After holding our breath for almost 9 months, here he is finally, our Egg Donor Angel conceived little boy is here xox

Hey everyone, sorry it’s taken me so long to post our news and updates ūüôĀ Life has been a wee bit hectic lately and several times I’ve tried to do this post and thanks to my computer crashing have lost what I had written…. ¬†but I’m back and ready to make this happen lol.. xox

So, let me introduce Liam James Heron, our little miracle boy xox, born Friday 26th February at 8.57am at Nepean Hospital weighing 2.93 kilos and measuring 47.5cm.. he’s now 5.44kg and 59.5cm.. and growing lol. Thanks to the awesome and divine team at the University of Sydney Nepean clinic, that’s Maree, Sarah and yes you too Tracy, you all made our pregnancy and the birth so much more special and we can’t wait to go again and have you looking after us.. after that we hope to catch up and stay friends xox

So after a crazy plus year, losing Mum, dealing with settling her affairs and a family member causing major issues and conflict, dealing with our clinic not freezing our embryo’s properly and losing all 11 of them, trying another donor cycle with the devastation of it not working, making the decision to go to South Africa for our egg donor angel and then to find that our donor didn’t respond well and we had one little good quality embryo but it’s ok, that embie was Liam and we are soooo happy he’s here.

We can’t believe he is and whilst every parent has those “first” moments and “wow” moments, ours are just huge and overwhelming..

The pregnancy was good considering my history, I remember my first appointment with Maree, it was hours going through my history lol and then chatting heaps to Tracy about my passion with Egg Donor Angels and just infertility etc. ¬†And our first appointment with Sarah this year where we spoke to her about going back to South Africa for a sibling for Liam in November.. she was amazing and said “I understand why” and supported us.. as crazy as it seems..

So you might ask why when we have our little boy.. well we are older parents and we won’t be around for as long as some parents for Liam, our families aren’t big and aren’t getting any younger lol like all of us.. we have amazing friends whose children are going to be like family to Liam and of course my beautiful and amazing cousin’s children will be fabulous cousins to him and guide him along his paths as well.. but we both always wanted more than one but we also want Liam to have a little brother or sister that he has by his side for the rest of his and their lives.. when we aren’t there xox

So we go back to Cape Town in November to go again. ¬†Our donor has done another cycle for us… we were discussing doing another one with the donor agency and with the IVF clinic when they contacted us and said that the recipients had pulled out of a cycle with her and would we like to use Shane’s frozen sample/sperm and do the cycle.. we knew we wanted to go again so we thought oh well lets do it now.. so we have 1 fabulous embie, 2 really good ones and 2 not so good in the freezer waiting for us and we feel confident that we will have another successful pregnancy from this.

So my pregnancy, I loved being pregnant even with the high blood pressure scares, the terrible reflux (I already have awful re-flux from chemo but this made it much much worse if possible lol), the swelling and the pain in all my scars and my side from the breast cancer etc. .. but it was all worth it, even the last month where it was hard to sleep and do anything lol…….

So our wonderful team booked us in for a C section on the 26th and as that day rolled around we felt nervous but also surreal that it was real and happening.. I felt sad that he was not going to be safe and warm in my belly but sooo excited to meet him as well.. everything went well, Tracy looked after Shane wonderfully and me prior to delivery and then Liam and she was the first one other than the gorgeous Sarah that delivered him to hold him… and check him out.. it was a weird feeling not being able to feel or move my lower half, gosh I’ve always had empathy for invalids but I can sort of relate to it for a short time anyway.

We all got to cuddle him and have skin to skin time in recovery and then in our room and then Marleen (Shane’s dads partner) and Shane’s Mum came to the hospital and got to meet him as well. ¬†As I didn’t know if I would be able to breast feed, the midwives suggested we do a “line feed” for him.. basically using a syringe and a line and feeding him through the tube/line on my nipple.. it worked well and Shane and I managed to prepare and to it on our own and I even did it on my own own lol several times.. it was nice to know that I had that considering everything.. that was done on the breast that didn’t have the cancer in it but had a reduction as it was dare I say cheaper to have it reduced and get a smaller implant than get a larger implant in the cancerous breast.. our government doesn’t consider breast reconstruction after breast cancer necessary, apparently it’s elective.. but that’s another story and passion of mine to change xox

