Another FET on the horizon…

I am going for another embryo transfer this Friday, and I am feeling…. really nervy. I have had about 20 of these procedures now, so much so, that for a long time I have hardly been phased by them at all. It is a totally painless procedure, you turn up, you go through a relatively short process which is kinda like having a pap smear (but with half a dozen people milling about) and then you get dressed, have a cuppa and go home again. It is the after stuff that has me feeling nervous this time around. The horrible 19 day wait to see if it has worked has now bee stretched out to about a 40 day wait. Even if I get the positive we have been waiting for, it is now obvious that this is no true indicator that everything has worked properly. Patience has never been one of my virtues, and I find the waiting torturous.

I have had this thought plaguing me since getting the pathology results from the D&C last week – how many of the 30 odd embryos that have been transferred back have had this condition? What if, for the last two and a half years, we have been jumping throught the IVF hoops, and unknown to us, it has all been a huge waste of time and resources? IVF Dr doesn’t seem to be concerned, and says that having had one incident of Trisomy 22 doesn’t necessarily indicate that any of the other embryos were at any higher than normal risk of having the same condition. But I can’t help thinking that my PCOS isn’t the reason I am not getting pregnant. IVF circumnavigates the anovulation issues, so there must be something else prohibiting us from achieving a viable pregnancy. I just dont know what it is.

Throughout my entire life, I have never put more effort, mental energy, time, resources and money into trying to achieve something, and yet remain a total failure at it. I have never been unable to achieve something that I had set my mind to, and find my inability to affect the outcome of an IVF cycle to be the most frustrating thing I have ever encountered. Being out of control of my own life isn’t something I relish, and some days I feel that my IVF Dr has more control over my body than I do. How long can I keep this up?

Dr IVF has figured out that my head isn’t right at the moment. Whenever he asks how my mental state is, I have to admit that I feel like my brain is going to explode. I have been so depressed that I get tearful whenever I go to see him, no matter how determined I am to try and hold it together. More than anyone, even more than Hubby I think, Dr IVF has been there through everything single step of this, and has seen exactly what I have gone through so far. He is certainly the most understanding and empathetic medico I have ever met, I don’t know how he does it. Last visit he wanted to put me on antidepressants – I think he has given up suggesting that I go for counselling.

Last year sometime, I took him up on the therapy thing for a while, but basically feel it doesn’t help much. Confiding in people who couldn’t give a crap about my wellbeing has never seemed overly beneficial to me. One of the shrinks that they sent me to obviously had no idea what the hell I was on about – her room was plastered with photos of her children and grandchildren, and when I asked her if she had ever had any infertility problems she said she hadn’t. The session ended with her handing me some pamphletts spruiking the benefits of weight loss for PCOS women. It felt like she was saying – ‘you poor dear, get off your fat arse, lose some weight and you will be fine’. Needless to say, I never went back.

I am equally disenchanted with the concept of medication for depression. I have a few friends who have been taking anti-depressants for years. Some of them say they can’t NOT take their drugs, they have been on them so long it has become an emotional crutch for everyday living. I really dont need a substance dependancy on top of my other problems thanks very much. Maybe they could help, maybe I wouldn’t become reliant on them – but I just dont want to go there if I can avoid it.

Having said all that… I dont know if I can keep this up. I feel so… emotionally exhausted?!?


I was looking though some images today and found these paintings by an artist called Antoine DeVilliers…. they’re so sad and emotive, that I sat and looked through them for ages…

I think we’ve all had days that feel like these… he’s painted emotional experiences that we can all identify with at some point in our lives.  He’s captured so much emotion in these paintings that they could be reflections of personal moments in my life.

Antoine DeVilliers 1 Antoine DeVilliers 2 Antoine DeVilliers 3

sept baronial sonnet

I wrote this sonnet as a competition piece for the Septemeber Baronial – I strongly doubt I will be entering it, as I don’t envisage wanting to share it with our wider circle of acquaintance. I have worked on it back and forth for months, and felt when I was writing it that I was trying to place myself in the situation of an infertile medieval woman who had no chance of asssitance from the medical community, and was bearing the heavy weight of infertility on her own . It always seemed an exaggerated version of how I felt from my own personal sense of loss from infertility. Just reading it through this morning, I find it doesn’t feel so much of an exaggeration any more. Even though I have my son, this is how I feel some days. As poetry goes, it’s not very good unfortunately.

Outwardly merry is my worldy mask.
Yet shrouded beneath, my soul is in tears.
What causes mine heartache, thou might well ask?
Alas, cruel barren stars torment my years.

What past sins have brought me this wretchedness?
How didst I purchase this seditious womb?
Must I bide this curs’d state of childlessness?
Am I bound in sorrow to pitieous tomb? 

Herbs and potions, witchcraft and doctoring,
I’ve endur’d them all whilst Khronos marches!
Hateful courses mark each month’s swift passing,
Still bairns came not to these fruitless pastures.

Alone with my thoughts, my heart in riot.
I compose my mask and bide in quiet.



