What we did and wrapup

Hi folks. As promised I have posted some details on what we did. I hope this helps you and if you have any specific questions – please, post a response – I am happy to help if I can.

https://misterivf.wordpress.com/what-we-did/

Thank you all for your responses. Mrs IVF and I read over then and really appreciate the support you gave us. It has felt very weird the last few weeks thinking we might have left IVF land. We don’t fit in with other people who are pregnant, but can understand its time to move on to somewhere else. I feel like a guy who dropped a huge fart at a party, and pissed everyone off, and that everyone knows that its me who dropped the offending gas.

I know declaring pregnancy is a mixed blessing on these pages in terms of happiness that someone may beat this thing, but at the same time, the jealously is there, so as a reminder, (and we aren’t there yet), we had 5 cycles, we overcame thin lining, a miscarriage (2 if you count the chemical), 4 bad results, crap sperm and the mental anguish that hung over me for a very long time on that (and probably still does to a degree) , letting Mrs IVF down with my crap nuts, all the admin issues along the way, the waiting, all the endless testing, Mrs IVF fainting in one of the exams, the clueless friends, the fertiles, continual bad results from genetic tests (1 year and a half of them), the botched retrievals (had to be!) where we only got 5 eggs… the list goes on. Not as tough as many journeys out there, tougher than others, but its not a competition.

Thanks for the encouraging words to “blog on” from some of you but will give it a break for a while. I might come back to it, but I have signed up to do some volunteer work and if anything, might right a book of how we got to here. I just don’t think the male story is told well if at all. I wish I had a book as some background before I started this journey. You just have no idea what you are in for. Would appreciate if you think this is a good idea.

Lastly, here’s a link to our 1st scan results if you want to know. More than ok if you dont: https://misterivf.wordpress.com/scan-results/

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Heading for the rickety bridge

Don’t fear, I am over the jet lag and crazy “world free of IVF” posts and am back to normal, alas my dry-old-jealous of-fertile-people self.

Apologies for the long delay between posts – I know the 5 of you who follow me must be beside yourself looking for an update- but the Hoboken Hilton (i.e. Mr and Mrs IVF base camp) has been rammed with guests from Australia. Damn that useless weak American dollar.

Actually seeing fam and friends is good we just need a break between them.. .our mate Nate, then dad, then my aunt and a mate of hers, a week or so “free” with Mission Denver and then mum meets up with us for Christmas. So today is the first gap in a while with my aunt, (or to pronounce that in American: “ant”) ,out of town for the weekend, Mr IVF is back (briefly).

The lovely Mrs IVF, the ever positive Mango Princess of my life, is storming through our baby quest challenge with her consistent resolve to land this kid thing once and for all, and what a few weeks its been. She has been avoiding chocolate as we did a food tours Greenwich Village with guests (cruel, very cruel on her), she avoided aussie chocolate and wine (and aussie chocolate is awesome) that our guests bring (time and time again) she has been shooting Lupron up in toilets as we have been out for dinner, (always at 9.30 – must keep to the clock!), sneaking into our bedroom to do likewise while I chortle with the guests over a bit of Karmel Sutra Ben and Jerry’s ice cream in the lounge….It has been tricky. But she remains laser focused and generally unfazed. Amazing. I would be a loon by now.

She is also on such a busy timeline of drugs, patches and “thing you put in your bits” (and I am not talking ice cream here people) that air traffic control at JFK would be easier to keep an eye on that this.  Checking over her mind boggling calendar, she has had to do 105 things to herself since oct 22nd – 43 days. So at least 2 things a day. She has been on birth control pills, Vivelle (which soulds like a type of ice cream… what is it with the ice cream theme tonight?), patches for estrogen (ranging from 1 every 2 days to now 4 every 2 days.. and she is running of out space where she hasnt slapped one on), Asprin (why not), Viagra “bullets”, and of course you need a needle of something, so why not our old mate Lupron. Today was a 4 patch switch over day, an AM asprin, an 8am, 1pm, 6pm and the pending 11pm viagra and of course 5ml of lupron to wrap things up. I thought she would be all chilled and bored with this but the viagra suppositories are like a magic trick to her, they are solid when they go in, but she never ceases to be amazed that they just keep dissapearing. Enough, this is starting to freak me out.

Clearly Mr IVF is not playing any Barry Manalow CD’s around the master bedroom these days, in fact I am on a 9 month ban. (yes months and yes, 9.)