The hospital was great, Liam had some jaundice and had treatment, the worst part of it was the little eye mask he had to wear and he hated it.. but it was necessary.. we went home on the Monday night, Shane had to work that day.. and as we packed up and got into the car with Liam loaded up we had to stop and take a breath.. oh my we both said, he’s real and he’s hear and oh they are letting us out of here to look after him.. yikes.. lol.. but it was fine…

We went back a few days later for a check up and I asked them how to check to see if I had any breast milk, we hand expressed and as some milk came out we all cried for joy… so I am able to do a mix of bottle and breastfeeding to him.. which is great as I get that contact with closeness with him but Shane also gets to bottle feed him and have that closeness as well… we get the best of both worlds.. I’m so pleased as he would have gotten the colostrom as he was on my breast quite a bit with the line feeding and he’s getting nutrients from both options.. win win I say ūüôā xox

And yes I am exhausted, tired, sleep deprived and as I wander up the hallway at all hours of the night in my routine, put my pillows up, get the bib, get my feeding pillow, go the kitchen, prepare and heat up the bottle.. all I can say is oh wow he’s here.. ¬†Some nights I manage to unpack the dishwasher, sterilise his bottles and fill them with kettle/boiled water.. some nights, I post and comment on Egg Donor Angels Facebook groups and some nights I fall asleep holding the bottle feeding him.. and just cuddling him..

I’m trying to stay on top of Egg Donor Angels but some days are just filled with Liam and stuff.. though we have been out and about quite a bit, we got to catch up with one of my gorgeous donors from my site in the city, so Liam had his first train ride, we’ve been shopping and to lunch and dinner with friends, we’ve had lots of visitors including my self adopted Dad, friends and another wonderful donor from here as well to name a few.. we’ve been on a car club run in the XY and I’ve started walking with him and Scoutie the dog.. oh and I’ve joined the local new parents group.. and yep already mentioned Egg Donor Angels lol…

So now I’m going to put up lots of photos as I know you all want to see them and I hope to do more posts and especially on our next stage of our journey, the next little one.. yayyyy we can’t wait.. as nervous as we are.. and know we will be holding our breath again for the whole pregnancy.. it’s all worth it..

And maybe I’ll write a book about this whole journey and for awareness.. I’m thinking the title along the lines of “holding our breath waiting for our miracle egg donor baby” or something similar but definitely with “holding our breath”.. as the whole pregnancy, we just couldn’t get too excited as we knew we had to get to the end and see him before we could..

Oh and the name.. well we hadn’t really decided on any, it only took us 3 weeks to finally decide lol.. I think we just couldn’t make that decicsion till we met him and till we knew he was here safe and sound.. and then we were looking at an African name that meant “long awaited” but it wasn’t correct.. and then any African names we looked at were too hard to pronounce for us Aussies.. so we both liked Liam and James so that was it.. though if it’s a boy for the next one, and I keep saying it is, I actually already have a name, not one that we had for Liam, one I have chosen after he was named.. it’s a name from a TV series from my childhood and I always loved it.. just only thought of it recently.. if it’s a girl the next one well.. I had some names picked out years ago but sadly I’ve forgotten them.. but I’m sure 3 weeks after he/she is born we’ll decide lol again..

Thanks for all your support, love and just everything, to those still on the journey let me know what we can do to help you achieve this, to those that have helped us, thank you so much, we love you all xoxox

Dianne, Shane, Liam, Scout the dog, Sooty the Cat and the chickens xoxox

P1080097 DiJohnston 12 Week scan P1090640  1000026_10153988205200439_6876232834275836390_n 10390011_10153988205250439_5943993377731606619_n 10450733_10153988717185439_7671569568361952996_n 12742817_10153988717115439_3156649835865778701_nShane cutting Liams umbilical cord 260316 Liam getting ready to leave hospital birth 290216 Liam and Daddy asleep 010316 (5) smallerLiam with Nan 080316 (1)Liam with Shane and Nan 080316 (5) 12791129_10153988205075439_790118422995894123_n
Mummy & Daddy leaving hospital with Liam 290216 (3)

 

Family photo Liam b&w 240316 to use smallerFamily Photo Liam stone room 240316 (9) to use smallerP1090195Scan 121015 baby boo cropped
12419139_948069125291035_557585815668142147_o 12916787_948069881957626_6179199695371595050_o Liams first trip into city to meet Kasey 050416 (4)12961229_948069721957642_799306810022201735_o 12967482_948069168624364_5400541969713071139_o

Liam tonka trucks 240316 (5) to use smaller

Liam tonka trucks 240316 (2) to use smaller

Another Christmas without our own family to share it with… when does this heartache stop…

Sorry to start the post on a downer but I know many of you will know these emotions and feelings……

Sadly we had another miscarriage, this time we knew by the second blood test, my HCG levels dropped signficantly so I stopped the meds straight away. The great news is my donor is going again for us but it’s going to be a few months due to personal commitments and we have moved to another clinic. I will do a separate post on this later as finding and researching a clinic is really important and knowledge is powerful in this emotional process.

