Category Archives: IVF

Dr. Devilboy.

This morning round 432,230,087 of pin the emby on the uterus began with the first of many blood lettings and another date with dildocam (I feel like we’re seeing so much of each other I’ve almost achieved ‘mistress’ status) but this time it was different. Dad of devilboy had an early start and I wasn’t able to organise anyone to look after a small devil at 6.30am.

I’ve studiously avoided taking Devilboy to Casa Conception as it can be difficult for some of the other childless Science Projectettes, who are at varying stages of trying to concieve, and are in varying states of distress over their personal infertility issues. They certainly don’t need a tot rubbed in their faces in that particular environment.

But on this occasion I had no choice. And it was ok, really it was (and yes, that is sarcasm). For the normally well behaved Devilboy turned it on. Initially he was suitably subdued and cuted the ladies into submission with his sweet smile. That was until he was sudenly gripped with enthusiasm for the ubiquitous Doctors waiting room Natonial Georgraphics and started screaming “more, more polar bear mummy!”

Becoming distressed when said mummy couldn’t make more polar bears magically appear on the following page, or in the October issue of Marie Claire, he instead decided to tip a cup of water over said mummy before laughing and running away at break neck speed, flustered mummy in hot pursuit. At this point I’m quite sure most of the remaining Science Prohjectettes started cancelling their cycles as they realised what they were potentially getting themselves in to and that their longed for babies would eventually become toddlers.

A tad embarrased by the scenette, I was fretting as to how he’d react when his mummy started getting poked and prodded by strangers… but my brave boy made me proud and perturbed all at once.

During the ultrasound he sweetly held and patted my hand saying “mummy sick.” I explained I was fine and we just need to see some pictures of mummys inside on the screen. “Mummy TV” was his excited response before telling us that it was his turn and that he too wanted a dildocam inserted so we could see “Me TV. Pwease?” Eww.

Druring the blood tests he watched intently as “mummy’s bud” came out. The nurse told him it was nice and red and he looked at her like she was a moron before informing her sternly “no, mummy bud yellow” and announced, as he had during the previous test, that it was “Me turn” only this time he wanted to perform teh prcesure as opposed to be the recipient. Affronted by the resounding no from the nurse, he put his hands out demanding “me do it” crossly… before poiltely adding “Pwease?”

So polite for such a twisted child.

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Has anyone seen my month?

The intention was there, as were plenty of harebrained Devilboy antics to dissect and divulge. Unfortunately, time was not.

The last month has snuch sneakily by without me so much as noticing, distracted as I was as I juggled work, the unadulterated joys of IVF, an icky-sticky virus, a newly obsessively clingy child, a broken down car, the Sydney public transport system, a chainsaw, three coloured balls and two firey batons. All whilst effectively operating as a solo parent (Dad of Devilboy has been working 80 hour weeks for the past six). This powerful combnation has proven to be a very effective method of killing the motivation to blog.

Ergo the precious few moments I’ve had to spare have been wisely used to collapse in an untidy heap.

On several occasions I’ve been set to begin another entertaining expose on the crazy goings on at the House of Devilboy but alas, have barely begun to mentally process one event before I’m up to my armpits in the next. That’s not to say that pen hasn’t been put to paper, or fingers to keyboard, as it were. There has been writing… so very, very much writing… just not the sort that translates into anything resembling a blog update.

I’ve composed parables about parenting, reviewed products until my head spun, shared travel advice for special needs families, produced narratives on travels I haven’t taken in years, chronicled life lessons on mother/daughter relationships and interviewed mad scientists, organic producers and world champion triathletes during the whooshing haze that has been the last four weeks… but all this proper job writing leaves little time for therapeutic blog writing.

Suffice to say my meagre attempts at blogging have resulted in fuck all. And sadly, now that tings are slowly returning to almost normal and I finally have a little time, my spinning brain has deleted the minutiae of the last month. Poo.

I guess there’s not much I can do except give myself a big fat F on this one and write myself a stern “must try harder” note for next.

Brain empty, entry over.

