Thursday, January 31


The Embryo Transfer is scheduled for tommorrow morning, 8am, probrably 3 if they are of good enough quality. I will be all that wiser tommorrow. I spent most of today in bed again, very luxurious, but very crampy and throbby (is there such a word?). The crap part about my throbs is that I know that it is this Hydro-bloody-salpinx, the more it throbs the more I know that it is has to come out, and the more I know that it has to come out, the more I lose confidence in this cycle. I haven't done much book-reading, more like google-reading, they all say the same thing - basically it is not an impossiblity to fall pregnant and have a 'live birth'(sorry I know that sounds awful, it is medicalese)but it is STRONGLY advised to remove the tube/s with the Hydrosalpinx to improve your chances. There are no statistics on the net but Profman said that as it stands at the moment, I have a 20% chance, and without the wonky tube, it increases to 35%. Either way I will know in 13 days.

Wednesday, January 30

Another 7 little possibilities

Just made the call, 7 fertilised, the Laboratory has already been advised of the Assisted Hatching, I have to call tommorrow evening to find out what time on Friday I have to be back at the Hospital for the Transfer.

Are these my Souls maybe?

Snow, bed-rest and AH

It is snowing in Jerusalem, and it is hailing here on Moshav Bnei Atorot - unfortunately no chance of snow here.

I am on self-imposed bed-rest, my discharge paper from yesterday said "3 days rest at home". I might even read a book, that would be fun, I haven't done that in ages. This hard Israeli life has taken its' toll on me and I am going to enjoy this time. I have arranged a lady to pick up the children from school, bring them home, bath and feed them, and generally make my life easier. Yay.

So typical me, I have been on a Google rampage since the ICSI issue from last night. I have found out about something called Assisted Hatching (AH) and consulted with my Profman, he said of the 8 eggs he advised the Embryologist to use ICSI on half, and normal on the other half. He said that we could try the AH route and it may help. So here goes. Also, the procedure with AH is you have to go on steroids and antibiotics, but because of my tubal problems I am only going on the antibiotics. Countdown to 5pm

For more information follow this link:

Assisted Hatching (AH) means the following:

"The embryo will not implant in the lining of the uterus until it hatches. One of the most common barriers to becoming pregnant with in vitro fertilization (IVF) is improper implantation of the embryo. A process called assisted hatching (AH) can be used with IVF to help embryos implant and increase the chances of pregnancy success. On the third day after egg retrieval, the embryos will be coated with a small amount of fluid. On the day of AH, the outer shell is thinned so that hatching can occur after transfer to the uterus."

Tuesday, January 29

Duds and green-gowns

I have just got back after my Egg Retrieval, what a long long day, it is 8.30 pm. We left home at 2.15, head-first into the cold Israeli-wintery rain, hail and gale-force winds. On our way there the Donor told me the latest horror story from South Africa, the son of one of his business aquaintances had been murdered whilst picking up his son from a sports feild in Johannesburg last night. I still can't quite beleive it. No-one is immune from the everyday tragedy that is festering its' way into beautiful South Africa, everyone is a target.

So it was with my heavy heart that I plodded towards IVF #4 and the usual disorganised chaos that I am really NOT getting used to here. The pre-Egg Retrieval protocol is to first be checked by a nurse, ie blood pressure, temperature, and to fill out standard admission paperwork. Difference being, here (in not-so fancy-shmansy Private Hospital Assuta), this all takes place in a tiny little room with a non-stop flow of people making coffee, shouting over you/at each other, dodging blood pressure machines, stepping over cables of said blood-pressure machine. Just so so unprofessional. Then off to the ward to get changed into the super-duper green gown number. Who designed these things? Is it a dress? Is it an oversized t-shirt?

After a bit of confusion (normal Israeli-style) it was my turn to waltz through to the theatre, as I have mentioned before, this entails me walking down a corridor bussling with people, me trying not to make eye-contact with anyone, holding the back of the ghastly green gown thing so as not to reveal my posterior. The shirt/dress/gown thing comes up to your knees and you also receive colour-coordinated bright green plastic foot cover things. Oh, and I am bra-less (duh! totally naked actually) so my boobs wobble, so one hand protecting my dignity from behind and the other trying to control my D-cups. Not an attractive sight.

