Category Archives: IVF

Dear Vatican

Dear Vatican,

It was with much amusement that I read your delightfully witty opine condemning the awarding of the Nobel Prize for Medicine to the wonderful Dr. Robert Edwards for his pioneering work in IVF.

As the parent of one (and a half) of Dr. Edwards genetic replicants, your spokesman, Monsignor Ignacio Carrasco de Paula’s insightful thoughts really resonated with me. I mean, seriously dudes, Iggy C. is so piss funny you should send him on tour or something. He makes Joan Rivers look like a straight man, or woman as the case may, though I apologise for that particicular comparison given your misogynistic bleatings and all. But seriously,  the clever word play of his stage name “Ignacio” being so close to “ignorant” (from the latin for utter moron) certainly wasn’t lost on me. You guys…

Anyway, I always knew how tremendously enlightened and utterly fabulous you are because you’re constantly banging on telling us how much better and purer and more worthy you are than everyone else… but I never realised that you guys were so fucking hilarious!  If I had, I wouldn’t have been wasting all my time thinking you were a bunch of hypocritical twats and would have been busy attending your comedy services every Sunday.

I found myself having to wipe the tears from my eyes as I read your side-splitting missive – so great was my amusement at the droll irony of comments like the one about Dr. Edwards prize being “out of order” because clearly it is we parent’s of Dr. Edwards mutant spawn and our shoddy  “God given” reproductive systems that are, in fact, what’s out of order. Hilarious stuff.

And though this magnificent satire will almost certainly be hailed as one of the great comedy classics of our time, I do have a few thoughts on how you could improve the routine for next time. You see, you missed some important opportunities that could have really added to the impact of your mirthful monologue.

For example, I know how much you lot hate contraception and love over-populating third world countries with starving children, even though so many of these poor little cherubs end up in agonising pain and carking it from disease and malnutrition, so you guys must be thrilled about Dr Edwards helping to bring more than 4,000,000 potential future Catholics into the world.  Given the cost and desire it takes to make one of these tiny freaks of nature, it’s so much less likely that the little mutants will keel over from a life of poverty, which is great news for you guys!  If you can just indoctrinate them with your narrow minded attitudes, the fact that they won’t be dead before they can even speak means thse ones will be able to help spread the word on how totally briliant your cult  organisation is. So perhaps you could add something about that into the routine next time.

Another  standout was “Without Edwards, there would not be a large number of freezers filled with embryos in the world. In the best cases they are transferred into a uterus, but most probably, they will end up abandoned or dead, for which the new Nobel prize winner is responsible.”

This one’s such a hoot, I almost peed myself laughing.  Seriously, where do you guys get this stuff ‘cos this is some fucking funny shit.  But maybe, given your  awesome record of protecting the little children and all, I would have taken this a bit further myself and maybe added something like…

“I suppose at least if these embryos are safely protected in a freezer and not given the opportunity to grow into children then our army of paedophile priests won’t be able get their grubby hands on them… saving us masses of work in covering up for the perverted arseholes and having to go to all that hassle of reassigning them to alternate locations where they continue to abuse a whole new bunch of innocent children. Phew!”

Anyway Vatican, though I have a few more ideas for you, one being to simply shut the fuck up, I really must dash as I’m frightfully busy gestating my next Godless IVF abomination.



PS. My apologies to any of the 1.3 billion Catholics in the world that may be offended by my comments against your fearless leaders… but worry not I’ll be sure to get my heretical arse kicked when I go to hell with the other 5.6 billion of us who aren’t… or not… Anyhoo, y’all have a nice day.

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Filed under Infertility, IVF, Uncategorized

Say hello to my little friend…

I am rather chuffed to reveal that the reason for my recent bloggy silence is that I’ve been far too busy sticking my head down a toilet bowl pretty much continuously for the past three months to really commit to anything else.

