Saturday, December 31, 2011

Boy, am I glad THAT'S over


2011 I mean.

I always have high hopes for a new year, but things always seem to fall apart. Last year started out great with my husband getting a job with infertility coverage. But then he went into the hospital, got laid off and my eggs proved themselves to be totally inadequate. I was hoping for better things when I did manage to get pregnant, but then miscarried and was laid off in the same month. Thanks asshole employer, fuck you too. I did manage to get a job I really love, but my husband is severely underemployed and we are still unable to catch up. Too bad I spent all that money on IVF. Have I mentioned the insurance is still screwing around with paying my medical bills?

I really don't want much out of you, 2012. All I really want is for my husband to also get a job he loves, maybe even one that has regular hours? I just want to catch up in my life. I'm not even going to ask you for a baby. I'm going to be very easy to please this year. Thanks in advance...

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas Tree

I grew up in an artsy family, and my mom was a florist (i.e. professional tree decorator) so I've always had a sense of what kind of trees I like and how I like trees to be decorated. In fact, the first time I saw a friend's tree that didn't match my preferences, I was somewhat appalled. I realized later that not everyone really understood what made a professionally decorated tree look so good, so I thought maybe I would share the bits of wisdom passed down to me from my mom.

First - type of tree is important. I grew up with douglas and noble fir trees, and now I continue with another local species of fir. I really love the tiers, mostly because the ornaments are displayed so nicely and the branches are well defined for lights. You don't necessarily have to choose one of those, but you do want a tree that looks like a cone, not one that looks like a big puff ball. I have no idea what kind of tree that is, but I have seen them.


The most important thing you can do to make your tree amazing is to add lights. Lots and lots of lights! In fact, most professionally decorated trees use 100 bulbs per foot of height. See? LOTS of lights! I use a fraction of that many, but I do use a lot more lights than a lot of amateur trees I see. I love white mini lights, but I also love the C7 light strings I inherited from my mom. The bulbs blink individually, because the filaments separate randomly based on how warm the bulb gets. But, I digress!

The best way to get your lights onto your tree is to string them out and back along each branch, and the easiest way to do that is to use specifically designed clips (I LOVE these things) or even garden twist tie. That way, it attaches to the branch, you can hide the wires under the branch and push the bulbs up through the needles. Also, instead of trying to string the lights end to end, a Christmas tree extension cord that can run up the trunk and provide multiple outlets is ideal.


Next lesson - the smaller the ornament, the higher it should go, and vice versa. The top of the tree should have the smallest ornaments, and they should get larger, the further down you go. Why? Not really sure, but I know it looks better. It also probably creates a slight optical illusion to make your tree look taller. Have I mentioned that I prefer tall trees? Not just tall, I'm talking "I had to cut the bottom AND the top off, and it STILL scrapes the ceiling" tall. That's how my mom did it, so that's how I do it (when I can afford it). Another alternative is to go for the table top size. The in between sizes just don't look right to me.


Last key element is to layer ornaments from the inside out. Each branch can handle multiple ornaments, and it creates depth. If you have a thicker tree, like a douglas fir, you can get away with clunkier, weirder looking ornaments on the inside, because you barely catch a glimpse of them, and yet they create that depth you are looking for. If you have a tiered fir, like a noble or the kind of fir I get from my local forest, you have to go more dainty because you can really see clearly all the way to the trunk.


I am fond of glass ornaments, and happen to own a good number of vintage ornaments (thanks again Mom!), so I prefer to stick to those. When I was younger, and we had douglas firs, we did more of a country style tree, with wood ornaments and pinecones, and buried glass ornaments deep into the tree to create depth. I think going with a theme makes your tree look more professional.


These are some great guidelines for you to aspire to, in order to improve your tree decorating. I am not perfect - I don't use enough lights, I don't always hide my cords the way I should, etc. but my trees look pretty damn good. My mom is proud.

