Essential oils

I’ve recently started using essential oils and I wish I had known about them earlier. They really would have been able to help me deal with the stress, depression and everything else that goes with unexplained infertility and IVF.

I read this online.

Essential oils have been used for thousands of years to help promote health and well-being. Specific essential oils in aromatherapy may help in the following ways; induce relaxation, calm the mind, counteract stress, ease tension and frustration. Selected essential oils used in conjunction with massage therapy may help in a number of ways: improve blood circulation to the muscles and tissues, detoxify the body by clearing away toxins, calm the body, relax the mind, relieve stress and contribute to a greater sense of well-being. Couples may find that using essential oils at home and regular aromatherapy massages may help to provide physical and emotional support when planning for a baby. Always consult a qualified therapist for advice and guidance before using essential oils. Some essential oils may not be safe to use while trying to conceive and during pregnancy.

I overhauled my personal care products whilst trying to conceive after learning about all the toxic endocrine disruptors in a lot of products. I’ve started to make some of my own beauty & cleaning products with essential oils. It’s all very exciting.

If you would like to know more check out my Facebook page:   https://www.facebook.com/anitawhittingham/ or follow me on Instagram @superfoodanita

I also encourage you to empower yourself with the knowledge to make the best decisions for yourself. There is a fantastic book & app called Modern Essentials that I recommend.

Peace, love & blessings,

Anita ūüôŹ

My miracle has arrived

After 4 years of trying to conceive, a miscarriage at 11w6d, 5 failed IVF attempts and a rollercoaster of emotions from unexplained infertility, on Thursday 20th August 2015 our little miracle, our ray of light, our prana, Isabella Clare was born.

Bella

I was 2 weeks overdue so I had to get induced due to hospital policy. A cooks catheter was used to ripen my cervix. This was the most horrible pain ever. My whole body wouldn’t stop shaking and I had diarrhoea. Initially they wanted to leave it in overnight but I knew if they did I wouldn’t have any energy to get through labour. I was so relieved when they took it out and let me go home to rest.

The next morning they broke my waters at 8:30am, started the syntocynin drip at 9am and my little miracle was born vaginally at 1:14pm. No epidural! No C-section!!! Just some gas that didn’t work anyway but helped me focus on my breathing. Stage 1 started out ok but got intense quite quickly because of the syntocynin. They doubled the dose every 20 minutes. After a crazy contraction my waters came gushing out so I got up to go to the toilet and I could feel her head moving down. I moved to all fours on a crashmat and the contractions stopped and I finally got a break. I mentally spoke to my bubba and gave her an eviction notice. Then when my body started pushing her out I did some J-breaths and after 3-4 pushes she was out. This 2nd stage was much more bearable than the 1st stage. Wierd. But I knew I was almost about to meet my bubba so I closed my eyes and went into my own zone. I repeated my mantras and trusted my body. It was beautiful.

I’m very lucky I didn’t end up with an epidural and C-section and that it was all just over 4 hours. I ended up with a few stitches on my perineum and a graze on my labia. I still don’t understand how I got the graze but I think it would have been worse if I hadn’t practised stretching my perineum with my epi-no.

My dreams have came true & I am finally a mother. The past 3 months have been amazing. I love it when she falls asleep on my chest. She is so freaking cute. She is getting bigger and developing so quickly. I am so grateful for my little miracle. We are overjoyed and can’t take our eyes off her.

If you are still on your journey to having a baby, I wish you the strength to persevere because it is worth it. Thanks for following my story. It has been lovely connecting with you.

BFP

Yeppers I got to CD35 and thought I better just pee on a stupid damn stick. Was so surprised to see 2 lines. Ah-mazing!

B4Wy2dCCUAAvilW.jpg-small

I’m now 11 weeks and have been keeping up my twice daily 20 minute meditations as I think that is really the only major thing I did differently. I also started eating fermented veggies here and there but I think this BFP is because of the meditating.

Last time I started bleeding at 11w6days so I’m getting kinda nervous and have been really hesitant to post anything about this here. Not sure why….

I had a dating scan and heard a heartbeat for the first time ever. That was very special. Also saw a yolk sac so that was a promising sign too. I’ve also been sick and nauseous most days but I’m embracing all of it. Next Wednesday I’ve got my nuchal scan. I’m having the blood test that goes with that scan¬†tomorrow at Genea back at my first IVF clinic.¬†How funny!