Once in the theatre, I have to establish a whole new relationship with an anaethetist that I haven't had before. First he has to get the needle in, which is always traumatic, I ofcourse am prepared and have done an Emla-smear across the whole area, and more, of where I knew he would be looking for a vein. I have two great blood-taking veins on my left hand side arm (they do it on the inside of your elbow, not in your hand) I know myself and my veins so ofcourse I did not feel a thing. But there is always a moment or two of deathly silence, when I think 'Oi, maybe he can't find a vein in my Emla's spot, and he will have to poke around in a non-Emla spot. Now that is trauma! Also, he needed to know about my little arrangement with the other anaethetist, and he had to comply as well, that is that he has to administer the yummy gooey la-la land stuff really slowly. So, it was great, all fuzzy and tingly and then Boom! Lights out!

I was in a lot of pain when I came around about a half hour later, so I got a Voltaren injection (with NO Emla, I am proud to say). The pain eased soon after. Groggy for a bit, and then back to really normal me. Good news, EIGHT little eggs were retrieved. Good good news.

Because of the anaesthetic, you have to hang around for a bit, eat a bit, drink a bit, and then wee. All done, I thought we could be going, when a nurse comes in and hands the Donor another 'Donor' package. He had made his 'donation' while I was under anaesthetic, so we were both a bit confused as to why they needed another one. He went to go and speak to the Laboratory Technicians to find out what the problem was, turns out there was a motility problem (swimming problem). So second donation done, we waited to see what the results would be of this second attempt. No change, Profman was consulted and he advised to go ahead with ICSI, which means:

"Intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI, pronounced "eeksee"[1]) is an in vitro fertilization procedure in which a single sperm is injected directly into an egg. This procedure is most commonly used to overcome male infertility problems. "

For more information follow this link:

I am not quite sure how to digest this new curve-ball. Either way it is irrelevant, there is IVF and ICSI, and there is hope. A year ago this same situation was the prelude to our first IVF, basic dud-sperm, and then with that first IVF and the subsequent 2 leading up to now, there had been no problem. It it is a bit confusing.

Tommorrow at 5pm I have to call the Profman about the either fertilised or non-fertilised status.

Looks like the Transfer will be done on Friday.

Monday, January 28

Egg Retrieval

My Egg Retrieval is scheduled for tommorrow, 2.45. Because it is done under full anaesthetic I cannot eat from 9am, so I am going for a big yummy breakfast-for-one somewhere early in the morning.

'Blessed' and 'Wailing Wall-ed' me.

I took the trigger this morning, 2 x Ovitrelle, the egg retrieval is going to be tommorrow evening, looking forward to the anaesthetic. I made a deal with the anaethetist last time that he injects the yummy gooey anaesthetic stuff really slowly. I might as well enjoy something! Ofcourse there is always that little fearful voice wondering if I will wake up this time. Trying not to think about that, the positive shiny me is just going to enjoy the good drugs.

Also mentally I have to prepare myself for the different-ness of how things are done here in Israel. In South Africa you are treated like a patient, you are rolled through into the theatre on a bed then slowly drift off into la-la land, and that is your last memory until you wake up in the ward with your Goofy-looking Donor staring at you adoringly. Here you have to walk through to the theatre (holding the back of your u.g.l.y green gown so as not to reveal your dimpled rear end), then you climb into the chair and put your legs in the steel (and very cold) stirrups, and then wide-legged and wide-eyed you are anaesthetised. Great last memory.

I went for yet another scan and more blood tests yesterday, there were 11 follicles, the biggest being 21mm, which had grown from Friday's 16mm. So this is it. Retrieval, fertilisation, 3 day wait, Embryo Transfer (probrably 3 again), then the very long 12 day wait. Oh and also if there are any viable embryos at day 5 after fertilisation they will be frozen along with the solitary one already frozen.

We stayed in Jerusalem this past weekend and as planned I went to the Wailing Wall, it was so unbeleivably special standing in the rain and reciting Psalms at what was left of the Second Temple. I was reading and having cold shivers, Psalm 127: "Behold! The heritage of Hashem is children; a reward is the fruit of the womb.", Psalm 113: "He transforms the barren wife into a glad mother of children. Halleluyah!". It was like Hashem was speaking to me directly. This will happen, I will have more children, he is NOT saying no.

