Tuesday, October 23

Happy first Blog-day!

Happy first Blog-day!

Where to begin?

So today in the life of me is 23 October 2007. A very special friend told me the other day that 'the right soul is looking for you', what a way to put it! And ofcourse I am doing everything within my power to help that/those specific souls find ME.

I, thankfully, already have two souls. I have two beautiful children, Adam and Noam, both conceived naturally a year and a half apart. Due to numerous problems which have arisen since the birth of my second child I cannot have more children, naturally at least. Following several operations, procedures, medications, different diagnoses I am now, today, on day 3 of my third IVF. The first IVF was done in Johannesburg, South Africa, it was successful but resulted in an early miscarriage in April this year. The second IVF was done in Israel in September 2007 and was unsuccessful. So now, full-speed ahead for number 3.

I feel quite empowered this time, reason being I am injecting MYSELF. Quick history, I am neurotic as hell, I lather my body with EMLA (anaethetising cream) for an hour before any hint of any injection. I am just not good with pain, never have been. Pregnant with my first child, I had this really romantic illusion that I was going to give birth totally naturally in a birthing pool. That's right, birthing pool. I had the whole little vision of candles, incense, soothing music, oh! and Doula on the sidelines whispering calming thoughts and me breathing deeply and being totally in control of the situation. Well nothing went according to plan and I had to be induced. The thought now is just so ludicrous, when I look back, I couldn't even cope with the pessary to induce labour, I was practicing my breathing meant for labour. What a joke! So back to the injections, it is just so time-consuming getting someone else to do it. Either you have to ellicit the help of a usually unwilling friend or relative, or you have to stand in queues at the local National Health Office, and here in Israel, that involves fighting your way into the nurses office. So I decided to take the bull by the horns, and grow up. I have been fantasizing for the last month about exactly HOW I am going to do this. A subcutaneous injection (or ANY injection for that matter) may seem like a walk in the park for some, but for people like me it involves more serious heavy breathing, psyching ones-self up, tubes and tubes of Emla, and all for one split second of the nothing, thanks to the Emla. My psychotic fear of injections stems from experiences with self-designated Super-Injectornators trying to "find a vein". Always a losing battle with me, the problem, bad veins, I am sure inherited from my mother. So hence my absolute fear of injections, and pain for that matter. Which makes my absolutely amazing abillity to inject myself yesterday and today really unbeleivable. My first day of this IVF cycle was on Sunday, I prepped myself, as usual, I sat for about an hour trying different positions, standing, sitting, changing rooms, all to no avail, it was just not happening. I could NOT do it. This specific injection has to be done in your stomach (fatty part on either side of your belly button) or in your leg. So if you do it in your stomach, you can pinch a fat roll (very attractive), my new technique, that of yesterday and today, is to squeeze that fat roll so hard that I wont be thinking of the 1 cm needle going into me. And hey it worked, sort of. You have to take the injection, and as if you were holding a pen/pencil, stab, literally stab, it into the area, then holding the tip with one hand, the other hand injects the fluid, which for me now is Decapeptyl. Ok so back to that 'stabbing motion', I think I have change my current technique and go full-throttle at the 'stabbing motion' moment. Today whilst looking away, face all scringed-up, fat roll being pinched so hard the blood was being cut off, I did my 'stabbing motion', then looking down at the injection site, only to find that about a third of the needle was actually in, so I had to still push the rest in, I think I have good old resilliant fat, because once the needle was nearly fully inserted it made like a popping sensation. Pop! Through the fat wall, that is subcutaneous, under the fat. Brilliant. So, to explain the feeling of accomplishment after having done this to myself yesterday, it was just the best, I did it! Me! Nothing compares to facing and conquering your fears, nothing. I feel like I could do absolutely anything now. I actually injected myself!

So I have to master this whole injection scenario, because for now it is only one per day but through the course of the approximately 6 week IVF programme there are stages where you are taking up to 3 or more injections per day. Not a fun thought, but hey, by then I am going to be such a pro! This morning I answered the phone mid-injection, really. I am either a 'black' or 'white' person, there is no 'grey' area with me, all or nothing, smoker or non-smoker!

So back to more serious issues, I am off this evening for a procedure called "PIPELLE". Rewind to my pain issues, the secretary called last night to confirm the appointment for today and I asked her if it would be painful, her silence said it all, so I am going fully loaded / drugged-up, whichever you prefer. So this procedure basically involves stimulating the endometrial lining, it is not understood why, but a study here in Israel revealed that it could improve your chances for implantation. This study stems from research done on women that were incredibly fertile post D & C procedures. Me, being the Google Goddess, found out about this and suggested it to my Doctor, who is actually a Professor, anyway he said that it is usually only done on patients after 4 failed IVF's, but I guess he could see my A-type personality sneaking through and he agreed to do it.

So today is day 23 of my cycle, and day 3 of Decapeptyl, big word, and it does such an amazing thing, it surpresses your Pituritary Gland, that is the gland that makes all your hormones do their thing at different times during your monthly cyle. So this drug totally surpresses this gland to enable the Fertility Doctors to be totally in control of your hormones, surges, dips and all. Then throughout the whole IVF programme, based on blood test and ultrasound results, the doctors guage when and what to do, ie when and what to inject/insert/swallow.

So forward I march, here I come Mr Professor.


"Q: In which cases does removal of the fallopian tubes improve the outcome?
A: In recent years, impressive evidence has shown that hydrosalpinx (swollen fallopian tubes, filled with fluid) can reduce chances of implantation. It seems that the reason for this is that the fluid in the fallopian tubes contains inflammatory products that leak into the abdominal cavity and damage the embryo trying to implant itself in the endometrium. In cases of recurrent failure of IVF therapy, the condition of the fallopian tubes should always be assessed using a hysterosalpingogram and ultrasound scan. If the state of the fallopian tubes is very poorly, and might affect the implantation of the embryos, the benefit of their removal should be considered. The removal of oneor both fallopian tubes is performed by laparoscopy, where a laparoscope (a fine telescope) is inserted through an umbilical incision."