Sunday, 29 May 2011

Bittersweet cycle three

When cycle two (on meds) produced an egg but no pregnancy my doctor decided that we should fly solo for a while.  Obviously the meds are working to give me ovulation, we're just not catching the egg at the right time.  So, to reduce the increased risk that scanning can bring, we are playing with this cycle all by ourselves!  No appointments, no ultrasounds, no blood tests...just drugs, do-it-yourself OPK's and lots and LOTS of sex!

I'd heard so many great things about the effects of acupuncture and fertility.  My doctor even recommended seeing a fertility acupuncture specialist, so I did!  Her name is Michelle and she's bubbly, friendly and 100% convinced that my body is going to produce children.  Great first session really!  She also told me something I already knew, time is on my side.

So I've only ever used acupuncture for a back injury and during those sessions the needles were inserted around my neck and shoulders, so I had NO idea what to think about where the needles would be put for infertility.  Whatever I was thinking, I was wrong!  Just a few around my ankles, some herbal burning sticks around my belly button and then rolling over for six needles around my back.  And I didn't feel a thing!  I've learned that my body is typically "cool" and therefore acupuncture should create heat by boosting my circulation.  I'll have a session a week for this entire cycle, and the needle placement will change depending on where I am in the cycle to accommodate LH surges, ovulation and conception.

Michelle also recommended a twice daily herbal supplement "tea" on top of my regular Elevit multivitamin.  This "tea" contains Chasteberry and Red Raspberry Leaf.  And here's what I can tell you about them:
  • Chasteberry (Vitex) is recognized for stimulating the hormones involved in ovulation and restoring female hormonal balance. It may normalize pituitary function and the balance of progesterone and estrogen levels. Vitex is used as an herbal treatment for infertility and is especially helpful for women with irregular cycles, anovulation, or a short luteal phase (a short 2nd half of the menstrual cycle).
  • Red Raspberry Leaf is regarded for its ability to tone the uterus and muscles of the pelvic region. Very popular - and used as a traditional fertility enhancer for a long time - Red Raspberry is a powerful fertility herb.

Sounds pretty good, right?  One problem...
it smells great, but tastes awful!  The stuff tastes like a sip of sweet tea followed by a oyster sauce chaser!  It makes me gag every time, and it looks like I'm drinking muddy water.

Nevertheless, my smart brain is yelling at my taste buds to shut up and take it, because as we enter month nine of trying to conceive something I'm doing HAS to pay off soon! 

Thursday, 26 May 2011

Guest Blog - Overcoming male factor infertility

The struggle with conceiving my family is not the usual one you read about in infertility stories.  As women, we generally reach out for others to talk to, confide in, and cry with.  We openly share our feelings and emotions with like minded others and our close friends.  So when my husband and I struggled to fall pregnant, my girlfriends were all diagnosing the cause of my infertility- we all knew of someone who had been in that situation.  My story read a little differently...

My first marriage ended just after I lost my first baby to an ectopic pregnancy at 7 weeks.   It happened the day before my first scan to see the heart beat, my HCG levels were high – so high we thought it may have been twins, and we never expected something could go wrong.  So when I was rushed to hospital, doubled over in pain, I argued with the OBGYN, on weekend call, that after an inconclusive ultrasound that he did not have to do a laparoscopic exploration to see what the problem was.  What he found was the embryo that had burst from my left tube (reason for pain), floated across my stomach and had attached itself to my right ovary, heart still beating!!  The doctor removed the embryo (to this day I’m still unsure how I feel about that) and luckily my tube was saved.   What was exciting was that another embryo was still in-utero, but not for long. A week later I miscarried that too.  I’ll never be sure whether it was due to the decline in hormones from taking one away but what was most devastating was that it was our first attempt at IVF. You know you go through the devastating diagnosis, all the injections and hormones and anxiety and finally fall pregnant...the very first time...what a miracle...only to lose it so quickly.  I remained optimistic, everything happens for a reason. I believed that God had a plan for me and as it played out, it may have been a blessing in disguise with the ending of my marriage too.  I can only imagine how children would have complicated that.

