Owen came home and he’s put on weight…

Asking the Dr’s if Owen could come home
Coming Home

On Sunday the 7th of January, a very hot day in Penrith, the Dr’s approved us to bring Owen home, yayyyyy

They loved the written note on Owen’s crib asking if he could, thanks to one of the fabulous NICU nurses for writing it xox

We were so happy to take him home but he’s still so tiny and hardly fits in his capsule, we’ve got the straps on the smallest setting!  Of course nervous as well.

It was nice not to be going to the hospital several times a day but then came the 3 hourly feeds 🙂 all worth it though xox


We had to go back a few times every couple of days to get him weighed and checked and each time he put on weight, though the first weigh in only a little but he’s now 2.10kg or probably more as that was at the last weigh in.

Our two boys xox

Liam is great with him, really gentle most of the time and gives him kisses, too cute!  Though he gets boisterous and not so gentle with Owen or with us.. but he’s very good and at night when we put him to bed he blows Owen a kiss goodnight in his bassinet… he melts my heart xox

We’ve not done much with him home, I’m still sore and exhausted and my blood pressure is still playing up a bit, more to do with now not being pregnant and getting the medications right and in line with my bp coming down and righting itself.. some huge headaches with this ride but hopefully the high bp was pregnancy related and will right itself soon.


Owen and Great Nan

Owen is growing and we did introduce him to Shane’s Nan the other day, she’s 98 and doing well considering and she got to cuddle him lots.










The great team that helped us to get our two boys xox

(photo of Dr Matabese from Cape Fertility to come :))

Owen and Dr Merchant (our local GP, he’s amazing)
Dr Pardey and me xox
Sarah and me (Sarah was our reg Ob for Liam and delivered him for us and now works for Dr Pardey, she’s gorgeous xox)
and here’s the gorgeous Maree, she was our reg Ob with Liam’s pregnancy for the most part and she with Dr Pardey delivered Owen, and is also amazing xox
Cheryl at Balance Medical, did all my blood tests and has been along for the ride xox
The lovely Simone and Cheryl at Balance xox
Its a hard life at 4 weeks xox
4 weeks old
Happy Family going home


Well I think that’s our family complete for us, though we might consider adoption in a few years or maybe fostering… I don’t think i can put any of us or our team through another pregnancy, though I did give Dr Pardey, Maree and Sarah a scare by saying I wanted to be a surrogate, and yes I’d love to do this but again I can’t put my family through another complicated pregnancy.  Whilst another pregnancy might be much easier like it was with Liam there’s no guarantee so that’s it for us xox

We are considering on-donating our embryo’s in Cape Town at some point, we just need to get through the next year or so and we’ll start this process xox

So as soon as I finish breast feeding Owen, I’ll be back to see the lovely Prof Kefford to do a check up and probably start Tamoxifen for a few years to keep that big  C away…

Gosh I can’t believe we’ve done it, phew and yayyyyy it’s a bit surreal still and after so many years and so much heartache it does seem like a dream.

Now to focus on our boys and helping others achieve this…. thanks again for everyone’s support and help along the way and we hope we can continue to help others to achieve their dream.

Lots of love Dianne, Shane, Liam and Owen xoxox

Our Christmas Present arrived :) xox Merry Christmas everyone xox

Here I am, my first cuddles

Wow, what a week it’s been, my last post on Monday the 18th where it was a day by day wait to see what would happen.

On the Tuesday they were doing the ECG on the baby and they were concerned that he wasn’t moving enough and with my high blood pressure and pre-eclampsia, so they decided to move me to the public hospital that afternoon in preparation for delivering him sooner than later.

They found me a bed in the antenatal ward and we were told they were considering delivering him that night or the next day as they were worried about him and the lack of movement.  They then decided to let him “cook” for a few more days so I sent Shane home and I started to settle in to my new bed whilst they monitored bubs again…. but as they did his heart rate dropped significantly twice for short periods and then for a long period which resulted in me ringing Shane and telling him he had an hour to get back to the hospital as we were doing an emergency C section, tonight our little boy was going to be delivered…

Within an hour I was prepped and we were ready to go.. the team were amazing getting me ready and making it all happen and I gave Dr Pardey a scare mentioning that I had been considering being a surrogate…  he said he and my hypertension specialist Dr Fischer would have a heart attack if I did… I had very seriously considered this before this pregnancy but with the complications we’ve had I couldn’t put myself, my family and the recipients through the stress and the risk of any issues so sadly this isn’t an option for me to help now 🙁

The team at Nepean are amazing and as I’ve mentioned before obstetricians; Dr Maree Wallwark and Dr Sarah Rixton were fabulous with our pregnancy with Liam as was our awesome Midwife Tracey xox  Whilst they were prepping me Dr Pardey rang Maree to tell her they were doing our emergency C section (Sarah was away so unable to attend this one but she delivered Liam xox) and as they were doing my injection into my back Maree appeared in front of me to be part of this bubs delivery… I cried and hugged her quickly before the injection took hold..  🙂 and cry now that she made it to this bubs arrival xox

It all just happened so quickly then, next thing we know he’s out, a quick look for us and then he was whisked off to be checked and then Daddy and bubs went off to NICU whilst I spent hours in recovery trying to get my blood pressure under control.