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Strike two

Another game of pin the embryo on the uterus has just been completed. This was a frozen transfer, so it was sans the bells and whistles of needles, drugs and wild hormonal rides. Instead this cycle was just the minor inconvenience of daily blood tests, defrosting an embsicle and a five minute transfer procedure, so I felt fairly uninvolved -comparatively.

The lovely Dr. Sickboy was called O/S on an emergency so the transfer was performed by a doctor who, it came to pass, was a total #&*$ who made me feel like I was inconveniencing her by having IVF. She didn’t give a flying toss that she was hurting me during the procedure and instead shouted at me that we had to get on with it! (Keep in mind the whole procedure took about three minutes so I was hardly holding her up).

I snuck this cycle under the radar a little. This was partly because I was a bit preoccupied with a flu (hideous timing) as well as editorial deadlines and being an attentive parent tomy beautiful boy… and partly because I walked out of the transfer with a strong sense that it wasn’t going to be successful and I couldn’t verbalise this properly. I’m not sure if it was because of Dr. Callous Bitch’s half arsed performance or if it was just gut instinct.

Regardless I did still try and maintain some hope and was, for once, desperate to be proved wrong. But sadly I wasn’t and Frosty didn’t hang around and I’ve been too numb to even cry (and I’m an excellent cryer). I think much of the tearlessness can be attributed to the presence of my lovely sister who was with me when I got the bad news. By giving me kind words and space she helped me keep it together – what a lovely soul she is. But a few days later I still feel sad, deflated… and broken. I am starting to doubt my body and wonder whether my womb really is such a shitty place that no embryo worth its infinitesimal weight wants to reside there.

In fact I’m beginning to question if – instead of wasting all this money on IVF – I wouldn’t be better off spending the equivalent getting the uterine decorators in to brighten the place up a bit. You know, a lick of paint here, maybe some wallpaper there? Some nice art for the walls? Nic nacs? Or perhaps a nice comfy ottoman for the embryo to put its teensy little feet up on and a vase of fresh flowers to make it more appealing?



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It’s not over ’til the fat lady sings

I’ve picked myself up and dusted myself off after last month’s disappointments and distractions. ‘They’ say that the answer to life’s problems can’t be found at the bottom of a bottle… but I figured it was at least worth a bit of a look, just in case. A few weeks of drinking away my sorrows (after Devilboy was safely tucked into sleep) and I discovered that ‘they’ were right, there were no answers, but damned if it didn’t make me feel better anyway!

Now it’s time for another ride on the IVF merry-go-round. And time to start treating my unco-operative body as a temple (a fairly shambolic and slightly ruined temple I grant you, but a temple none the less) in readiness for one of the embsicles to be dipped in anti-freeze in preparation for it to have a viewing of my uterine real estate.

I’m daring to feel hopeful again, not in small part due to the lovely gesture of a dear friend and her hubby who gifted me a delightful new icon to join my collection of fertile misfits.

The Fat Lady of Malta is a prehistoric headless splodge of a girl with an alarming set of cankles and I simply adore her. Now, she and the other girls are all facing each other so they can catch up on some girly goddess gossip. Though T-FLOM is usually insanely busy with her cult-like following of Maltese women, she kindly flew all the way from Malta just to help me in my mission to procreate… and her very presence is making me feel more hopeful.

I mean seriously, if a chick with no head can get preggers… there must be at least a little hope for me!

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I should, allegedly, be so lucky.

The most important instruction I received from Casa Conception post egg transfer was to stay as stress-free as possible for the next ten days.

On Thursday, three days after transfer, I discovered that one of my best friends had been diagnosed with breast cancer and I was then, and am now, devastated for her and her young family. On Saturday, five days after transfer, my 69 year old father decided it would be really clever to consume four bottles of wine, followed by a cask chaser, on an empty stomach. He then completed his smashing performance by falling and having a heart attack.

After a few scary days he is now recovering well, much to my relief. And my girlfriend has since had further tests which reveal she has caught the cancer very early and her prognosis for recovery is very good. But it was a shaky few days and neither of these events were what I would consider to be particularly conducive to staying ‘stress-free’.