So I convinced myself that I could be...would be a fabulous 30 year old single woman.  I could have the best of everyone’s world; a career, the doting Aunty that could whisk her nieces, nephews and God children away for an exciting day of spoiling and then return them, still being able to sleep in and do as I please.  I believed that if I couldn’t have children of my own I would involve myself in children’s lives and never miss out on the precious moments.   I was lucky on two accounts, to have beautiful friends that understood and allowed me to be a second mum to their bundles of joy and to be a primary school teacher, given the privilege of working with children every day.  Indeed my life was blessed with the many children around.

Of course being single didn’t last forever, and when my Mister Right came along, we knew that children would be a big part of our lives.  But after being together for a year I knew something wasn’t quite right.  I had never been able to take the pill, it made me chronically ill, and although we practised contraception by timing the days of my cycle, I didn’t think I could be that clever, to never even have a pregnancy scare.   My first encounter with IVF occurred as a result of Male infertility.   A workplace accident and some chemical mishap we believe was the cause of my first husband’s low sperm count, low motility, mobility and morphology. Oh yes, the wonderful world of male infertility is just as complicated, confusing, frustrating and emotional as a woman’s journey. Yet so little is known about the causes and there is even less you can do to fix it.  In many cases IVF is the only solution. 

So having “been there before” so to speak, when Mr Right proposed I knew that our dream of 4 kids would not be easy.  Adam had spoken about his testicular issues as a teenager – 3 torsion operations, one with severe complications, and it was this information that confirmed my suspicions. So it was off to my OBGYN fertility specialist for tests.   You can imagine the poor man’s confusion when I arrive – Same woman...different name...different husband...same infertility problem!  He even asked if infertility was a prerequisite for my choice in husband.  We found out that not only was Adam’s sperm count (number), mobility (movement) and motility (speed) low, but 99% had abnormal morphology (shape).  Our only choice...the most complex form of IVF, Intra Cytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI), where they take the sperm sample, wash all the bad ones away, pick the good ones and inject a single sperm into the egg.  Of course this news came as a huge shock to my husband and his family.  He wanted someone to be accountable, talked about taking legal action out against the Dr that did his testicular surgery.  He was embarrassed, belittled and felt less of a man.  His parents refused to believe there could be a problem. He was one of 6, his mother one of 8, and father one of 15, clearly there were no fertility issues in his genes.  But through his faith, Adam quickly learned to accept the cards he was dealt. He chose not to sit and wallow in self pity, blaming the world for this speed bump but to find out what we needed to do and keep our dreams of a family alive. I still loved him, wanted to marry him. I certainly didn’t blame him for us having to do IVF and was happy to go through with whatever was needed to fulfil our family dreams.  God sent this challenge to us, not him alone, so together we would face it.  So as well as ceasing to drink coffee and alcohol, Hubby also started speaking openly about his infertility, something his fertile friends found uncomfortable, but other infertile men found inspiring.  I was proud of his honesty, courage and conviction to stop the secrecy and shame that surrounded male infertility.

With the financial help of Adam’s sister, who had recently had fertility assisted triplets and understood our desperation, we set off on our IVF journey.  While I turned into a crazy woman on all the drugs, put on weight, suffered mood swings and had the most severe nausea, I never lost hope that our miracle would happen.  If my fertility was ok and the scientists at Monash played Mother Nature to combine the egg and sperm then all I had to rely on was my body doing what came naturally and carry that embryo to term.   But of course my age came into play – at 36 and rapidly declining fertility rate, we were warned about our decreasing chances of success.  Who would have ever thought a young virile 24 year old man and a 36 year old woman (yes that’s right, 12 years difference) would have so much trouble.  Of course we had all the advice in the world from fertile couples... “Get drunk and forget about it, it will happen if you stop stressing about it”...if only it were that simple.

