Archive for August 2016

Part 1 the Journey so far ….

This is my journal / journey through the IVF process & the thoughts that go with it.


Let me start by saying neither me or my partner ever expected to have to go through this, no person ever does really, it’s the old adage of you spend your early adult years trying you best not to get pregnant, then when you come to start a family you realise how hard and unfair life can sometimes be.

Multiple failed IVF cycles can cover a long period of time in a relationship, where it feels your entire life with each other is on hold, all under the control of a 3rd party, for the first year your try not to let things slip, try to still have date nights, try not to get too obsessed with timescales etc.

However each failure takes its toll and breaks-down the strongest of couples and you can see how it can easily lead to the destruction of a once solid partnership.

The hard part is watching your partner struggle for years with seeing friends / family all “seem” to get pregnant easily or worse still people fall pregnant who don’t want it / not sure whether to keep it. All this happens around you with nothing you can do apart from try to be a rock for her.

Once the decision is made as a couple to start IVF there is almost a relief as it’s now in a professionals hands and they know what they’re doing it will all get sorted now, right?

Off to the clinic for a sperm deposit and check-up, results come back way over the UK average sperm count / motility. Mini Hi 5, Gold medal & victory dance for me!! This elation is quickly replaced by a deep feeling of guilt that this could be something wrong with your partner or worse still the dreaded unexplained infertility.

For a man this is pretty much the end of his involvement in the IVF process, you then have to sit back and watch your partner go through many many invasive and much more uncomfortable checks & procedures, we do get off very lightly boys. The worst part of mine was it was the room next door to the receptionist and a busy corridor with some questionable 1980’s reader’s wives material (Thank god for 4G internet!!!!)

4612469868_238x228Once all the checks were completed and the results came back with the dreaded unexplained infertility this gives your stomach a huge drop as how can they fix it if they don’t know what’s wrong (the equivalent of the check engine light of the car, could be an engine coil could be the fuel filter, if only the wife had an ECU plug socket somewhere & I could attached the diagnostic machine).

Now the 1st round starts, not helped for us by my wife being needle phobic and the protocol we were on requiring 2 injections a day at the same time every day for weeks. So I step up and honestly a small enjoyment not because of giving my wife a little prick before you ask, but because I’m involved again and have some connection to the events.

Now these drugs are big hormone hitters and all credit to my wife, the nurse gave us some stories about how emotional & mood swingy she would get but she did really well, even after dropping her beloved iPhone down the toilet (Not the first time I may add) which would send most people today into a meltdown.

The day finally comes for them to remove the eggs and we got a bumper crop more than average (Hi 5 for the wife’s ovaries) of them my little fellas fertilise 80%, again over average results, they go in a cooker for a few weeks and we get over average amount through to the last stage. All looking good confidence is high!! We must have just needed that little bit of help from IVF’s Mary Berry.

ivfThe checks continue and soon it comes round to implantation day another time I’m needed (again in a slightly more private room but the same reading material, maybe I’m a porn snob?? But back on the 4G internet I was).

So that’s us back in the hands of the professionals and a 2 week wait for a pregnancy test, confidence still fairly high as we’ve been above average patients all the way. We have photos of the cells & even a video of it growing in the chamber, what felt like nice touches at the time but it’s strange how attached you get to that photo just like a 12 week baby scan, so when the test came back negative it was crushing for us both.

A brief week to regroup and pick ourselves back up from the floor and its back to the consultant to talk about starting round 2 as we had frozen the other eggs from round 1, the doctor is confident and even says the odds are approximately 50/50 at our age group at this clinic so this time maybe?

This round of drugs is tablet not injection but already the optimism that we both shared is starting to wain as we spend the weeks prepping, this time the hormones did hit like a train & also sickness, maybe it was the adrenaline of the 1st go that kept it all at bay or these drugs are harder on the system.

This round was a lot harder to stand back and watch my wife get sicker and have no involvement / nothing I could do or say, matters made worse at the check-up when they double the dosage for the final couple of weeks.

Back to implantation again and this time I can’t attend so a friend of hers has to go down, we’re given the test date and it falls slap bang on the last day of a planned holiday, not ideal, the whole holiday is spent on tenterhooks (& alcohol free on her part).

Its bad news again and this time it just feels harder for many reasons, it was supposed to be 50/50 and we’ve done it twice? The next go is our last go, the next go is back on injections, Why can’t we do what people seem to manage round the back of a night club at 3am by mistake? What’s wrong with us? We already have a naturally conceived child so it must be possible for us?

What feels like rock bottom and 2 false starts is hard … hard to cope with yourself never mind be the rock you need to be for your partner. Especially as men we are prewired to bottle everything up and push it deep down never to be talked about, its not the sort of conversation you can strike up down the pub, so John did you see Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s goal at the weekend, by the way me and the missus are struggling I could do with a hug. So you bottle it up, drink it away, take it out on some poor unsuspecting sod on the 5 a side pitch and power through.