Sorry I didn't get this posted in time to help you this year, but maybe I'll bring it back early next Christmas season :)

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Over the river and through the woods

Back when I lived in the mountains the last time, I would go out into the forest to cut a Christmas tree myself. It was economical ($5 for a permit from the Forest Service) and fun as well. Think Chevy Chase in Christmas Vacation, without freezing my eyeballs.

Now that we are back in the mountains, we decided to continue the tradition, because not only does it get us into the Christmas Spirit, we can get a nicer tree for less money. Also, because we cut it down ourselves, the tree is beyond fresh. I remember taking my trees down the first week of January and being shocked at how green and pliable it was, even after spending a month in my living room! Therefore, we decided to get our tree right after Thanksgiving. (BTW the tree is still pliable, more than three weeks later.

We decided to hit up Virginia Lakes on our way to Bridgeport, and it was cold! But also gorgeous.

Virginia Lakes = Frozen

More Virginia Ice

Bravery. I know the ice is super thick, but still...

Rudolph crossing. I lovw this sign, it has been there for years!


Snow on the road, but this was the furthest we have been able to drive into the forest in a while. And that's actually sad...

We found a tree in our normal spot, and it was overall fairly uneventful. Except for the moment when hubby was looking at the trees on the side of the road, and almost ran smack into a herd of deer. I yelled out deer when they were 10 feet away, and he was able to stop. Of course I was so freaked, that I forgot to pull my camera out... ::eyeroll::

I make him do all the work

Success!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Holidaze


First of all, even though it really is a minor holiday for my Jewish friends, Happy Chanukkah! I had to link to JewFAQ.org because I love the site name :) Hope your eight crazy nights are happy and festive!

For the Christian-ish of us (I say that because while I celebrate Christmas, I'm not Christian. I prefer to celebrate the food and Pagan aspects of the holiday) we are a mere four days away from the deadline. I am still procrastinating on the cards, and haven't done any baking. I barely bought any presents - we decided to only buy for each other, and to limit it to chatchski stocking stuffers.

The fact that we moved away and are not required to attend any of the family gatherings, seeing everyone's new babies and pregnant bellies, has been a life saver. This has kept me from breaking down too much during this holiday season.

As far as the holidays go, we have done a pretty good job enjoying them. We went out, got a tree, and decorated it, like a long ass time ago. Since we can go cut our own down, it stays fresh for so long, so we decide to get it early. I put up decorations around the house, listened to Christmas music, and watched some great movies. I haven't been able to enjoy the holidays this much in years!

I think I need to refocus my blog. I keep saying I will, but I haven't yet. This is the week it changes :) Stay tuned.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Always Updating

Yeah, I kinda fell off the planet there, didn't I?

Hopefully, soon, I will be actually blogging rather than doing a half assed update on what the fuck has been going on with me/my brain/my life. Once can dream.

The last few weeks have been rather off, mostly with regards to my place in this world. That sounds so cryptic. I guess I have been struggling to find my place with regards to having a family.

I knew moving away meant giving up on IVF. In some silly, stupid, school girl way, I thought maybe this would be my miracle. Giving up on IVF would somehow make my body cooperate. Instead, my husband is no longer willing to try.

I get it, 3.5 years of trying is exhausting, mind numbing torture. But I am also under no illusion that these things will just "happen." Hell, we could have impeccable timing and I still may never get pregnant, but to tell me that temping, OPK'ing, and the like puts too much pressure on you, well, we might as well give up completely.

Sometimes I think I'm okay with this. Other times I am a fucking mess about it. I have these waves of grief that wash over me, and then 30 minutes later, I feel like I'm over it. Part of me just wants to enjoy my husband. I am, but sometimes I wonder if that's enough.

I think the hardest part is that I am the odd man out, because I'm not a mom. All of my friends here are moms. And you know how smug moms can be. I just don't understand their trials and tribulations, or so I'm told.

And I think about what should have been. I should have celebrated my second trimester on my anniversary in September. I should be having the best Christmas ever. Woulda coulda shoulda.

Maybe I'm just never going to happy, no matter what.

