Monthly Archives: August 2012

But the drugs like me …


There’s that really cool song “I don’t like the drugs but the drugs like me”

… sung by my hubby.  Just kiddin, it’s a song by Marilyn Manson but my hubby can be caught singing it around the house (he has a goth side to him – I should actually post some pics of him with his long black hair in his early 20’s, he was way cool!).  If you can’t recall the song, take a listen here (although you may wanna rather listen than look at the video – Marilyn is notoriously controversial with his image):

Anyhoo, back to the subject at hand – this song seems to me to be a good theme song for IVF.   And today I am back on the drugs.  A new chapter starts with my new companion, known as Postoval. 

 As mentioned in a previous post, the doc has prescribed a somewhat different IVF procedure this time around and thankfully it involves less needle-type-drugs.  These babies are pill-popping-type-drugs and boy does that make me happy.  As you’ll perhaps recall, the needle-type-drugs can result in some nasty side-effects, as pictured here from our last round of IVF –

That’s what I referred to as a lummy on my tummy.  This time round, my drugs look like this –

Candy-coated drugs – my favourite!  They’re similar to The Pill that many women take to regulate their cycles, these however are more aimed at women who’s ovarian functions are failing – like me.  Don’t ask me what it does in detail as I try not to read-up too much on my drugs just in case I get caught up in the side-effects and start imagining those side-effects  – you should see the list of side-effects these fertility drugs have!  These little pills are not nearly as intimidating as the needles I used to pop each day and so I am sure the side-effects won’t be as intimidating either. 

The next step will be to see the doc on day 10 – Friday 7 September.  So here’s to this new chapter, the start of renewed hope, accompanied by my friendly candy-coated pills of promise.


Some quiet time


As everyone knows, some “time-out” or “quiet-time” is a vital component of rest, relaxation and recuperation.  However this quiet-time before we start our next IVF programme is driving me crazy.

I guess I got so used to the frenzy that accompanied our last 3 months of IVF that I keep wondering when my next injection or pill should be.  This one-month time-off for my body to recover is crucial, and I am only now realising how much my body has been through since May this year.  In this month off I have already experience drug-withdrawal headaches (not sure it is withdrawals but it sure feels like it), fatigue and stomach cramps.  Granted, all these symptoms could be the side-effects of the  junk-food I have been eating of late.

It’s not all bad though, part of me IS enjoying the down time – mostly the part that reminds me that I don’t have to take daily drug injections.  The rest of me, however, is eagerly anticipating the start of our next programme.  I got so used to taking the drugs, eating regularly and planning my days and weeks according to the doctors programme that I now feel as though I am flapping around in a void of no purpose or direction.  I guess a good start would be returning to a healthy diet, or at least upping my water consumption again (I am not sure I can give up the caffeine and chocolate just yet).  Doing this may help me feel one step closer to starting the programme again. 

We’re only about a week away from starting again, so not a majorly long wait really.  In the meantime though – you can find me on a comfy chair in front of our fireplace (it’s still wintry here) with a strong cuppa coffee in hand and a chocolate bar on the coffee table … oh and I’d better throw in a bottle of water to keep things balanced *sigh*!

The long and the short of it


It appears that there is more than one type of IVF programme.  I had figured that IVF was IVF and that perhaps only the drugs varied slightly from person to person.  Apparently not. 

We saw the Doc on Saturday and there was a lot of discussion around where it could have all come undone last time and our various options, which could include egg donors or surrogacy. However, the Doc feels I am still the most viable option and has suggested a very different programme for me.  Basically it is SHORTER, involves LESS DRUGS and best of all is LESS EXPENSIVE.  Sounds like the ideal treatment?  Yeah, sounds that way to us too.  It is not the right plan for everyone on the IVF journey (so if you’re reading this and doing IVF and think you can challenge your doc to go this route for you – DON’T – it might not work for you) but it really appears to be more tailored to my infertility issues though which is probably the best thing about it.  The only downside to it is that it is a very rigid programme which may dictate a harvest or implant on a Sunday – so it really is not convenient for the clinic and anaesthetist.  But this is hardly a downside for us, so yay!

So we’re going for it!  We came out of his office feeling full of hope and excited all over again.  He initially suggested we take a little time-off and that I could perhaps chat to a counsellor that they have on hand (I think he suggests this with all failed attempts) but I was not having this.  I told him that I have a great support structure and that I have a strong faith that makes me strong and ready to go again NOW.  I told him not to assume my mental state and to only delay if he felt that my body needed a break.  So we are taking this month off for my body to have a recovery cycle and then we kick off next month.  All going well, the next harvest and implant will take place in October.

Financially, we’re taking it a day at a time.  We’ve had a generous contribution towards our costs from a very dear couple and we’re reminding ourselves everyday to let go and let God.  The scripture reading I got this morning is from Hebrews 4: 16 –

Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence (fearlessly and boldly), so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.

God is good, all the time so we will continue to trust and obey.  It may be round two but we are as eager as the first time round.

“An apple a day…”


I have a confession – ever since finding out that we are not pregnant, my whole eating-healthy-for-the-babies diet has gone waaaaay out the window.  Why not?  What’s the point in denying myself some good stuff when the best stuff (babas) has been denied me!  When on the programme I was eating like a fruit tree a day, I drank no coffee instead I drank copious cups of rooibos and started to suspect I was becoming a waterholic.  The old saying “an apple a day keeps the doctor away” rings true today – no apples = going back to the doctor.