Over a period of 3 years I was lucky enough to only have to go through the full IVF drug cycle twice.  Both times I produced between 17 and 21 eggs, between 10 and 15 fertilized and resulted in 4 to 6 healthy 5 day old blastocysts.  And the rest of our journey was fairly easy. After each drug cycle, our fresh embryo transfer never worked, but we seemed to have luck with our frozen embryos. What can I say, our babies are icicles!
In January 2007 our first miracle arrived. A bundle of pink and an absolute joy to our hearts.  But as a first time, older, IVF mum, motherhood was not all smooth sailing when she arrived.  A reflux baby, and bad sleeper sent Mummy into a tail spin.  I was at the GP weekly in tears, terrified I had Post Natal Depression. I was always reassured I was fine and it was normal to feel this way, but in hindsight, I know it wasn’t.  In years following I believe I did suffer from Post Natal Anxiety Disorder.  Belmont private hospital speaks quite openly about it but it is not often recognised and it was a beautiful midwife at Sunnybank Private Hospital who counselled me and acknowledges the difficult time I must have had.  Zélie Ava was the only successful pregnancy from our first IVF drug cycle. Hard to believe out of 17 eggs that only 1 full term pregnancy could be achieved!
When Zélie was 10 months old I returned to Monash to begin my next IVF cycle.  At the time I was far from ready to have another baby, but didn’t know whether we would be lucky enough to fall pregnant as quickly again.  July 2008 saw the early arrival of Lacey Addison.  Both Adam and I felt that she completed our family. We were so much more relaxed with baby number 2.  It allowed me to enjoy being a mum to a tiny baby and breastfeed, as I missed out on that the first time.  So our decision to proceed with our dream of 4 children was in question.  At this stage I was 38, we only had one embryo left (yes again out of 21 eggs only 1 baby and 1 embryo) and until now each time we had a frozen transfer, embryos had died in the thawing process. So we held our faith, and believed if it were meant to be it would happen.  To our surprise the final embryo thawed successfully and our bundle of blue arrived in June 2010. All 3 babies were born by C-section, so nothing seemed unusual with his birth.  It wasn’t until he was whisked away for his bath that things went downhill.  It all seems a little bit of a blur now, but I didn’t see Tate Alexander for 12 hours.  When the nurses sent a photo of him to my room I knew things were serious.  Tate’s lungs had not fully developed and he had an infection in them, all very fixable, in time, but to a Mother who cannot hold her child after everything they have endured through IVF it is heart breaking.  I was happy for God to put me through the trials of becoming a parent, but to make my child suffer was terrifying and inexcusable. How could he make us suffer again?  I could not hold Tate for 3 days, although it felt like a life time.  His arrival was traumatic for his sisters – seeing him all wired up, for his Daddy, who was overjoyed at the arrival of his son and whom protected me from the truth as to how sick he was.  But he was a trouper and from the time I held him he went from strength to strength, making it home a week after his birth.  Now as his first birthday approaches, the pain of that time is washed away by the joy he brings to our lives.  

Three beautiful children in 3.5 years.  I never would have believed it possible when we first heard our infertility fate.  How blessed we are, how incredibly grateful we are to the team of specialists at Monash IVF Sunnybank, how eternally indebted we are to my awesome OBGYN/fertility specialist who transferred my babies into me as cells and delivered them into my arms 10 months later.  It has been a truly amazing journey. One that I will never look upon as a burden. I loved my baby making process.  The medical team who assisted us are a part of our family forever.  For my journey I am stronger, more humble and protective of what we struggled to achieve. I have 3 miracles and I thank God everyday for giving me the chance to be a Mother.

To all of you who read our story…thank you for taking the time.  We simply pray that our journey will help you find some hope, and faith.  We pray that you too will realise your dreams and be as blessed with the family you have dreamed of.

Our love and strength are with you all,

Adam and Christine

Monday, 23 May 2011

Grateful to the brim

I don't know where to start!  The last few days have blown me away.  With all that's going on with cycles and eggs and near-misses, I have felt really low.  But my perspective has been changed by the kindness of others and the things I love about my life (even without a baby!).