That being said, I'm going to try. I need to try. I have let myself go in so many ways - gained weight, stopped running, stopped knitting, stopped getting my hair cut, stopped caring about myself in many ways. I'm starting to come back. Maybe it was that crush I had that made me start caring about myself again. I got my hair cut and highlighted, I started running again. I bought some new cute clothes. I pulled out the makeup again, and even bought a few new things. I joined Weight Watchers again. I hope I'm coming back.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Landslide

It's amazing how, out of nowhere the pain comes flooding in. I've been living my life, busy as hell, enjoying everything and not thinking about babies, especially the one that died. And out of the blue, one comment sends me into a tailspin.

I've been crying for at least an hour and the pain sitting in my gut feels as strong as it ever has been. I understand it hasn't been long enough, but I did expect it to get weaker, like ice melting into a drink.

I know that tomorrow I will get up in the morning and go to work and act as if nothing has changed, but right now I feel lost, helpless, hopeless, despairing. My world is fucked up right now.

And I feel fat and old and ugly and unwanted. Infertility added pounds, and a miscarriage added more. I haven't been motivated to eat healthy either. I've only been out once to run. I haven't yet joined the gym. And when I see myself in pictures, I see my mom. Sometimes I don't know if my husband and I can survive this. And if I lose him, who would want me? Would I even want to be wanted?

"Well, I've been afraid of changing
'Cause I've built my life around you
But time makes you bolder
Even children get older and I'm getting older too
Oh, I'm getting older too"
~Stevie Nicks, "Landslide"

Tomorrow will be better. It has to be.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Appreciate what you have

Life is fleeting, and so is happiness. I just found out that one of my husband friends collapsed and died today. His wife is pregnant, probably about as far along as I would be if I hadn't miscarried.

When I miscarried, I was so jealous. I felt so sorry for myself. And now my heart is breaking for her. If given the choice, I would take my heartbreak over hers, but nobody gets that choice. You get what you get. And sometimes it fucking sucks.

Tragedy is everywhere. I am so thankful that I still have my husband. I need to remember to appreciate what I have, because it can easily slip through your fingers, gone forever, never to be seen again.

Hold your loved ones a little tighter tonight.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Where to start?

Wow. Where does the time go?

I guess I'll start with the job. I like it! I'm challenged and feel like I have an impact. It's keeping me busy with real work instead of the crap work I used to have to do all the time. The only bad thing is I don't have time to screw around on the internet, but in the grand scheme of things, that's not a bad thing.

On the other hand, the move just isn't going the way I thought it should. I wanted us to get the place listed at the beginning of the month, my husband resisted. Last week, I wanted him to straighten up so the leasing agent could take pictures (Hello!? We need this place rented!) and he decided to pack more (i.e. make a bigger mess) instead. We're finally going to get photos taken tomorrow, but it's already halfway through the month. On top of that, I need to move into my new place now or else I will lose it, so IF we get a renter by November 1st I will *only* have to cover both the rent and my mortgage for two weeks. That's hard enough when we only have one income. But we also need to replace some carpet, make some repairs, paint and fix some baseboards before someone can move in. Oh and replace the dishwasher. Where the fuck is this money going to come from??? UGH. Oh and I'm also paying for a cleaning company because my husband can't manage and I certainly can't do it on my limited weekends.

On a different note, my cycle started exactly six weeks after my D&C. Strangely on time, right? I can't help but think about how I would be starting stims if we had made a different decision about our future. The other thing that is bothering me is how so many of my old friends in this town are now moms and have an entirely different life and set of priorities. I don't exactly fit in with them, but for some reason it doesn't make me sad. I don't know how else to describe it. I sometimes even think that I am okay with not being a mom at all now. I don't have that same pain in my stomach when I see a baby or a pregnant woman. Maybe all it took was for me to make this decision, to make me feel better about what might have happened anyway. I'm still hopeful for a miracle, as long as I can get my husband here and embracing a healthier lifestyle.