Thankfully I am not ill so not going to the GP but we are going back to our fertility doc, tomorrow.  When I phoned earlier this week I was determined to book an appointment for a Saturday – to my horror I was told that the doc does not do post IVF appointments on Saturdays.  Whaaat?!  “But we can ONLY make it on a Saturday”  – I wailed to the receptionist “… my poor hubby has taken waaay too much leave from work as it is with the whole programme!”  She humoured me by telling me that they would pop my name down in the margins of the diary and let me know IF they get a cancellation, in which case they could then squeeze me in.  Hallelujah – they called yesterday to advise we have an appointment at 11am this Saturday.  Picture me doing the happy dance!

We really are hoping to give this whole IFV thing one more try, so we go tomorrow to find out the doc’s thoughts on our last programme and where we may have gone wrong, if we even went wrong.  Gary’s very keen to find out if the earlier diagnosis from previous fertility specialists of me not being able to maintain a pregnancy might still be true today, in which case surrogacy should still be on our cards.  Hopefully the doc can shed some light on the way forward.

To tell you the truth, I’m not in a hurry to get back on the healthy bandwagon just yet as I am loving my reckless diet of coffee (not that decaf stuff), chocolates by the slab (seriously), biscuits and all that other great stuff I’ve been off for far too long.  But if all goes well with the doc and we’re headed back down the IVF road, then it’ll be … apples and water and rooibos – oh my!

Drawing me back into His arms


Last week Tuesday, I hopped into my car to head back to work after that awful Monday of the negative pregnancy test result – I had spent most of that Monday ranting and raving at God.  My Dad had sent me a sms on this particular morning warning me that I “might” encounter “some snow” en route to work so to be careful.  Some snow?

Yip, this was what I encountered half way on my trip to work.  The roads became treacherous VERY quickly and soon I had only a peep-hole to see through made by my car’s wipers (even the wipers had frosty beards – I’m amazed they kept going).

The above pic was taken later in the morning en route home (in an area where snow had not settled, so you can imagine how the windscreen had been earlier en route to work).  It really was very scary and I spent the last couple of km’s going to work driving at a speed of between 20 and 30km/h as my car had started waltzing on the icy roads.

I eventually made it to the school to be greeted by knee-deep snow.

I was told to get out while I can.  I replied that I had nearly killed myself sliding in!  I was told that I had then better “slide back out” before I couldn’t get out at all!  Eek!  So, I put my big-girl-boots on (called my hubby and Dad and wept like a school girl – both gave me the strength I needed) and climbed back into my popsicle of a car and slid out slowly.  The trip took me over an hour (normal time is 20 minutes) but by the grace of God ALONE, I made it without a slip or slide at all, I drove on solid ground even when I drove on ice.  It truly was a remarkable experience of God’s protection.  There were parts of the road that I should never have made it across. 

These pics below were taken once I reached home, they give you an idea of how my poor car had to manage being a motorized-popsicle, bear in mind that I had already covered the last 15km of my trip in no snow and been on the freeway where a lot of the snow on my car had blown off, amazing how much remained (note I had no more tread on my tyres as the snow had smoothed the tread out) –


The ice-bergs on my car bonnet and wipers:

Driving down the road to my home, I gave thanks as only a sinner can.  “Lord, I am so sorry for all the horrible things I said about you yesterday, I am such a weakling, I am so reliant on you, I cannot do anything without you, I would rather go through life without children and be in your presence than have children and not have you, forgive me father for my lack of faith!”  God knew EXACTLY what to do to get me back on track with him!  You’ve gotta marvel at his timing. 

There’s that fantastic Louie Giglio sermon on video called Indescribable and the theme song, sung by Matt Redman, has these lyrics in it “Who’s seen heavenly store houses laden with snow” – I have and it is AWESOME!

What’s next?


The time has come for this IVF cycle to use the famous words heard at the end of Disney cartoons –  “That’s all folks”!  My cycle kicked in with a bad-ass-punch-in-the-stomach attitude this weekend, so that calls an end to our 1st attempt at IVF.  The obvious question to follow, that seems to be on the lips of all those near and dear to us, is what’s next?  Will we give IVF another go?  Will we let go of trying now?

And the answer remains as clear as mud – aaarrrgggghhhh!  I know, it drives us crazy too.  We’re not entirely sure what comes next.  We’ve been praying ever since that awful day, last Monday, when we got our negative pregnancy test results and still don’t have an answer.  What it really all boils down to is … money!  I think I have enough strength in me to give IVF another go, however we do not have the money for it.  So far the costs have been over 60K, another round would cost us 50K.  We have about a 5th of that in savings.  If we manage to find the remaining finds, sure, we would give it another go. 

The other thing that plagues us is that time is not on our side.  As mentioned in a previous post, my ovaries are failing and I am running out of eggs.  So, we would need to move fast for another go. 

What we are doing now is watching (as the Lord told us to do) and waiting.  If He provides the money we will definitely go for it.  If not, then it’s life as per normal in the McDowell household – “Darby and Joan” and the 5 furry babies (our 3 dogs and 2 cats).  If only we could do a Richard Branson (aka: “Screw it let’s do it” – good book by the way). 

We will have to make an appointment to see the Doc this week to hear what his ideas are with regards to why this round failed.  I am not sure he will be able to say why exactly it didn’t work but it will be good to know either way.

This is not the end of meetingmolly though.  There is a lot still to digest and discuss.  And perhaps, just maybe, there are more miracles to come.

With God nothing is ever impossible and no word from God shall be without power or impossible of fulfillment. Luke 1: 37.