Pics of my family

Some of have asked for some pics of my family and I – so here are a few of my favorites.

Myla and I with the cake we made for her 2nd birthday

Myla and I with the cake we made for her 2nd birthday

Myla taking a shower

Myla taking a shower


Myla playing the backyard with daddy

Myla playing the backyard with daddy

Myla and I at Christmas carols in the park

Myla and I at Christmas carols in the park

Camping - Myla's crazy hair

Camping – Myla’s crazy hair

Myla & I

Myla & I


Michael, Myla and I at Myla's christening.

Michael, Myla and I at Myla’s christening.


Myla and I at her christening in November

Myla and I at her christening in November


Michael and Myla at her birthday.

Michael and Myla at her birthday.

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Our family is complete

Well I don’t really know what to write – I am still shattered, but many of you have asked me for an update, so I thought I better do a post.

As the title suggests, we were not successful with our last embryo transfer. For us, our family is complete, just the one gorgeous little cherub.

We were given the news on Monday, Myla’s second birthday. I was expecting it, but nevertheless it was a hard blow to hear the words negative. I cried, a lot. I was at work and there was no one around. There’s only so much you can do to prepare yourself for the worst, it’s a whole lot different when you hear it.

So off home I went to celebrate Myla’s second birthday.

It’s been a weird week. I go from feeling totally ok about it, to being absolutely devastated about the news. There’s been a lot of crying. When I think about it too much I cry a lot. When I think about Myla not having a sibling, or the joys that a new baby brings along, I cry.

It s more the unknown that worries me. What is something happens to Myla? How will I be without any children? What if something happens to Michael and I? How will Myla go being alone? Who will take care of her? What about when Michael and I are old and need care? Is that all going to come down to Myla? What if Myla moves away? What if Myla doesn’t want to have children? Who will give us our grandchildren?

And then I have these images in my head of 2 kids playing together whilst mum and dad look with love. Isn’t that what a family is meant to be?

But of course there are good things too. No more sleepless nights with a newborn baby – god knows I hated those days. Sleep deprived zombie – no thank you. More money to go round for the 3 of us. Perhaps more overseas holidays? And of course it’s always easier to find someone willing to watch 1 child rather 2. In fact it’s easier to take 1 child with you rather than 2. Maybe we can afford to send Myla to private schools? Dancing and soccer after school?

I know I am getting ahead of myself, but that’s me. I just don’t think of the here and now, I think a lot about the what if? That’s my problem I suppose.

I also been quite mad this week, thinking about people (or person) I know who have multiple children and don’t give a shit about them. I can’t imagine ever letting Myla suffer the pain I have this week (and at other times in my life) and yet not be there to comfort her. Why do some people have many kids and not want to spend time with them, love them, support them? Why when Michael and I desperately want one more little baby to love? Just doesn’t seem fair? Seems a bit backwards to me.

I also never say never. Whilst right now. for us, surrogacy is 100% off the agenda, you never know what the future might bring. If Medicare changes the laws and allows surrogacy IVF to be covered under Medicare, we may give it another go. If we win lotto, we have give it a go. I am only 36 this year so have a little time on my side. But I just can’t be living in hope. I need to live my life for what it is now. Our lives have somewhat been put on hold whilst we have been pursuing surrogacy. So much has emotionally and financially been invested and put on hold for this. So for now we need to be able to live in the here and now. I am not giving up, as some people might think. I am choosing it live my life as it is.

I will continue to work on the Medicare campaign though – whether we benefit from it or others do – it has do be done!

Of course I cannot end my blog without a huge thank you to Chloe. Without Chloe there was no hope. Whilst things did not go as planned, Chloe has still offered us the most amazing gift. We did not know Chloe a few months ago. But she met us and agreed to do what she could to have a baby for us. I mean how amazing is that? What a wonderful, selfless, generous person she is.

In the past few months Chloe has attended a million doctor appointments, had blood squeezed from her, but needles poked in all parts of her body, been prodded and poked, taken a zillion drugs and unpleasant creams, been on crazy hormones for months on end, had to endure all the questions about being a surrogate and all whilst continuing to look after her own family. She has never once complained

We will forever be grateful for everything Chloe and her family have done for us. We have got to know her, Matt and the kids very well. I hope our families will be friends for a long time. I honestly don’t think Chloe realises how amazing she is. But she is. Don’t ever forget that Chloe, you are amazing!!!

So whilst this is probably the end of my posts for my blog, I hope the information I have provided might assist others coming behind me in their surrogacy paths. For those starting out, hold on tight, it’s a tough roller coaster ride. One that does not guarantee a happy ending, but for me something that had to be done. If we did not try, we might have lived always wondering. So I know have no regrets, I will never look back and wonder. I will always know that Michael and I did everything we could. But it was always meant to be just us three.

Posted in Disapointment, Embryo transfer, Infertility, IVF, Medicare, Negative, Surrogacy, Surrogate, Thankful | Tagged , , , , , | 5 Comments

Medicare Rebate Campaign

Some of you may know that I have been working on a campaign with 2 other women, to have the government change the laws which prevent Medicare Rebates being paid for IVF when its related to surrogacy.