Speaking of husbands, I'm not sure where he's going to end up. He (finally) got some traction in a job that he applied for while I was going through our last IVF. That was MONTHS ago! We still don't know anything yet, but I am torn - do I root for him to get this job? It's a great job and pays REALLY well, but we would have to live apart. Money has been so tight with his extended time of unemployment, so the pay is crucial to us getting back on track financially. But I don't want to live away from him any longer. It hasn't even been two weeks yet and I'm already sad. He has an interview for a local job too, but that job will pay less than half as much. What's more important? Being together or getting our finances in order? Major suckage.

Last on the agenda, my health. I'm trying to eat healthier as well as cheaper. Making dinner, taking my lunch, etc. I was also supposed to start running, but I haven't yet. I haven't felt like it. Like today, I came home from work reasonably on time! It was still light outside and a great temperature, clear, no rain or snow. But I came home and sat on the couch. Lazy ass. I hope to get it together soon. I need to sign up for a race and get a training plan in place. The other thing I need to do is get better about taking my prenatals at the minimum. I have a crapton of other supplements for egg quality which I should probably also be taking, but at least take the PNV FFS. I also decided today that I should cut coffee out. I had some today, and while I enjoyed it fine, I didn't enjoy it as much as I should have. It's time.

Well, there's a snapshot of my life, I know you were interested. ;P

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Lonely

Missing my family. :( I know this is what we needed to do, but this apart shit sucks. The feeling in my stomach keeps trying to tell me this is wrong. I can't wait to get settled. I can't wait for my husband to join me.

Tomorrow is my first day, and I am getting a PO box first thing in the morning, since this little rural town doesn't deliver mail to your door. It can be a pain in the ass, but it's nice to not have to change your address even if you move 10 times.

I am also starting to stress about living situations. I have a room right now, but want something more permanent. However, we can't afford our mortgage and our rent, so getting our place rented out is first priority. It just feels like there is so much to do.

But I'll sleep first. :)

Saturday, September 24, 2011

The Stress!!!

Wow, the stress is crazy.

I am excited for this move, but the reality of how unsettled my life will be for a the next few months is freaking me out a little, even though it will be totally worth it. I am currently packing and purging. I donated over half the clothes that I own! There was so much that I was just holding on to "just in case" and now that I am moving to a completely different climate and social atmosphere, I don't think I'm going to be needing those formal dresses any more. I also got rid of some vintage clothes that my ass is never getting into again. These garments were tight when I was 16!!! And I've been holding on to them since then. Nuts, right?

But I am also trying to fight my husband on getting rid of things that we will still need to replace. I get it, it sucks to move all this stuff, but if it's something that we still like, and to replace it would cost more than a few bucks, then we should keep it, right? I guess once I'm gone, he can do what he likes, but please God, please let him remember that I said this.

I am also bummed that I bought IVF drugs this month. I panicked when I got laid off and wanted to use up the rest of my Healthcare FSA - all $48 worth. Well, that's going to cost me the $540 in Cobra I might have avoided. I wish I could sell the drugs, or thought I would have any use for them. I am tempted to hold on to them, but that would mean moving them, and we have enough crap to move already. Of course, after people freaked out about how illegal it was to sell them, I did some research. It's also highly illegal to give them to another person, but the infertility community does that all the time. I guess the thought of making money bothers people, but it's not like I would profit from the transaction! I'm just trying to make our money go as far as possible, since at this moment, neither person in my household is working, and I'm moving $350 miles away to get a job. Moving costs $$$!! Oh well, chalk it up to experience. If I don't keep them (and why would I?) I'll be donating to my RE's office. Maybe they'll take pity on me and waive a random charge somewhere.

Tangent: The insurance and payments are still being worked out, but FFS, I sure as hell hope I get a small refund from our cycles. I would hate to owe more. O.o

I am also sad about being apart from my husband and dogs. I know it's only going to be for a short time (as long as he doesn't get an amazing offer from a company in our current area) he has decided to come up as soon as he gets the house packed and rented, so by November 1st he should be there. He has a big job, but I will also have a big job figuring out my relo housing situation and if we will need to move to accommodate my dogs and husband. I also don't want to be looking for a place in the height of the winter, so sooner is better than later, that's for sure!

