19 October 2013

File note

Dear Doctor,

Re: A and D

1. Fourth unsuccessful IVF cycle
2. Primary infertility secondary to azoospermia post vasectomy reversal
3. Hypertrophic obstructive cardiomyopathy, treated cardiac septal ablation, 1998 and 1999, second procedure complicated by vascular injury requiring double bypass graft
4. Allergy to aspirin and ibuprofen
5. Dysmenorrhoea, possibly due to endometriosis
6. Short menstrual cycle

15 October 2013

Review appointment

Last Thursday we had our review appointment at the clinic with Dr C. It felt awful being there. While we were in the waiting room, I didn't want to stay. I certainly didn't want to talk about how we had failed again and how there was even less hope. Although we had always planned that this previous attempt would be our last, I am still not ready to let go of this dream, but I braced myself for a negative consultation.

02 October 2013

Feedback invitation

Dear A and D

Thank you for choosing [clinic] for your care. As clinic manager I would really appreciate your feedback and I enclose our feedback questionnaire - and a couple of tea bags to help you slow down and take time to answer it! Thank you for your time.

23 September 2013

After the weekend

D and I had a very quiet weekend together. We went out on Friday evening and bought several bottles of wine and hired five movies from the DVD rental shop. Thankfully, it was a rainy weekend so we didn't feel too bad about spending it on the couch. It was nice not being so careful about doing things that were good for me - though I didn't enjoy the slight hangover I had on Saturday morning!

20 September 2013


Nurse E just rang with the bad news. My blood test this morning was negative. I think I had prepared myself for this. I have had some minor cramping today (don't know why - I shouldn't expect a period until a few days after I stop the progesterone pessaries) and I took that as a sign that all wasn't well. It would have been a nice surprise if it had been positive, but I was feeling pessimistic.

Blood and boats

This morning as I was driving to the lab to have my blood test, the radio station I was listening to was full of news about the upcoming Americas Cup race. All the expected questions - will we win, will we be successful, will this be the day - really didn't help my heightened sense of anticipation. Driving home, after Team New Zealand had lost that race, I felt myself hoping that this wasn't a bad omen. I don't normally think like that, but for a little while it felt that the rest of the country was joining us in our overwhelming feelings of nervousness and hope.

The blood test went fine, so now it's just a matter of waiting a few hours until the clinic calls me with the results. We didn't sleep well last night. Neither of us could stop all the conflicting thoughts running amok through our heads. At the moment, I simply can't imagine what it will feel like if the nurse tells me the test is positive. I think I have prepared myself for a negative result. More later.

18 September 2013


This time, D and I have found the two-week wait to be agonising. We are both trying not to think about it, but in around 48 hours we will know the result of this IVF cycle. I really feel like the rest of our lives are hanging on that phone call. If it's positive, we'll be in a confused state of absolute joy and trepidation, hoping that this time the pregnancy will last and we will become a family of three. If it's negative, we are going to have a whole heap of emotions and issues to work through before, hopefully, we come to terms with our childless state and embark on a new life plan. I am beginning to feel like I just don't want to know!

13 September 2013

Letter from the lab

Dear A and D,

Thank you for having IVF treatment at [clinic]. I'm writing on behalf of the laboratory team with a brief summary of the embryology from this cycle.

12 September 2013


Dear A and D

Re: Appointment at [clinic]

As you have now booked on for treatment, an appointment has been made for you to see Dr P on Wednesday 9 October at 3.30pm.

10 September 2013

Embryo transfer

Yesterday afternoon I went back to the clinic for the embryo transfer. My tummy still felt a bit uncomfortable, but I couldn't feel anything much unless I tried to cough or moved too quickly. The bloating had completely disappeared.

09 September 2013

A morning at the hospital

This morning I was feeling much better. I had very little discomfort and the bloating had gone right down. I went off to the women's hospital bright and early for my ultrasound scan. The radiologist started by looking at my abdomen from the outside, then she did an internal pelvic ultrasound and finally she checked for any fluid around my lungs from the back. It took a long time but I was glad she was so thorough! We could see lots of follicles on my ovaries but the radiologist didn't tell me much about them. Assessing the scan results is up to the doctor.

08 September 2013

An adventure

Yesterday, the day after the egg collection, I was quite uncomfortable all day. It wasn't pain, really, more a discomfort that wasn't eased by paracetamol. We had a very yummy (if I do say so myself) Penang curry for dinner which was followed by what I thought was a touch of indigestion. I became quite bloated and my tummy was sore. I went to bed around 11.00pm, but gave up trying to sleep a couple of hours later because I was just too uncomfortable.

07 September 2013

Highs and lows

Yesterday was egg collection day. We had to be at the clinic by 10.00am and before we left we both took three paracetamol, as advised. We were feeling very excited and had our fingers crossed that many of the 16 follicles identified in the scan would produce eggs.

04 September 2013

Trigger time

This afternoon Nurse K called me with the instructions for the next couple of days. I am to have the trigger injection at 10.45pm tonight (in about half an hour). Tomorrow - yay - there will be no injections, scans or tests. On Friday, I can't have anything to eat or drink after 6.00am and we are to be at the clinic for the egg collection by 10.00am. I need to take three paracetamol tablets before we go, just to help with any pain. I vaguely remember that last time I was pretty out of it but it did get a bit sore during the procedure. D is also going to have some paracetamol before his sperm collection, which will happen while I am in the recovery room. He found it pretty uncomfortable last time, but it seems to depend on which doctor he has (the collection is done with a needle, not the old-fashioned way!). I can't wear any perfume because apparently this can have an adverse effect on the eggs and I need to remember to take a pad with me for any spotting afterwards.

