Tag Archives: ivf

How to Get Up Again

3 Feb

Resilience.jpg

I’ve been contemplating resilience.

resilience_def

A word often used to describe me. As if this is a special personality trait that I have which is admired by others. I’ve heard this word a lot over the past few days.

The truth is: that whilst I rise rather quickly from a fall, it is actually the shell of me going about business while my soul is slowly putting the pieces together. Does this make me a damn good actor or does the body have to get up before the heart and soul is ready to repair and come to the party? Well whatever the answer, it works for me. I don’t know if it is resilience or actually just survival though.

This is what I do to get back up again and prepare for the challenge in front of me:

1. Clean up. I feel more motivated and worthy in a clean space. I find if I let my house turn to shit, it creates an inner dialogue of how crap I am and how crap the situation is. Crap creates crap, if you know what I mean. When I get rid of the external crap I find it easier to control the inner crap.

2. Write a list. It’s comforting for me to have things to do. Mapping it out gives me purpose to get up. And crossing things off the list creates a sense of achievement. Positive!

3. Make an effort with my appearance. I can be a total feral at times and not brush my hair for days and wear my pajamas like a uniform. This is a favourite past time of mine however, when feeling low this past time turns from free spirit to down and out. When times are tough, if I can look in the mirror and not cringe, that’s a very good thing. I actually got four cold sores on my forehead, so you can imagine how beautiful my hair was to counteract this hideousness!

4. Walk. Walking is a great way to practice mindfulness when meditation seems to hard. I’m lucky that I live in an area with lots of bush walks but any walk is good for the soul.

5. Eat some healthy food. Once I’ve inhaled the toxic Doritos, ice cream and toasted cheese mountains – Forcing myself to make something healthy sends a message to myself that I am worth the effort and that my body deserves better.

6. Accept invitations (conditional). I would prefer to talk to no-one when I have taken a fall but after a few days it is important to get back to friends, even when I dont feel like it. Willingly creating isolation is a fast track from bad to worse. This is however conditional in the early stages. I hate pep talks, especially from friends/family who have children and think they understand what I’m going through. If you have children then you do not understand. Sorry, that may seem harsh but the real pain for me is the prospect of not having a child. I dont begruge my beautiful friends/family who have children, they just can’t possibly understand how I feel, that’s all. Friends mean well but I’m in survival mode at the moment and can’t deal with the pep talk. Just send me your love and if I want your advice, I will ask you.

 

Pregnant Until Proven Otherwise

9 Jan

Well, here I am, day two of the two-week wait. PUPO! (Pregnant Until Proven Otherwise!)

I’ve never really dreaded the two-week wait like some other ladies I have spoken to. I find it relatively easy to keep busy and two weeks just seems to fly by for me.

I started with the intention of doing an IVF cycle but five weeks later I only had one decent sized follicle. My specialist told me that recent research had indicated that women my age have just as much chance of falling pregnant with one follicle/egg through IUI (Intrauterine Insemination) as with IVF (In Vitro Fertilisation).

With an IUI, sperm is collected, “washed” in a laboratory to concentrate the sperm and remove seminal fluid and then slowly injected via a catheter into the woman’s uterus.

IVF involves surgery to remove eggs from a woman’s ovaries that have been stimulated with drugs to produce multiple eggs. The eggs are then mixed with sperm in the laboratory and fertilization hopefully takes place.

With only one follicle, there is always the risk that an egg won’t be collected during the delicate procedure. And IVF costs a lot of money so considering this risk is important.

I’ve also recently read about some fertility clinics misrepresenting IUI success rates because it is more profitable for them to have their patients undergo IVF procedures. I do believe this is rare however, I have witnessed women going through IVF blindly trusting what their doctors say without asking questions. If there are dodgy doctors out there (and I’m not suggesting you should suspect your doctor), the infertility market would be an easy one to manipulate. I’m all for asking questions and being aware of options. You can read this article here.

Anyway, IUI it was. And of course,  I feel very positive about it!

Hubby’s sperm was washed and had a good sperm count. I had a relaxing morning laying back watching beautiful underwater images on a screen while said sperm was introduced to my uterus.

IMG_3404

And now, I take it as easy as I can possibly manage. Because I am pregnant until proven otherwise.

 

The 31 Day Blog Challenge: Day One

4 Jan

31 Day Blog Challenge

I’ve been on and off with this blog and have now decided that I really want to commit to blogging. So what better way to commit than to take a 31 day challenge. I was inspired by theecofeminist.com. I’m a bit late off the mark for January so I will have to double up on a few days.

Day One: Intro and Recent Pic

My name is Natasha, though only my mum calls me that and pronounces it as Nartarsha. I’m mostly known as Tash.

As the name suggests, I started this blog as a way to share my IVF journey as a single mother by choice. I have since been married and have taken big breaks from fertility treatment. I am now on the tail end of an IVF cycle *fingers crossed*.

I would really like to broaden the scope of my blog this year and I think this challenge will help to crystallise my vision here.

I am proudly a professional fundraiser and have been working as Head of Fundraising and Development for the last 12 years. I am also a filmmaker, specialising in documentary short films in the not for profit industry. I have recently resigned from my job as Head of Fundraising to focus on my filmmaking and explore the possibility of establishiing a content production business.

I love photography and nature and drive friends mad when on a bush walk, stopping often to take photos and thus turning an hour walk into two hours. I enjoy cooking and gardening, using what I can from my veggie garden and pet chickens to create vegetarian delights. Yes, I am a vegetarian.