I think Mrs IVF’s drug day peaks around Thursday next week so try this for a hobby… Vivelle patch refresh (quantity yet to be determined) in the morning, followed by asprin, will take some blood, endometrin (progesterone) in the AM sometime, Tetracycline at 8am (fck knows what this is – wikipedia says it treats acne, which Mrs IVF doesnt have), Endometrin at noon, tetra again at 1pm, then 6pm then some medrol  (wiki: supression on inflamation?) in the evening and then 1 more tetracycline at bed time. Why not. When does she get time to do any work I ask you, dear reader.

Anyway – we are ramping up again and heading for the bridge of hope. It’s safe here in IVF land. You know your current kid free life sucks, but it is sort of pain free (well as pain free as it ever has been) but you are not going out looking to have your heart ripped out.  As we walk on the rickety old bridge across “heartbreak canyon” next week in our quest to get to parentville, we will be putting ourselves back out there for the risk of emotional catastrophy. It’s safe here, we wont have kids where we sit today (well not more that 5 day old icicles which is a bit useless really, you would like a bit more interaction from your kids than that) so we need to do the bridge. While our friends around us fly over this canyon in no time on their freshly build, 100% sturdy concrete 4 lane freeways, we take the tricky, painful slow walk across the shaky bridge further down the valley from them. They cant see out bridge from their position as they blindly cruse up to parentville like it buying a coffee from starbucks and of course they would never take our path, who would, but we cant take theirs, so we have no other option. Wish us well for our emotional journey, we are off to try again after falling into the canyon 4 times and climbing back up the cliffs to the bizarre but unfulfilling “home” of IVF land. What a shitty outcrop in life to live, so its time to head to the mountains to see if we can grow our gourmet, hand made in the mountains, kiddies into real little princesses and nut bags.

We fly out of Gotham City Sat 12th. Trf is 14th. Mrs IVF is doing the limbo for 3 days then we are heading to Park City Utah (over 2 days) where Mr IVF is planning to lose the battery on his blackberry as he skis and Mrs IVF will lay low and take it easy and have her 1st holiday for the year. 23rd December is preggo test day… the day we fall in the canyon (again) or the day we know we have a decent chance of getting to the other side for once. Here we go, wish us luck.

Dear blogroll and crew – will catchup on your posts in the coming days. Hard to read about IVF with the guests  – dont want to give away our secret life now do we. Considering we have nothing but water & juice in the house , Mrs IVF, a well known sweet tooth, on no chocolate and neither of us on booze I am sure our guests think that a couple of late 30’s arent sending out “we cant have kids” signs anyway.

Chow for now

Mr IVF

Riding real rollercoasters

Orlando is a funny place. I am sure there is death, crime and lots of sub prime, but we didn’t see any of it. On the way to our hotel on the Friday night your humble scribe points out the front window of our fairyland chariot (aka taxi) and turns to Mrs IVF and sounding surprisingly like an excited 6 year old blurt out “look! Fireworks”…as cool as every Mrs IVF calmly responds “Fireworks are on every night down here, my love”… “ah yes I forgot, we are now in paradise. It looks like a reclaimed swamp, but this is the land of Disney, so it’s all about dreams and make believe. Cool.”

We had a nice couple of days away. The blackberry pretty much stayed untouched and the golf clubs got a good work, out so that is success. We hit Universal pretty hard on Sunday (fewer kids and more rides that the mouse house) and had a great day. I love how you can just go from one world to another and you are transformed. Rhode Island anybody? Sure – BAM – deal with a  sad rubber shark jumping out of the water, but you could be in Newport RI. Costa Rica or any other jungle on the planet? Sure – call it Jurassic park, and watch for the T-rex, but it’s as good as, and it’s only a 5 min walk from Rhode Island!

Someone needs to invent an IVF land with real rides. It would have to have the wildest roller coaster on the planet. They could model it on the “dueling dragons” ride they have at Universal. Its one of those coasters where your feet dangle and you do all sorts of loops, twists and turns, and it nearly slams you into the ground. I think the IVF version could differ in that say 50% of the time it WILL slam you into the ground at 100 miles an hr. That’s it, ride ends and you are left there trying to pick up the pieces of your life. Of course I would employ pregnant women (who got pregnant on their first whiff of sperm) to help you up and ask if they can help and say “have a nice day” a lot!

Of course there would also be the dark scary ride with those 3D glasses that looks like mother nature is hitting you with bricks but again, unless you have a special VIP card, its only a realistic looking ride, for VIP member (alas most of you, my fellow readers) the bricks are real. Boof. Have a nice day.