Today my husband has been sick as a dog and I wanted to make sure he had everything he needed to feel better so I ran around the pharmacy and then off to the shop for fresh bread for lunch.  I washed the "couch dooner" so he could snuggle beneath it and rest while I pottered around, only to realise we had an appointment that couldn't be missed.  So I dragged his poor self off the couch, out into the rain and off we went.  I felt so bad, but he was so kind and so obliging.  We hopped back into the car after our appointment and were headed home when Hubby turns to me with a smile and says "I love doing things with you, even everyday, boring things."  He is WAY too lovely to me!

This evening I got to spend another date night at the movies with Zannie.  I can't tell you how much I love hanging out with her!  We can talk about EVERYTHING and it's never awkward or out of bounds.  We can watch girly movies together, share a bag of lollies and just be.  It's some of my favourite time!

So I've been thinking, and it hasn't taken me very long at all, but I wanted to share with you some of the things I love about life right now!
  • Time alone with my beloved Husband - who surprises me every day with how much more love I can fit in my heart for him!
  • Spending time with my girlfriends and catching up on life over coffee, movies, nappy changes and Facebook
  • That Boo (our cat) greets me at the bottom of the hall stairs EVERY time I return home - and that her meowing now sounds like "muuuuuuuuum" :)
  • Hitting the shuffle button on my iPod and it knowing exactly what mood I'm in and what music I want to hear - this happens so often it's uncanny, and I have a lot of crap on there! *high five iPod*
  • The rain - it's pretty simple, I just love the shadowy, cool, snuggly vibe it brings over the world
  • Logging off blogger and Facebook for three days to come back and see I now have 42 Likers!  You are all seriously so awesome!  Reading your comments literally brings both a smile to my face and tears to my eyes.  So many times this week I've had to explain to Hubby that I'm crying because someone I've never met said something lovely to me!
  • Hearing a song that pretty much sums up your life at that moment.  Here's mine:

Sunday, 22 May 2011

Life, Loss and Other Things Worth Mentioning

Hi Everyone, 
Just thought I'd pop in quickly to share with you Life, Loss and Other Things Worth Mentioning. They are a gorgeous little blog who found me through Facebook and who I've fallen in love with!

"There is a phenomenon that, unless you have had a miscarriage or deal with infertility, you will never be aware of. A woman can go years and manage to see only a handful of pregnant women. Many of those pregnant women are probably on television shows or celebrity gossip magazines. But, if a woman is suffering with infertility, has a miscarriage or has multiple miscarriages, pregnant women start materializing before our very eyes."    
The Miscarriage and Infertility Phenomenon

Thursday, 19 May 2011

Mini meltdown

It feels like weeks since I last blogged something real.  Maybe because it actually has been.  Two weeks really, those damn two excruciating weeks wait, that have come and gone and we still know nothing more.  Two weeks when sleeping a night through has felt impossible and all I could think about was more waiting.  

I'm now Day 33 of this cycle.  That's approximately 19 days since I ovulated, 3 days longer than my Doc wanted this cycle to go for, 2 days short of 5 weeks and WAY too much time to be wondering what the heck is going on, if anything.  I have peed on home pregnancy tests and they've come back negative.  I have kept taking my basal temperatures and they are still elevated.  My boobs are sore, my skin looks awful and I'm more bloated than I've ever been!  Oh, and this morning I had some spotting and I feel like I've got menstrual cramps, but this evening the spotting is gone and the cramps are worse. 

I was talking with one of my best girlfriends the other night, who I haven't seen in person since we started all this infertility run-around, and she asked me "Are you OK with it all?"  I gave her my stock-standard answer of "Guess we have to be, we're making it work."  Problem is, I don't think I am...

To be really honest, I haven't exactly let myself think beyond each cycle.  Our Doc says it's best to focus on the weeks ahead, not the months.  But if this cycle doesn't work out, we've been trying to get pregnant for eight months with no luck.  It's only this week that this is all really catching up to me.  Is it the extra hormones, is it just that I've chosen not think about it in terms of how long since we started, or did I just not realise?  Maybe it's the idea that we would almost have our baby by now if we hadn't lost it.  Either way, it's hitting home now and it's packing a punch.

