Archive | March, 2011

To Public Or Not to Public

29 Mar

Today I am + Day 25 (this is the day since ovulation and in my case the age of my embies/babies). My hCG tests today were very good at 12,308. Another test in one week and then my first scan in 10 days! I am so excited about the scan! This is when I may get an indication of twins.

I was told that I needed to book an Obstetrician (OB) in Sydney really soon if I wanted to have a say in who I had. WOW – I had no idea. So I set about researching. The obvious thing to do was to ask around and get some referrals which was helpful. Then budget of course played a big part. I have private health insurance but overlooked upgrading it to cover pregnancy. Brilliant! Some OBs were simply unaffordable regardless of their credentials. I just can’t afford to throw $10K at an OB.

I am also comfortable with the public system. It’s fine for many women so why not me?

I think because I am doing this alone I feel a great need for consistent support and continuity of seeing someone who knows what they are talking about. This therefore meant I had to look for some level of private care as it is expected that you see different OBs with each appointment in the public system. It’s basically whoever is on that day.

I have always been interested in water birth and would prefer to have a natural birth if possible so this was the basis of my research. There are not a lot of OBs who are comfortable with water birth delivery. A lot are happy to labour in the tub but they insist that birthing take place out of the water. (More about water birth in another post)

Yes, I am aware that they wont swim out of me looking joyful like this with bather bottoms on.

My research opened up a few other options which initially was just confusing but I am glad I stuck with it.

There are doulas and private midwives which you can engage to work with a private OB or go through the public system with you. Okay – so what is the difference between a doula and a midwife?

A midwife provides prenatal care, delivery of the baby, care of the mother post-partum and newborn care. The midwife is responsible for the safety of mother and baby. Some kinds of midwives also provide family planning and other kinds of well-woman gynecology.

Certified doulas do not provide any kind of medical care. For instance, they would not listen to the baby’s heart beat or do a vaginal exam or deliver the baby. They do provide emotional and physical support for the laboring woman and/or post-partum care.

Both sounded pretty good to me but I realised what I wanted was someone more hands on with the medical care so I narrowed it down to looking at a private midwife who would support water birthing.

After meeting with a prospective private midwife for nearly two hours on Monday, I was sold that this was the way I wanted to go. Tick! Private midwife, Melissa, booked and birthing plan underway. I trust Melissa and we have the same ideals in terms of birth. I also feel comfortable that she respects what is important to me. And really like her!

I wont try to explain Melissa’s philosophy as you can read about it for yourself here

Melissa is happy to go through the public system with me (RPA) though our plan is to stay at home as long as possible through the labour. This option is perfect for me. I look forward to sharing with you my experiences of this choice.


And Rising

22 Mar

My  + Day 18 test was today and my hCG is 915. I am so excited! As my hCG levels are more than doubling every second day I don’t need to get another test until next week! Though I also I realise now that I quite liked the security of going in for regular tests but I feel good and really confident so…

Anyway, Ben (my doco making partner) thinks I should put up more video journals sooooo you can hear me waffle on excitedly about it all below. I apologise if I repeat myself and talk pointlessly for too long. Did I mention how excited I am?!

I promise to post some of my research on obstetricians and medicare etc in the coming days as the journey unfolds for me. Oh and I am pretty sure I mention it in the vid but if you get bored of my carry on and switch off before then – REMEMBER TO CHANGE YOUR HEALTH INSURANCE TO COVER PREGNANCY!

Big Fat Positive

16 Mar

My first hCG test was on Monday which showed a level of 36. My second test was today which was 106. This is good!

HCG is the abbreviation for “Human Chorionic Gonadotropin”The hCG pregnancy hormone level, has a  wide range of normal levels in early pregnancy. hCG is the “pregnancy hormone” which is being produced by the placenta as soon as implantation happens about one week after fertilization and ovulation. hCG then continues to rise until about 10-12 weeks at which point it will stabilize or drop. hCG levels in early pregnancy usually doubles every 48-72 hours and it normally increaseses by at least 60% every two days. Read more at

So, the nurse told me today that this means I am preggers! A big fat positive! Woohooooooo! 

I know, as many well intentioned people have told me “It’s early days” but I am happy to celebrate this success. And therefore I repeat – Woohooooooo!

What’s next? I stay on the progestrone treatment “crinone” and get another test on Firday to check the hCG levels continue rising.  

I am so very very happy right now 🙂

Take Two

9 Mar

Everything is going so well! I arrived in Canberra the night before the egg retrieval on Thursday. Great apartment, comfortable bed.

The people at Caps Clinic (day surgery) were so nice. I really couldn’t have asked for a better experience when going through something like this. What a caring bunch of people. They were also really open – they actually let us film the procedure (for the documentary)!

Three eggs were retrieved! Like I say – if I had to choose, it’s about quality not quantity for me. So into the petri dish they went to meet some sperm.

I had to wait until the next day to see whether the eggs were fertilised. Three out of three! All of them seemed to find a suitable sperm companion. They obviously liked each other.  What a relief that was and of course I jumped up and down in excitement and screamed like the wild woman I am.

More waiting. I would receive a phone call the following day to tell me if they went through cell division. Three out of three again but there was one stand out that was apparently perfect.

So on Monday  I went in for the embryo transfer. And that went extremely well too. It barely took five minutes to put two back. Yes, that’s right – two back.

Bring it on! I could so do twins.

Now it’s two weeks wait to confirm the pregnancy *sigh*. But until then I am what my Solo Mums by Choice friends called PUPO – Pregnant Until Proven Otherwise 🙂

Trigger Happy

2 Mar

The hCG trigger injection is one of the most critical parts of the IVF medication protocol. After the eggs have been stimulated to grow and develop, the hCG trigger is the final medication given before the egg retrieval.
The hCG trigger has several functions:

  • Induce final maturation of the eggs
  • Loosen the egg’s attachment from the follicle wall
  • Allow for the timing of the egg retrieval

Egg retrieval is performed at a very specific time. At IVF, retrieval happens as close as possible to 36 hours after the hCG trigger is given. So off to Canberra I go tomorrow 🙂

I am really really excited that I have three good follicles with another three maybes. This is a good result considering my levels when I first started out. I am so happy to have reached this stage of the journey relatively unscathed.

In celebration of this milestone I have recorded a video journal to introduce myself (in person finally) and to finish this post. I have been out with a couple of my closest friends tonight. It’s now 1:30 am and I feel elated by the fabulous conversation and thus brave enough to upload this video – or maybe I am just over tired and being stupid. Anyway…