After a ridiculously traumatic twelve months of playing IVF Roulette we had finally gotten the hint that no amount of uterine redecorating, fertility iconography, needles, drugs, careful cajoling or desperate pleading was going to entice any self-respecting embryo to hang about in my shoddy womb for nine months and we were prepared to accept the sad reality and throw in the reproductive towel.

But just to spite our hard fought decision, seven has proven to truly be the luckiest of lucky numbers for us. Our septimal round of pin the embryo on the uterus, with our very last little embryonic ice cube, worked (talk about cutting it fine, I think our emby’s may have watched too many crap Hollywood movie endings) and we are now most pregnant.

I’ve been a 24/7 nausea machine since around week three, am so exhausted that my efforts of communication have been reduced to a series of laboured blinks and grunts, occasionally interspersed with raging hormonal tantrums. And while we are ecstatic to the point of dribbling lunacy, getting to this point hasn’t been without a few further hick-ups including a rather foolish tumble down the stairs by the ever graceful yours truly.

But… it was a rather frightening trip down amnio lane (after testing high for risk of chromosomal disorders) that has had us most concerned and protectively sitting on our news. Not so much in fear of something being wrong with our precious cargo but in fear of the risk of miscarriage that amnio’s like to accessorize with.

Happily, we’ve been given the all clear and bouncing bub number two is, quite freakishly, due to meet us on his big brothers third birthday.

The ever loony Devilboy is particularly excited by his imminent birthday present as, having witnessed the ultrasounds of his sibling to be, he has concluded without a shadow of a doubt that I have a “tiny little shark… and a rainbow” in my tummy. Dad of Devilboy and I also find this exciting as giving birth to either of these will guarantee such fame and fortune from selling the rights to our story to News of the World that we’ll rake in at least enough to cover all the frigging IVF expenses. “Woman gives birth to shark… and rainbow” now, that’s a headline – in fact, there might even be a book and movie rights in it.

As I type away our “tiny little shark” is happily swimming away amongst the rainbow that is my uterus and we three (and a bit) are very, very happy and are very, very pleased to finally be able to share our news with our friends.



Filed under IVF, pregnancy, Uncategorized

you’ve got mail

Dear Mum,

Since you asked so nicely… I’ll take the room.

Say hello to dad and my big brother.

See you soon.



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Entreaty to an embryonic ice cube

Dear Snowflake,

I’m not sure if you are still in there and if you are doubt, as you are still no more than a mass of expanding cells, that you can read – but I’ll chance it. You see, if you’ll excuse the cliche,  desperate times call for desperate measures.

It has been eleven days since we first met you, our perfect little cellular ice cube. Eleven marathon days since you moved out of your little frosty igloo and went to inspect my uterus and in one more sleep we’ll find out if you’ve decided to stay. Even though you are so tiny we needed a microscope to see you that first time – your dad and I fell hard. There’s something really special about you compared to those other recalcitrant embryos and you look so much like your big brother when he was your age. You have that same sophisticated shaved truffle look… just a tad icier.

If you decide to stay on and sign the lease on my uterus we’ll get to find out just how special you really are. Speaking of which, I hope the place has proved to your liking. Your big brother dug it and has assured me he left it spic and span but even so have had a bit of trouble renting out the place since. We had a few dodgy tenants passing through last year so we had the place renovated afterwards (just a polyp removed here and there to make it more roomy, nothing structural) but there have been two more since and just like those other recalcitrant embryos treated the place like a hotel and skipped out without even paying the bill. I can only hope they left everything in order – they were a bit snooty and obviously thought themselves too good for the place. In fact, tossers that they were,  I wouldn’t be  surprised if they redecorated the place with a load of garish faux Louis XIV furniture or some such over the top hideousness before they left. If they did, my apologies, but if you decide to stay please feel free to refurnish with anything you’d like… you know, like umbilical cords and placentas and all that malarkey. Oh, the rent is cheap, all you have to do is burrow into the wall and grow and it’s all yours for the next nine months.