So on Tuesday 19th December at 9.33pm our little boy arrived, a wee bit early but healthy and safe xox

In the NICU you can visit the baby anytime you want but you can only hold and cuddle the baby at what they call their care times, which are every 6 hours.  Our times were 10am, 4pm, 10pm and 4am, so whilst I was still in hospital I did all 4 times to spend as much time with him as I could.  He started in the humidicrib and on Saturday was moved to a cot and has moved a bay along, so he’s doing well and he’s gaining weight.  We’re not sure when he’ll be home, the criteria for a baby to go home is to be consistently gaining weight and to be able to feed.

I was discharged on Friday from the hospital and whilst so happy to be going home and to be at home with Shane and Liam it was very sad for all three of us to drive out of the hospital without bubs and to leave him behind. But he’s in good hands and we’re visiting him every day doing the 10am and the 4pm visits.  We’d do more but I can’t drive so it’s a lot on Shane to drive to Penrith and back twice a day with only a few hours break between and we have to consider Liam xox

I’m sorry I haven’t posted a full update yet, our focus has been on bubs, Liam and my slow and painful recovery but when I woke up in pain the wee hours this morning I wanted to get up and update you all and to wish you all a very Merry Christmas xox

We want to wish you all a very Merry Christmas xox, cherish and enjoy the day with family and friends.  The day is about these moments in life and I know for many the day is tinged with sadness; loved ones no longer with us, dreams not yet fulfilled and losses xox

Thanks to everyone for your support this year xox, it’s been a crazy 12 plus months for us and our focus lately has been on bubs health and my health.  We’re sorry we haven’t seen many friends and family during this time and have been out of touch a bit but we are here for you and we look forward to making up for it in 2018 xox

May 2018 be everything you dream of and whilst many of us miss loved ones, we can cherish the memories and hope that new memories can help with the grief and loss xox  And if there’s anything we can do to help you achieve your dreams, let us know.

Love from Dianne, Shane, Liam and Owen xox

My first bath

Awake in my humidicrib
I’ve moved into a cot

A Christmas baby :)

so we’re almost 34 weeks but looks like our little tiger is going to be a Christmas baby 🙂

It’s been a struggle keeping my high blood pressure under control and I’ve just been at regular Dr’s appointments, scans and totally exhausted.  Last week whilst really sick with the flu/virus my gp expressed his concerns, so off to our Ob; Dr Pardey I went the next day with a hospital bag packed and here I still am waiting to see how long we can let our little one “cook” before he pops out into our world 🙂   I have pre-eclampsia so it’s just a waiting and balancing game to let tiger grow a bit more but keep him and me healthy.

I’m in hospital till he arrives and probably for some time afterwards so I can heal and they can monitor my blood pressure and keep it stable as well.  We think it’s going to be this week but…. its day by day…

He’ll probably have to spend some time in care as he’s a wee bit early so his first Christmas will probably be in a hospital but as long as he’s safe and healthy that’s the main thing.

We’ll update everyone with any news as soon as we can, thanks for your support xox

So we are 24 plus weeks and are still super nervous xox

Hey everyone xoxox

wow what a roller coaster ride this has been… transfer was done, we got a positive home pregnancy test and then a positive blood HCG test result but as many of you would know having been through this, this is on the start of the many milestones that you have to pass until that little baby is in your arms xox

Our HCG levels continued to rise which was great but on the June Monday long weekend public holiday and I started to bleed… at first it was a bit then within a few hours I was bleeding with large clots and almost non stop, it was just so awful and scary (sorry for the too much information) absolutely terrified and thinking we were losing the baby I said to Shane we need to go to the hospital…

We went to Katoomba hospital as we felt on a public holiday it would be quieter than Nepean… and it was… thank goodness they put us in a room where I continued to bleed and every time I went to the toilet I was petrified our little one was lost to us (again sorry for the TMI 🙂 xox)

We were beyond terrified, the bleeding and clots continued and we were sure this was it, we’d miscarried.. as were the hospital team.  The on call Ob assessed me and offered us to do a currette but Shane and I wanted to make sure we had lost the baby before we took any action.  I asked if they could do an ultrasound at almost 6 weeks, surely they would know if the little one was still there but they don’t have a full time/permanent ultrasound technician or one on call…  the Ob suggested we do bloods and compare with the past weeks HCG levels and we totally agreed… so we waited whilst these came back and they admitted me as a patient as they were concerned about my blood loss and thought they would be doing surgery.  I was on nil by mouth in preparation for surgery and when the bloods came back with a rise in HCG levels, we had no definitive answer, if only we could do an ultrasound!  They put me in maternity in a room and kept me nil by mouth as they were still concerned about my blood loss and I spent a stressful night there with very little sleep researching online the option of going back to Cape Town as we have good quality embryo’s in the freezer there…

They suggested to do bloods the next morning and see if there was another rise if they didn’t have to do emergency surgery and we would go from there…   I stopped bleeding that night but I felt totally awful, stressed, sick and exhausted..

Finally mid morning they took blood and hours later we got the results back.. oh my goodness they had risen again.. not hugely but enough to say the pregnancy was still viable.. though again if only we could do an ultrasound 🙂

They said i’d lost a lot of blood and needed to be on strict rest as i’d potentially had a subchorionic hematoma and they wanted me to stay another night as they feared if I went home I wouldn’t rest and they wanted to monitor me still.   And knowing me whilst the pregnancy was so precious, I’m not good at sitting still and not doing anything hehehe.

