Monthly Archives: September 2009

I should, allegedly, be so lucky.

The most important instruction I received from Casa Conception post egg transfer was to stay as stress-free as possible for the next ten days.

On Thursday, three days after transfer, I discovered that one of my best friends had been diagnosed with breast cancer and I was then, and am now, devastated for her and her young family. On Saturday, five days after transfer, my 69 year old father decided it would be really clever to consume four bottles of wine, followed by a cask chaser, on an empty stomach. He then completed his smashing performance by falling and having a heart attack.

After a few scary days he is now recovering well, much to my relief. And my girlfriend has since had further tests which reveal she has caught the cancer very early and her prognosis for recovery is very good. But it was a shaky few days and neither of these events were what I would consider to be particularly conducive to staying ‘stress-free’.

Needless to say I wasn’t really surprised when I started spotting this morning.  Unsurprised but still inconsolable. Knowing we have back ups in the freezer this time has stopped me from collapsing in to a heap, though that’s not to say I haven’t been in tears all morning. I kept it together long enough to drop my darling Devilboy off to childcare with extra big hugs and kisses goodbye, made it to the car and the tears haven’t really stopped since.

Obviously our grade 1 super embryo was a prima donna of a blastocyst who thought itself just too good for a pre-loved uterus. Perhaps it’s for the best that it decided not to take up residence as it probably would have been too high maintenance. We are too laid back for such an uppity wanker of a blastocyst to become part of our family anyway. Take that so called super embryo.

Of course, I don’t mean any of that. We were so excited about our perfect little Blastocyst. And I am numb.

Someone asked me this morning if it really hurt any worse than an unsuccessful non IVF cycles?

My answer is a resounding “F%^k yeah!” It’s like it’s been amplified by 1,000 and not just because it is a much bigger investment… emotionally, physically and financially. In a normal cycle there is just a vague hope, but in an IVF cycle we actually get to meet our little embryo. It existed. We saw it’s utterly perfect mass of expanding cells hatching from its little shell. And when it was transfered for a moment we have success and you begin to nurture and protect the growing life as if it were any normal pregnancy. It’s like being a ‘little bit’ pregnant. But mostly it’s worse because the tiny Blastocyst looked so much like its divine big brother who is real and loved and here and now his tiny celluar sibling is not. a.

It’s been a hard morning and I feel useless and empty and sad. I told a few friends and their responses were understandably awkward but I have decided I am not talking to “live” people any more about this, today or any other day, as I swear that if I hear any of the following platitudes again (I’ve already heard them enough times and always from people who have children coming out of their armpits) I will poke out someone’s eye with a loaded dildocam.

“Never mind, you can try again”.  And won’t that be a barrel of laughs!? Yippee. I can hardly wait.

And my personal favourite…

“You should consider yourself LUCKY to even have one”.

LUCKY? Excuse me person with three healthy children, all of whom were conceived with the minimum of fuss – virtually by glancing at a penis – why exactly should I feel lucky?

Lucky? When we had to spend tens of thousand of dollars and go through 4 years of devastation and intrusive medical procedures to get our son? Lucky would be winning him on the lottery.

Lucky? That instead of the conception of our child being an intimate experience between two people in love, it is instead a medical procedure attended by a cast of thousands?

While I feel blessed that all our efforts resulted in my beautiful son, luck has zero to do with his existence. 

My apologies for the rant… must dash now, more sobbing required.
 

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T2

A teensy tiny hatching blastocyst is right now doing an inspection of the pink room to see if the accommodation is too his/her liking.

Just like the artist formerly known as “The Truffle”, this hatching blastocyst looks quite similar to a slice of freshly shaved truffle. Though, in his previous incarnation, Devilboy looked more like a Perigord truffle, this little truffle – who is slightly more developed and compacted – is more reminiscent of the Italian white variety. Not that I’m obsessed with food or anything.

Hatching Blast, for the moment known by the moniker Truffael or T2, is a grade 1 super blastocyst. A blastocyst so perfect that even Dr. Sickboy was impressed. Considering that Devilboy – who in our opinion is unsurpassable in his utter perfection – was only a grade 2, we are extremely excited by this outcome. We can now only hope that Devilboy didn’t trash the room too much and T2 decides its fit for such a superior mass of expanding cells to reside.

Our excitement doesn’t end with T2.