I have to admit that the last eleven days have been really hard as I wait patiently to see if you’ve decided to stay. Of course by “patient” I actually mean; obsessing constantly; running back and forth to the toilet to check for spotting every ten minutes; chatting to the icons for a bit of moral support; fretting; saying a few “Hail Mary’s” even though I am not Catholic or even remotely religious – just in case; And searching Google voraciously to find a reason for every twinge.

You see there’s an awful lot riding on you. Not that I’m trying to burden you or anything but you’re our last little embryo, our lucky number seven. You’re also our last hope.

So please think about it. If you decide to sign and stay until the end of the lease, you’ll become part of a family who’ll love you very, very much. And are you ever lucky because we actually know what we’re doing now! You see, before your brother was born your dad and I weren’t so sure how we would handle this raising a child without breaking it business. Would we any good it? And if weren’t, were we talking just talking years of therapy no good or more of a call DOCS cos these two are imbeciles no good? In hindsight, we needn’t have worried as being parents has been the  best, funnest thing your dad and I ever did… and it turns out that we aren’t too shabby at it!

Your big brother and your daddy are my favourite people in the world and if you stay you too will be added to that very exclusive club. Incidentally, your dad is desperate to meet you… he thinks of all the frozen embryos we’ve seen (and we’ve seen loads) that you’re the cleverest and best looking of them all. Of course, you’ve already met me but you’ll get to know me much better if you sign the lease and we can just hang out together for a while. I promise I’ll love and protect you, and that I know all the right mummy moves to make everything ok. I can get references if you need proof –  your big brother can vouch for me!

Darling little Snowflake,  I know it is extremely hard work doing all that thawing, expanding, hatching, implanting , cell dividing and growing and it’s a really big ask but can you please, please stay? You can do it! I have faith in you – you seem like a reliable and clever kind of blastocyst and I promise to do everything I can to help.

Please sign the lease my tiny one, we all really, really want you to stay.

Lots of love,


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Filed under embryos, IVF, waiting

Hit me with your best shot

My fleshy needlepoint hobby has taken a rather interesting turn. And when I say interesting, I mean shithouse.

It’s taken a year and about 32,089,014 injections of every size, shape and level of bastardry imaginable but I think finally I’ve met my nemesis. This absolute prick of a medication is the latest form of infertility torture that Dr. Sickboy has come up with to entertain himself.

Clearly feeling that I haven’t been stabbed quite enough, Dr. Sickboy has decided to up the ante with a five week course of “Clexane”, a blood thinner that he suggests could be beneficial to successful implantation. And forget about a daggy old set of steak knives, this little beauty’s gift with purchase is the possibility of necrosis, osteoporosis, acute haematoma and haemorrhaging to death. Bonus! Yay!

So, obedient  little sieve that  I am, I have been diligently stabbing myself every night with this new and rather big bitch of a needle.  And it’s beating me. Literally. At least, I’m beating me. Bizarrely, these pre-packaged individual shots appear to be blunt and virtually have to be punched in. Every shot has left a spotted bruise and my stomach is now looking like some kind of animal print/murder victim hybrid… So much so that it’s occurred to me that if Cruella de Ville really wanted a spotty coat, she could have saved herself the trouble of hunting puppies and just started injecting herself with one of these fuckers.

Not content with just being difficult to administer – the seventy five gallons of liquid that has to be injected each and every time burns like acid the whole way in, and for a good ten minutes afterwards. And I’m simply loving it! No, really Dr. Sickboy, it’s a frigging hoot.

Regardless, I’m prepared to do whatever it takes and will keep on doing battle with the blunt bastards for as long as it takes, or until I bleed to death. But then agin, at this stage I’d probably stick my head up an orangutans arse if they said it would help.

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Filed under IVF, needles, Uncategorized

Holey Hashish

“Acupuncture can increase the chances of getting pregnant for women undergoing fertility treatment by 65%”, suggests recent academic research.