Needless to say I wasn’t really surprised when I started spotting this morning.  Unsurprised but still inconsolable. Knowing we have back ups in the freezer this time has stopped me from collapsing in to a heap, though that’s not to say I haven’t been in tears all morning. I kept it together long enough to drop my darling Devilboy off to childcare with extra big hugs and kisses goodbye, made it to the car and the tears haven’t really stopped since.

Obviously our grade 1 super embryo was a prima donna of a blastocyst who thought itself just too good for a pre-loved uterus. Perhaps it’s for the best that it decided not to take up residence as it probably would have been too high maintenance. We are too laid back for such an uppity wanker of a blastocyst to become part of our family anyway. Take that so called super embryo.

Of course, I don’t mean any of that. We were so excited about our perfect little Blastocyst. And I am numb.

Someone asked me this morning if it really hurt any worse than an unsuccessful non IVF cycles?

My answer is a resounding “F%^k yeah!” It’s like it’s been amplified by 1,000 and not just because it is a much bigger investment… emotionally, physically and financially. In a normal cycle there is just a vague hope, but in an IVF cycle we actually get to meet our little embryo. It existed. We saw it’s utterly perfect mass of expanding cells hatching from its little shell. And when it was transfered for a moment we have success and you begin to nurture and protect the growing life as if it were any normal pregnancy. It’s like being a ‘little bit’ pregnant. But mostly it’s worse because the tiny Blastocyst looked so much like its divine big brother who is real and loved and here and now his tiny celluar sibling is not. a.

It’s been a hard morning and I feel useless and empty and sad. I told a few friends and their responses were understandably awkward but I have decided I am not talking to “live” people any more about this, today or any other day, as I swear that if I hear any of the following platitudes again (I’ve already heard them enough times and always from people who have children coming out of their armpits) I will poke out someone’s eye with a loaded dildocam.

“Never mind, you can try again”.  And won’t that be a barrel of laughs!? Yippee. I can hardly wait.

And my personal favourite…

“You should consider yourself LUCKY to even have one”.

LUCKY? Excuse me person with three healthy children, all of whom were conceived with the minimum of fuss – virtually by glancing at a penis – why exactly should I feel lucky?

Lucky? When we had to spend tens of thousand of dollars and go through 4 years of devastation and intrusive medical procedures to get our son? Lucky would be winning him on the lottery.

Lucky? That instead of the conception of our child being an intimate experience between two people in love, it is instead a medical procedure attended by a cast of thousands?

While I feel blessed that all our efforts resulted in my beautiful son, luck has zero to do with his existence. 

My apologies for the rant… must dash now, more sobbing required.


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A teensy tiny hatching blastocyst is right now doing an inspection of the pink room to see if the accommodation is too his/her liking.

Just like the artist formerly known as “The Truffle”, this hatching blastocyst looks quite similar to a slice of freshly shaved truffle. Though, in his previous incarnation, Devilboy looked more like a Perigord truffle, this little truffle – who is slightly more developed and compacted – is more reminiscent of the Italian white variety. Not that I’m obsessed with food or anything.

Hatching Blast, for the moment known by the moniker Truffael or T2, is a grade 1 super blastocyst. A blastocyst so perfect that even Dr. Sickboy was impressed. Considering that Devilboy – who in our opinion is unsurpassable in his utter perfection – was only a grade 2, we are extremely excited by this outcome. We can now only hope that Devilboy didn’t trash the room too much and T2 decides its fit for such a superior mass of expanding cells to reside.

Our excitement doesn’t end with T2.

Whilst last time around the other embryos – possibly pooped just from observing Emby Devilboy’s inexhaustible energy or perhaps because they were just lazy arsed slacker embryos – never really made it to blastocyst stage,  leaving us with no fall back if Devilboy hadn’t decided to stick around. This time, they must have put Red Bull in the Petri dish because all of the embryos raced about busily growing to blastocyst stage. Yesterday at least two and as many as four (waiting on confirmation now) of them were big enough and tough enough to move out of the dish. Rugged up in microscopic emby anoraks, they’ve headed off to the Emby Arctic, to toboggan in the snow and play with the miniscule penguins and polar bears until, and if, they are required.