I’ve also got an appointment with a midwife at the Royal Hospital for Women next Wednesday. My understanding is if I go through the midwife program the whole thing will be free.

Another option is for me to continue seeing my fertility specialist Dr Gavin Sacks who is also an obstetrician. This will end up costing about $7000 out of pocket.

I saw my GP at the medical centre today coz I had to get heaps of blood tests and a referral to the Royal Hospital for women. He referred me to another OB Dr Alex Szirt. He will ending costing about $3000 out of pocket.

So I need to decide if I want/need an obstetrician. Would love to hear from you guys on how you made this decision. I feel like I’m going around in circles. Thanks so much.

New plan

I’ve just returned from an extra long weekend in Melbourne. My AFL team, the Sydney Swans made the grand final but unfortunately were beaten by a much better side, Hawthorn. Full credit to Hawthorn. They certainly brought it and dominated the whole game which made it pretty boring but we still made the most of the weekend away after last week’s depressing events.

Today we hired bikes and enjoyed a leisurely ride from Federation Square down to St Kilda then along the water for another few km’s then back to St Kilda where we returned the bikes outside Luna Park then acted like big kids and went on a few rides. Lots of fun! The rides were kinda like my consolation prize because what I really feel like doing is jumping out of a plane but seeing as I have already done that and it’s kinda expensive we just went on a few rides.

Anyway a few months ago my older sister who is now pregnant and due next month, after numerous miscarriages, told me about this transcendental meditation course she did. She was raving about it and wanted me to do the course and wanted to pay for it as a gift. I was really busy at the time and said I didn’t have time to do the course. I also told my nutritionist about it and she recommended a local teacher but I never got in touch. On Saturday I emailed Matt, the teacher expressing my interest in an intro talk on Monday night at 8pm and my desire to start ASAP. Our flight from Melbourne was due to arrive at 7:15pm so I told him I might make it tonight. On the plane I started reading our local magazine, ‘The Beast’, and the featured local of the month was Matt. Crazy! I took this as a sign. Well¬†the flight was on time and we had our car at the airport so I easily made the intro talk and now I am signed up to start the course tomorrow where I have to bring 3 pieces of fruit, 5 flowers and a white hankie for my ceremony to get my mantra. Sounds a tad wacky hey!

I’m hoping to learn how to calm my mind and control my emotions, thus reducing stress. Maybe it’s stress that is stopping me from getting pregnant. Who knows? It’s worth a shot. There is heaps of other benefits of meditation so even if this doesn’t work naturally I think it will prepare me for more IVF cycles because we decided on the weekend that we are going to keep trying but first we are going to go snowboarding in Japan in January. So that’s the new plan. I’m a virgo so I like to have plans and lists.

So if you have tried Transcendental Meditation also known at Vedic meditation please leave a comment. Or if you just want to say hi that would be nice too. If you are going to keep trying IVF until it works let me know, coz then I’ll know I’m not the only crazy one.

Peace and love to all my sisters from other misters.

Where to from here?

I’m really confused, sad, angry. I have so many questions and no answers. Everyone wants to help and has their opinions but they just end up stressing me out and leaving me more confused. My dad thinks I need to see another doctor. I’m already on our 3rd fertility specialist and I think he is great. My sisters think I need to revisit acupuncture and cut out gluten, dairy, sugar and soy again. My mum is visiting special churches and praying for me.

I’m hurting and I just want it to stop….It upsets me even more when I’m negative but sometimes I feel like I’m suffocating in darkness. I saw the counsellor on Monday and she gave me some resources. I watched the DVD called ‘Moving on’ and cried the whole time.¬†Both of my sisters have offered their eggs but what I really want is my own genetic daughter. My husband and I talked about adoption and it’s not for us.

My husband thinks we should try again. I’m not sure if IVF is working for us and if it’s worth trying again or not. I’m angry at my husband because it’s so easy for him to say Lets try again. All he has to do is jizz into a cup. I’m sick of the multiple needles, the pessaries, the blood tests, the ultrasounds. It’s all too much right now. It’s not fair how much woman have to do.

Will I ever be happy? Do I need my own genetic daughter to make me happy? What is the purpose of my life? What am I willing to do to have my own daughter? What is my husband willing to do? How many more cycles do we do? How much are will willing to spend? When is it time to stop and move on? Is life worth moving on?

I initially said this was going to be our last cycle. I changed my twitter name to ‘One more attempt’. Now I’m not sure if it will be.