So another sleepless night there waiting for the ultrasound the next morning.. yes they do them Monday’s, Wednesdays and Fridays but not on public holidays and no one on call..  argghhhhhh it was awful and all we wanted was an answer.

Finally they wheeled me down to the ultrasound and the whole room was filled with a nervous energy… he tried to do an external scan but couldn’t see anything, that stressed me more, as often they can see something at that stage externally.. so he did an internal, we all held our breaths and with great surprise and relief he announced I’ve got a heartbeat… I had to ask him to repeat it.. I think I took my first real breath for days…  I think everyone in the room took a breath and then had tears, I knew that this was great but it was just one hurdle to overcome of many…

The heartbeat was good and he confirmed there was a subchorionic hematoma … I can’t believe our little one held on through all of that… we went back to the room and the Ob was so happy he came and saw us straight away but with very strict instructions.. ‘you must rest, no heavy lifting, no lifting at all for weeks, take it easy’ etc.  I didn’t care, this baby is too precious for us and I’d do anything to ensure bubs was safe…

So home we went happy but still super nervous as we could still lose the baby… now unusually for me I pretty much obeyed the Ob and Shane.. but I knew I had to, I was at too much risk of losing the baby not to.  Any woman/couple who have had a bleed in the pregnancy will know and understand the fear of seeing any blood, it almost consumes you and you stop breathing at those moments when you expect to see blood and breath again when there’s none…

I rested and I’ve been super quiet as I’ve had no choice…  of course this pregnancy has been riddled with humps, Liam’s pregnancy was really quite easy when we expected it not to be and this one we thought would be ok, lol, never assume I say… hehehe

I’ve had amazing support, with Egg Donor Angels just growing and growing, I asked some lovely and awesome women to admin the groups with one that had already been helping me for years and they have been fabulous and I can’t thank them enough, Katherine, Natalie, Lauren, Kasey and Christine, love you girls xox  This has helped me to somewhat stay on top of the many emails, phone calls, advertisements, private messages and Facebook page updates, thank goodness.

I had terrible “all day sickness” again with this pregnancy and awful hives from the medications, thankfully this stopped by about week 14ish.. but thanks to my breast cancer chemo my reflux becomes horrendous during pregnancy, so that’s been fun but my amazing GP Dr Merchant has helped with some safe medication for it, not a cure but a huge help.

We were going through the high risk pregnancy unit at Nepean originally but upon advice from my GP we moved to Dr Pardy and we are super excited that his team expands next year with my two favorite obstetricians just in time for this bubs arrival, wooohoooooo  love these two xoxox pity our previous awesome and gorgeous midwife can’t be there as well, but you never know, I know she’ll be visiting us though xoxox

I had a “discharge” about 6 weeks ago where I was told to present at Nepean emergency where Liam and I spent the day waiting and nervous… what they did diagnose was that I had really high blood pressure and when I went to see the Ob for the next few visits this was highlighted and eventually I was put on medication to try and bring it down.  Our fabulous GP has been also monitoring this closely as well thank goodness and after increasing my medication, it’s coming down but again I’m on strict rest argghhhhh …  after moving GP’s due to my previous GP’s lack of duty of care in diagnosing my breast cancer earlier, we found our awesome GP :).

The lovely blood pressure medication makes me feel exhausted and of course being pregnant and running after a very active 19 month old along with the day to day life and Egg Donor Angels and other projects, I’m not surprised lol.. not whinging we wanted this so much but I have to say it’s been rather tough and there are days that I’m not sure how I got through them 🙂

We’ve also had some concerns with bubs, he’s (yes that’s right it’s a boy :)) a bit small for his age/gestation, he’s possibly got a hole in his heart, possibly got a genetic issue (low risk) and my amniotic fluid is low… so we’ve had quite a few scans and need to do more to monitor all of this and more Dr’s and specialists appointments…  we’ll be glad when he’s here safe and sound xox

So that’s where we’re at, I started writing this post around the 12 week mark and I’ve gone back to it a few times only to not finish it, today I was determined to finish it as I know many of you are wondering how it’s all going and why I’ve been so quiet xox

I’m so sorry if I’ve missed Birthday’s, emails, messages, calls etc. I’m so sorry but I’ve truly been taking it easy so we don’t lose this baby and with all the issues.. and the usual exhaustion now exacerbated by the pregnancy, I have been a bit quiet, I hope you’ll forgive me and understand and once bubs is here and we’ve settled in things will return to a more “normal” as best it can with two little ones lol.

Thanks everyone for your love and support and even though we have all this going on, we still want to hear from you and see you, I just might not be as proactive as I normally am at the moment xoxox


And here he is a few weeks ago xoxox




Transfer done, now the 2ww xox

It’s our last full day in Cape Town and whilst we are looking forward to going home there is a tinge of sadness to leave this beautiful city and the friends we have made along our journey xox

Our egg donor gave us some wonderful eggs and we ended up with 2 fabulous quality embryo’s to transfer and 6 in the freezer 🙂

Transfer was Monday and all went wonderfully and we are now in the 2ww nervously…  each step is so very hard, its the decision to use an egg donor or for us to do another cycle after our last miscarriage and negative, it’s the process of seeing if your egg donor is suitable then the cycle begins and are they responding and well and will you get good quality embryo’s that give you the best possible chance xox

Its the egg collection and how many fertilise, then how are they going at each stage and how many embryo’s you have and what quality they are…

Then of course once you’ve done the transfer it’s the waiting, listening to your body and each twinge and symptom brings about “could we be pregnant?”…  the hormones play with your body and your mind as does the emotions of the whole journey…  your hopeful and you want this so badly but you also know there’s always that risk/chance its not going to be successful….it’s a numbers game… you do everything you can to ensure the best possible outcome, acupuncture, Chinese herbs, endo scratch, hysteroscopy, vitamins, supplements and so the list goes on..

