My IF Journey

Our story started in 2004, back when I was still an art student...

24 May 2004
I am a single girl, still living at home with my parents and sister while I complete the last year of my degree.  At age 21 I met the man who would become the love of my life. It happened at an international art exhibition. I was attending the opening bash, and hubby-to-be was working as a sound-engineer for the crazy Japanese band that was playing that night. I was introduced very quickly to him by a mutual friend. I met hubby-to-be for a total of about 4 seconds! Just enough for him to shake my hand.

June 2004
That same mutual friend invited me out with him, to meet up with hubby-to-be again (who has just turned 40!). As soon as mutual friend was out of the room, I knew there was a spark between hubby-to-be and me! Thus began the romance! :D

I soon found out that Hubby-to-be had a vasectomy. How utterly convenient! :P hehe

Meet his 3 kids, Mr 9, Miss 7, and Mister 3. I can see immediately that he is a fantastic father. My sub-conscious files this note away tidily.

June 2005
Graduate from college, get my first "real job".

September (I think?) 2005
Move in with Hubby-to-be, officially!

I slip into a long bout of depression, and can only deal with it by coming to the realisation that it's caused by wanting children. My diabetes control suffers and I get some of the highest HbA1c tests in my life (8.1%).

14 February 2009
Married in a Chinese garden, surrounded by our friends and family. The most beautiful day ever. :D

Sometime around about... June 2009
I pluck up the courage to admit to Hubby that I want children with him. This takes me roughly 1 and a half years to talk myself into doing. I am so scared, but so relieved when the reaction from Hubby is positive. :)

September 2009
I speak with my Diabetes Endocrinologist about what I will need to do to prepare my Type 1 Diabetic body for motherhood. Endo advises me that I need to hit a HbA1c "below 7, above 6, but anywhere below 8 is good for you since you get so many bad hypos".

October 2009
I drag Hubby off to see my GP (who had been my doc since before I was born!) to discuss what we would need to do get a vasectomy reversal. The GP started us on the infertility workup. Read the details in my first blog post here. This included blood tests and two ultrasounds which I had to pay for privately. A follow-up appointment with the GP is where I found that everything was basically ok, except I had a polyp in my uterus.

February 2010
GP refers me to the OB/Gyn who then refers me on to the closest Fertility Clinic in Hamilton (about a 3.5hr drive from where we live). They recommend IVF with ICSI, and a sperm retrieval operation for Hubby, since his vasectomy is now 9 years old. Read about it here. Note that this is also the first time that anyone used the word "infertility" to diagnose our situation.

9 April 2010
I find the wonderful and supportive world of blogging - the Kaitake persona is born (you knew that wasn't my real name though eh? :D  ) Hubby and I have been married just over a year at this point, and living together for 6 years.

20 April 2010
OB/Gyn sends us both for more blood tests, in preparation for meeting with the Reproductive Endocrinologist from the Hamilton Fertility Clinic.

7 May 2010
Pre-admission appointment for operation, where the nurse finds a small murmur in my heart.

17 May 2010
Meet with the anaesthetist. Read about the fun here.

20 May 2010
Hysteroscopy operation is scheduled, to remove the polyp. This operation is done because we need to meet with the Fertilty Clinic, and they require the polyp GONE before any IVF is started. Otherwise, it would be considered elective surgery that's not really necessary. Read about the operation here and see photos of my ruined hands here.

8 June 2010
Start taking super-strength folic acid and pre-natal vitamins. This is in preparation for starting IVF soon. Also the day I get "made redundant" from my job of 5 years.

18 June 2010

30 June 2010
I get a fantastic new job as Tutor of Design at the local institute of technology. How many 28year old college lecturers do you know? Can I get a high five ye-ah! :D

2 July 2010
We get a letter advising us of impending appointment to meet with the RE from the Fertility Clinic.

4 July 2010
Start my new job. Yay!

22 July 2010
Finally get our first consultation with the RE at the Fertility Clinic - she has travelled down from Hamilton to meet all the patients out here in our little city. We are scored for access to public funding for fertility treatment: we are denied :(  Read the whole HOLY F*CK post here.

26 July 2010
Another crappy appointment, this time with my GP :(

7 August 2010
Get in touch with the ladies at Fertility NZ. Read about the aftermath here.

28 August 2010
Write a letter to the Fertility Clinic and send it to Fertility NZ who promise to send it on my behalf. Not sure if the letter ever reached it's destination, although I suspect it did, judging by the changes made to their website.