The remainder are enjoying another day of summer, swimming and frolicking in the petri dish and working on their tans, before the scientists decide whether they are big enough and clever enough to can join their teensy, tiny siblings.

With back up embsicles and the sexiest blastocyst of all time checking out my uterine real estate, we’re feeling cautiously optimistic. Regardless I am wisely spending my time eating chocolate, freebasing rescue remedy and googling for any potentially important fertility icons I may have missed… just in case!


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Bakers Dozen.

 “This might be a little uncomfortable” announced a smiling Dr. Sickboy.

Yeah right… and Adolf Hitler was ‘a little’ anti-Semitic.

Armed as he was with a speculum and a foot long needle (Dr. Sickboy I mean – not Hitler) several words crossed my mind. The two that stood out the most were ‘bull’ and ‘shit’. But, being the obedient little Science-Projectette that I was, I feigned belief – though not without impatiently requesting some of his top shelf happy drugs.

It turns out that Dr. Sickboy was right, it was a little uncomfortable. If by ‘a little’ he actually meant shitloads. Fuck. Ow. Ow. Ow. Thank gods for the ameliorating affects of the drugs I say, for without them I surely would have kicked him in the nuts as an act of revenge. Acutely aware of the pain but happily distracted by the now spinning room and all the pretty, pretty lights I relaxed a little – well, as much as one can when one is on ones back, knee high leather booted legs akimbo (I forgot that you had to keep your shoes on in the lab and was utterly embarrassed) in stirrups while a strange Scotsman stands between them vaccuming your follicles.

Besides the God awful pain, discomfort and embarrassment, retrieval went well and our funky chickens delivered. Twelve eggs! M and I whooped with delight at the number. We had a full carton! And that just somehow seemed right.

M took his sperm to their day spa appt. where they all lolled about in their tiny little towels, getting washed and coiffed while I sat in recovery hoping they’d been working on some seriously good pick up lines to use on the eggs… who were waiting in the lab touching up their lippy and mascara.

When our scientist, Not-Stephen-Hawking, popped her head around to let us know they’d miscounted and there were actually 13 eggs, I think she expected joy… and seemed a little shocked that she didn’t get it from me. I mean, I should have been ecstatic because it meant we had more chance but it had the opposite effect on silly control freakish me. I was gutted… devastated that she’d ruined my perfectly ordered carton of eggs with, of all things, an unlucky number.  Stupid scientist.

M tried to convince it wasn’t unlucky and that we should be thrilled with such a result, given last time we only got seven. “Lucky seven,” I pointed out! Rolling his eyes at my utter stupidity he suggested lunch at nice water front restaurant, knowing that nothing can distract me from daftness faster than food. So, still drugged to the eyeballs, we very sensibly went for a celebratory lunch where I very un-sensibly added a little champagne to my already toxic bloodstream. I don’t really remember the rest of the day. Oops.

Today, Not-Stephen-Hawking called to let us know that the fluffy coiffed sperm had indeed been practising their pick up lines and had rocked up to the Petri dish looking buff and driving little sperm Porsches.  My eggs, superficial as they are, must have been impressed because eight fertilised. Yeehah… 13 hadn’t been unlucky after all.

Fluent as I am in icon speak, I ran the number by to my motley crew of icons and they were most pleased. Eight was just fine by them.

The Buddha’s squealed with delight and high fived each other. Buddhists follow the Noble Eightfold path and are encouraged to the observe eight Buddhist Precepts to cultivate compassion, generosity, contentment and mindfulness.  There are eight lucky symbols’ – the parasol, the goldfish, the treasure vase, the lotus blossom, the banner of victory, the conch shell, the eternal knot and the eight-spoked wheel. It also didn’t hurt that the 8th was Buddha’s birthday.