I know many of you reading this will relate either doing your own IVF with your own eggs and doing IVF using an egg donor…  it’s a roller coaster of emotions and whilst you try to “not stress” and “not think about it too much” and “relax” you know your mind is there in that place xox

I will do a future post about Cape Town, what to see and do as it is a beautiful city and the people are lovely xox

We have done some further sightseeing, we did Kirstenbosch gardens, Moyo restaurant for Mother’s Day, Simons Town, Bree Street and the famous Mount Nelson Hotel High Tea.  Every day we have done a lovely walk along the bay and have had a great time with Liam playing in the playgrounds.  We found a great children’s playground along the waterfront that’s fenced and gated with a track for him to ride his tricycle around and a swing, slide and climbing stuff.. he’s loved playing and riding his trike and it’s been wonderful having this family time…  Liam’s made many friends, he just loves to people watch and he’s so friendly smiling and chatting to the locals…

We got to catch up with some friends we’ve made here previously and that was lovely, though not enough time and we hope that when we bring Liam back when he’s older we will have more time to spend with them.

I’m nervous to write anymore about our chances of success or if I think we are successful, I plan to do a home pregnancy test probably around day 8 or 9 just before bloods and even just writing that makes my heart skip a beat…

To those that are thinking of going overseas, don’t be afraid of doing this, so many are going and are successful, it’s not as scary as you think, most clinics are as good as Australia/the USA, are reasonably priced and the success rates are very good…  and I’m happy to chat to you about it …

I’ve been wearing my Mum’s heart locket here with a photo of her and Dad in it so she’s with us and my lucky elephant from a good friend… and of course all the hope and good wishes from our friends xoxox

Fingers and toes crossed we are pregnant with a sibling for Liam… chat soon, love from us xoxox

A sibling for Liam… South Africa here we come again for the 4th time xox

So what’s been happening in our world…..

Once we were pregnant with Liam, we knew we wanted a sibling for him but we only had 2 embryo’s from our donor and transferred both and were pregnant with Liam…

Being older parents, we knew that we won’t be around for as long as younger parents and with a small family on both sides we wanted Liam to have a sibling that he was close to and they would be there for each other.

Our fertility clinic, Cape Fertility knew we were interested in doing another donor cycle with our egg donor there and in October 2015 they contacted us urgently to say our donor was doing a cycle but the recipients had pulled out and as Shane had left behind sperm in the freezer, would be interested in using it for our donors egg collection…  wow…. I rang Shane and immediately we agreed it felt right… so we did it all from a distance lol..

We ended up with 3 great embryo’s and 2 morula’s… so we thought, this is great, we’ll go back when Liams about 8 months and try again… and we felt we had a great chance at being successful..

So November last year (2016) we flew back to Cape Town South Africa for a quick trip, did our embryo transfer with 2 amazing embryo’s, did a stop over in Singapore and flew home feeling very confident..

Our first day home, I did a pregnancy test and it was positive, by that afternoon I felt nauseous and sick and we said oh that’s great, a good sign.. by that night, I was very very sick with a really bad gastro and so was Liam.. I’m not sure how I managed to check on him during the night and care for him but I did .. that’s I guess what Mummy’s do xox  By the following morning, I was so sick and so was Liam that I said to Shane, you need to take us to hospital..

So he did and they gave me an IV, blood test and some anti nausea drugs… the bloods came back with a positive pregnancy result and through how sick I felt, I was happy… we went home and rested and then poor Shane got it..

Days later we did another pregnancy test and the HCG came back as higher, not hugely but higher.. then the next one was the heartbreaking one.. the one where the Dr asks you to come and see them, you know it’s bad when they don’t just tell you your results on the phone..  our HCG had fallen to 25 and we were miscarrying… and we were  heartbroken

As I write this, I have to stop and take a break as it still hurts so much…

Determined me, I contacted my gyno and booked in that night to see him and see what to do next.. he sadly told us that there was no coming back from that HCG and we were definitely miscarrying.. so we did a hysterocopy the following day, I stopped my hormones and along came the bleed and the tears…

Then I picked myself up and said we’ve got one more embie and two morula’s lets go back as soon as we can and transfer them..

So back we went in February 2017,  this time no renovating (yes we painted our house and redid our floorboards before we left), no stress (yep there was lots of that prior to the last trip) and plenty of time there to rest and relax…

We all got colds in Cape Town, Liam was quite sick but we rested and pretty much did nothing for most of the trip.