14 October 2010
Start reading books on IVF and infertility. I find these incredibly helpful. Also considering approaching the Health and Disability Commissioner.

30 October 2010
Go see a dermatologist, and blog about my feelings on wanting a baby.

30 November 2010

21 December 2010
My Diabetes Endocrinologist writes a letter contesting the treatment we've had from the fertility clinic, in being denied access to public funding.

17 January 2011

18 January 2011
I do a bit of detective work....ok, a lot of detective work.

22 January 2011
I give all you readers a sneak peek preview of the letter I'm sending to my MP.

31 January 2011
Speak with the advocate from the HDC. She admits that their organisation probably can't help us much, because "they don't really deal with paperwork issues" - seems like there is no one who can help our case. This is also the post where my GP's receptionist pisses me off thoroughly, contributing to my decision to switch practitioners later.

4 February 2011
The MP sends us an invitation to to meet.

7 February 2011
The post in which I have a panic attack when I call the fertility clinic looking for answers. Note that it's taken me months to pluck up the courage to advocate for myself like this. IT IS NOT EASY TO MAKE THAT PHONE CALL.

10 February 2011
The clinic manager of the Fertility Clinic emails back, saying she has reviewed our case and the answer is still "no". :(

19 February 2011
A tough week, but my diabetes endo does phone the fertility clinic and speaks to the same horrid clinic manager.

25 February 2011
I meet with my local Member of Parliament to discuss our case. It's a reasonably positive meeting; he promises to contact the Minister of Health on our behalf.

Same day...

28 February 2011
She emails back, with a half-ass answer.

5 March 2011

21 March 2011
I got extra detective-y and found the contact details of one of the doctors who co-authored the report behind the CPAC form. That's the form the fertility clinic used to score us (and deny us) for access to public funding for IVF etc. I emailed him my concerns, and he responded. Basically, they have actively discriminated against us, because somehow our case is not worthy enough.

25 March 2011
I hear back from the MP and he has enclosed a letter from the Minister of Health. My message has been lost along the way, and the answer is still "no". Arrgh so frustrating! Hubby and I make a decision that we will give it one more shot at writing letters before just waiting for our 3 year penalty time to be up.

7 April 2011
I get a new GP who actually cares about me. And I make a list of things I have yet to do (such as letters to write).

27 April 2011
I participate in NIAW's Bust an Infertility Myth blog challenge. The myth my post busts apart: that vasectomy is not true infertility. Read it and spread the word please!

May 2012
I received a letter back from the fertility clinic that we have a time booked later in the year for another "initial consult" - as we would be coming up to the end of our 3 year waiting time in 2013. This was on the advice of my diabetes endocrinologist. I had to send the fertility clinic an email asking for the appointment.

August 2012
We have our second initial consult. I am actually able to listen to the RE this time as I wasn't flooding with tears. It is a productive meeting where we learn we will be eligible for publicly funded IVF treatment in New Zealand in 2013. We also learn that hubby will have his sperm retrieval procedure before then, so we have sperm to use ready for the IVF.

September 2012
We get allocated a month in 2013 for our IVF procedure: October.

We also get a booking time for hubby's sperm retrieval procedure, in January 2013.

25 January 2013
We start treatment with the sperm retrieval procedure using PESA and TESA. Both fail to produce any sperm. We will be re-booked for an open-surgery biopsy later in the year, but before our "month" of October.

7 March 2013
Get a booking letter for the second sperm retrieval procedure.

26 April 2013
Second surgical sperm retrieval procedure. This one is successful and we get 10 straws.

6 September 2013
Pre-IVF appointment. We are officially transferred to another (better, nicer) reproductive endocrinologist. Receive a plan and drugs for IVF.

11 September 2013
Collect Animas Vibe insulin pump and supplies.

13 September 2013
Dexcom continuous glucose monitor arrives.

18 + 19 September 2013
Animas Vibe insulin pump and Dexcom continuous glucose monitor training at the local hospital. Read about it in part one and part two.

October 2013
Our scheduled month for IVF treatment:
- CD 1 7/10/13
- CD 2 8/10/13 ~ Elonva stimulation injection
- CD 6 12/10/13 ~ first Orgalutran injection
- CD 9 15/10/13 ~ blood test and scan at fertility clinic scheduled
- CD X 19/10/13 ~ egg collection scheduled for this week

- - - - - - - - - -

And because I may not have updated this page for a while, catch up with my latest posts here :)