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Today my thoughts keep skipping back to this day last year.

As I left the FS’s office a year ago, those monthly disappointments were suddenly no longer just bad luck. It was called IF. I could no longer make myself believe that nothing was wrong. The FS’s scan and (invasive) exam gave away the endometrioma and other nodules that were most likely severe endo.

I went home to pack my hospital bag as we had scheduled the lap two days later. (In the hope of avoiding another horrible episode of ovarian torsion.) Would my hope of someday holding our baby remain a dream? There was no way of knowing.

Today I wonder whether I would have reached this current happy space if I started popping babies the moment I first thought I felt ready? Or what would have happened if I could have peeked at the happy ending of the chapter rather than having had to battle through those fears and the feelings of failure and loss?

Would I have been as grateful for the little blessing growing, kicking and hiccupping in my tummy? Would I have appreciated my wonderful DH as much? Would I have been as amazed at the wonder and fragility of a tiny new life?

Or would I (like my mom, I guess) possibly have viewed pregnancy and childbearing as little more than divine punishment for Eve’s mistakes?

I believe that there are journeys and nightmares in this life that could never make sense to us while we’re on this earth. Yet today, as I look back, I know that things have worked together for good – for me, my DH and my little ‘meisiekind’. I have such a grateful and humble heart.

As I look back at IF from the ‘other side’, one immense sadness remains: knowledge and understanding (at least to some extent, since I’ve ‘only’ had to walk the ttc road for 18 months) of the pain of those who are still waiting..

After a terrifying week of bleeding and spotting, we saw one beautiful, strong heartbeat today! Little bean is on track and DH and I am overjoyed!

I called my FS (he’s already on holiday) last Saturday, totally panicky after my 6w scan showed a 5.1 mm bean without a heartbeat. According to lots of texts on the internet, this gets classified as a ‘missed miscarrriage’. My FS said not to worry: the little beans don’t read the textbooks and are known to do their own thing. I’m so grateful that he was right!

Today’s temporary FS (vd Merwe at VP) said I’m likely to see a lot more red in the coming weeks due to the little lost twin and I shouldn’t worry too much if it happens. I should just take things easy.

My FS, Dr Dawie Slabbert at Panorama in Cape Town, trained at Vincent Palotti and I can’t resist recommending him here. I’ve heard from other reliable sources that he has fantastic success rates and that I couldn’t do better than to go with him – although I never directly asked him about his IVF success rate.

He is the most compassionate doctor I’ve ever met and he’s very professional, although he is slightly younger than my DH (!). He answers e-mails within day and you’re sure to get lots of personal attention if you go with him.

Also, if I put my bikini on this summer, I doubt my siblings will even notice my 2-hour long lap in July’s scars (I didn’t tell them about the lap)! The scars extremely small and neat. The one in my navel was done very cleverly and is invisible. (A bit of weight gain around my tummy is likely to get noticed though.. 😉 )

The scan showed 5 promising follies: 2x 18mm, 1x 19mm, 1x 21mm and 1x giant of 27mm. So three excellent ones and two more that wants to play with. Lining is just over 7mm, which should be good enough.

Considering my age, endo and history, the FS says to go for it! So Ovidrel tonight and we’ll be trying to nail one (and hopefully only one, maybe two) of those follies with IUI on Friday.

Second time lucky would be bestest Christmas prezzie ever.

The good news is that 50 mg of Clomid was once again enough to make me fire off loads of follies.

Problem is that there seems to be 5 in the running this month, not counting a 24 mm ‘follie’ that is more likely a cyst. Things might change between now and Friday, but the FS won’t do IUI if there’s 5 or more follies and also wouldn’t want us to try on our own.

We could switch to IVF, but it seems like lots of effort and cost for ‘only’ 5 follies? – not wanting to sound ungrateful, of course. We’ll save about R10K on stimming meds, but the rest of the cost and effort is still the same.

The excellent news is that 100 mg of Clomid might be enough stims for me if we want to do IVF next cycle. The less good news is that I’m maybe a bit too hyper for us to try more Clomid IUIs in future.

Homework question to me and DH is whether to switch to IVF this month if there’s 5 Clomid follies at Wednesday’s scan? So we’ve got to ask ourselves: are you feeling lucky?

I started Clomid on Monday, seeing the FS next Monday for CD10 scan. IUI should be around 20 November – if all the right ‘stars line up’ nicely (figure of speech, not a true belief) for me and DH this month.

Last Thursday (the night before my 1st IUI), I came home to find my solid rock of a DH completely freaked. He panicked they’d have a mix up in the lab (he’s a lab rat himself) and we’d end up with a kiddie of the wrong race or something.

DH wanted to call the whole thing off! I called my dear FS at 9 pm and he listened patiently, came up with various solutions and calmed us down.

I think the tantrum was in part due to DHs internal struggle to cope with the situation. When I stood in front of my closet Thursday night, as always muttering to myself that I have nothing to wear the next day, DH piped up from the side: “You should wear your sexy, black teddy. I always wanted you to wear that when we conceive our first child..” So I held him tight as we laughed at the little joke and cried at the loss of one dream and the birth of another.

Friday was plain sailing and the procedure was over in the wink of an eye. (No, I didn’t wear that teddy!)

Amazingly, instead of scurrying off to answer e-mails afterwards, my sweet FS started chatting. We were talking about Sharon’s terrible loss, life, our jobs, God, dreams, disappointments..

When we glanced at the watch, more than 30 minutes had already passed. I got up feeling relaxed, hopeful, counselled and in awe of my FS. I called DH and reassured him that everything will be fine, one way or another.

Who knows whether I have a tummy full of triplets or no LO at all? Although the wait is on and the pressure is likely to start increasing soon, DH and I had grateful hearts and enjoyed a blissful weekend in the Karoo.

P.S. Please note that the reason I mentioned that popping a kiddie from a different race would be a problem, is that just imagine the amount of crap we’d get from everybody if that were to happen? Especially if we were less than open about how we got that BFP before the birth..

Yesterday, I called the FS and he got that I was basically saying: “Clomid, now!”.

So I popped the first Femara pill yesterday evening and will be going for my 1st scan on Monday. After that (if nothing BFP-ish happens this month) we’ll give it a break till January.

I also said I want my AMH tested. The FS said it’s a good idea. He said he prefers to leave tests as late as possible, because, “a lot of people freak out once you start testing them as that makes them think there’s something wrong”. Well, not to worry – I’m sure the reason I’m not pregnant yet is because there is bloody well nothing wrong!!

So little sleep for me last night again, too many new things on my mind and I was feeling nauseous, possibly from the Femara? I got up to POAS anyway (on CD3) to pass the time and just to be 100% sure.. And so I could feel 100% crazy.

I’m relieved to feel we’re now going somewhere, although the day didn’t start out too brightly. I had a huge fight with DH – I think mostly about whether he would prefer kids and a happy me, or money. ART talks seem to often make us end up fighting about that one. *sigh*

Hopefully the day will pick up from here.

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