Archive | October, 2010

Demolishing the myth of single mothers | Single Parent? Single Mum!

31 Oct

Demolishing the myth of single mothers | Single Parent? Single Mum!

exactly how I pictured solo motherhood 😉

Did anyone seriously think that single mothers sat around eating tim tams whilst watching day time TV…? If only! If that were true, I wouldn’t be hesitating.



19 Oct

I called the Sperm Donor Coordinator in Sydney and it appears that the revelation of Sydney now being able to access an international sperm bank was a little over exaggerated.   This clinic in Sydney can access 8 donors from a particular sperm bank who are ID (Identification Open Donor). And I am told at this point that she is happy to send me a list of the donors but they may already be taken by tomorrow. However, when I asked he to email me the list she said she would prefer to post it – whatever! I can’t be bothered arguing with her and will take my chances.

I then call the clinic in Canberra to iron out a few processes so I am sure what order to do what and who is responsible for communicating with doctors, sperm banks. We are at a vital stage where there’s not a lot to do until I get the sperm. Oh, I also have to call my doctor in Canberra and get a clearer understanding of what IVF treatment he wants to put me on now that I decided to stop taking the pill. My day, like all working days, got away from me and by the time I looked up the doctor had gone home for day.

Like all businesses (so lets not forget that fertility clinics are businesses too), they will close over the festive season. This means that if I don’t have sperm and don’t start menstruating before 5/11 I wont be able to go again until my next cycle after 12/12 – which suits me fine anyway. Still, I am thankful for the time and still, I am exploring why I hold onto to time with such comfort.

I am somewhat troubled at how I struggle to find the time to get through my working week and juggle these appointments, research and the like. How will I cope alone with a child?

I know that you just find the energy and time to do it. And a major priority shift occurs. And heaps of women do it. But still… This brings me back to facing that doing this alone without a partner was not my choice. I am a ‘single mother by choice’ because I choose to be a mother not because I actually do choose to do it alone.

DAMN YOU TIME! I hate you, but I cling to you nonetheless. Curious!

Time. How many women around my age (39) are out there currently driven by panic to breed? There are plenty, I bet. As more and more stories are told post feminist era about regretful women who missed the boat to have children, I suspect that our friend ‘time’ had a little something to do with that. The seduction of more time and the fear of losing the time we have come so accustomed to.

‘Time’, you and me are going to go a few rounds this week and work out our differences! Once and for all.

My psychic powers fail me – again

13 Oct

Whatever happened to the willing exchange of information. And plain old good customer service for that matter? In the age of online shopping have all person centred businesses developed a ‘do it yourself’ attitude?

Despite my doubts I have proceeded with the motions in any case. My philosophy – it is easy and absolutely fine for me to pull out at any time but not so easy to make up lost time should I want to go ahead.

I had my scheduled IVF orientation today in the Sydney offices. It was agreed with the doctor in Canberra and both Sydney and Canberra fertility clinics that I can have the treatment in Sydney (to spare myself the travel) as long as I undergo the procedure in Canberra.

So I attend the flashy offices of the fertility clinic today to find that :

Firstly, they can’t find my file. They located it after some fussing.

Secondly, my referral has expired. Okay, I can get a new one and fax to them but not before I understand how inconvenient this is.

Thirdly, they don’t have my treatment plan. And therefore the orientation can not take place.  

Apparently my doctor should have discussed with me my treatment plan. Admit ably, I have received a table from the fertility clinic in Canberra (2 bits of paper sticky taped together) titled Planned Pill Crossover Protocol which indicated when I should be taking the pill and when I should start taking Lucrin. Well I stopped taking the contraceptive pill so a new plan has to be done which I expected – but I also thought that the orientation could happen anyway. I wasn’t told that I had to have the plan locked down before this appointment.

Anyway, the question here is simple – whose responsibility is it to give the appropriate information to the appropriate person. Okay I can dig being proactive and organized. But I am not fucking physic. How am I meant to know what to bring to this appointment if I am not told, after all it is not something I do everyday. And, if my referral has expired shouldn’t they let me know instead of expecting that I would? Is there anyone out there who keeps a personal record of these things? Is there? Please message me if you do.