Whilst last time around the other embryos – possibly pooped just from observing Emby Devilboy’s inexhaustible energy or perhaps because they were just lazy arsed slacker embryos – never really made it to blastocyst stage,  leaving us with no fall back if Devilboy hadn’t decided to stick around. This time, they must have put Red Bull in the Petri dish because all of the embryos raced about busily growing to blastocyst stage. Yesterday at least two and as many as four (waiting on confirmation now) of them were big enough and tough enough to move out of the dish. Rugged up in microscopic emby anoraks, they’ve headed off to the Emby Arctic, to toboggan in the snow and play with the miniscule penguins and polar bears until, and if, they are required.

The remainder are enjoying another day of summer, swimming and frolicking in the petri dish and working on their tans, before the scientists decide whether they are big enough and clever enough to can join their teensy, tiny siblings.

With back up embsicles and the sexiest blastocyst of all time checking out my uterine real estate, we’re feeling cautiously optimistic. Regardless I am wisely spending my time eating chocolate, freebasing rescue remedy and googling for any potentially important fertility icons I may have missed… just in case!
 

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Bakers Dozen.

 “This might be a little uncomfortable” announced a smiling Dr. Sickboy.

Yeah right… and Adolf Hitler was ‘a little’ anti-Semitic.

Armed as he was with a speculum and a foot long needle (Dr. Sickboy I mean – not Hitler) several words crossed my mind. The two that stood out the most were ‘bull’ and ‘shit’. But, being the obedient little Science-Projectette that I was, I feigned belief – though not without impatiently requesting some of his top shelf happy drugs.

It turns out that Dr. Sickboy was right, it was a little uncomfortable. If by ‘a little’ he actually meant shitloads. Fuck. Ow. Ow. Ow. Thank gods for the ameliorating affects of the drugs I say, for without them I surely would have kicked him in the nuts as an act of revenge. Acutely aware of the pain but happily distracted by the now spinning room and all the pretty, pretty lights I relaxed a little – well, as much as one can when one is on ones back, knee high leather booted legs akimbo (I forgot that you had to keep your shoes on in the lab and was utterly embarrassed) in stirrups while a strange Scotsman stands between them vaccuming your follicles.

Besides the God awful pain, discomfort and embarrassment, retrieval went well and our funky chickens delivered. Twelve eggs! M and I whooped with delight at the number. We had a full carton! And that just somehow seemed right.

M took his sperm to their day spa appt. where they all lolled about in their tiny little towels, getting washed and coiffed while I sat in recovery hoping they’d been working on some seriously good pick up lines to use on the eggs… who were waiting in the lab touching up their lippy and mascara.

When our scientist, Not-Stephen-Hawking, popped her head around to let us know they’d miscounted and there were actually 13 eggs, I think she expected joy… and seemed a little shocked that she didn’t get it from me. I mean, I should have been ecstatic because it meant we had more chance but it had the opposite effect on silly control freakish me. I was gutted… devastated that she’d ruined my perfectly ordered carton of eggs with, of all things, an unlucky number.  Stupid scientist.

M tried to convince it wasn’t unlucky and that we should be thrilled with such a result, given last time we only got seven. “Lucky seven,” I pointed out! Rolling his eyes at my utter stupidity he suggested lunch at nice water front restaurant, knowing that nothing can distract me from daftness faster than food. So, still drugged to the eyeballs, we very sensibly went for a celebratory lunch where I very un-sensibly added a little champagne to my already toxic bloodstream. I don’t really remember the rest of the day. Oops.

Today, Not-Stephen-Hawking called to let us know that the fluffy coiffed sperm had indeed been practising their pick up lines and had rocked up to the Petri dish looking buff and driving little sperm Porsches.  My eggs, superficial as they are, must have been impressed because eight fertilised. Yeehah… 13 hadn’t been unlucky after all.

Fluent as I am in icon speak, I ran the number by to my motley crew of icons and they were most pleased. Eight was just fine by them.

The Buddha’s squealed with delight and high fived each other. Buddhists follow the Noble Eightfold path and are encouraged to the observe eight Buddhist Precepts to cultivate compassion, generosity, contentment and mindfulness.  There are eight lucky symbols’ – the parasol, the goldfish, the treasure vase, the lotus blossom, the banner of victory, the conch shell, the eternal knot and the eight-spoked wheel. It also didn’t hurt that the 8th was Buddha’s birthday.