So strong is the research that even the formerly sceptical Dr. Sickboy now actively encourages his patients to use acupuncture in tandem with IVF treatments, particularly pre and post transfer. And this is something I find extremely validating.

You see, I’ve been seeing my acupuncturist, who we’ll henceforth refer to as Spike, for many years now and worship her. In fact, she’s become a trusted friend and confidant and has even taken on Aunty Spike status with Devilboy, who also gets needles each week (with a bonus added prescription of cuddles from the smelly puppy that sneaks in to play with him while mummy has hers).

I adore everything about our weekly needling. I love the treatment room, overflowing as it is with glittering Buddhist iconography. I love the gentle smells of burning oils and incense. I love the sounds of monks chanting gently on her stereo. I love the ritual.  I even love the smelly puppy. Most of all, I love how relaxed and well an hour of needles makes Devilboy and I.

Some people have suggested to me that my perceived positive effects are purely psychosomatic, and of those naysayers I must ask he following, “Who gives a flying fuck?” For whatever reason it works, it works and I’m more than happy to be a human dartboard. I understand that to some people the concept of acupuncture is illogical but if something is serving my wellbeing for whatever reason then I’m happy to overlook even the most retarded gaps in reason and logic.

When I think about all the blood tests and rounds of subcutaneously injected meds I’ve been “enjoying” for the past year with little efect other than turnngme into a moody cow at great expense, I’d say there’s even less obvious logic to that. Actually, when I think about that combined with weekly sessions of acupuncture it occurs to me that I must have more holes in me than this year’s federal budget. It’s a real wonder that I haven’t sprung some kind of leak.

Anyway, my typically longwinded point is that I am a huge fan of acupuncture so needless (excuse the pun) to say, when I discovered that Spike would be away during this cycle of IVF I flipped out. Going through an IVF cycle without the support of a treatment before and after transfer was for me, unthinkable. Blind panic set in and the hunt began for a decent stand in at short notice.

I couldn’t just go anywhere, it needed to be a practitioner who was recommended and who understood infertility treatments, which wasn’t as easy as it sounds. After a search more labour intensive than the one for Bin Laden, I finally managed to procure an appointment with a Casa Conception recommended expert and prayed to gods that I’d feel comfortable with him.

The short answer to that prayer was no. Not even a little bit. You kind of expect TCM practitioners to be delicate and gentle folk, even bordering on a little airy fairy. What you don’t expect is the secret love child of Frank Zappa and a grizzly bear.

And so, I found myself in the disconcertingly prone position of having a strange hairy yeti of an individual indelicately jamming needles into my body whilst gibbering about his collection of vintage band t-shirts and waving what looked and smelled suspiciously like a burning block of hash over my bare flesh…

Even I couldn’t suspend reason or logic for this and so questioned what the fuck he was actually doing? Was he about to smoke that shit or was he just taking the piss?                                               

Grizzly Zappa alleged that the burning hot stink-stick was moxibustion, and that by igniting a slow burning substance and holding it as near certain points on the skin as possible he could positively alter the function of my system. I, in turn, allege that he is a hairy deranged freak and if we finally do conceive this cycle, the poor kid will be born stoned.

 Come back dearest Spike, I miss you.

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Filed under accupuncture, IVF, Uncategorized

It must be love…

Romance isn’t dead after all. In fact, I’ve been swept of my feet.

After years of callous and heartless behaviour, the caddish Dildocam has suddenly turned on the charm. During a routine pre-transfer ultrasound I was pleasantly surprised to find he’d pull out all the stops… none of his usual wham bam thank-you ma’am stylings, instead there was candlelight, flowers and Marvin Gaye softly playing in the background.