So, as I sit here writing about it all, with my abdomen in cramps and brain in reflection mode, I can tell you I feel mad that it's ALL out of my control.  I feel upset that I'm 25 and unable to produce an egg on my own.  I feel weak because I'm letting it all get to me.  I feel unworthy of my beautiful husband and his healthy reproductive system.  And to top it all off, I feel ungrateful for looking at it like that because I KNOW he doesn't, and that's a big reason to feel blessed.  But I want to cry, I want to scream at the top of my lungs how cheated I feel by my own stupid body, I want to beg God to hurry up, and I don't want to hear my time will come soon, because I want it now!  
Is that OK world?  Can you handle that for a while?  Can two loving, responsible adults have their child now?


Alright, we continue to wait for an answer.


All I want today...

Monday, 16 May 2011

Choc-Peanut Butter Brownies

180g unsalted butter, chopped
150g dark chocolate, chopped
1 3/4 cups caster sugar
4 eggs, lightly beaten
1 tspn vanilla essence
3/4 cup plain flour
2 tabs self-raising flour
1/3 cup cocoa powder
50g dark chocolate, chopped, extra
1/3 cup crunchy peanut butter, melted

  1. Preheat oven to 160' Celsius.  Grease and line a 20cm x 30cm lamington pan, line with baking paper.
  2. Combine butter and chocolate in medium saucepan, stir over low heat until smooth.  Remove from heat and stir in sugar, eggs and essence, then sifted flours and cocoa.  Add extra chocolate and mix.
  3. Pour mixture into prepared pan.  Drizzle melted peanut butter over top of mixture then swirl through chocolate with a knife.
  4. Bake in oven for about 50 minutes or until firm.  Cool in pan.
Peanut butter can be substituted for Nutella or raspberry jam if preferred.

Saturday, 14 May 2011

Filling in some time

I figure with all this waiting we've got to do (and in case there's even more waiting to come - being realistic) I thought I'd show you some of the other stuff I do with my time.
Check out the new tab above 'Shutterbug' to see me practice my photographic skills.  Hopefully some day practice will make perfect!

Thursday, 12 May 2011

Praying for positivity

Thank you, Lord, for all the blessings in my life. 
Help me to remember them as I face the challenges of infertility. 
I pray that I can surrender myself into your hands. 
Let me accept the reality of this situation 
and have the wisdom and courage to take action where I can. 
Strengthen my body, mind and spirit to endure the trials of infertility. 
Keep me ever mindful of the needs of others and grant us your peace. 

Wednesday, 11 May 2011

You like me, you REALLY like me!


I am so darn happy and proud 
to announce that Sunny Side Up 
has now got 25 'Likers' 
and 4 permanent followers.


Being impatient

The closer it gets to Day 28, the slower the days seem to go!

Tuesday, 10 May 2011

Pimple-faced fart machine

These two weeks wait are killing me! But even worse, I think they're killing Hubby more!
I thought the mood swings were bad before, but now I've popped an egg (OH! Did I remember to tell you all that I officially ovulated this month?) the hormones seem to be getting worse.  

I look in my mirror and I see a totally different person standing there in front of me.  Where did all these zits come from (seriously, I look like a teenager)?  When did I put on that extra five kilos?  Why doesn't my hair sit nicely anymore?  Do I smell funny?

I can cry at the drop of a hat for just about any reason, I have an incredible headache, and because I thought I'd try and start getting healthier, I chose this week to cut back the caffeine.  WHAT WAS I THINKING?  

But I can handle all my inner annoyances, all the little pleasures that come with trying to produce offspring.  The one thing I can't stand is how annoyed I make Hubby.  Short-temperedness and bitching never gained friends...or husbands! 

On more than one account this past twelve days he's put himself into voluntary time out just to get away from me!  But the end (of this cycle) is near, and soon we'll know whether we hit or miss.  Until then, please accept my public declaration of sorriness!  