Okay, I spent too much time on this and now it's a novel. Okay, maybe a short story. But I need to continue to pack and purge. Aaaaahhhhhhh!! I can't believe what I've accumulated in 7 years!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Decision

I have decided that I am taking this opportunity and forgoing additional ART.

I had to look at the worst case scenarios for either decision, and I figure I can handle never getting pregnant a lot better than giving up this opportunity, going through another IVF cycle and having that one end up in a BFN. My ovaries don't respond to stimulation drugs anyway, so what was the point? I still ovulate and my husband's lifestyle changes have improved his sperm tremendously, so I think we have a better shot now. I'm hoping we have a better shot. I'm also hoping that moving to a place with less stress and less pollutants will benefit us as well.

So, we are moving, as well as moving on.

Don't think that just because I am giving up on IVF that means I am giving up on having a family. We're going to continue down the path and see where life takes us. Maybe we'll get pregnant the way most people do. Maybe we'll adopt. Maybe we'll do a donor egg cycle. I'm open to what the future has in store. I am choosing to believe in fate, because if I had stayed pregnant, I would now be unemployed and would not have felt comfortable taking this position. Do I wish I was still pregnant? Of course. But I am thrilled to have a job I want and be able to move to a place I wish I have never left.

And that's good enough for now.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Insomnia

This might be the toughest decision I have ever made. 

Some of you might know that I was laid off last week. Well, I have a job offer, less than a week later. However, this offer comes with a price - walking away from IVF.

The only reason we can afford IVF is because we still have cobra health insurance that covers it. Cobra is expensive and I'm not sure how much longer we can keep it going, especially with  both of us being unemployed. But we were counting on one more cycle with a new protocol that maybe would make all the difference.

Well, now I'm possibly not going to see another cycle. If I take this job, I won't have the opportunity to cycle again until next summer at the earliest, and we can't afford to keep cobra that long. Plus, this new position requires that I move, and there isn't an RE for 200 miles so cycling would be a major undertaking. And my ovaries are already uncooperative - I can't imagine another year is going to help.

This position would be a good move for my career, but more than that, it is a paycheck. Who knows when my next opportunity would come? And would it be as good? Also, am I delusional to think that another IVF cycle would be the magic ticket? Even my doctor thinks the chances are slim.

I also have to admit, I'm tired of my entire life revolving around IVF. I want to lose weight, but afraid cutting calories or exercising too much would impact my egg quality. I want to run again, and I want to sign up for races, but can never commit just in case I'm cycling or even pregnant and not allowed to exercise at all. I would love to have a "normal" pregnancy, and could even be hopeful for it since I still ovulate and my husband's numbers are improving tremendously. 

There is one more component to this dilemma - my marriage. My husband wants to move with me, but the move would not be good for his career. So, there is the possibility that he might have to stay behind to work on his career, maybe even up to a year. Not sure how I will deal with that, it's already making me cry. Plus, only seeing him a few times a month will severely hamper our chances of a miracle pregnancy. It also feels weird to be considering my career over his, since I would love for him to have the career and for me to be a stay at home mom.

So, do I take the one sure thing in my life, this job? I have to decide in a few hours and it's giving me insomnia

Monday, September 12, 2011

Good News and Bad News

Good News: My husband's SA numbers are much improved!

Bad News: My eggs are now crap because he waited so long to make the lifestyle changes.

Good News: We are starting a new cycle as soon as my period starts! And we have a few tweaks to the protocol to try and improve my eggs.

Bad News: My RE is not hopeful that we are going to get anything.

Good News: My insurance amazingly covers donor egg IVF's!

Bad News: That coverage doesn't include the agency fee and the donor payment, and with our financial situation that $15K might as well be $1 Million.

Fuck.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

More Jumbled Thoughts

I am doing better. I hardly cry anymore. Only once in a while when something strikes me just the right way. We have our WTF appointment tomorrow, and then it looks like we will be moving on to IVF #4.