I shit you not. After I’d picked my jaw up off the ground I literally started crying with laughter – much to the consternation of the new ultrasound technician who was clearly trying to make what is generally a fairly unpleasant experience just a little nicer for her patients, but who obviously hadn’t thought the implications through of setting such a sexy scene for a tranvaginal ultrasound…

I was giggling so much she could barely get a decent shot of my dodgy uterus. If I’d heard a single strain of “Let’s get it on”, I’d have run screaming half naked from the room.

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Filed under IVF, tests, Uncategorized

The Blood Shop

“So when are you going to have another one?” I was asked this morning at the park by a frequaintaince – you know, one of those mum pals you really like and that you see fairly often at the park, but who isn’t really part of your social circle.

I nearly choked on my achingly-dull non-caffeinated beverage but dodged the question with the agility of a glib ninja and proffered a suitably sardonic aside. Timing is everything I thought to myself as I fought back a flood of tears that I wasn’t prepared to shed publicly. There was no way she could have known that it had been less than an hour since I’d been to “The Blood Shop”, as Devilboy has dubbed Casa Conception, for “official” confirmation of our sixth failed round of pin-the-embryo-on-the-uterus. The period that arrived yesterday was evidence enough for me, but The Blood Shop likes to rub a little salt in the wounds in by insisting you go in and give blood so they can call you to tell you the bad news again – and you can wallow in the disappointment twice!

“How are we going to have another one?” would seem to be a more appropriate question, and one that I simply don’t have an answer to. When a single round of IVF delivered us our darling Devilboy we thought that we’d finally found the answer to our infertility crisis and our problems were over. We figured that, despite our initial difficulties, given that IVF worked once, it would work again. We figured wrong! Wrong times six.

Six failed transfers is very bad.

Really. Very. Fucking. Bad.

While we have one frosty left on ice, and we may consider one more medicated cycle if the little ice cube doesn’t decide to give us a break and hang about, the odds are that we won’t be able to have another child.  And we still don’t know why. There isn’t a single reason any medical person can give us as to why we aren’t already enormously pregnant. And that really sucks. They are calling it “secondary infertility” for want of an actual badge to pin on us. I mean what do you even call “secondary infertility” when you were infertile the first time too? “Secondary Primary Infertility?” Or perhaps “You’re uterus is an arid wasteland, tough luck bitch!”

Doesn’t really matter what you want to call it, it’s fucked.

This wasn’t the plan. The plan was to have a large family. And notwithstanding that it’s been obvious that “large” has had to be considerably revised as each year of infertility passed, the plan was most definitely NOT to have an only child. And silly me, I didn’t think to make a back-up plan – because lots of snot-faced kids squealing and running wildly amok was all I ever really wanted.

We are in constant turmoil, torn between joy for the child we have and despair for the ones we don’t, in a lonely limbo world between childless and bigger families. It’s kind of like no longer being an accepted member of the world of the infertile but not belonging to the world of the fabulously fecund either. We’re envied by one group and envious of the other, and understandably, neither can get how we feel. 

So, do we keep trying? More to-ing and fro-ing of daily blood tests,  pock-marked junkie arms, invasive and unpleasant procedures and hideous hormone twisting medications whilst juggling work, and more importantly, being attentive parents to Devilboy? Or, do we just give up and turn into withered bitter (more so than we already are) old cronies, collect dozens of stray smelly cats and scare the local children? 

Under sufferance, I tried the counselling services they throw in “for free” as part of the eight million dollar fee at Casa Conception, to see if they had any answers.  It would seem not. For all the nodding and benevolent smiling bestowed upon me by the counseller, unless she can has a spare baby she can throw my way, her services aren’t going to help too much. There is nothing she can say that will make it not happening OK. That is, had she actually said anything at all. Colour me crazy, but benign nodding doesn’t really help heal my wounded psyche.  