This time we flew there direct with Qantas as the last trip, Singapore Airlines again had issues with their plane and we had to fight to get on another flight to SA, but we traveled for over 40 plus hours to get from Sydney to Cape Town via Bangkok and Dubai and lots of stress…  (our first trip our Singapore airlines flight home was delayed for over 10 hours, we had to sit in the departure lounge with no food as others took more than they needed and left none for the rest of us, awful tea and coffee and then when we got on the plane, we sat on the tarmac for 2 hours while they fixed an issue with the cargo door and then we only got fed once on the flight as the food spoiled and they didn’t factor that in.. argghh it was awful both times.. so Qantas it is from now on.. or Emirates… lol..

We got home and sadly a BFN… we were devastated..  but sadly the embryo we had didn’t defrost well and the 2 morula’s didn’t develop… we were devastated..

We had also found out we couldn’t use our original egg donor as there were issues with her ability to be an egg donor so we were devastated and even more so when we had transferred all our remaining embryo’s 🙁

We are truly grateful for our amazing little boy and felt that we maybe should be happy and accept that this is our family but we also just felt we weren’t quite ready to give up yet on a sibling for him..

So yep we are going back one more time in May with a new egg donor and a new cycle and hopefully a sibling for our wonderful little boy xox

Our hearts are broken… this journey is soooo hard :'(

Soooo you are asking, what happened…

Well we got the call, 2 of our snow babies survived, yayyyyyyyyy but as you can tell by the title of this post, it’s not all good news :'(

I was booked in for the transfer on Easter Monday and as I drove in there, I expected a call to say they hadn’t survived the night.. but I got there and it was all good.. they transferred a 6 cell and a 5 cell embryo..

I came home and rested up and took my hormones and hoped and prayed for the best outcome…

I waited and waited till I thought it was long enough to take our first POAS test but of course the ones the IVF clinic gave me were dodgy.. one didn’t show anything and the other one did weird things… but showed negative to begin with but hours later a positive but as we all know you don’t read them hours later… sigh… so then I purchased another pack and tried again a few days later, sadly negative..  that’s when our hearts broke again.. these tests are very accurate and to be honest whilst originally I felt some slight pregnancy signs other than the hormone ones, they were only slight and for a day or so.. I did another test a few more days later just to make sure but again negative..

We are just devastated at this, even though our Fertility specialist assured us to do another cycle with our donor, we were nervous and reluctant to go another time knowing that it was more time again.. sigh..

We just can’t wait anymore, we need to put something into place so we have decided to go overseas for our next donor cycle.  We know there are many wonderful donors here in Australia that would help but its the time and the potential heartache involved and the risk that they may not give us any viable embyro’s.  We just can’t take the time now to go through the donor process here and with the risk of the donor pulling out, which is ok, but it’s always a risk for various reasons.. or to do a cycle to find like this last one that there are no viable or good embryo’s.  If we go overseas the donors are ready to go and we can choose donors based on age and having already donated before…

With my Mum’s passing, dealing with the issues surrounding that and family and of course the grief :'(, our loss and just the ongoing post cancer issues, this is just breaking our hearts..

But we are strong and as we still feel we haven’t had a real chance at this, we are going to give it one last hurrah..

Wish us luck, say prayers for us, cross everything and just send us lots of love, we truly need it..

I will keep you updated on what we are doing and what happens, no matter what..

love from us xoxox

Sigh…..where has the last few years gone… now it’s April 2015

Gosh where has the past 3 years gone!!  Well I got diagnosed in February 2012 with stage 3 invasive and high grade DCIS breast cancer as well as pagets disease (it had travelled to my nipple) and it was in my lymph nodes as well, my tumour was over 10cm, yep that’s right, it was HUGE!! .. my mastectomy was expedited and on the 1st March 2012 they removed my right breast entirely and surrounding tissue and my lymph nodes.. they started me on my first chemo only a few weeks later as they didn’t want to wait any longer.. my first chemo destroyed my veins 🙁

Then I had to get fluid removed from the wound site and whilst there they realised I had a temperature and wasn’t well, so they admitted me to emergency straight away… With FEC90 you can’t get any infections and your temperature must not go above 38 or you have to go to hospital immediately.. it’s because the chemo kills your cells and your immunity and if you get sick, you could die.. So there I sat in Westmead Public Emergency for hours and hours thinking I would be given some antibiotics and sent home but I was then told I was going to be there for a few days.. so I waited to be admitted to a ward.. whilst poor Shane raced home, grabbed me jim jams, books, toiletries and the bear he got me whilst in hospital for my mastectomy.. poor thing was on a 6am start the next morning and here he was driving back to the Blue Mountains and then back to Westmead and then back home to sleep and go to work..  I spent the night and next day in emergency waiting for a bed in a ward.. with my door being closed as I was highly susceptible but then being left open and of course me going into the toilet all were using from emergency.. no chance of catching anything there lol.. and all with my iv drip attached.. I finally got wheeled to a ward where they spent the next week pumping me full of antibiotics and fluids, where I lost most of my hair, where they had so much trouble finding a vein that they used my feet and anywhere they could to get blood every day to test my counts.. and they recommended I get a port as well..  and so for the week before Easter 2012 I sat in hospital in a shared ward with low white blood cell count and infections thinking I would be better off at home… I met some lovely people but sadly the reality of breast cancer really hit home when the lady across from me had been diagnosed with mets in the liver, her treatment had been similar to what mine was going to be and now she was there as she wasn’t feeling well.. she was surrounded by family and I heard her say to them I don’t want to do chemo again.. sigh…at that time I didn’t get why she felt that way.. then the nurse told the family that the palliative Dr would be in to chat to them soon, now even then I knew that word and I knew it’s wasn’t good.. so the rest of us sat there while the Dr told her and her family that she had weeks to live.. I lay in my bed sobbing for her, her family, friends and for their impending loss.. when she was leaving I gave her a hug and told her to make the most of the time she had left…. I was shattered for them.. and of course I felt fear, that could be me.. what if…  During my stay my hair fell out in clumps, it became a joke with the nurses where they would point out clumps of my hair .. I finally got Shane to borrow some scissors off them so he could cut my hair short till we could get home and shave it.. thank goodness I had gotten him to bring one of my new chemo/cancer hats in so I could wear it… With much excitement they finally released me when my white blood cell count started to rise enough for me to go home.. yayyyyyy I remember walking out of there, the sun was shining and I didn’t care who saw me in my jim jams and bunny slippers.. I was going home and that was the best thing in the world.. that night we shaved my head, I cried not as much as I thought I would and not for my hair but for the symbolism of it..