I have been keeping this work separately to this blog, as this blog is about Michael, Myla, Chloe and Matt – not about my campaign to change the laws.

However I just wanted to share with you that today the Courier Mail printed a story about our campaign. Hopefully this continues to create awareness about these crazy outdated laws and change will occur soon.

Brisbane women lead charge for rebate

Posted in Infertility, IVF, Medicare, Pre Surrogacy Counselling, Surrogacy, Surrogate, Uncategorized | Tagged , | 1 Comment

Final Embryo Transfer

So I haven’t written a post for a while, a new coping mechanism – less focus on having a baby.

Anyway Chloe has been back on the drugs getting her uterus nice and cosy for our little embryo. Tomorrow our final hope of a baby will be transferred to her uterus.

This time round we are trying something new – Chloe is doing acupuncture. So far she has had one session, she will have one before and one after transfer tomorrow and another one in a weeks time. This is supposed to prepare her uterus for the embryo and assist in implantation.

It weird, I feel a bit more relaxed about this transfer, but to be honest I think that’s because I am trying not to think about it too much. I find that even writing this post I feel a bit teary – I guess its been the longest I have thought about it for a while.

So in less than 2 weeks, we will know if we are ever to have another child, whether Myla will be an only child or grow up with a sibling. This is it. After that we will start our new lives – either as expecting parents or as parents to an only child. I guess up until now, there’s always been hope, but in 2 weeks we will know either way. Amazingly our results are due on Myla’s 2nd birthday – a good omen perhaps, happy birthday Myla you will have a sibling. Be nice wouldn’t it. But on the other hand if the news is not good, I won’t have time to wallow in self pity, I will need to go home to celebrate my little girls birthday.

Whatever the news, I am determined to be at peace with the outcome asap. I can’t live thinking about what I don’t have, I need to move forward being happy with what I do have – and thats alot! At least I won’t live with any regrets or what ifs? I will always knows that we gave it our best shot.

So this 2 week wait I am going to try things differently. I am going to just get on with life and try not to think about it every second. Towards the end of last time, I started to get real loopy, lotsa crying. Don’t want to go there this time.

So fingers crossed everybody!!!!

On other news my oncologist called today – I’ve been free of cancer for 11 mths now – yipee!!

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Are you crazy? Why are you doing this in Australia and not overseas?

Another great post on surrogacy from my good friend. Well worth a read.

Are you crazy? Why are you doing this in Australia and not overseas?.

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Round Two

Well we have now started our final IVF cycle. On Monday we had an appointment with Dr Sterling. Poor Chloe has once again started taking a bunch of hormone tablets to prepare her uterus for transfer. Provided all goes to plan she will have transfer in 2 weeks and in a further 2 weeks we will know if we will have another child or not.

I’ve heard that acupuncture can help conceive, so I’ve organised a round of acupuncture treatment for Chloe. She’s going to Andrew Orr from Shen Therapies who has a reputation of being a baby maker – so lets hope he lives up to his name!

This cycle feels heaps different to last time, I mean this is it, this has to work. If not our surrogacy path is over, we accept that we have one gorgeous daughter and move on.

I’m trying to be real positive this time round, think positive thoughts ask the universe for what you want and you shall receive – blah, blah, blah.

I’m also concerned that what if the little embryo doesn’t make it from the thaw process? Then there will be no more goes.

Anyway – I’ll probably be low key for a while as I’m trying to be less stressed this time round and just take it in my stride.

Thanks for the well wishers xx

Posted in Embryo transfer, Embryos, Infertility, IVF, Life Fertility, Surrogacy, Uterus | Tagged , , , , , | 4 Comments

I urge you to read the following post written by a friend of mine also attempting to have a child via surrogacy. This post details the struggles we have in affording IVF treatment due to the lack of government support, whilst other couples doing IVF get much needed assistance.

medicareless

We may not represent a large % of the population, but we represent the very segment of the population that Medicare should be most likely to assist.

We pay our Medicare Levies. We work, we pay taxes. We long to fulfill the ‘Great Australian Family Dream’ as outlined in 2004 by then treasurer Peter Costello who famously encouraged parents to have three children: “one for the husband, one for the wife and one for the country”. The dream of a family it seems, is one that is entrenched in every aspect of life.

We are everyday women, with everyday dreams. The idea of the nuclear family is the ‘norm’ in Australia. So some of us long to have our nuclear family. We may have one child, but we’d like to provide our child with a sibling. Yet, we have been robbed of fulfilling our dreams by medical circumstances.

Others of…

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Negative

So today we got the news that our first little embryo did not make it. Chloe is not pregnant; there will be no baby in 9 months.

This is going to be a self-pity post, so if you don’t want to hear it, close the post now. I make no apologies for this post. I said from the outset of my blog that this would be an honest diary of the process and my feelings. I don’t expect anyone’s sympathy from this post. I just want to record my feelings of right now and also make others aware of the shit we go through in this process.

I will also say up front, that it goes without saying, yes it’s not the end of the world, I’m not dying and I already have one beautiful girl. Yes I am blessed and I know it. Yes I am better off than most people. But this is my time to feel like shit – if you don’t want to hear it, again close this post now.