The one idea we really liked and would like to advance elsewhere in life generally is the express pass. $20 extra and you got prioirty access – one time only- to every ride. It was great and very useful later in the day. Imagine one of these on the bus home – guaranteed seat – or in traffic, your own lane ? or for kids? just pay someone $20 and all the guess work and best of all WAITING is out of the way. Done with a single premium ticket. Sadly, in many ways we are are in the slow line. Many of our friends will be coming around again for another go on the motherhood mothership ride and we have been standing here in line for years, (well before they even entered the parenthood park), trying to just get one ride. In fact, one of my more boneheaded friends, who knows our situation, likes to update me from time to time on the debate he and his wife are having over when to “try” for #2. Actually – that’s another premium card I’d like to buy – $20 to ban moronic and completely inappropriate comments / conversations from IVF neanderthals.

As for news on our own 3 year ride, today is the 4 week anniversary of retrieval so sometime in the next 2 weeks we should hear the news of how we went at microarray. There has been lots of terrible heart breaking news on the boards lately so I wouldn’t say our hopes are soaring.We really feel for so many of you, its amazing how involved you can get in someone elses story. Hang in there.

Back in la la land…at our hotel the other night the assistant in the shop was talking to another customer about where to eat with kids. The other customer left the shop and shop assistant says to me “oh, there are so many great places to eat if you don’t have the kids”. So yours truly perks up and says “fine, tell me where to dine”. Now with my Australian accent,I am often misunderstood, (in Starbucks once a” regular coffee” order got me a “Frappuchino” – I still can’t work that one out), so anyway, this shop assistant’s eyes open up wide and it appears somewhere in my “fine / dine” comment she misunderstand me and says”what? You have nine children?”

“Actually I have 11….”

Finally – I blurted out one of those pent up “if only you knew” stories in my head.

“but they are all frozen… so they aren’t too much of a burden..”

and with that, and the shop assistant just stunned into complete silence and, knowing that in my own perverse way this whole Cinderella scene of 11 kids will more than likely explode on us in an extremely messy way the coming week, I picked up my NY times, (with the IVF article on the front cover) and wandered off…..

Nothing is real in Orlando, its the intergalactic home of dreams, so I am fully qualified to have 11 kids if I want. Shit – we all are.

One quick post script. I have always hated rollercoasters, with a passion. Even before the 1st ride this weekend, death seemed close. I thought I could smell it, (but it turned out to be some form of cheese covered popcorn.) Now? hooked – love them ‘coasters! Maybe the season pass on our own IVF coaster has rubbed off or maybe I just needed a good rollercoaster ride on something I knew wouldn’t trash my life and really allow us a bit of escapism.

“Take the shot – now”

Scan results this AM:

– 22 follicles (found 4 more than the mechanic found yesterday)

– E2 – 1,700 ; LH 18 (hmm – ovulation warning!). Any ideas on an LH of 18 on day 6 of stims and how good / bad that is?

So we got the nurse call this PM – “take Cetrotide now”. We cracked the box, read the instruction guide we got from the elves, checked out the online training and jabbed away – carefully – but with haste.

According to Mrs IVF (our in house drug lord), Cetrotide (or some spelling there of) is the handbrake we are using this cycle to stop ovulation. Ok, good to know. The E2 is way up from yesterday and we appear to be back in the follice generating jet stream.

So.. that’s the punchline… back to this morning….

We met our backup elf this morning (our normal elf was on her day off) and we met a trainee elf as well. (fine with us – the more elves the better, but disappointing that none wear elf hats). We went through the scan and it was interesting as they (a) take more time to scan that the mechanic or the dr’s did at the previous clinic and (b) they measure both the length and width of the follice – not just the length. I feel more comfortable about the measurements here than the mechanic’s fast paced “yoda vs dark sith light sabre” efforts we have been through before.

The elves were very helpful. They went over the plan, checked we had enough drugs, needles, swabs, appointments, cash etc. We discussed jab techniques, future appointments and well, as ever we always seem to get chatting about accents. (Australian accents, with a Hoboken NJ address up here in “baby factory in the mountains” territory is quite rare I am thinking). The prediction from the elves was that we might see a drop back in stims but we’ll see what the baby makers come back with.

As it turns out the baby makers kept the stims at the level we had yesterday so we are drving the IVF bus with both feet slammed on the accelerator and brakes at the same time.