The next task was to get my port in.. yep I hear you ask what’s a port.. well it’s a device they insert under your skin in your chest that is attached to your main artery and it enables them to IV the chemo and drugs into you without having to find a vein.. which was extremely difficult with me… they can also get blood out of them most of the time…. this was one of the best decisions I made whilst I have an obvious scar there now from it, it made my life and the nurses life so much easier… and oh well what’s another scar to add to the others 🙂

Then it was back to chemo, more chemo, more chemo and more chemo… this first chemo I was doing was called FEC90, OMG that was just awful, it’s the combination of 3 different chemicals and all of them are nasty, they kill your cells but the cancer cells as well…. each one made me very sick.. I vomited, was nauseous, could hardly move for almost the 3 weeks between each one, lost my hair and had trouble with anything and everything… but I did the 4 of them and then started straight away on the next lot of chemo as they couldn’t get me into the radiation therapy..

Sigh, Taxol, well that was fun as well, 12 of these and weekly… every Tuesday Shane and I would drive into Norwest and sit with the gorgeous team at Specialist Services…. the first couple went ok but I was still reeling from FEC90 and then the Taxol started to have it’s own effects… my toe nails and finger nails started to go funny.. I lost most of my big toe nails, I got numbness and tingling in my fingers and toes, my legs and ankles doubled in size at least and I was sooo exhausted I could hardly walk anywhere…  I also started Herceptin as my breast cancer was HER2 positive, up until a few years prior this drug was not available on the free list but I was lucky.. I would have paid the $40k plus if we had to, it increases your chances of survival significantly and even though we already had almost $15k in out of pocket medical expenses and me not working or earning an income, we would have found the money…

I then went on to have over 30 hits of radiation and got fried like a lobster but much much worse.. the pain was pretty bad and the burns continued for weeks after I finished my treatment… I could hardly move, think about really really bad sunburn and times it by 100…

Then early 2013 I had my reconstruction… during my mastectomy, my surgeon inserted an expander and then over the next few months, my reconstruction surgeon filled this with saline to stretch the skin back out and create an area to insert the implant into.. I couldn’t afford the larger size implant so I opted for a C cup and my reconstruction surgeon would do a reduction on the other side… this was cheaper, I know “what the”.. and yes any woman going through breast cancer has to pay significant out of pockets for breast reconstruction surgery as medicare don’t cover it.. you can go public but the waiting list is around 2 years 🙁

The surgery went well and I was starting to feel like what we call “the new normal”.. and was looking forward to getting the all clear and start using our little snow babies that were waiting patiently for us after my cousin had done another egg donor cycle for us and we had 11 embryo’s in the freezer.. but in May 2013 it all went wrong, I felt some dampness in my top.. of course I don’t feel too much on that side but did feel something to see that I had fluid leaking from my right foob.. yep that’s what we call them… I texted my breast cancer nurse and she said to monitor it and if I got a temperature to let her know.. it continued to leak and I was truly concerned, no one else was but I was terrified beyond words… I didn’t feel great by the Sunday night and during the night declined rapidly and by Monday morning was so sick with temperatures and infections I was rushed to my surgeon at the hospital and admitted immediately…. for days I was soooooo sick I couldn’t keep food down, the pain was excruciating, I was on the strongest of antibiotics and I think I cried a lot…  by the 3rd day after being up since 4am in extreme pain and vomiting up so much bile my Dr decided to do an emergency surgery and remove the foob, the infecitons and see what was going on… I started to get better as such but now was foobless…..