So for those of you that read this far. That’s where me & Mrs Pobz stand on the cusp of the last round, we had already agreed this would be the last set as we’ve seen people spend thousands & thousands and relationships destroyed by the constant cycles & are determined for this not to be us as well.

To be continued in Part 2 ….. fingers crossed for the next few months.



Medical definition; A Panic Attack is a sudden surge of overwhelming anxiety and fear. Your heart pounds and you can’t breathe. You may even feel like you’re dying or going crazy. A panic attack on dry land is already bad, imagine having one 15 meters or 50 feet under water. This scuba diver suffered it under water, and it is just unbearable.


Footage was from a try dive in South Africa in 2015, luckily the quick reactions of her instructor to bring her to the surface after trying to reinsert her regulator saved her life.


Rule No.1 underwater …. if something goes wrong with you or your buddy don’t panic, a calm thought process will give a better chance of survival.

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While scuba diving is enjoyed worldwide today, few enthusiasts may be aware that the origins of their hobby can be traced to a pioneering Japanese immigrant in prewar Australia.

Yasukichi Murakami (1880-1944) is credited with single-handedly developing advanced models of diving gear that substantially expanded the scope of the activity before the introduction of scuba.

Hailing from Wakayama Prefecture, Murakami obtained patents on valves and apparatuses for the diving gear while introducing pearl farming to Australia. He died after being sent to an internment camp when the war between Japan and the United States broke out.

He was not forgotten, however, and in recent years, his achievement has been re-evaluated.


Murakami was born in Tanami (present-day Kushimoto) in Wakayama Prefecture. He moved to Australia in 1897 and became a storekeeper in Broome in the northwest of the country. He also became a pillar of the Japanese immigrant community.

In the 1910s, Murakami started pearl fishing, which was thriving back in those days, in partnership with an Australian businessman.

Pearl farming was developed by Kokichi Mikimoto in Japan but had not yet been introduced to Australia, and so many of the immigrants were collecting natural pearls as divers.

Using an old model of a diving suit developed in 1836, many divers were harmed physically from the bends, also known as decompression sickness, which is caused by the formation of gas bubbles in the blood that occur with a sudden change of pressure during diving.

In 1913, 28 divers died of the bends there. Murakami decided to improve the swimming suit.

After a great deal of trial and error, Murakami finally invented an advanced model of diving gear by the mid-1920s.

Unlike the conventional diving gear that sent air into a large-size helmet, Murakami’s improved model had a system that enabled divers to easily draw a breath and dramatically expand the range of their activities under the sea by using a mouthpiece and valves that made air flow in one direction.


After years of developing his advanced models, Murakami obtained patents for his “improved diving dress” in Australia and the United States by 1928.

He further developed a more advanced model equipped with an auxiliary compressed air supply on the user’s back.

However, Murakami’s diving suit did not gain a foothold within the immigrant community at that time.

Murakami introduced farming of perfectly spherical pearls to Australia around the same time, but his venture failed because people in the business worried about the sharp decline in pearl prices and staged boycotts.

In 1936, Murakami moved to Darwin with his family and opened a photo studio.

Murakami was not permitted to be naturalized due to the “White Australia” policy and was transferred to the Tatura camp in an inland area of the country after the outbreak of the Pacific War in December 1941.

He acted as leader in the Australian internment camp in an unfamiliar environment in the desert.

In Murakami’s absence while he was in the camp, Jacques-Yves Cousteau, a French naval officer and ocean explorer, and Emile Gagnan, a French engineer, developed and obtained a patent in 1943 for the Aqua-Lung, the self-contained underwater breathing apparatus.

Modern-day scuba diving designs are based on that patent.

Murakami died of heart disease at the age of 63 on June 26, 1944.


John Lamb, the Australian historian, described in his book “Silent Pearls” that “Although Murakami’s system did not have the automatic breathing regulator at the core of the patents of Gagnan and Cousteau, it was arguably a forerunner of all modern SCUBA.”

Today there is a street named in his honor called “Murakami Road” in Broome honoring Murakami’s achievement.

About 400 photographs sent by Murakami from Australia survive in Murakami’s parents’ house in Wakayama Prefecture.

Mutsumi Tsuda, professor of Seian University of Art and Design, and other staff members researched the photographs.

“Using inhalation and elimination of air, and compressed air, the fundamental structure of the diving gear that Murakami developed is much the same as the scuba,” said Tsuda.

“Although his invention was important even from a military point of view, he was sent to an internment camp during the war just because he was Japanese. Therefore he never received official credit for his patent during his lifetime.”


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