While life with the beautiful Devilboy gives us so much joy, the bitter irony is that because of him, we can’t escape the world of children. Our life revolves around them. Shops, childcare, friends, parks and playgrounds, they are all a hive of buzzing kids, their ever pregnant mothers, and their hundred million tiny siblings. And as luck would have it, I’ve become the go-to-girl for parenting advice and articles for a bunch of magazines. Thanks world – love your sense of humour!!

With no back-up plan and desperate for more Devilboys and/or girls, we have no choice but to cross our fingers and stay on this medicated merry-go-round for a while longer. So I better prepare my poor beleaguered veins for more merry times at The Blood Shop.

Self-pitying post-IVF moaning complete.


Filed under Devilboy, IVF, needles, Uncategorized

Holey Arteries Batman

My failure as an embryonic incubator has Dr. Sickboy scratching his head. With above average quality embryos for my age and a uterus now happily devoid of bloody tyrants he says that medically there is no reason why my little blast’s aren’t sticking. So, to make himself seem appropriately doctorly and useful and important, he decided it was time for more tests.

“More?” I questioned. “What more could there possibly be left to test? Had someone come up with a test that could tell if my uterus had a teflon coating? 

“Oh yes” said the bloodthirsty Dr Sickboy gleefully, knowing he had found yet more reasons to poke holes in my sad and sorry veins. “There are many more confusingly vague tests that we can do, all unpronounceable, all very important and all costing lots of money. In fact there are dozens of the fuckers.”

These may not have been his exact words but you get the drift.

This morning we headed off to the local bloodletting centre where Devilboy, or Batman as he insisted on being addressed today, cleverly learned to count to sixteen as that was the number of tubes that were duly filled with my blood for the laboratory’s “very important” tests. Sixteen! The sight of that many empty test tubes was enough to make my head spin before the first drop was taken. I mean, how the hell were they going to take that much blood in one go I wondered? Were they going straight for an artery?

Thankfully not.

What seemed like several years later, I was sent home drained, quite literally, with approximately 3 millilitres of red fluid left in my body and where the rest of my day was spent weakly gawping at my bruised and needle marked arms and pondering how long it would be until some well meaning Samaritan staged an intervention… or some desperate smackhead hit me up for a fix.


Filed under IVF, needles, Uncategorized

Is that the time?

It appears that two months have snuck by since my last post and much has been happening in the House of Devilboy.

After four unsuccessful embryo transfers we discovered that something was growing in my uterus… unfortunately it wasn’t a baby. On doing some more investigation Doctor Sickboy discovered a rather large Polyp which has been hogging around a half of the space of my womb. Now, call me crazy but I would have thought that at least one of the 32,000,000 ultrasounds I’ve had in the last seven months or so might have picked something up but no, that would be far too easy.

So the bad news is that like that other bloody tyrant Pol Pot, Pol Yp been wilfully slaughtering the inhabitants of my womb. I’m fairly sure that unlike under the evil Pot regime, my emby’s have not been forced into slave labour camps and the hugely unpleasant hysterosalpingogram seemed to indicate that no rice paddies had been cultivated. But Yp is guilty of starving them of all important nutrients and bludgeoning them to death as he swings around like a medieval flail.

Our four perfectly lovely and beautiful embryos T2, Frosty, Ice-T and Rocky may as well have been flushed down the toilet along with the thousands of dollars we’ve forked out… for all the hope they had of surviving this genocidal despot.

The good news is that outside forces have stepped in to stop the evil Pol Yp and he has been captured and destroyed. And my uterus has been freshly renovated with shiny pink walls and comfy soft furnishings – ideal accommodation for any self respecting emby.

With nothing left on ice we have started a fresh course of sticking things that are not penises into my body to make babies. We’ve finished with the stupidity drug and the bastard injections and retrieved the nine eggs laid by my funky chickens, eight of which were fertilised. Of those, one is currently doing an inspection of the premises and two have moved into the esky.

Now with fingers and legs crossed all we can do is sit back and wait and hope.


Filed under embryos, Infertility, IVF