When I put this to the nurse taking the orientation she agreed that I was not to automatically know these things. But she still couldn’t do it because there are two sorts of treatments I could undergo and she doesn’t know which one I should be on. This is news to me too. Two different treatments? Okay I remember now reading something about it but there is just so much information to digest. A little help here for my doctor or someone involved in the process to offer this information wouldn’t go astray. I’ll post some info about these two treatments after my tirade.

Now here is the real kicker!

Nice Nurse lady says “things have changed since you were here last – we can now get sperm from an overseas sperm bank but I can’t give you any information about that because the sperm donor coordinator is on annual leave”


Okay, fair enough that they can’t contact every person who they know is having treatment with them but the procedure in Canberra because they wanted more choice from overseas sperm banks – but I bet there aren’t that many of us. Really.

I kept the dialogue to a minimum after this because I was so not happy. I planned to regain composure and call with a list of questions early next week – when the sperm donor chick is back.

The good news out of this disappointing scenario – I may be able to have the procedure here in Sydney.

Information about two IVF treatments consider for myself:

There are several ovarian stimulation medication protocols that are used to “pump up” the ovaries to make enough follicles and eggs. Without stimulating medications, the ovaries make and release only 1 mature egg per menstrual cycle (month). The commonly used stimulation regimens include injections of follicle stimulating hormone – FSH.

Two of the most common treatment cycles are a Long Down Regulation Treatment Cycle, or an Antagonist Treatment Cycle.

In short, the LDR treatment is less drugs less side effects (I like the sound of that) but I am yet to understand why the doctor would choose one over the other for different women. That is one of the questions for the list.


Why the pregnant pause?

6 Oct

Pun intended.

I am having second thoughts. And to be honest, it was expected that as I moved further down the road of this journey I would falter at certain points. I also recognise that when I hit these blockages, it is important to take the time to pause and really look at the what and why of the matter.

The what:

I took the contraceptive pill at the doctors request without asking enough questions. It made me feel terrible. I stopped taking it and started menstruating. This means I have added another couple of months to the journey. I have to wait to see if my cycle will be a full 28 days, as it was before, and then wait again to make sure that this repeats itself. When I realised that I had added this extra time  – I didn’t feel disappointed, I felt relieved. Hello! Yes, I need some time and space.

It was all starting to feel like a chore. Combined with a professional career, exercise to be done, friends to catch up with and just day to day tasks – the act of choosing donor sperm, chasing sperm banks up to get responses to questions, getting all the information from the clinic, the doctors blah blah blah. I am pretty sure that some of this adventure is meant to be fun and exciting.

The why:

I’m not entirely sure but I’m taking the time to find out. To think about the relief I felt and what this means; research and ask questions at a pace that will allow me to take it all in and inject some fun into the adventure.

This is after all the most important decision I may ever make.

I am still having my IVF orientation next week. Still on the journey however, as the cliche goes – I want to take time to smell the roses. But most importantly these things shouldn’t be rushed no matter how many doctors will tell you otherwise.  I simply must trust that it will all work out exactly how it is meant to and an extra couple of months wont make too much difference.

Father of IVF wins the Nobel prize and the Vatican is not happy

6 Oct

Thank you Dr Edwards and Dr Steptoe for giving women like me a choice.

Professor Robert Edwards began his pioneering work on IFV in the 1950s. (AFP)

Professor Robert Edwards - Father of IVF

Professor Robert Edwards has won the Nobel prize. Is he worthy? I believe so, yes. I appreciate having a choice where I may otherwise wouldn’t have. I suspect if you ask the families who have been given the gift of life through this outstanding technology, they too would say yes.

The Vatican however thinks differently.

Head of Pontifical Academy for Life (yes, that’s right “life”) is concerned about all those embryos sitting in freezers all over the world. He says,  “In the best cases they are transferred into a uterus, but most probably, they will end up abandoned or dead, for which the new Nobel prize winner is responsible.”

But what about the life that has come from this advancement in technology? I want to see this guys job description. “Life” features strongly in his job title! So what about the life!

Anyway, I think that the Vatican has other ethical concerns they should be focusing on at mo …