Trying again brings a whole new level of fear to the table. When I got pregnant, I was afraid something would go wrong. I was trying to enjoy my pregnancy, but at first it was fear that my beta would not double. Then it was fear that we wouldn't see a heartbeat when the time came. And then there was this very slight fear that the baby's heart might stop, or I would go into pre-term labor, but I pushed those out of my mind. That can't happen to me.

But it did. And while the chances of it happening twice are very low, I can only imagine what a basket case I will be if I get pregnant again. I feel like I should make the decision to just immerse myself in it, enjoy it, but not sure I will be able to.

And there is always the fear that it won't work again.

I am trying to stay busy, playing on Pinterest, knitting, watching movies, spending time with my husband. Working too. Still hoping that my HCG is at zero soon, hopefully tomorrow. I want my period to start ASAP. But I guess not too soon, because I still need to get another IVF protocol approved, and drugs ordered. I don't yet know what I need, but I know I am going to be more demanding on the specific drugs after doing some research and talking to friends, so I know I will need some time to ensure I can get them.

I still miss running. But I'm afraid of it now too. I feel so weak after taking the last three months off of any activity. And I am afraid that running would be too hard on my developing eggs. Silly, I know. It's also hard, not knowing when I can race again. I really just hope that someday I am training with a jogging stroller.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

I SPPH Needles

HCG was 561 today, which is a dramatic reduction from the 100,000+ it probably was last week when I had my D&C. I'm not sure what my body has in store next either. There shouldn't be any lining to speak of, as it was all scraped off. So once my beta goes back to zero, do I have a period? Or does my body start to gear up for ovulation? I've done some internet research, but different websites/articles say different things, so I started charting again, just so I could maybe figure out what my body is doing.

I really want my body to get it in gear, but not for a couple weeks. I got some shit to take care of, including meeting with my RE and getting my meds. As well as a business trip that was scheduled for right after my RE graduation, but that's a whole 'nother story, and one I would rather forget.

As much as I thought I would never say this again, I can't wait to jab myself in the belly again. I have plenty of needles left, so I could if I wanted to, but I think it would be better to wait. I just want to try again. I want to see if we can repeat history, but this time make it to my OB appt. That would be nice. Then maybe I can get to 40ish weeks. That would be better.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Turner Syndrome/Monosomy X

That's what our baby had. It's a chromosomal disorder where there is only one X Sex Chromosome. Normal females have XX, normal makes have XY, but Monosomy X just has the one X. My baby was considered female, and would have been female if she had survived.

While it doesn't make me feel better about losing my baby, I am somewhat relieved. Monosomy is more random than Trisomy (an extra chromosome) as Trisomy is usually related to age. It makes me feel better that this wasn't related to my diminishing egg quality. In fact, most cases of Turner Syndrome are related to the sperm production. Also, from what my RE told me, the second X chromosome was missing completely, where some Turner Syndrome babies have an incomplete X chromosome, and that would be scarier.

Apparently, 3% of all conceptions have Turner Syndrome, and 99% of those conceptions are miscarried. For some reason, 1% of these babies survive, however, they may have multiple issues, including infertility. Lord, I don't want my child to have to endure infertility. So maybe that's a good thing. Also, Turner Syndrome accounts for up to 15% of all miscarriages.

So, while I'm not happy that we lost our baby, I understand that it's not something I could have helped. Going through IVF before my eggs were so crappy wouldn't have necessarily made a difference, and any environmental factors that I was worried about wouldn't have helped either. Does that mean I'm taking a chance this next time around? Nope. Starting next week, I'm on operation egg quality. I'm running out of time to make this pregnancy thing happen.

I am still annoyed at my luck. 12% of all couples are infertile, and 3% of conceptions have Turner Syndrome. So a 0.36% chance that it would happen to us? Plus, many Turner Syndrome embryos never even make it to implantation or past chemical pregnancy stage. I guess that makes us really lucky. Probably not lottery winning lucky though.

Oh well, on to the next.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Inner Dialogue

How did I get here? I was saying that while I was still pregnant. 43 cycles and 42 BFN's, but one BFP! One BFP that continued to grow and thrive! It seemed like a dream come true.