I love you and I'm sorry xx 

A change is coming

Sunny Side Up is about to have a facial!
So stay tuned for our exciting new look, coming soon!

The Smile Collective

Sunny Side Up is very proud to share with you 
The Smile Collective

An absolutely gorgeous and uplifting blog, designed to help put the smile back on your face and brighten your day!

Guest Blog - Coping with the news

As long as I can remember I have been baby-crazy. I was babysitting at 12, maybe even younger (and now that I think about that, I'd never leave my kids with a 12 year old!!). My first nephew was born when I was 13 & we all adored him. I could never get enough of his pudgy little fingers or that warm, sweet, newborn baby smell. I knew from a very young age that my heart ached for a family.

Throughout High school we would talk about what we wanted to do with our lives - what we wanted to be when we grew up. There was talk of travel, University and careers. While I knew that those things were important, all I ever really wanted was to be married to an honest, kind man who treated me well and for us to raise a big, happy family. Of course I had dreams of the big house with the white picket fence. In that dream I imagined at least four children, maximum of seven (this is pre-motherhood. I didn't know what I was thinking with the seven :P). 

After school I nannied in Las Vegas for eight gorgeous, well behaved children. That filled the baby-shaped hole in my heart for a little while. Then I came home and within six months I had met and married the aforementioned wonderful Husband. We had told ourselves that we'd wait at least a year before we got pregnant, but it didn't quite happen that way. We were extremely blessed to be pregnant within three months of being married. I gave birth to a gorgeous, healthy baby boy and we couldn't have been more proud of him and our little family.

After his birth I believed I suffered from a small amount of post-natal depression. It wasn't diagnosed but for about six months I really struggled.  All of a sudden all of my dreams had come true and it was everything and nothing like I had expected it to be. I wasn't prepared for the loneliness, the boredom or the loss of 'me'.  I think the hardest part for me was realising that my life was different now.  I couldn't do the things I could before, my body had changed dramatically, my days were filled with nappies and milk and cooking and boring, daytime T.V.  I quickly realised that being a mother was not as glamorous as it seemed.

When my son was around 12 months old I decided to buy a camera & do a Diploma in Photography. I had always enjoyed taking photos and thought that it would be a fun hobby for me to do while I was a stay at home Mum.  It was tough, but at the same time I started to see myself again.  I found myself getting excited about by assignments and marks, and I loved showing off the work I was producing.  

I honestly believe that photography saved me from a dark place that I did not know how to get out of.  It all snowballed really quickly and within 4 years I have managed to start my own successful business.  I love what I am doing and even more, I love the fact that I can do it and still be a SAHM. How blessed I am that I am able to do what I love and fulfil my childhood dreams at the same time.

When my son was 18 months old we discovered that we were pregnant again. The first birth was horridly, excruciatingly awful so I was scared about going through that again, but of course we were both so excited. When we found out it was a girl, I was over the moon!  I'd always wanted a little girl!

The second birth itself wasn't too bad.  I asked for an epidural immediately so I didn't feel too much until the very end.  After the birth is when everything went south.  It's a very long story, but basically the Syntocinon I had been given forced my uterus to contract too quickly, which resulted in my uterus and placenta rupturing (we didn't know this until 9 hours after the birth).  My daughter was born not breathing and without a heartbeat.  The few minutes it took for the medical team to revive her were the worst minutes of my entire life.  She was hooked up to the machines for about 12 hours before she was able to breathe on her own. The doctors believe that my uterus ruptured about an hour before she was delivered, which meant that she wasn't receiving any oxygen that entire time.  She is quite literally a miracle baby. 

After the birth I continued to have pain and was sent to have an ultrasound.  They discovered the rupture and I was immediately taken into the theatre to repair the hole.  When I woke up I was told that the rupture had torn through the uterus and all the way down to the cervix.  It was irreparable and I had to have an emergency hysterectomy.