I feel that the decisions that I have made about my and my childrens' (familys') future over the past few months; choices that I am making for us with observing Shabbat, learning about Judaism and about who Hashem really is, can and will only make us better people. A friend told me the other day "..but you are a nice person already...", so just think if I really am so nice already, imagine how much nicer I could be.

I went with the Donor last week and got 'blessed', it was one of the strangest experiences of my life. No words are capable of describing it. Bottom line, I was expecting a spiritual experience and it was totally the opposite. I consulted with the religious Bnei Brak lady that I study with once a week and she said it was all fine, that the fact that I got the blessing was the most important part, not everything else surrounding it.

So here I am, come on little embryos, this is the new 'Blessed' and 'Waling Wall-ed' me.

Wednesday, January 23 step

Day 7 -
Menogon x 5 Amps
Cetrotide x 1

I went for the E2 (Estradiol) and Estrogen Bloods yesterday morning and went for the Follicular Ultrasound with Profman last night. Good news, there are a whole lot of little follicles, and growing nicely. I have to carry on with the Menogon until Thursday night, plus add in one more injection, Cetrotide (which prevents early ovulation), then for more E2 and Estrogen bloods and Ultrasound on Friday morning. I will phone through the results and then be told what my next step is. I expect that if everything goes according to plan, I will be told to give myself the trigger injection and then to schedule when exactly I will be going into Assuta for the egg retrieval. Full speed now!

I am going to a very famous Rebbetzin tommorrow for a blessing, the Donor is coming with me and will get a blessing from the Rabbi as well. Maybe the 'blessed' me will have more luck than the 'unblessed' me of old. Also I have booked us into a hotel in Jerusalem for this Shabbat, it is going to be really lovely, I will go to the Wailing Wall for some private 'fertility-praying' time.

My soul is on track.

Monday, January 21

Day 4 - Menogon x 5 amps

I am all swollen and throbbing and follicled! The meds are working I can feel it, what a great feeling, we are on the right track!

The injections have been totally fine, such a minor thing in the grander scale of things, currently I am disciplining children, taking calls and making supper, all whilst injecting. I ROCK!

The Donor is getting itchy feet and just wants to donate already, he needs to be off on his travels again. Depending on when the Egg Retrieval will take place, I am hoping to spend one last family Shabbat this weekend in Jerusalem before the Donor takes off. Will only have clarity after bloods and scan on Tuesday.

So I will just throb away in the meantime. (Keep growing little follicles!)

Thursday, January 17


Day 1 - 5 amps Menogon

I got the go-ahead from Profman to start injecting. I was glad to see that I haven't lost my touch, 5 amps Menogon - Boom Boom Boom!!! So I have to do the this for 5 days, up to and including Monday, then Tuesday morning - a follicular Ultrasound, and E2 and Progesterone Bloods, then send off the results, and await my next step.

I am happy and I am hopefull. Here we go again.
In the life of an IVF repeat offender "trying again", ie starting yet another cycle, means new beginnings, new hope, another chance at getting it right. It is ironic in this IVF life of extremes, that you find yourself either wishing and hoping with every fibre of your being that you do NOT get your period, or, waiting for an ever-elusive period to arrive so you can start your next IVF cycle.

So, 'it' arrived last night. I have lost faith in my body, it just doesn't do what it is supposed to and I was worried that I just wouldn't get a period. That I would be left floating in the limbo of 'waiting to start my next cycle". Profman said that a few days after I stopped the 'Pill' I would start, he was right. Happiness and Hope follow.

PS : Have to call Profman at 4pm to find out my next step, either ultrasound or straight to injections, I hope the latter.

Tuesday, January 15

Here and Now

Still waiting for the elusive period. Come on already!

A thought in response to a comment from today that maybe G-d is actually saying 'No':
Well, I won't know unless I try and do everything possible in my limited human power to try and make 'it' work. This whole experience can't have been for nothing, there HAS to be a happy pregnancy-ending to my story. I can't just give up.

My heart is with my friend who will begin her journey in this wonderful and mind-boggling world of fertility treatments tommorrow.

Also, I had a thought this morning, ie to try and focus more on where I 'came from' and not so much where I 'am going'. 'Here and Now'.

I need sleep.