This cycle started promising. 17 eggs were collected. A new PB. 15 were mature and 13 fertilised. All 13 were biopsied on day 3 and were genetically tested using PGD. This test simply checks that there is the correct number of chromosomes. I was told to come in for the embryo transfer but be prepared to not have one in case all the embryo’s were genetically abnormal as the Dr only gets the PGD results 5 minutes before the transfer.

Of the 13 that were tested, 8 were abnormal, 3 were normal and 2 didn’t get a result. Possibly not enough DNA.

Of the 8 abnormal some were missing whole or parts of chromosomes.

All of the 3 normal embryos had degenerated and were not suitable for transfer.

So one of the 2 embryos that didn’t get a PGD result was transferred on Saturday. There is a high chance this embryo will also have chromosomal abnormalities seeing as 8 out of the 11 were. According to the PGD brochure 60-70% of embryo’s have chromosomal abnormalities. WTF?! Why doesn’t every IVF cycle include PGD? This is crazy. Lots of woman could be transferring the embryo that physically looks good but is actually chromosomally abnormal and never has a chance. This annoys me.

So at the moment I’m torn. I’m hoping this embryo inside me will stick but I’m also trying to be realistic and know that the chance of it working is very slim. Doc said there is a possibility but didn’t want to talk about probabilities. If this is our last cycle then this may be our last chance.

I’ve been googling ‘Life without kids after IVF’ and reading other people’s stories. We were thinking about going snowboarding in Japan in January ¬†if this cycle doesn’t work but all the people we were planning on going with can’t go anymore (Will have kids by then). So it would just be my husband and I. I got upset thinking about this coz I was thinking¬†a ski holiday with our own kids would be really fun one day and maybe this is never going to happen.

We need to have our WTF appointment with our Dr but I want to be clear headed and not get emotional. I want to know if he has even told a couple to stop IVF? I’m not sure if any Dr’s do so his answer to this would influence what I think of his answer if he thinks we should stop. I also want to know what we have learned from this cycle and if we were to do another cycle or a donor egg cycle what we would do the same/different.

I hate IVF at the moment. I hate how it gives people hope. It only works for a small percentage of couples. For those of us who have unexplained infertility we are led to believe that everything is normal so IVF has a good chance of working. This is bullshit! There is obviously something wrong with me, there is simply not a test to determine what it is and the Dr’s are just playing a guessing game and use each cycle as a test to see if their crazy ‘protocol’ they have created will work.

I’m sorry if you are still reading and think I’m being very negative. I’ve most certainly changed since I started writing this blog. I’m definitely not positive pants anymore. I’ve tried being positive in my first cycle. I listened to all the meditations every day and it didn’t work. I don’t believe in positive thinking anymore. I’m not sure what I believe in anymore. If the chromosomal abnormalities are because I have poor egg quality then how can this be improved? Do I need to go back on a special diet and cut out gluten, dairy, sugar and soy again? I tried that for 3 months before my first cycle and it didn’t work. Should I have been on this diet for longer? Should I go on this diet for 6 months and have weekly acupuncture before I try another IVF cycle? Who the fuck knows?! My Dr doesn’t think diet can influence egg quality. My sisters think it can. It’s stressful cutting things out and having to explain why at social gatherings. Is stress my problem? Do I just need to relax. Oh that’s right go on a holiday, relax, have heaps of sex and maybe you’ll get pregnant. Oh yeah we’ve done that too and it hasn’t worked.

What the hell is egg quality anyway? Does it mean eggs that are poor quality do not have the correct number of chromosomes?  How does acupuncture and no gluten ,etc make the number of chromosomes in each egg correct?

Alright so I started writing this post with tears streaming down my face and now I’ve stopped crying and feel a bit better after this long ass rant of negativity. I don’t think anyone reads this blog anymore so this was mostly just for me as an attempt to clear the darkness.

If I decide to stop IVF treatment now will I regret it?

 

 

 

 

Syneral sux!

I started syneral a week ago and I’m pretty sure it’s the cause of a random crazy episode on the weekend, this current 24hour foggy headache and sick feeling. Bleugh!

About 6 months ago all the clutter in our place got to me and we cleared some stuff out to our hallway with plans of taking it to vinnies(old clothes, random extra set of crockery), or work (stuff to shred) or my old work (for the Christmas collection for homeless men). Last weekend all the stuff in the hallway got to me and I lost it. I hate clutter. It jams up my brain. Anyway I think the syneral made me overreact a little bit about the clutter.