And there it was. The News!  My dreams - completely shattered. I kept saying to my Husband (while completely drugged-out) "No more babies. No more babies."  I was in the hospital for nine days and they had me on all types of drugs.  I believe they are the reason I didn't have a complete melt down. I don't think I really grasped the reality of the situation until I had gone home and the drugs had worn off.

I remember sitting in the car after my Husband had just brought me home. My 2 1/2 year old son had screamed the entire drive and I was exhausted and in a lot of pain. I just sat there and cried and cried and cried.  My whole world had been turned upside down. That was the only time I really cried.

While I was in the hospital I remember telling myself "You can either choose to let this ruin your life or you can choose to be happy."  From that moment on I have chosen to be happy.  I wrote myself a list of all of the positive things that have come from my hysterectomy & I have added to that list over time.  Here's a few from the list -
•             We have two healthy children - a boy and a girl so we won’t miss out on anything.
•             Free contraception!
•             No more periods!
•             Don’t have to stress about being able to afford a large family
•             No need to feel guilty about not having more children
•             Don’t have to buy a new car – no mini vans for us!
•             Can afford to do more fun things as a smaller family
•             I can go back to work sooner
•             We will be a two income household and maybe even afford to buy a house!
•             I don’t ever have to go through morning sickness and labour ever again
•             I don’t have to hold on to all my old baby clothes and things
•             I only have to go through the hassle of toilet training twice
•             Not as much washing and dishes to clean
•             Always one free space in the car
•             No 'middle child' syndrome

I could come up with a much larger list of all the negative things that have come from my hysterectomy but I keep telling myself that I have chosen to focus on the positive. It's the only thing that gets me through the hard stuff.

This hasn't meant that it's all been rainbows and butterflies for me.   Sometimes it gets hard.  Once, for example, I was sitting in a doctor's surgery waiting for an appointment and I saw a mother with a newborn and I felt my heart ache again. I don't think I'll ever get over it, but I can move on.  I can choose to make my life something equally as amazing, just different to the dream I had before.
Contributed by:  Elizabeth Hawthorne 
- Wedding & Portrait Photographer

Zanabelle Photography

Sunny Side Up Guest Bloggers

Sunny Side Up would like to proudly announce the start of the Guest Bloggers!
I have decided to open the pages to everyone out there who would love to share their stories and am so excited to read them.
Your story doesn't have to be about struggling to have a baby, it can be about anything you like!  You can choose to be anonymous, or share details of your own websites/blogs.
So if you decide you'd like to join the Sunny Side Up Guest Bloggers send your story/pictures, etc. to

Saturday, 7 May 2011

Happy Mother's Day

In honour of Mother's Day tomorrow and in memory of our little lost love, Hubby bought me a gift.  

This is the very first item of baby clothing we've ever purchased.  Thinking positive for the next few weeks, and praying hard that we may soon have some little feet to fill these little boots.

Happy Mother's Day everyone!
You are all truly special people 
and a great inspiration to me.
We could not live without any of you!
God bless, Sunny xx

Thursday, 5 May 2011

The waiting game

So here's where we stand... 
My Home Ovulation Predictor Kit (OPK) showed an LH Surge on Friday 29th April.  I even did two to be sure.  Retests on Saturday 30th and Sunday 1st were both negative.  Therefore at the moment we can assume I ovulated some time between Saturday and Sunday OR not at all.

Hubby and I put in the hard yards when we were told to, which was every day from Friday through to Monday, and then second daily after that.  
That brings us to today.  So we're either five days post ovulation or just plain old day 19 of my cycle.  My day 21 progesterone bloods are being taken Friday night (day 20) because pathologists aren't open Saturday morning.  Even still, this should be an accurate indicator of ovulation hormones.  That's just the first stage!

If my bloods come back positive for ovulation, we then have another seven days of waiting until day 28 and the 'official end' of my cycle when we can start testing for hCG levels.  If they come back negative we're back to square one.