Monday, January 14

Conversations with myself

So first things first, as I knew would happen, I was invited (formally) to one of the recipients of the warm yummy challa's. I was really very nervous that a newborn was going to be thrust into my very unwilling arms and I would have to make all of the necessary noises. I really didn't think I was either strong enough or prepared enough for this emotionally. Fortunately I did not have to find out. It all happened so naturally, the new mother, who is the mother of one of, yet another, set of twins in Noam's class, was so relaxed and laid back about it all.

She breast-fed in front of me but totally covered herself up, which I know that even if she hadn't it would not have bothered me. The act of breastfeeding remains one of those unbelievably intriguing things that never ever bothers me, I always watch with this envious fascination along with absolute respect for the 'breastfeeder', as that was just something that I never got right.

So, she held the baby (girl), and basically just did NOT push her in my face. As two other women arrived to say hi and Mazal Tov I found myself sneaking little peeks, and really enjoying remembering how tiny they are. How tiny Adam and Noam, all 2.5 kgs, were. That feeling of "I MADE THIS!", so perfect and pink and just so incredibly unbelievable.

Second. I got back about an hour ago from the IVF Support Group that I attend, it is now midnight. The house is quiet except for the snoring Donor. It was a great evening, the underlying sprinkling of sadness is always there, but the laughs are always brilliant 'therapy'. Each week I walk away with new perspectives, new thoughts and new issues to ponder over until the next time we all meet again.

Tonight I had a light bulb. One of the girls said something that spoke directly to me. She said that she wants to "find the place where she can love herself properly again". I hashed this out with myself the whole drive home, I thought back to where I was in my head space for those first 6 months or so after Noam was born. I think I loved myself a whole lot more then, than I do now. I had two beautiful children, a year and a half apart. I was coping really well with the small age-gap, revelling in motherhood, eagerly awaiting to start 'trying' again. Such confidence, the 'world was my oyster"! Not for one minute way back then, would I EVER have predicted that I would be sitting all this time later with NO no.3, 4 or 5.

My love for myself is made up of many spheres, some of them being - my self confidence, my belief in myself, my feelings of being 'in control', my knowledge that I have it 'all sorted', 'all figured-out'. As each and every Natural/Clomid/Gonal-f/IVF cycle has failed, and yet another month is lost, this reality, that I am trying to come to terms with, is chipping away slowly at my belief in myself, at my very self-confidence, and inevitably my love for myself.

Our 'task' this evening was to draw a picture using paints (yay) illustrating where we are in our 'space' at the moment. I painted half an A4 black and the other half, a big red circle. My explanation of the illustration was firstly that my life is made up of this outgoing, bright, chirpy, happy, positive 'me' and the other very private, sad, black 'me'. Secondly, the red circle was an 'embryo' and the black half was my impenetrable endometrium (body). One of the girls asked me why my 'black' part was private, why did I not have anyone to talk to. I never really thought about this 'out loud'. Fact is, I cannot talk to the Donor as he just wants to 'fix it' (which he can't), and I know that he would be fine if I told him tommorrow that I had decided that I was not 'trying' anymore. We would grow old with the two beautiful, unbelievable, amazing children that we have. Simply put, he and I do NOT share the same hunger.

Next, my wonderful mother. We are two different people with different wants, she was happy with her pigeon-pair. Also she hurts when I hurt and I need to protect her.

And lastly - friends, some let me down, and some blew me away with their support, interest and care. I also toned down all the IVF stuff, those that want to know will ask, and those that don't, won't. We are all going through our very own individual life's journeys', each person has their own heartache and pain and sorrow. All for different reasons.

So when the 'black half takes over' Donors', Mothers' and Friends cannot always understand. I am then very thankful for these Blog 'conversations with myself'.

Sunday, January 13

Post challa downer

So warm yummy sweet challa's delivered I am now faced with a new dilemma. I now have to go back sometime and visit properly and actually see these newborn babies. I was able to beg my way out of it yesterday when said warm challa's were delivered, but I left each house knowing that I now have opened a whole new can of worms. Obviously I will put 'it' off as long as possible, but at some stage or other I may be faced with a cute and fuzzy little newborn that I will have to goo-goo and ga-ga with, and fear of all, actually hold one or however many. I am not ready for that emotionally.