Mrs IVF is doing ok, but is starting to show signs of fatigue. She is wiped out fairly easily and the other day managed to pull off the amazing feat of looking a bit white and pale, but only on the left cheek. Work that out. We are competing with each other to out drink ourselves on water. We must have had gallons of water so far today. The elves asked her to drink a lot not being used to conditions up here in the baby making mountains, so she is drinking like a camel. Mr IVF, never wanting to be left out, is gulping as much as I can as well, as well, I’m sure it helps the boys swim or something.

Who knows how many good eggs are lurking in these follicles, but well, 1 day at a time.

oh – 1 last thing – we paid the bill today as well. When she handed me back my card I jumped up in my chair a bit and said “ouch, that credit card is hot, I think you burnt a hole in it”. She laughed, well, we all did, but the I wasn’t joking really. I buried the receipt in my wallet and tried to forget about it by challenging Mrs IVF to a water sculling championship.

 

Planet Plankton

So, last night I wrote about wrapping up some loose ends. I wouldn’t bother to comment on it today as it was something that plankton could sort out, but, well, no… it cant be that easy – this is IVF land – nothing comes without a long ,hard slog in IVF land.

Goals:

(A) 1 letter from a “super specialist on female bits” (perinatologist) giving the all clear.

(B) 1 lab report from this mornings scan to go to the elves in Colorado.

Get this and a thumbs up from the gourmet baby makers and we are good to go.

Timeline: Need to be done today to get all clear for stims tomorrow morning

Background:

(A) Mrs IVF met 4 weeks ago and has been dealing with sub plankton since trying to get this frikkin letter. Here’s how it plays out.. Mrs IVF enters stage left:

Mrs IVF – calls plankton at the super specialist office – “we faxed it:”… then Colorado Elves: “we didn’t get it”. Calls plankton: “yep – we sent it”. Mrs IVF “What number did you send it to?” Plank: “bla bla bla” Mango Princess: yep thats correct”… Calls Elves – “we still don’t have it”. Call Plankton “it doesn’t sound like a dr surgery when we fax” (not sure what the English translation of that planktonese comment is) . Mango: “Can you fax it to me?”. Plankton “no, against the rules, but we did fax it to your standard gyno”. (Enter standard gyno elf”… stage right) ” Do you have a fax from the plankton?” No”…. Mango calls Plankton, “we’ll fax it again, I’m walking to the machine to do it now”. Call Gyno elf “nope – still dont have it”.. Mrs IVF calls Mr IVF and updates in situation. Mr IVF feels that he should quit work for the day and walk this fcking thing around. Mrs IVF calls plankton – “we sent it”….call’s gyno elf and they now have it. “fax it to me please” says Mrs IVF. Mrs IVF gets fax (on 1st attempt!!) and faxes it to Mr IVF who jumps in and out of a few big meetings picks up the fax, turns it over and scans it back in as an email and emails it back to mrs IVF who emails it to the elves to avoid this fax fiasco. Elves are happy. Mrs IVF is shattered and exhausted.

(B) lab report. NJ clinic elf (our last Dr’s are helping us with scans locally) faxes report through to Colorado elf. Colorado elf rings mrs IVF, “didn’t get the scans”. “What scans? Thought you wanted the lab report?” Rings old elf, who says scans don’t fax well. Checks again with new elf. Oh no, we want the last page of the lab report, don’t need scans. Calls old elf, please re fax. New elf happy with new fax. Mission accomplished.

Mrs IVF is shattered and through all of this (through regular instant message updates) Mr IVF pauses for thought and thinks:

” We aren’t trying to build a nuclear reactor, build a 6 flags amusement park in North Korea, or even fine tune the last couple of tweaks to the plans for the next chunk of the international space station, we are just TRYING to get the opportunity to TRY and have a kid. We arent even at the drug stage yet, we haven’t really done anything yet, and at 4pm this afternoon with mintues running out of the IVF world’s day (which we all know shuts down at 4.30 with out fail), we could blow this whole thing up! (the timing’s we’ve tweaked, the $$ on logistics, the $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$ on the baby makers, the lot) and you know what – the fertiles don’t have a clue. They go to dinner, drink, poke, sleep and pee on a stick in a few weeks, and pop down to toys are us and build the baby gift registry. Job done.  We are struggling to even get to first base – fuck – 1st base… no, 1st base is too late in the scenario…. we cant even close the deal on a vacant block of land that we want to build a stadium on, recruit a team, deny they sleep with Madonna, join a baseball league, buy some uniforms, oh and a bat and ball and a few mitts, advertise to fans, arrange the merchandise, order the hot dogs and beers, find someone to play against, schedule a game and then get everyone there and THEN try and get to 1st base.