I’ve been on syneral before and I don’t remember it being this annoying. Just the latest ¬†headache is a foggy kind. Even yoga didn’t help. I’ve popped some panadol and jumped into bed. Maybe eating will make me feel better. Hubby is home early today and cooking me dinner. It smells nice.

We’re going to the Hunter Valley this weekend for my birthday which is next week. I’m hoping I feel better and syneral doesn’t ruin it. Then on Monday I have to go back to the clinic for bloods. They are hoping/planning on it being CD1. Then the fun begins….. This cycle is going to be menopur, Saizen, prednisolone, clexane + pessaries. Fun fun fun!

It’s all going to cost about $14000 but we will get some money back so it’ll cost us between $10-12k out of pocket.¬†

I think I’d rather go on holidays than keep spending all this money on IVF. So I think this is going to be our last chance. One more attempt and we’re pretty much trying everything this cycle.¬†

Fingers crossed. Whatever happens, happens. I’m trying not to get too involved or excited coz it makes the BFN harder. No positive thinking or meditations. It’s all bullshit. Tried it and it didn’t work.¬†

Thanks for reading this long ass whingy post.

 

 

WTF appointment

I had my WTF appointment yesterday and I cried ūüė¶ ¬†It started with¬†watery eyes but turned into sniffles. Went through a lot of tissues.

After a long chat with my Dr, who is awesome, he has prescribed alcohol, surfing, acupuncture and counselling. Perfect ūüôā

It was funny when he recommended the counselling. I mean that must be a tough thing to suggest to someone but I obviously need it. Hopefully it will help to get my head in check to manage stress. 

I told him I wanted to take a break and he said a year would be too long so now we’re thinking of doing another round of IVF later this year. We’re going to add in Saizen (growth hormone) and also do PGD and the Bondi protocol which includes prednisolone and clexane. It may not work. Saizen is not guaranteed to improve our chances but he says there are no side effects and it’s worth a shot. The PGD is just another test to choose the best embryo to transfer. It tests an embryo to see if it has the correct number of chromosomes, whereas growing an embryo to 5 days is a just another test to choose the best embryo to transfer based on cell morphology. However an embryo that survives for 5 days in a petri dish/test tube may be chromosomally abnormal. So there is a chance the two embryos we transferred last time were chromosomally abnormal even though they made it to 5 days growth. If we had done PGD at day 3 there would have been quite a few embryo’s to test and would have given us more information. Even though we didn’t have any embryo’s to freeze, the embryo’s we had left may have been chromosomally normal so may have been a better embryo to transfer. So that is why he is recommending PGD.

Now this last cycle cost us about $4k out of pocket. Cheaper than a cycle at Genea. We have currently spent over $23k out of pocket this financial year. This new cycle with Saizen , PGD and the Bondi protocol is going to cost about $10k out of pocket because Saizen is not covered by medicare so that alone is $1500.  

He said diet, CoQ10, herbs, etc were not going to make a difference and were a waste of money. He also said it’s OK to go surfing in the 2 week wait, just not for 24hours after egg collection.

So to kick off the new plan, we went out for dinner last night and I drank some red wine, then went for a surf this morning before work. It was a fantastic way to start the day. I wish I could do it every day but I can’t coz Mon-Thurs I start work at 7:30am so there’s not enough time for a surf on those days in the morning. We are also planning a surfing holiday in Bali in July. So things are looking good. Oh yeah and he confirmed that my uterine NK cells are normal. Everything is normal. I’m still going to try to cut out gluten for 6 months and cut back on sugar and processed foods.

Has anyone tried Saizen? I just googled side effects and it doesn’t sound fun

Previous Older Entries

I Heart Scratch

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Anita Whittingham - Healthy Habits

Enhance your wellness & detoxify your life using essential oils.

The Wellness Temple

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(not) pregnant in rezza

a single queer's TTC quest in Melbourne, Australia

Life as an Infertile

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my lady bits

everything you ever wanted to know about the shit show that is trying to conceive with shitty eggs (aka DOR)

Fertility Doll

Infertility. Fearing. Accepting. Trying.

Jo's F Word

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Honestly Infertile

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Plan B: Plan A went AWOL

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Aging Baby Maker

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Starting Our Family

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Project Sweet Pea

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Dogs Aren't Kids

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True Tiger Recordings

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ttcPCOSinfertile

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Journey Through IVF

A blog about my journey through IVF