I had this revelation a while back that I really have been fortunate that I DON'T have to deal with newborns, and be reminded of my own obvious non-newborn self. My immediate circle of friends/acquaintances are not pregnant and spurting babies left right and centre. But now I think my challa-giving self has made a bit of a mistake.

So what does this coming week hold? Hopefully the beginning of IVF #4, I am now waiting for a period, I have all the medication, it takes up one full shelf in my fridge. Emla overstocked, I am feeling confident, my injection jabbing hand at the ready!. I am not too sure what to expect from this Short Course Protocol, just the amount of injections I have in store, and in such a short space of time is making me feel a little uneasy. But, hey, head up, and forward we march!

Sixth wedding anniversary tommorrow! Mazal Tov to me and the Donor.

Wednesday, January 9

Babies, needles and Challa's

My neighbour had twins two days ago, a mother in Noams class also just had twins. Between Adam and Noam's two classes there are numerous women in various stages of Pregnancy, some teenyweeny bump, and some ready to explode. Babies babies babies! Clearly I know what they were all doing in the excrutiatingly hot Israeli Summer months, their air conditioners must have been set TOO low.

My neighbour is coming out of hospital on Friday with her two new additions, I think I will bake her Challa's. It will be my way of trying to make up for all the ugly thoughts I had about her. I bumped into her about two weeks ago, she looked all twinny-massive, and I duly asked her how she was feeling, she then proceeded to tell me.

I did NOT want to know how exhausted she was, how swollen she was, how every part of her body was aching how bad her indigestion/reflux was, how she 'had just about had enough'. I just wanted to feel that too. So my only solution was to go home and to stick needles into one of Noams' dark-haired Barbie dolls.

So hopefully the yummy sweet Challa's will wipe my slate clean again. Well at least until I ask another very pregnant person how they are feeling.

Monday, January 7

What happened to all my plans?

Been in a sad place lately thinking of the 'what ifs' and the 'what could have beens'. and 'what will be's'. Secondary Infertility is a really lonely place with few understanding allies. Hearing about yet another pregnant friend, just crushes me, the injustice of it all! Me, who was made to have the Brady Bunch, me who at my 6-week check-up after my first child was born was only eager to know when I could have sex again. Me with my 'big happy family' pictue, me with my plans. Me, with nothing going according to that planned 'picture'. Me, with the 'want' and 'desire'. Why not me?

I had a bad day today, kind of fell apart. I am tired. Exhausted from 2 and a half years of this baby-drive. The fact that I having a dull-throbbing-ache (Hydrosalpinx) is certainly not helping my state of mind either.

One of my dearest, bestest, understanding and most supportive friends is soon-to-be jumping on the IVF train, and I have this envious joy for her. The hope and the silver-lining that you can so see in Round 1, it's the best, the thrill of knowing that you have reached the point-of-no-return, this is it! IVF, miracle of all miracles, that elusive pregnancy SO within your reach.

I have lost that wonderous hopeful feeling that you get with the first IVF, and which slowly fades after each successive failure. I am not seeing that silver lining as brightly as I saw it one year ago, 3 IVF's ago. My pain and despair sometimes feels so lonely, mourning a child that would have been three months now, a child that could have been. And how many 'expired' embryos down the line? How many other 'maybes' that didn't make it.

So, it was with a heavy heart, that I joined my IVF support group this evening. Tissues on hand, I expected a wet evening. Proud to say though, I was very well behaved AND walked out with a lighter heart. My next cycle should be starting in a week and my terror at the possibility of having a lapartotomy to remove the lhs Fallopian tube if this IVF does NOT work is consuming me entirely. I am looking too far ahead. I am using too much mental energy on the Long term solution and not the Short term. I need to change my brainwaves, inject a positive gooey outlook, and beleive that this time it will work! So with a little bit of my 'Oomph' back, I bid you Good night. The donor is on a snorers-sabbatical, so now is my chance to try and fall asleep in peace, and hopefully stay that way.

Friday, January 4

very 'iffy'.

00.30, feeling very iffy.

10 days or so more to go with the 'pill', then period, then back to my trusty friend the needle and IVF#4.

Tired, sick of cleaning, sick of folding washing, sick of house-bloody-work!

Feeling unpretty and sexless, hoping it is all just the hormones.


"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."