My Chinese Buddha’s were particularly excited given that in Chinese culture eight is considered the luckiest  number of them all and in secular Chinese folklore there are eight demigods known as the immortals that can give life or destroy evil.

Skinny Ganesha and Shiva, dancing lord and protector of our toilet – pointed out that in Hinduism eight is the number of wealth and abundance. 

Even the Black Mary of Rocamadour, though piously dismissive of the other Icons claims, acknowledged that eight is a positive in Christianity, it being the number of sacred Beatitudes that form the core of Christian life. 

As the Icons debated the pros and cons of their own personal agendas amongst themselves it also dawned on me that Hannukah is an eight day Jewish celebration and in Islam, it’s the number of Angels carrying the Holy Throne of Allah.

That had us covered wih all the majors.

As for the more obscure Icons… Freya shared some random thoughts on eight-legged horses in Norse Mythology, though she may have just been tripping on some kind of Nordic acid. While the Venus of Lespuge, not known for her skills of erudition, just jiggled her enormous tits.  
Thinking outside of secular and mythological connotations, eight is the winning ball in a game of pool. And M, when he was younger, more foolish and a frequenter of pool halls, used to order hash by the ‘eighth’ so this would definitely be an auspicious sign to him, desperate as he is for me to have a successful pregnancy so he can once again imbibe in other cannabis bi-products.

Hmm, what else? Octopi have eight tentacles, which are delicious when marinated and BBQ’d and Octomum, who is clearly the most fertile being of all, delivered eight babies.

At this point I am clearly grasping at straws – so should stop my obsessing before I am declared mentally unfit and given a ‘section 8’.


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Trouncy Flouncy Pouncy Fun

"It’s trigger time," I announced to M yesterday after a call from The Stabber.

“Tigger?” asked M.

“Yes honey… Tigger! Won’t that be trouncy, flouncy, pouncy fun, fun, fun?” I replied, amazed at how much our headspace had changed since Devilboy entered our lives. I certainly wasn’t referring to one of Pooh’s friends… not unless they had started shooting up.
“Not ‘Tigger’… TRIGGER! At 10.30! Tonight”

Trigger has once more been lurking darkly in the fridge, all self important and smug, taunting me from its neat little packaging. But hidden behind the deceptively innocent and simple packaging is one big arsed bitch of a needle. This is the big one, the all important green light for the chickens to stop clucking about and start producing! And just like last time, it alone of all the needles scared the crap out of me.

But unlike last time, what with it being a regular week night and all, there wasn’t a freshly shaved truffle or indie Scottish movie about heroin addicts in sight. And though I’m a huge fan of Bill Maher, watching him interview Bill Moyers on television while Devilboy slept soundly in the next room…. seemed somewhat mundane compared to the action packed event that was trigger time last time around… in fact it seemed, well, really fucking dull!

The chickens needed more encouragement to start doing their funky egg laying moves… and this sorry scene simply wouldn’t cut it!

So lights were dimmed, tv turned off, candles lit and the stereo jacked up LOUD…

"Here comes Johnny Yen again
With the liquor and drugs
And the flesh machine

Your skin starts itching once you buy the gimmick
about something called love
Oh love, love, love
Well, that’s like hypnotizing chickens.
Well, I am just a modern guy

Of course, I’ve had it in the ear before 
‘Cause of a lust for life
‘Cause of a lust for life"

Not being completely stupid, I do know the lyrics to Lust for Life are about Iggy Pop’s life as a hard-living heroin addict but in my twisted little mind, from the drugs to the itchesto the flesh machines, they could just as easily be about reproduction, Dr. Sickboy style.

And this particular song bloody well did work last time, didn’t it?! You won’t catch me messing with a winning formula. Anyway, the reference to chickens is a clear indication that this song is all about making much loved IVF babies… not just that Iggy was channelling obscure observations of love from William S. Burroughs while smacked off his tits.

So trigger has been injected, serenaded by Mr. Pop and all the little chickens are now a layin’.

