Adoption meet up

I haven’t been talking much about adoption lately. Not that it hasn’t been on our minds, but since getting a long list of rejections from adoption agencies we’ve been feeling stuck and really down about the whole thing.

We still decided to go to a meet up of the local adoption association, which included adoptive families as well as other people trying to adopt. My my motivation to go had been low in the last days but I am really happy we went now.

It was a beautiful sunny day and seeing these families with adoptive children warmed up my heart and actually gave me some hope. When the new children were introduced with their families I couldn’t hold back tears. I was really ashamed until I saw I wasn’t the only one crying.

I also met lots of really nice people. I also finally met in person a lovely IVF buddy and her husband, which was really cool. Everyone was eager to talk, exchange and give suggestions. It was nice to be able to talk about adoption to people who have gone or are going through the same difficulties, to get good advice and encouragement, and generally to feel understood.

After this meet up, my husband and I went for a nice long walk in the woods and talked about adoption with a lot more hope than we have done in the last months. For the first time in months I feel like there may be a tiny chance that we may become adoptive parents one day, even if there is still a long way ahead.

Hope

Posted in Adoption | Tagged , , , | 14 Comments

PUPO with a wee lazy blast!

Title says it all… I had one day-6 blastocyst transferred this morning. It’s the first time I have a blastocyst transferred – even if it’s a lazy one – so that’s exciting. The gynecologist said we have around 30% chances that it sticks. It’s better than nothing I guess. I do feel a bit sad about my 2 day-2 embryos, which did not make it to day 5, and my other blast, which did not thaw properly. I can’t say I’m surprised, and this is why I chose not to have them transferred at day 2 but it’s harder now that they are actually gone.

The nurse who announced we only had a blastocyst left was the coldest person on earth. Even my husband made a remark about it. She said like you would tell someone something completely emotionless, like your pizza fell on the floor so we’ll bring you a sandwich instead. And even then I think some people could have been more sympathetic in letting you know you are not to have pizza than she was to us today..

Things in preparation for this transfer look wonderful. The meds are successfully making their effect: I feel exhausted and nauseous and I even threw up a couple of times. Otherwise all my doctors are very happy with me. My lining is perfect. My blood test results came back perfect. My acupuncturist says my vital energy is perfect. The osteopath says that down there I am very “present” (whatever that means) and that all is perfect. I even got an injection to do as a prize for being so perfect.

I guess we did all that was possible… I can’t get myself to believe that this blastocyst will stick. But it doesn’t matter what I think. And I will still think of it for the next two weeks and try to do my best to make it feel welcome in its nest and hope with all my heart that it will prove me wrong.

Posted in Infertility | Tagged , , , , , , , | 34 Comments

Outlander or how I lost my mind for a fictional character

It’s time to confess. I have been cheating on you, guys. But only a little bit.. Most of my long commute time, which I usually devote to blogs/twitter, has recently gone into the world of Outlander. I feel excused in this betrayal by the presence of a very hot Scottish man, the Scottish highlands and lots of people wearing kilts and speaking with a strong Scottish accent. If you do not share my passion for men in kilt, feel free to go straight to the end of this post where I tell you about yet another doomed FET..

My lovely sister found out about this TV show and bugged me until I started watching it. She needed someone to share her excitement with and know I would not let her down.. We both got so hooked up that we are now also reading the book [by the way, the book is a lot more explicit than the TV show.. I was a bit shocked by it..].

Outlander is basically the story of an English girl who goes on a trip to Scotland with her husband just after WW2. She ends up time travelling to 18th century Scotland, where she starts some crazy adventures and meets this super hot guy who is basically my ideal man: kind, smart, ginger, Scottish, strong accent, kilt and irresistible scruffy look.

Jamie

I also like the lady in this book/TV show. Some things are so familiar: she’s English but finds herself living in Scotland (hence the title of the book Outlander) and she cannot conceive. I can’t but sympathize, being infertile, a foreigner living abroad (as well as in a land of wonder fertiles) and someone whose life rotates around the presence of a beautiful man (here she has it much better though as her hero wears a kilt).

No need to worry about my seldom appearances on blog/twitter land though.. Books do not last for ever.. what I think will last for ever though is my love for Scotland. Whether it’ll chose or not to remain part of the UK, Scotland certainly one of the most beautiful countries in the world and what I consider my second home  (one of these days I may have to admit third, but I’m not quite ready for that yet..).