This two week wait, as it is known in IVF land – is down right torture. The days following the transfer are full of hope and positive thinking. Dreaming of having a baby in 9 months and what that might look like. Will it be a boy or a girl? How nice it will be to be a family of 4.

Then the home pregnancy testing starts. The first one is negative. That’s ok its early days, plenty of time. Then the second and third is negative. Hang on a minute is that a positive or am I just doing wishful thinking.

Then you start thinking it’s going to be negative. But hang on, maybe it’s still too early, maybe we still have a chance.

You can’t sleep, you’re frustrated, you’re irritable, and then for me you start eating a load of chocolate to fill that whole. Then you count down the days until the official blood test. You think of nothing else but that end result.

You see a baby, you cry, you see something about miracles, you hope you cry. I cried pretty much everyday since Tuesday. About everything, anything. I see people’s post about their pregnancies, their dreams their hopes about their babies. It hits you right in your heart. Your happy for them, but it sucks all the same.

By today I had all but given up hope. I was expecting a negative, but in the back of my mind had a little bit of hope.

Today I have been watching the clock, checking my phones not on silent, yes its still working.

Then the nurse calls, and I feel that little bit of hope rise inside. Please say positive, please say positive. She says its negative. At that point my world comes crashing down. I try to think logically. It was our first time, statistics show it’s unlikely to get pregnant first time. Women have a zillion negatives before they get a positive. We have one beautiful daughter. We have another embryo. We still have hope.

Then the next second I am in tears again.

I went to see Chloe this afternoon. When she opens the door its clear she has been crying. Whilst she logically knows she did nothing to contribute to the negative result, she can’t help thinking what did she do wrong, what could she have done better. Of course I reassure Chloe that she has been perfect and there is nothing is could have done, it is what it is.

Chloe assures me she wants to go again. But she also says she can’t believe what an emotional time this has been for her. She says she did not realise that she would have so much emotionally invested in this. It’s hard for us all. It’s hard for me seeing someone who is helping me so upset about the result. I want to comfort her but I am also suffering my own pain, I do what I can do reassure her that we appreciate everything she has done for us so far.

Since I started this surrogacy path, I have met some amazing women. Women who have been through so much heartache, suffering life changing medical conditions and many many negatives. I have heard of women having 16 negatives and these women have no children. So who am I to be devastated over a negative when I have one perfect little girl and this was my first negative. Why should I have got a positive first time round?

And then the anger sets in. Women are popping out unwanted children everyday. Everyday! Other women say I think I’ll have 3 kids and boom they have 3 kids. Why do other women suffer such devastation to try and complete their families. Why? This is just SHIT!

And then there is the friggin government who hands out money to infertile couples to under go IVF, but if you need a surrogate too, forget about it. You’re on your own. My IVF round so far has cost friggin $17,000 – that’s right $17,000!!!! For one single friggin round. If the government had helped us it would be more like $4000. The pressure wouldn’t be on that this next little embryo makes it. We could do another round, get more eggs, no problem.

So much about this makes me so pissed off. It’s just not fair. Then I have to deal with the friends and family who think I shouldn’t be doing surrogacy at all. Really? Who the frig are you to say how many children I should have. Don’t sit there on your high horse popping out as many kids as you like and then tell me I should be thankful for one (see above – I AM THANKFUL!!!!).

Tomorrow will be another day and I will pick myself up and I will thank my blessing and I will keep going. I will pray and I will hope that my last little embryo makes it to be my beautiful baby. But today I will grieve and I will be PISSED that I don’t get what most of the female population get and that is to have as many kids as I like. And that even in attempting to have a child it costs me a friggin million dollars!

There have been plenty of people that have supported me through this shit time. Mostly my fantastic work colleagues Claire, Natalie and Sharon. Also my fantastic surrogacy groups, many people I don’t know, many I’ve never met, many who have had a zillion negatives themselves but yet are still there for me – Jen, Kim and Merri and many others.

Wow glad to get that off my chest – feel better.

Posted in 2WW, Disapointment, Embryos, Infertility, IVF, Medicare, Negative, Surrogacy, Surrogate, Thankful | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

General IVF Costs vs Surrogacy IVF Costs

Please find below a link to a post I wrote about the difference in IVF costs when doing surrogacy due to medicare rebates not being payable.

General IVF Costs vs Surrogacy IVF Costs.

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Campaign to change Medicare Laws to cover Surrogacy

I have just joined forces with some other amazing women. Together we are attempting to change the current outdated, unfair Medicare laws which exclude Medicare benefits when a surrogate is involved.

I urge you to have a look at this blog page and perhaps join our facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/#!/groups/152075391616242/

Below is a link to this blog page:

Resources – letter templates and contacts for lobbying.

Whilst your there – help us out and send a letter to your local federal member and Tanya Plibersek the Minister for Health. Your assistance is much appreciated.

You may also wish to read the paper I wrote on the topic: Surrogacy Submission

Posted in Infertility, IVF, Medicare, Surrogacy, Surrogate, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | 6 Comments