A good scan

Today I got up earlier than usual and braved the morning traffic into the city (horrendous) so that I could pick up D from work and have my blood test before the scan appointment at 8.40am. We got there just in time but then had to wait for 15 minutes or so. That wasn't a problem, but it's funny how getting worked up over something uncontrollable like traffic turns out to be completely pointless.

03 September 2013

A grumpy patient

I realise that I could be accused of being over-emotional or even irrational during this process. But I just want to feel confident that things will go right!

02 September 2013

A dozen follies

This morning D and I went to the clinic for my scan. They were very busy this morning and we had to wait quite a while.

Nurse K saw us on her own and she performed the scan (it seems that they'd been running late because she was doing all the morning's scans by herself). I was feeling a bit nervous because this was our first cycle using Elonva and I really had no idea how I would respond.

31 August 2013

Orgalutran ... and a bit of frustration

Last night D gave me the first of at least three Orgalutran injections. We decided that the best place to inject was my thigh so I sat on the kitchen bench, which is a cultural no-no here in Aotearoa but it was the perfect height and had good lighting (I consoled myself with the fact that it's not an area of the bench normally used for food preparation). We used one of the pre-filled small syringes that we have been given. It didn't hurt at all, though afterwards the site ached quite strangely and there was also a funny sensation around the top of my knee, so maybe we were a bit close to a nerve! But there was no sign of it this morning. We will have to do two more, tonight and tomorrow night, and then the scan on Monday morning will dictate what happens after that.

26 August 2013


This morning at 7.00am, as usual, D brought me a coffee in bed before he had his shower and got dressed. After a bad night's sleep (we won't say who was snoring!) I'd forgotten all about this morning's injection until he came back into the bedroom armed with the huge Elonva syringe. It was preloaded with the right amount of medication and had a large plunger and a spring at the top. It looks quite different to the normal little syringes we use.

24 August 2013

Day 1 - finally

It seems to have been a long time coming! My cycle was only 21 days last month, so since Thursday I have been checking whether my period has started far too often than is sensible. But today was the day (24 days since my last period), so I rang the clinic and left a message as instructed.

16 August 2013

Drug education appointment

I've always liked the way the clinic calls this a "drug education appointment". It makes us sound like junkies! But we're not talking about those kinds of drugs, of course...

06 August 2013

Baseline scan

Today we went into the clinic for my baseline scan. It was quick and painless, as usual, though it wasn't that much fun. I will have to get used to exposing myself all over again! Dr C saw three follicles on the right side and one big follicle on the left and she says I will ovulate from the left side this month.

03 August 2013

Blood test

Today I drove into the city for a rehearsal and on the way back I stopped at the lab for my day 3 blood test. Quick and painless. I wish they were all like that!

Copy of file note

31 July 2013

Dear Doctor,

1. Planning fourth IVF cycle
2. Primary infertility secondary to azoospermia post vasectomy reversal
3. Hypertrophic obstructive cardiomyopathy, treated cardiac septal ablation, 1998 and 1999, second procedure complicated by vascular injury requiring double bypass graft
4. Allergy to aspirin and ibuprofen
5. Dysmenorrhoea, possibly due to endometriosis
6. Short menstrual cycle

01 August 2013

Day one ... again

Last night I had that familiar dull feeling in my tummy and by bedtime instead of being in bed I was dosed up with painkillers and pacing the hallway clutching a hot wheat bag. Thankfully, it only lasted a little while and soon I was asleep. So today is day one and I called the clinic as instructed.

31 July 2013

On our way

Yesterday we went to see Dr C for an initial appointment before we start our next IVF cycle. It was very strange being back at the clinic. We both felt very nervous, presumably because we've had so much bad news there in the past. But Dr C was her usual friendly and encouraging self and she spoke to us very sympathetically about our experiences and where we go from here.

23 July 2013

A new book

Today a big envelope arrived from the clinic containing a couple of test forms, some consent forms for us to sign and a brand new edition of the information book all about IVF and other procedures. It is fantastic to see that this book has been overhauled since our last attempt. The last version was confusing and too clinical. I am looking forward to reading it carefully this evening.

22 July 2013

Appointment made

Today I spoke to Nurse E from the clinic and we have made an appointment for us to see Dr C next Tuesday afternoon. She told me to start taking folic acid again, so I've just been to the pharmacy to pick up some Elevit. It's wildly expensive, much more than folic acid on its own, but I like the idea of getting all the extra vitamins and minerals I need. I am now feeling very excited! It's nice to be at the starting this journey again, even if it will be a rollercoaster ride.

13 July 2013


Dear A and D

Re: Estimate for IVF treatment - short cycle

[clinic] is pleased to provide an estimate for short IVF cycle. Please note that this estimate is based on the cost of a short IVF cycle using a dose of 300iu Puregon for 12 days.

11 July 2013

Starting all over again

Today I rang the clinic and asked for an updated quote. Our bank account is looking particularly healthy after months of saving and we think we're not too far off being able to afford another round of IVF treatment.