Since this has been the first cycle on meds where I've developed anything that looks close to an egg we're waiting with bated breath!  When Hubby is home, I act all cool, calm and collected, like I'm a professional at waiting it out.  I'm NOT! Actually, to be quite honest, the waiting is killing me!!  I've become this calendar checking, home pee testing maniac!  I'm looking for positive (and negative) signs and symptoms as each day goes by, but NOTHING has changed.  I don't know if that's a good thing, a bad thing or not a thing at all.  I've had a slight twang of pain under my right ribs from about day 11 onwards, but apparently that's just my ovary kick-starting.  I'm not sleeping out of sheer anticipation and I can't seem to focus on one thing for more than 10 minutes (it's taken me three trips to the kitchen and 45 minutes to write this entry).

I'm usually whinging that time flies by too quickly, but right now it's going snail pace!!  I need a distraction, QUICK!

Monday, 2 May 2011

Beginning of the baby-lust

Ok, time for some sharing.  Since I'm potentially 2 days post ovulation and feeling a little reminiscent of our last impending pregnancy test results seven months ago, I thought I'd share a bit of our back-story.

We've only known about my PCOS since January this year.  Prior to that we just thought that making a baby was taking a little time because I was on the pill for over 10 years.  Hubby and I had our baby plans made long before we were married; we want four children, mostly boys, wanted to be married for more than two years before we started trying to get pregnant and wanted our babies to come to us naturally, as beautiful little surprises from God.  But, what's that saying, we make plans and God laughs?   I don't say that facetiously, I just look at the process we're in now and can understand why that saying is so true! 

Our baby-lust REALLY started in October 2010.  We had been married 13 months and I had been off the pill for about two months, mostly just because I was forgetting to take it.  My period was WAY late and yet all our at home pregnancy tests were coming back negative.  I was nauseated, swollen, tender in all the obvious places and yet all tests looked negative.   I on the other hand was convinced of the opposite.  I could just feel a change in myself and tried to convince hubby I wasn't crazy!  My doctor took a set of blood tests, but being a Friday, we couldn't get the results until the following Monday.    

On Saturday night I went to bed feeling overly moody and sore, and tried to get some sleep before my shift at work on Sunday morning.  I did not sleep well.  I kept having dreams of babies, people taking babies away from me and crying.  I woke in tears, to find I was bleeding quite heavily.  Oh well, I thought, guess I'm not pregnant.  

I don't usually have heavy periods, and when the cramping became unbearable and the bleeding got heavier, I became worried.  I went home, got into my PJ's, grabbed my heat pack and climbed into bed exhausted.  I must have slept six hours that afternoon.  It was only when hubby came in to find me for dinner at 9pm did we both realise something just wasn't as it should be.  BUT what could we do, all our testing had been negative and the doctor wouldn't call until the morning.  

Sunday night was the worst... I slept very little, having nightmares the same as the previous night about someone taking my baby away.  I was hysterical!  I don't think I've ever seen hubby look so sad and scared as he did that night.  There was just an overwhelming feeling of loss, grief and sadness.

Well Monday morning came around.  I couldn't wait any longer and called the doctor.  The bloods were positive, I was or had been pregnant.  We were experiencing a miscarriage.  I knew even less then, than I do now about the science behind fertility and reproduction.  I tried to pinpoint the tiniest details that could have caused us to lose a baby.  But, as I found out, these things happen so often to so many people, it's too hard to tell.  We now know it was probably caused by the hormone imbalances of PCOS.

Since then, the desire to have a child has only gotten stronger.  It's hard to describe how quickly one thought can take over your whole life!  So, as we count the days post our most recent egg release, I become more and more excited, and yet terrified at the same time.  Who knows what will happen this time around?  Who knows if this will be THE cycle and THE egg?  Like I've said before, all we can do now is wait and pray a LOT!

Sunday, 1 May 2011

Happy International BabyLost Mother's Day

To all those whose Mother's Days are saddened by the loss of a little one, 
this day is for you.
May today be a sweet reminder that you too are a Mother, just to an angel baby.
My love to you all,
I feel your pain.

Love Sunny & hubby xx