Then about 3 weeks later, I got Shane to check my wounds as they didn’t feel right and we found that they had opened up in several places… argghhhh… we rang our nurse and she rang the surgeon and he said just keep an eye on it.. finally days later we were back to see them all again… they called them radiation ulcers where the tissue and skin were sooo damaged they opened up and were having trouble healing.. so after weeks of daily wound dressings and packing them with no change, my surgeon sent me to Prince of Wales Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy x 5 days a week.. so I travelled into town on the 8am train, caught a bus, did my hyperbaric, had my wounds dressed and came home, that took the whole day and by the end of it I was exhausted.. so 12 weeks of this with a few days off one week to go down to Melbourne and see my Mum…  No change, what the… so they did a CT scan to find I had a rare condition called Osteoradionecrosis… again what the.. my tissue, skin, part of my rib bones and surrounding areas had died from the infections, temperatures and radiation…  My surgeon and radiation oncologist were stumped as to why I had it, it’s so rare these days for breast cancer.. sadly throat cancer patients can get it as the radiation is required around their jaw and often they get it in their jaw etc.  Anywho so I needed more surgery… a “lat dorsi” now many women do this surgery for reconstruction, mine was for the osteoradionecrosis as well as I figure we may as well re-do the reconstruction as well.. so the surgery was done, they took a large flap of skin, lat dorsi muscle and tissue from my back and put it on my front.. so yep I’m back to front…

Then next surgery was to insert the expander and then they weekly inserted saline to stretch the skin out again… and let me tell you that’s not comfortable as well.. it makes all that areas soooooo tight and uncomfortable and painful… but no pain no gain right…  And then the surgery to insert the implant early 2014…  Gosh we must be getting closer to the end of this and getting to use our snow babies..surely..  And this is only a small part of what went on.. I haven’t even gone into the pain and all the other issues… surely this is enough…

So I heal, I get the all clear from my surgeon, I see my oncologist, I get full body PET scans done – these are not much fun either.. and then I get yayyyy the all clear, I can use my snow babies..

So we meet with our Fertility Specialist and we start the cycle… and then we get the call from the scientist.. that our embyro’s have not survived the thaw.. I kept saying to her, but we have 11 and she had to tell me several times that they were all dead.. as I write this tears are flowing as this was just heartbreaking and devastating.. these little snow babies were a huge part of what kept me going through all the treatment…. how can you lose that many embryo’s?? it’s just not possible and it’s not normal.. in between tears I rang the IVF clinic in Melbourne where we had one little snow baby left on ice from the first cycle my cousin did.. we managed to make it happen and I flew down that weekend to do the transfer on the Tuesday… I got to see my Mum as well which was lovely and caught up with my dear and wonderful friends… ok deep breaths, embryo survived the thaw, transfer done and now the 2ww… we get a positive pregnancy result yayyyyyy and my HCG levels are good and continue to rise.. ok tick, tick, tick.. those hurdles crossed.. then the 7 week scan and our world falls apart, there’s no heartbeat and no fetal pole.. the embryo has not grown into a baby, it most likely had chromosomal problems :'( words just can’t describe our loss… we then had to wait 13 days and do another scan to confirm that the baby didn’t have a heartbeat still and was not viable.. this was just cruel.. finally we had that confirmation and organized a d&c…  We had planned to go to Melbourne to see my dying Mum so we did the d&c a few days before driving down there.. I cried the whole way down.. and when we stopped at Jugiong for lunch, this mum with her hubby and family were coming in the door, the little girl was taking her time and the mother said “Mabel” move and she didn’t, I smiled at her and said it’s ok.. the mother then said to me “do you want her” oh my…. she didn’t mean it but it broke my heart and I cried even more if that’s possible.. I wanted to go in and ask her to be our new egg donor.. I almost did…

So we spent time with my Mum and I spent the next 3 to 4 weeks after the d&c in pain and discomfort and grieving for our losses… we weren’t ready to give up yet on our dream.. we hadn’t had a chance at all.. so we started looking again for a new egg donor…. you think running this website, I would find one easily but everyone assumes that and therefore they don’t offer.. and I guess I don’t put it out there enough as well as I don’t want to take a donor away from someone else, sigh….  I started our search, I posted on Facebook, I put an ad up on pay it forwards on Facebook, I placed my own ad on here, and another egg donor website even had the audacity to text me and ask me if I really needed a donor or was just doing it for publicity, how could they ask me that… I have always shown such integrity and honesty and to even think that about me was just disgusting….

Then our friend offered and we decided to take her up on it.. she’s amazing for an extremely busy person, she just made all the appointments happen and in January 2015 we were starting a cycle with her.. but sadly we got 6 eggs but none of them were mature 🙁 we all cried… our friend offered to go as many times as we needed… we spoke to the FS and he assured us it was highly unusual and that he was sure if we went again we could do better… we were considering going overseas at the time but after consulting with the FS he convinced us to try one more time..  so we had to wait for a period in between and we went again.. we got 12 eggs but again most of them were immature and/or didn’t fertilise… and we ended up with 2 very poor day 1 embyro’s in the freezer that the scientist said won’t probably survive the thaw…

So I am ready, prepped for the phone call that lets me know if they survived, surely Easter Sunday will be our good luck charm… and you know I created this website one Easter many years ago… so fingers and toes crossed that I don’t get a call tomorrow morning, the scientist said she won’t call me if they are ok… but I’m not holding out much hope for them.. .and then of course as anyone knows having gone through IVF, there’s the will they survive till transfer, will they implant, will I get a positive pregnancy test, will my hcg levels be good, will my hcg levels increase enough, will there be a heartbeat at the 7 week scan, will I miscarry… sigh…  and will I get to the 12 week scan… and then the next scan and the next one … it’s not just yippee I’m pregnant, it’s all the hurdles to get through before that little baby is in our arms…

Well it’s past my bedtime and I’ve already written too much, sorry 🙂 so good night, happy Easter and I will keep you updated..