I was at work yesterday, and Hubby took Angel to the GP for his headcold. When he was there, Jack (Dr S) gave him a copy of the pathology results of my D&C. He told me on the phone that he had the results and that the baby had a major chromosomal abnormality called a Trisomy 22 (three of the number 22 chromosome) which is apparently quite a common cause of early term spontaneous abortion. That was fine, I was kinda glad to have a reason why the baby hadn’t developed normally – maybe the same thing had been present in my other miscarriages, we’ll never know. It was reassuring to know that it wasn’t anything that I had done.

When I got home though, I saw the report myself. For a full minute, all I could see was the XX. God, I felt like I had been kicked in the guts. I wanted to know, but it just threw me right back into feeling like it had just happened. A little girl. For someone who is desperate to have a child, any child, I have had an unreasonable/illogical/inexplicable desire to have a daughter. I remember even feeling a tiny twinge of disappointment when I found out Angel was going to be a boy – it was really fleeting, but it was there none the less. I can only think it must be due to the relationship that I have with my Mum. She has been the most amazing, supportive, hardworking and constant person in my life. I guess I always wanted a little girl so I could try and forge a relationship like that with my own daughter. Angel is absolutely incredible, but I guess everyone knows there is something special between mothers and daughters.

Who am I kidding, I would have been just as upset to see XY on the page.

How much more? When is the bad news going to stop? I feel like the annus horribilus thing has been going on for years for our little family. My father is getting worse daily (Motor Neurone Disease), his condition seems to be declining rapidly – he has just in the last few weeks lost all use of his hands, and I noticed for the first time this week that he is having difficulty saying certain words. No doubt he will be having breathing difficulties before too long. It makes me feel like such an awful person to think it, but I hope he doesn’t hang in there too long. We have all been grieving him for the last year and a half, and none of us can think of anything else where Dad is concerned. Mum is having an extremely difficult time looking after him, she is now pretty much caring for him 24/7. He can’t roll over in bed at night, he can’t shower or go the the toilet on his own, and now he finds himself unable to operate his laptop, which was the only thing he got any enjoyment from anymore. He is slowly losing his ability to communicate, what will it be like when he can’t talk at all? He has always been the unobtrusive, quiet and resigned type of person – never bucking the system, never putting himself out there, never demanding anything from life. He has worked so hard to enjoy his retirement only to find it is being cut short at only 58. We all thought he would still be here to see Angel having children. For gods sake they all live forever, why not Dad? My grandfather is 87 next month, his brothers and sisters all lived well into their late 90s, Lily is still with us and she is 103 now and still healthy. It makes me so angry and frustrated. There is nothing we can do to help Dad, and he seems so accepting of the situation.

I just realised that this is the first mention of my poor Dad in this journal. Have I become so accustomed to thinking about his awful situation that it has become background noise in my mind? Oh God how could this have not been penetrating the other disappointments in my life at the moment? I am sitting here, crying miserably (I just can’t seem to let myself cry like this when other people are around) when I normally work really hard to keep my emotions in check. How can I be so wrapped up in my own problems that I haven’t even mentioned my dying father here amongst my thoughts. Shit am I so self centered? I really need to get out of my head. There just doesn’t seem enough room in my brain for all this anymore.

It gets easier. RIght??

Hubby is the most amazing and supportive man I have ever known. I must have done something right to have him in my life. We have been talking a lot about the way I have been feeling, not just now, but over the last few years really. Talking about it doesn’t seem to make it go away though unfortuantely, but at least I can feel that he is trying to understand what I need. In fact voicing the insecurities seems to make them more concrete than ever – it forces you to formulate your thoughts into some sort of order that is cohesive enough for someone else to understand. Last night we talked for hours, largely about how indadequate I am feeling at the moment. Hubby is worried about me, I can tell, and I am getting the impression that he feels most hurt by his inability to make things better for me. It is that masculine drive to fix things I guess. Unfortunately, I feel like my problems are weighing me down like lead boots, and I am only just managing to keep my head above water. But they are my problems, and somehow I need to figure my way out of this on my own. I guess I have been living with some sort of lowgrade depression for about 3 years. The fact that no one else seems worried about me seems to indicate that I am hiding it well – maybe too well.

I am totally conflicted about continuing on IVF. I really, really, really want more children. Angel is just the joy of my life, and I love him in a way that can’t be described, but I am sure is intuitively understood by just about every decent mother on the planet. When Hubby talks about giving up, I have a physical reaction that is like a cold spike stabbing me in the chest. If he talks about it too long or if I start to dwell on it, I can feel a rising anxiety which is accompanied by a sensation of being unable to breathe. When we have had those conversations, I can feel a panic coming on, and it is like I am holding my breath in case he says something non-negotiable on the matter. I am worried that he is going to demand we stop I think giving away my dream of more children could be the death of me. Not physically (I would NEVER willingly leave Angel without his mother) but I can’t imagine how I would feel if the familiar emptyness I feel now became all encompassing, and pervaded my life entirely. I imagine it would be like feeling dead inside, and going through the motions of living. I felt like this the day of my D&C, like I was there, and feeling the pain, but kinda numb and dead to it at the same time. It was like my mind was trying to protect me from the enormity of the situation, and not allowing me to feel it fully.

I don’t want to end up living like that.