I have a dog, cat and two hens and I love all of them. I am often accused of paying them a lot more attention than I do my husband. Dexter, the chocolate labrador is the focus of this complaint (I must admit that he is my favourite).

I live in the blue mountains, just outside of Sydney in Australia. I am extremely grateful to have a gorgeous house that backs on to the bush and a valley with a creek. There are so many glorious walks in this area and this year I plan to do more of them.

I am now 44 years old but am very immature for my age and don’t plan to grow up any time soon.

Tash

It Only Takes One

29 Dec

I had my first scan yesterday to see how my cycle was tracking. I have one follicle.

At first I was disappointed. Of course I wanted there to be many follicles. I’m taking bucket loads of drugs so surely the pay off would be more than one measly follicle, right?

Then I realised I was choosing to feel bad about a really positive situation. I have one follicle! And that’s great! It only takes one egg to make a baby. So instead of focusing on what I don’t have, I choose to appreciate the follicle that is. Actually, I choose to love that follicle with all my heart.

love

Festive Season Survival

25 Dec

Christmas is tough for people experiencing fertility challenges. It’s all about the kids, right! Everywhere you look there are families enjoying the glorious wonders of Christmas. A harsh reminder that this is something you don’t have.

Even the lead up is a torturous time; you can’t turn the television on without being bombarded with adverts involving gorgeous children with their equally gorgeous mothers having the time of their lives!

In fact, these messages happen all throughout the year but it just seems more poignant at this time of the year. Why? Because this time of the year is all about family and any woman who desires a family has fantasized about this festive season with a child.

I find myself daydreaming about the bigger, more elaborate Christmas tree I would have. Oh and the presents I would buy and the food I would make and the smiles we would share. What fun we would have!

When the daydream stops and reality sets in, so does the absence of the child you so desperately want.

This is a call out to all women struggling over this time: Please know that it is okay to experience these emotions. Acknowledge them, feel them and move on so you can creatively visualise the family yet to come. Getting stuck on focusing on the absence will not help you create.

What helps me to not get stuck in focusing on the absence is:

  1. Practicing mindfulness. It’s difficult to remain in a negative thought pattern when practicing to be present in the moment. I use a great app called Headspace which has emergency guided meditations when the mind is really in a spin.
  2. Spend time alone in nature. This is very important for women as we are very intuitive and nature helps us connect with our inner knowledge.
  3. Don’t feel obliged to attend all festive events. If it’s getting too much for you, say no. Your emotional well being is more important than pleasing others.
  4. Try to stay away from social media during this time. No explanation required.
  5. Focus on what’s good in your life. I keep a vision board which I use to focus on what is good right now, as well as what I want in the future. Some people keep a gratitude journal.

For those of us actually undergoing fertility treatment over this period – it is so important to remain as positive as possible. Put yourself first and let your emotions guide you in how you should spend your time. If it doesn’t feel good, don’t do it!

Women-Nature-Outdoors-Sunlight-Meditation-Fresh-New-Hd-Wallpaper-

Sending you much love and positivity over this time. May the new year bring you everything you desire.

All I want for Christmas…

10 Dec

So begins another IVF cycle.

All I want for Christmas is obviously a successful IVF cycle. However, in taking one day at time what I would also really like is to not offend or kill anyone.

This time I have decided to start the cycle with Synarel (Syna-hell) which I took in the first two cycles I did. I then swapped to Lucrin in the other cycles. Now I remember why.

Lucrin and Synarel are both GnRH agonists which act on the pituitary gland to stop ovulation occurring before the egg retrieval in an IVF cycle.

Synarel is a nasal spray and Lucrin an injection. My decision to try the Synarel again was based on the fact that I tend to have long cycles and get really sick of all the injections toward the end. I have also been getting a lot of bruising from injections.

I am now regretting this decision. A week in and I am getting headaches, hot flashes and  mood swings. I am worried about whether the mood swings will get worse and therefore I will no longer be fit for public life. I’m not the most patient person at the best of times so I could get myself into some serious trouble here.

I realised it was all turning to shit when I started to sob at a Current Affair advert. Uh Oh! And then my husband informed me that I was being quite snappy. Double Uh Oh!!!!

Hold on tight family and friends! This is going to be an interesting Christmas.

Common side effects:

Nasal irritation, headaches, hot flashes, mood swings, decreased sexual interest, muscle pain, acne, vaginal dryness, or decrease in breast size may occur in women.

Not everyone gets these side effects and for those who do, the severity seems to vary greatly.

 

Springing Back

1 Sep

So yes yes, I abandoned this blog for a while. Okay years! I haven’t however abandoned my wish to become a mother. As it is the first day of Spring: a time to clear out and breathe fresh life into all things, I reinstate this blog. I see I have continued to have visitors and hope my continuing to document my journey is, in some small way, helpful. I believe it will be for me, so thanks for reading.

So a very brief update:

I have changed fertility specialists. I should have done that years and years ago and feel this topic deserves an entire post of it’s own

I threw myself into work and became so busy that I literally burnt myself out (yep, avoidance)

I had a period of partying hard (yep, more avoidance and more burn out)

I got married to an exceptional man, whom I have mentioned in a previous post. We have undertaken a couple of IUI cycles together.

We moved back to my mountain abode.

Did I mention I got married?

I lost my fur baby, Paddy, who I still miss dearly.

We gained another fur baby, Dexter, who we adore and is largely benefiting from being a second fur child.

I am applying for foster care and looking into adoption.

I plan to do another IVF cycle and promise to document this one. Just waiting to hear about when we can start again. Hopefully this month. Stay tuned.