Back to reality now! I went to see the gynecologist this morning. He checked my MRI results and thinks that I should not have an operation for now: the endo does not look severe, I am already doing IVF and he’d rather not risk it. We will probably have it done after this FET fails and we go on to an ovarian drilling.

Not much new on the FET: I started patches last week, I have been increasingly tired, the strong nausea has started and it will probably not leave me for while (in a dream world it would be a very long while, but I do not even dare to hope.. ). I will start progesterone tomorrow and I am scheduled to have the transfer on Wednesday. The lab will thaw my 2 day-2 embies on Sunday and put them in long culture until Wednesday. If they do not survive, they’ll thaw my 2 late blasts. If those don’t thaw… well… I guess I’ll just have to open a bottle of wine. Or two..  last news is that, of course, something came up at work and I have been asked to go for a short trip on Thursday. Every time I plan everything so well and every time something comes up… oh well, I doubt a short trip will make a difference to the outcome and it will keep me far from the stress of the office life..

I guess I will leave you with the motto of my new Scottish hero: “Je suis prest” or, in my case, “je suis prête”.

Posted in Books, Infertility, Movies&Co | Tagged , , , , , , | 17 Comments

A Heart’s Desire

HeartsDesire600pxA Heart’s Desire (Chronique d’un désir d’enfant en douce France) by Judith Uyterlinde  is the first book I read about an infertility journey. I remember desperately looking for books with infertility stories. I just wanted a book that would tell me: don’t worry, this happened to me too; I survived and so will you. This was the book I found.

I went to the bookstore and looked in several sections, including psychology and medicine, but I couldn’t find anything. Silly me, of course infertility books were in the maternity section.. [thanks bookstore managers for adding one more thing to the already long list of difficulties and humiliations in the life of an infertile. By the way, are books about death with ones about life? And ones about homeless in the the house design and decoration section? ]

Sorry, I’m digressing. Back to the book. I found it touching and honest. I could recognise so much of what I was going through in it. The writer describes so well the difficulties, the coping, the fighting, the despair that comes with infertility. But she also manages to convey the happiness and calm that come at the end of the journey, and how the huge storm of her infertility journey managed to highlight even more the beauty of the sunshine that followed. 

I can only hope that the storm will end soon for us too.

[And, if not, at least that infertility books get moved away from the maternity section!]

Posted in Books, Movies&Co | Tagged , , , , | 25 Comments

The MRI experience and results

I had an MRI done last week to check for endoHospitalmetriosis. It was in a beautiful historical hospital, which really helped my mood as it felt a bit more like a half-day vacation than yet more time wasted on medical tests. Oh the pretty things you discover thanks to infertility!  Also, the guy who did the MRI was really good looking and very nice. Aren’t I super lucky?!

Overall, it was no great fun but it wasn’t tragic either. I fell asleep despite the noise of the MRI machine (why does the one in Doctor House make no noise? is it because there are better machines in the US or just because it’s a TV show?). The worst part was actually that after the exam all the gel they had put in came out and the pad they had given me was not at all enough. I ended up walking around with a wet butt, nickers and trousers for hours. Glamorous, I know.. sorry.. but I am saying it for those who will have to do this in the future. Bring your own pads and bring loads!

The discussion with the radiologist (the big Professor) was really annoying: lot of questions and an aggressive attitude. He asked about three times if when it hurts during sex it is more to the left or to the right. He wouldn’t take “I don’t know” as an answer. But how would I know? Normally when it hurts we stop instead of trying to locate the pain.. The big Professor also neglected to give any sort of explanation. He kept talking really quickly to a voice recorder using medical terms and only directed his final verdict to me with a worried look: “it is not easy…”. While I was wondering whether it was not easy to understand the results or to live with what I have, he said au revoir and left.

I received the written results yesterday and they are only a tiny bit clearer:

  • My ovaries and uterus appear to be clear of endo (good news, right?).
  • My uterus is tilted to the left (after much googling I believe this can be due to endometriosis).
  • My left ovary is really high up, which I already knew because my dildo cam appointments are all about finding the lost left ovary.
  • The area between the bladder and the uterus seems to be clear of endo.
  • The cul-de-sac (pouch-like area behind the uterus) is stuck on the left side, but it is unclear whether this is due to endo implants.
  • There are endometrial adhesions in the area between the uterus and the rectum (which explains the pain).

