body said enough was enough and started to shut down. I became extremely fatigued and then developed a nasty cold sore and then a yucky virus.

However, despite all the grief, there was one good thing to come of it. All of our family were together for the first time in many years. We had a wonderful Christmas together. I have never felt more thankful or grateful for the family that I have, and also for the precious gift that is my baby girl. I think this is a wonderful legacy for D to have left, and shows how powerful one life, however shortly lived, can be.