And after all that the baby makers came back with a question on the letter from the super specialist… “lets chat to them Monday…” oh boy……fck it – we’re going

Hey – thanks for the travel thoughts and well wishes!!! We have packed all the well wishes and we’re taking them with us!

One last thing… wwalking home tonight after all of this I saw a women from out of town who was completely lost on the subway in NY. She was really friendly, but a bit stressed so the response from NY’ers to help her was pretty amazing… 2 mins later I’m walking past an old woman (who I am pretty sure was homeless) who was laser focused on counting small change on a cardboard mat.. and walked on thinking about our day and these random instances and how we all need something.. directions… a meal.. a kid..  I walked back to the old woman and gave her $25. Her face lit up she crossed herself and beamed a smile. I walked away and checked back and she was now laser focused on counting her notes (with that grin). So while I guess we are going to Denver for our long period of help, it felt great to help someone NOW.

Ding Dong: Now boarding for the baby factory

Sorry for the pause but been busy at work and prepping to see the baby makers and their elves have kept us busy. So, update:

* Most tests past, most Dr letters written, frozen blood received and assessed and amber light to go for the cycle. We just need one more dildo cam tomorrow (fingers crossed) and we are good.

* Period arrived today (1 day early – estrace can do that we read) and is a major relief as the logistics of the week now fall into place. Flight, car hire, hotels, work arrangements etc all line up as planned and we avoid the nightmare scenario of having to delay and delay until it turns up (I think week or so late as of late). Geez – bloke talking about periods, someone get me a plate of hot wings and a beer (oooh, I wish).

* Leave for Denver on Wednesday. We ummmed and ahhhed about flights waiting for “the period” (not wanting to have to do $300 worth of rebooking fees) but took the plunge last night and dropped about $700 bucks on the flights which turned out to be a good call as today the same flights where $1,900. Nice call Mrs IVF.

* I think we start stims this weekend (Sat) but need to hear from the chief elf.

* Will be in Denver for 2 weeks. Hopefully if all goes well we can get a few days R&R at the end of this. We might go for a road trip and go and see Mt Rushmore.

* Detailed calendar in place, (printed in color 5 times – ok – that was overkill by me) which shows all dugs to be taken at what time of day and alarms set on phones as reminder.

* To do list of things we need to clear before we go is in draft. Question: For anyone has flown with IVF drugs in the past, has anyone every had any issues at the airport or got any tips to make sure we don’t have a problem?

That’s about it. Part excited, but probably more apprehensive. We are off to the fork in the road and from here we will learn more about our chances of being biological parents. Also – anytime you get excited about this stuff it smacks you in the face, hard, so everyone is pretty task focused and chilled.

Still – stay tuned, send any spare positive vibes this way if you don’t mind, and I’ll report in again from the land of gourmet hand made children. We’ve been standing at this kiddie deli counter long enough, lets see if we can get our number called.

Surging forward

Picture this….. Mrs IVF has peed on a stick and she sitting there staring at it, she looks up and comes screaming across the house.. “look look” she yells with a big grin on her head, “2 lines, deffo 2 lines tonight, last night was only one faint line… this is it”

Yes, ladies and gentlemen, we have surged. (No we’re not pregnant, but it felt like exactly the same drill.)

So expectations in IVF land here as so muted that we get excited around actually ovulating. Not having a kid, not counting mature egg or fertilizing them or a pregnancy result, but actually the fact that she is ovulating (and right on time – well done my dear)

So this kicked off a flurry of emails, phone calls, drug orders (legal drugs), further emails and a touch base with Mr IVF to update him on all the happenings. I have nothing to do at the moment in this whole process (I am not even driving the car for those who have been reading my tale for a while) , but I am preparing to start doing STUFF ALL again (http://wp.me/pvsWz-P)

So lots of news, but then again, not much I guess. Next on the do list: chase down remaining Dr letters, drugs are on their way and then we start on Estrace next week. No idea what that does, but suspect its some for of hand break before we start on the stims again.

On a completely different note, had a great dinner with some pregnant (no bad feelings!) friends tonight at la esquina tonight. Awesome Mexican restaurant hidden in the basement of a grotty diner near spring street in NYC. You have to walk through the kitchen to get to the hidden room. Its pretty cool. Recomend it if you are in this neck of the woods. (http://www.esquinanyc.com/)