Since then I have done blood tests and further ultrasounds to help us with the miscarriages before we go again. I knew I had a condition called Adenomyosis but yesterdays ultrasound confirmed it which is not good as mine seems quite bad. Now I am dreading next weeks appointment with the Dr as I suspect he is going to say it’s not good news and our chances are slim or none of holding a baby…. fingers crossed that he has some ideas on how to manage or help it… unfortunately the condition is not fixable ūüôĀ Normally they recommend a hysterectomy!!

So another Christmas and we still don’t have our dream. How do I feel?? Unbelievably sad but then grateful for what I do have but then overwhelmed by the sadness… How do you turn the corner on this, is it acceptance of your fate and move on with your life, do I keep trying until there is no hope at all?? My TCM lady said to me recently it will happen for me as I am the most determined person she knows in regard to this, however now I am not so sure. Even when the Dr told me 6 years ago things were not good and even when we tried and tried and I came to terms with an egg donor, I was still determined to realise the dream… now I am not so sure it can be realised.

My fear is that while I am putting this in writing, many of you going through the same thing are going to worry that this will be your fate, please don’t xox. As many of you know this is part of the process and I am documenting this as its normal and we need to know that. Surprisingly I am quite a shy and private person and this post is especially hard as it’s not like me to admit some defeat, give in or let it get to me but I feel it’s important as if I am going through this, then many of you have, will go or are going through this and we need to support each other.

The hardest part is to pull myself out of it, normally I am really good at this, like any of us, you have a sad or emotional day and then you wake up the next day, smile and get on with it. This time it’s a bit harder, I bounce back for a day or week and then I have another “ho hum” day….. It may not help that I am on the hormones as the Dr is doing a uterus biopsy next week as part of his investigation into the miscarriages.

So what next for me.. well I need to pull myself out of this, I need to get to next weeks appointment and hear what he says and take it from there. Will keep you updated and please talk to me about this if you want to either through email or here on our Facebook page….

xox

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hhhhhmmmm still thinking :-)

Yep still thinking about it….. though after last nights run where my feet were so cold I couldn’t feel them for the first 10 minutes, all I can think about is warm weather.¬† Of course it appears I have Raynauds¬†syndrome which doesn’t help, in the past two years my fingers and toes are quite often frozen and go white with no circulation…

Speaking of the run, now I am not normally an gadget¬†person personally, I love them for businesses but not necessarily for myself…. but on my HTC¬†desire I have loaded Runkeeper¬†and tried it for the first time last night and it’s awesome.¬† I don’t plan to share with the world my details on it but it’s just great for my goal setting.¬† I think I understand some of the hype about “apps”.¬† So then after I woke up when Shane got home last night, well this morning, I lay awake with my brain going 100mph thinking about work and then what apps I could develop for businesses and in terms of my favourite topic infertility.

So what to do about our holiday… another issue is that my cycles have been so erratic, well nothing for almost a year that I feel I need to use the pill to give me a couple of good cycles before we get a little embie¬†to try to attach itself. They need nice snug uterus linings to attach to ūüôā sorry if too much detail!¬† I need to send my ultrasound report to my Dr and see what she says, once reading that she might suggest to wait a cycle or two for this reason.

So another wet miserable day in Sydney, but again the fires on and I have work to do.¬† If it was a nice sunny day I would feel guilty for being indoors so it’s probably a good thing.