love from us Dianne and Shane xoxox

D&C all done, yayyyyy

Great news, my d&c has been done, my uterus is clear of all those nasty chemo drugs…. now need to see my reconstruction surgeon on Monday as I am still in lots of pain from the last surgery and I shouldn’t be, hopefully it’s just my body overwhelmed by all the breast cancer surgeries and treatments… 🙁

We are still working towards a late September embie/snow baby transfer…. now I’m getting excited, but a bit nervous as most of us know that it’s not an absolute…
Off to see my wonderful TCM & acupuncturist Kathryn Taylor tomorrow, have been seeing her for years and she’s fabulous, gosh she knows just about everything about infertility. She’s been away for a while so I’ve been seeing her locum but it will be fabulous to catch up with her tomorrow…

Would love to hear how you are going with your journey xoxox

So it’s been a while……sorry :(

Gosh I’m sorry it’s been a while since I have written anything, I hoped to do it regularly but a wee thing called breast cancer just got in my way.. plus all the usual day to day stuff 🙂 I hope to get back into it more soon…

Thank you to everyone for all your support and patience, I have tried where possible to approve ads really quickly and reply really quickly but there have been days where I have just been too sick to do it 🙁 and it’s also been very difficult to do it from a hospital bed.

It’s been a crazy 2 1/2 years, since my diagnosis, I have had a mastectomy, FEC90 chemo x 4 sessions every 3 weeks and that was crap (nausea, vomiting, exhaustion, mouth ulcers, lack of appetite, hair loss and much much more), I was admitted for a week plus to hospital for low white blood cell count and infections after this first chemo, then I had to have a port put in as my veins collapsed in my arm and they couldn’t get a vein for the chemo, I then had another chemo taxol weekly for 12 weeks and that too was crap 🙂 (absolute exhaustion to the point I couldn’t walk or move, I lost my toe nails and my finger nails went extremely brittle, I lost feeling in my toes and fingers and it’s still as bad today which potentially no fix in site.. and again much much more), then I did radiation every weekday for over 4 weeks and that gave me a lovely tan, well actually really really bad sunburn with blisters… I also started a therapy called Herceptin through the port for a year as I was HER positive, I then had my reconstruction and 5 weeks later was rushed to hospital with massive infections and pain and subsequently had to have the implant removed.. then about 4 weeks later the wounds opened up and I had two lovely holes in my side where I could see inside myself :)… so my specialist got me to have them dressed daily for weeks, then sent me to Prince of Wales hospital daily for hyperbaric oxygen treatment to see if that would heal them, that was fun from Faulconbridge in the Blue Mountains on the morning train to Central railway station then by bus to Randwick and back home again in the afternoon… when that wasn’t working after 12 weeks, they did a CT scan to find that I had Osteoradionecrosis, a rare condition where the radiation and infections had caused the tissue and skin and some of my ribs to die… so they I had to have a lat dorsi where they took skin, muscle and tissue from my lower back and pulled it through to my front to give that area circulation and skin to heal…. but wait there’s more 🙂 so then once that was healed I had the expander put in, another surgery, and then they inflated it slowly to stretch the skin out and then finally about 7 weeks ago I had the implant put in… so we are on the home stretch, yay!!

Sorry a boring lot of detail and I am sure I have forgotten lots of extra treatment and stuff…. but that’s the quick snapshot 🙂 of course there were weekly/daily specialist appointments, lots of pain and exhaustion and so much more…

So the great news for me is that my egg donor angel did another cycle whilst I was still going through treatment and we have 11 snow babies on ice waiting for us.  I have just had full scans and yes am cancer free, yayyyyy, we are full steam ahead on doing a cycle and a transfer.

This Tuesday I have a d+c to clear my uterus of all those nasty chemo drugs and other chemicals… then my body will heal whilst we go away to Melbourne to visit family and once we return we will do our first transfer, sometime around the end of September.

It’s been a long, exhausting and emotional journey for us and I hope that our dreams will now become reality and this Christmas I can celebrate knowing that the next one, we will have our own family.

So what about you?? I have had lots of wonderful news whilst going through all of this of babies being born through couples meeting their egg donor angels through here and lots of couples and egg donor angels currently going through the process.  Some sad news where the cycles haven’t worked or the couples have decided to not continue looking 🙁

I am soooooo very excited, every week this site is growing and more and more wonderful egg donor angels are placing ads or contacting couples offering to help, when I started there were so many of us looking and not many angels…. but now we are getting the word out there about egg donation, infertility we are getting many more successes., thank you to everyone for this and please keep spreading the word xox

I was in Springwood at my local shops the other day and typical me, found any opportunity to talk about egg donation and Egg Donor Angels and infertility, that I was chatting to a shop assistant and she said if she had know years ago after having her children, she would have donated her eggs…

But the most important message I had for her was to be aware of her daughters fertility and as they get into their thirties to get themselves checked out and if they aren’t ready yet or haven’t found the right one yet, freeze their eggs…

When we are young, we are told “don’t get pregnant”, “go on the pill”.

At school, we learn the basics of reproduction but no one teaches you about infertility and its conditions and how age affects it and how our fertility starts to decline after 35…. I am not saying all young women should get pregnant or have babies earlier, everyone is different and each person needs to do this when they are ready… but I want every girl/woman to totally understand how it all works, the issues and even the simple thing of how ovulation works…

Well that’s it from me…I would love to hear how you are going..