My Chinese Buddha’s were particularly excited given that in Chinese culture eight is considered the luckiest  number of them all and in secular Chinese folklore there are eight demigods known as the immortals that can give life or destroy evil.

Skinny Ganesha and Shiva, dancing lord and protector of our toilet – pointed out that in Hinduism eight is the number of wealth and abundance. 

Even the Black Mary of Rocamadour, though piously dismissive of the other Icons claims, acknowledged that eight is a positive in Christianity, it being the number of sacred Beatitudes that form the core of Christian life. 

As the Icons debated the pros and cons of their own personal agendas amongst themselves it also dawned on me that Hannukah is an eight day Jewish celebration and in Islam, it’s the number of Angels carrying the Holy Throne of Allah.

That had us covered wih all the majors.

As for the more obscure Icons… Freya shared some random thoughts on eight-legged horses in Norse Mythology, though she may have just been tripping on some kind of Nordic acid. While the Venus of Lespuge, not known for her skills of erudition, just jiggled her enormous tits.  
                                
Thinking outside of secular and mythological connotations, eight is the winning ball in a game of pool. And M, when he was younger, more foolish and a frequenter of pool halls, used to order hash by the ‘eighth’ so this would definitely be an auspicious sign to him, desperate as he is for me to have a successful pregnancy so he can once again imbibe in other cannabis bi-products.

Hmm, what else? Octopi have eight tentacles, which are delicious when marinated and BBQ’d and Octomum, who is clearly the most fertile being of all, delivered eight babies.

At this point I am clearly grasping at straws – so should stop my obsessing before I am declared mentally unfit and given a ‘section 8’.
 

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Trouncy Flouncy Pouncy Fun

"It’s trigger time," I announced to M yesterday after a call from The Stabber.

“Tigger?” asked M.

“Yes honey… Tigger! Won’t that be trouncy, flouncy, pouncy fun, fun, fun?” I replied, amazed at how much our headspace had changed since Devilboy entered our lives. I certainly wasn’t referring to one of Pooh’s friends… not unless they had started shooting up.
 
“Not ‘Tigger’… TRIGGER! At 10.30! Tonight”

Trigger has once more been lurking darkly in the fridge, all self important and smug, taunting me from its neat little packaging. But hidden behind the deceptively innocent and simple packaging is one big arsed bitch of a needle. This is the big one, the all important green light for the chickens to stop clucking about and start producing! And just like last time, it alone of all the needles scared the crap out of me.

But unlike last time, what with it being a regular week night and all, there wasn’t a freshly shaved truffle or indie Scottish movie about heroin addicts in sight. And though I’m a huge fan of Bill Maher, watching him interview Bill Moyers on television while Devilboy slept soundly in the next room…. seemed somewhat mundane compared to the action packed event that was trigger time last time around… in fact it seemed, well, really fucking dull!

The chickens needed more encouragement to start doing their funky egg laying moves… and this sorry scene simply wouldn’t cut it!

So lights were dimmed, tv turned off, candles lit and the stereo jacked up LOUD…

"Here comes Johnny Yen again
With the liquor and drugs
And the flesh machine

Your skin starts itching once you buy the gimmick
about something called love
Oh love, love, love
Well, that’s like hypnotizing chickens.
Well, I am just a modern guy

Of course, I’ve had it in the ear before 
‘Cause of a lust for life
‘Cause of a lust for life"

Not being completely stupid, I do know the lyrics to Lust for Life are about Iggy Pop’s life as a hard-living heroin addict but in my twisted little mind, from the drugs to the itchesto the flesh machines, they could just as easily be about reproduction, Dr. Sickboy style.

And this particular song bloody well did work last time, didn’t it?! You won’t catch me messing with a winning formula. Anyway, the reference to chickens is a clear indication that this song is all about making much loved IVF babies… not just that Iggy was channelling obscure observations of love from William S. Burroughs while smacked off his tits.

So trigger has been injected, serenaded by Mr. Pop and all the little chickens are now a layin’.

Tomorrow morning we’re heading in for the retrieval. This is the process whereby Dr. Sickboy jams a foot long needle into my sore and bloated ovaries to suck the eggs out while Dildocam dives in to watch and laugh.

Now, won’t that be trouncy, flouncy, pouncy fun, fun, fun?”

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