Well I need to go and collect firewood, finish these presentations, do some filing, ring my Mum, do some housework and later do my dog walk, run and workout…

Thanks for listening xo

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Getting closer…

Hey,

This week has been a great week, we are getting much closer to our dream, thank you our egg donor angel, we love you but not just for this gift but because you are the person you are no matter what happens xox 

I have been busy with work, trying to get people to attend the Cystic Fibrosis Australia and Bipolar Education Foundation Gala event on 25th June, it’s always hard to get people to help charities especially when they are inundated with requests on a daily/weekly basis.¬† Such wonderful causes and they don’t get as much attention and support as they deserve and compared to other well-known¬†charities.¬† And working on 65 Roses Day for PGPR and Cystic Fibrosis Australia is always a wonderful experience, this is my third year working on this campaign and I just love helping this wonderful cause.¬† Did you know that there are only 40 people over 40 years of age alive with Cystic Fibrosis?¬† The average life expectancy is 37 years of age which has increased significantly over the past 10 years thanks to donations, awareness, research and the dedication of the people who live with Cystic Fibrosis whether it is the person, the family, the friends or the people who work towards the goal of finding a cure.

But in-between this and other projects, I decided it was time to send out my press release to the media for the egg donor angels website.  Today it went to over 1500 national print, magazine, TV and Radio media and I hope that this helps get the word out there that there is a need for not only awareness for infertility and egg, embryo and sperm donation but also a shortage of people for this.

I came up with the concept of the website in November last year so I created my Facebook and Twitter pages then and then finally launched the website over the Easter break this year.  

Since the launch of my website there have been lots of support groups and websites popping up which is great news for spreading the word on the growing issue of infertility, the more we can get this message out there and help couples achieve their dream of having a family, the better. 

I am soooo¬†excited that¬†we are sooo¬†very close… though I have a decision to make about timing of the cycle, of course I want it to happen now but we also have had a 6 week holiday planned since we were away last year…. my body and mind feel like they need the planned break to swim, relax, bush walk¬†and just enjoy after a busy and emotional year.¬† Should we make our holiday the egg donor cycle and spend time around the house doing work or should we go away, come back refreshed to do the cycle in August??¬†¬† The dilemma is amazing and each time I think about it, I change my decision. We have decided to think it over this long weekend, of course I have debated it in my head over and over and discussed it somewhat with Shane in between¬†his going to work and sleeping!¬† I hear my best friend and well she’s really a sister to me saying do it.. spent many many¬†years trying to conceive and lost many babies and now has two wonderful boys to a sperm donor, so she knows how it feels.¬† Then I hear another best friend and sister to me, saying to do what’s right, and then another I think I need to talk to, she is one of my rocks and an amazing person, I love all my wonderful friends and couldn’t have gotten through the past ten years without your love, support and guidance, thank you xox

Of course we only have a week to decide before our leave starts and I have soooo¬†much to do… I think it’s time for a cuppa, check the fire as it’s fwweeeeezzing here and do some more work and maybe think about it later when I take the doggie for a walk and run..

Will keep you updated and let you know of my decision

Dianne xox

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Support groups on the web and FB

It’s fantastic and interesting that there are new Facebook and websites popping up supporting infertility and egg donors…the more help there is to support infertility and especially egg donation in Australia, hopefully the more dreams we can fulfill.

I have had some feedback on my site with people saying that it’s expensive and I guess questioning why they would pay to look for an egg donor when they can post an ad on forums like bub hub and essential baby and on Facebook groups and pages.

When I came up with this website idea over six months ago, I had been travelling my own journey for several years and had tried most ways to find an egg donor and yes that included all of the above and more.

The reality of finding an egg donor is that it’s extremely difficult.¬† There are lots of wonderful women out there that offer and think they can do it but when the reality of it all sets in, a high percentage pull out, understandably.¬† There are lots of women that are happy to donate but finding them and making them aware is the hard part.¬†

When I launched the Facebook page, I paid hundreds and hundreds of dollars to see if I could find potential egg donors and I did, I then spent hundreds and hundreds of dollars to firstly set up this website and most importantly again spent hundreds and hundreds of dollars to source potential egg donors to come to this site.  I did this over a 5 day period and had over 300 hits to the website of potential egg donors, what a wonderful result!

I know that potential egg donors will possibly find other sites where couples are advertising for their egg donor angel but they are only tapping into a % of the population and in a certain period of time. 

I have over 20 years of marketing and PR experience and now love using these skills to help others achieve their dream of a family but like most things¬†there’s a dollar cost.¬† If you look in the “Child” magazine there are lots of paid advertisements for egg donors, or in your local paper or in the larger newspapers…¬†I am offering an alternative to this but with the promise that¬†the money goes into¬†targeted advertising to find you that Egg Donor Angel.

Good luck and I hope you find your Egg Donor Angel no matter what xox