Tomorrow morning we’re heading in for the retrieval. This is the process whereby Dr. Sickboy jams a foot long needle into my sore and bloated ovaries to suck the eggs out while Dildocam dives in to watch and laugh.

Now, won’t that be trouncy, flouncy, pouncy fun, fun, fun?”

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Romance is dead

I feel so foolish. Never go back they say. Never go back.

But go back I did… in spite of  the callous way he treated me last time. I even found out he’d been fooling around with some of my friends behind my back.  But still I went back to the unfaithful arrogant bastard.

And on my return there was no warm embrace, no apologies, no compliments, no flowers, no dinner… not even a relaxing glass of wine to calm those ‘first time’ nerves. All he wanted was to get into my pants and get on with it.

I am, of course, talking about Dildocam, also known to regular folks as the transvaginal ultrasound.

Dildocam discovered that there are 17 plump little follicular chickens pecking about in the ovarian coup and we’re hoping that they’ll all be good layers. The battery farm is looking good and there has been no sign, thus far, of the ovarian hyper-stimulation that occurred last time. This means the chickens get a bit longer to prepare their nests and I won’t be dropping dead in the foreseeable future, which is a big plus, in my humble opinion.

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It’s not you, it’s me.

Things are weirding out in the house of Devilboy. 

I am moody and still feeling withdrawn. It’s almost like I’m not properly participating in my own life at the minute, which is most peculiar.  I expect to get a warning letter from myself to me any second saying that I am not being a team player!

The reality of the situation we once more find ourselves in is also making me feel a little detached from Devilboy, which in turn is making me feel more awful. Going through this process again should be making me thankful to have him, because making babies is clearly not our strong suit. But I think it’s causing me to put up a subconscious wall, which I am fighting, because of some irrational fear of loving him and needing him too much if he is to be our one and only. I know that I should just be leaping on him and squeezing him and loving him to bits like I normally can’t control myself from doing but instead am watching him with suspicion, knowing that he alone holds the power to truly break my heart.

I feel almost like I have to force joy right now, something that has been so very present since he was born, but that wonderful feeling seems to have vanished under a haze of medication. So dreary am I that I wonder if I shouldn’t remove myself from all social circumstances until this is over – lest I bore my friends to death with my blahness!

I guess the detached feeling must be diminishing a little as I appear to have arrived at that point of the process where the ususal  empathy I have for people has well and truly buggered off and I start sulkily resenting random pregnant women in the street. In fact, even some men boasting larger scale beer guts are starting to be on the receiving end of my covetous gaze, such is the sorry state of my infertile imagination. 

While I am not nearly self obsessed enough to expect the pregnant folk of the world to go into hiding just to make little old me feel less reproductively useless, I just wish that the twelve million that I bump into on a daily basis didn’t have to lay the proverbial boot in with such comments as “Hey guess what? I’m preggers… you know it happened on like practically our first try!” to quote this days object of my envious derision (not only for her fecundity but for her abuse of the English language and inane use of the word ‘like’).

Before pregnant folk begin collecting sticks and small rocks to fling at the silly barren chick, I have to add that I also resent myself for being such an uncharitable bitch! I confess to being a total cow, though in my meagre defence it is apparantly a very natural and common reaction to this situation.

To all my lovely friends who are currently with child, please allow me to elucidate. It’s most definitely not that I lack happiness about your pregnancies but more that I lack the ability to control my own feelings of disappointment in my lack of one. And whilst I confess that there is a tinge of green in my vision, it is nicely offset with the pinkish glow of genuine delight at your news and I continue to love your fabulously fruitful selves lots and lots. Mwah!

As punishment for my mean spiritdness I have put together a pile of consumable baby goodies for the Red Cross Refugee Services girls to help some of their new mums. It makes me feel more motherly to help out some other mums.

Meanwhile, my obsession with obscure fertility symbols continues unabated. M despises the new beaded African Ndebele Fertility doll I recently acquired. I think it’s quite quaint in an Afro/bespoke Dalek sort of way, whilst he thinks it’s simply creepy. But you see, I am stabbing myself twice a day whilst he is not… which clearly makes me right!

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