That’s it for now. I don’t really know what to do with this info. What do the endo experts think? Has this affected IVF results? Will I need a lap to check and eventually have the implants removed? Will I need to adapt the IVF treatments? Hopefully the gynecologist will enlighten me! 

Posted in Infertility | 28 Comments

Finding the courage to discuss endometriosis symptoms

In the last years I have been worried about endometriosis but when I tried to talk about it with my old doctors they cut me off saying that I had no reason to believe I had it. I didn’t insist because I was too ashamed to talk about it anyway. The thing is, I have gone through plenty of website discussing endometriosis and I believe I have reasons to worry. 

After so many failed cycles, I finally decided it was time to talk. I own a big thank you to a friend who was kind enough to share her own I-may-die-of-shame experience and gave me the final push I needed. Really, thank you!

This doctor finally listened. Or rather, he read: since I was too ashamed to talk about glamorous symptoms , I ended up writing a list and handing it to him. My list of endometriosis symptoms is as follows:

  • Painful, heavy and very irregular periods, often with clots 
  • Pain in the lower abdomen, pelvis and lower back
  • Diarrhea during periods
  • Painful bowel movements right before and during periods
  • Occasional bleeding from back passage
  • Often cramps around back passage right before periods (so strong I generally cannot move)
  • ‘Spotting’ or bleeding between periods
  • Pain during sex in some positions
  • Infertility (of course!)

Sorry I know this is TMI but I am writing this down so if others have the same and read this list, they know they are not alone.

The gynecologist agrees with me that I may have endometriosis and told me to get an MRI. As IVF is the solution for endometriosis and I am already doing it, he thinks that it’s not worth doing a laparoscopy for now. 

Any thoughts from endometriosis experts and sufferers?

Other than this endometriosis discussion, we’ll go ahead with another frozen transfer. I’ll start the meds to induce my period as soon as I feel ready and I think the FET will be sometime between late September and early October. After all the failures this year, I can’t feel enthusiastic about it. But we can only keep trying.. 

Posted in Infertility | 33 Comments

ありがとう – Thank you Japan!

I got back from Japan a few days ago and I’m still in awe at this wonderful trip! I loved everything: the calm madness of Tokyo, the quietness of the woods, the beauty of the temples, the perfect harmony of Japanese gardens, the incredible kindness of the Japanese people, the food, the unexpected discoveries, the traditions, the old and the new, the countless shades of green in the forests, the sun light coming through maple and ginkgo tree leaves, the hot spring baths, the karaoke singing Japanese songs after drinking way too much… 

We walked and biked around loads trying to see and experience as much as possible. I loved getting to the evening with my feet on fire or sore legs. It helped regaining possession of my body: little by little I had no more sore boobs, nausea, or tummy pains. I lost the weight I had gained with treatments and I’m now feeling really well. 

I wish my mind was as quick as my body though.. I spent the first week in Japan waking up at 4 AM in tears. I blamed it on jet lag and decided to cure it with jogging (it’s amazing how many people go jogging or walking at 5 AM in Japan!). Things got better as days went by but sadness and panic often came back when we stopped running around. The worst was when we went to these beautiful onsen (hot springs): I was sitting in this outdoor bath, with a wonderful view on the maple trees and the soothing noise of a small river, but all I could think about was dead embryos, doctors, tests, decisions to be made, my parents getting old and, above all, the fear of never being a mum..

A friend reminded me that grief comes in waves and you just need to wait for the wave to go away. I guess that I loved Japan so much that I made this wave a tsunami… But even tsunamis pass and I’m really hoping this one will be gone soon.. 

Anyways, enough with the whining and time for some pictures now! Here is a small selection: 10 out of the 2000 I have.. yes I am an addict!

A huge lake of lotus flowers at Ueno Park in Tokyo. The lotus flowers are much taller than me.. 

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Our fortunes up outside a temple. My husband got “Very bad luck”, I got “The last fortune”, which is even worse.. According to Japan our wishes will not come true..

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The crowd at Shibuya crossing in Tokyo

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The golden Pavillion in Kyoto

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Bamboo forest in Kyoto

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Torii at the Fujimi Inari temple in Kyoto. We went for the full walk/hike: I don’t think I have ever gone up so many steps my whole life! It was definitely worth it!!

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Wishes up the trees for the Tanabata festival in Kyoto

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The huge torii in the water in the Miyagima Island.

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One of the many super cute Buddhas we saw

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Maple trees in the summer light in Kamakura

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Posted in life | 25 Comments