How did I get here? 43 cycles, 42 BFN's and a miscarriage. Now it seems like a nightmare come true. My pregnancy already seems fuzzy and so far away, that it's almost surreal, like it never happened.

I never thought I would be infertile. When I husband and I started to try, I learned about charting and thought it would be easy, like shooting fish in a barrel. Charting and knowing when you ovulate is almost cheating! Except when your husband's sperm is lacking. And by the time we got the opportunity to do IVF, my eggs were lacking. Such a cruel joke.

I haven't slept one good night since we found out. I've been going to sleep between 11 pm and Midnight, but I've been waking up at 5:00 am every morning and unable to go to sleep unless I lay there for a few hours. Today I woke up at 3:40 am. I remember a therapist I had years ago told me that insomnia could indicate two things: if you can't go to sleep, you have anxiety, and if you wake up in the middle of the night, you are depressed.

Of course I'm depressed. Who wouldn't be?

But the worst thing I am facing now is the stigma of infertility and the lack of compassion for miscarriage. Especially from my work. I am currently the breadwinner, so I don't have much of a choice but to go back, but I have resentment. Resentment for the stress they put me through, the stress that I will still have to endure when I return. They said they were sorry to hear, but I don't get real concern from them. I resent that. I guess I should cut them slack, since very few people know how to respond and when they do, it's shit.

Anyway, my D&C has been completed, my post op scheduled for next week, and our WTF/WDWDN (what do we do next) is scheduled for the week after. But I can't help thinking about our first OB appt that should have been this afternoon.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Why are mornings so much harder?

I've been waking up in the middle of the night and unable to go back to sleep. And of course the longer I am awake, the less I am able to fight the cry. I know my eggs are shit and that's why the baby is going to come back chromosomally abnormal. Just like Young Frankenstein. The took AB Normal's eggs.

I've been thinking about my eggs a lot lately. I knew it would be hard to walk away from passing along my genetic code, but I didn't realize it could be this much harder. I guess I thought if my eggs were too shitty to ever turn into a growing baby, then we walk away. But my eggs were only good enough to get me through a couple months of pregnancy. Is that more or less encouraging than never getting pregnant at all? My husband is more encouraged. I am not encouraged, but I also don't want to give up. Shoulda, woulda, coulda. Those are not the words I should be saying in a few years.

My grandmother (my father's mother) passed away a month before I met my husband. She was a few years into her 90's so she lived a long life, and was fairly healthy until the end. Back then, I had little to no desire for children. I only wanted then if I met the right guy, and I wasn't holding my breath. I now wish that I had asked her about her childbearing experience. My mother once mentioned that she had a hard time getting pregnant, and I vaguely remember hearing a story about her first love being killed in the war (WWII?), so my grandfather was her second husband? Not sure if she was married before.

I remember my grandfather's death like it was yesterday. It was 1984 and he was 64. Far too young, cancer sucks. I found my grandmother's obituary the other day while I was cleaning out what was to be the baby's room, and realized she was 12 years older than my grandfather. I also realized that she was 41, almost 42 when she gave birth to my father. That was in 1950!

Who knows what the diagnosis would have been if this was 2010? MFI? Or some other issue? I'll never know. My grandmother never talked about things like that, and my dad wouldn't either. Plus, did they do testing back then? Did they even know what to look for? But I guess in a way it gives me hope. I hope I inherited her eggs, the strong ones that were able to create a pregnancy in her 40's. Since I will now be 39 by the time I could even hope to have a child.

So, why are mornings that much harder than the rest of the day? And why do I continue to go off on these tangents when writing this blog? These questions might remain a mystery.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Today I am Angry

Like cussing, crying, hatinum literally) g other people angry.

I know it's not their fault, but it's also not fair. Why do so many people have kids and we don't? Like the guy today that let his toddler climb up on a low brick wall and didn't say anything or even walk over to him. Was I supposed to catch him if he fell? WTF.

Or my crackhead cousin that is annoyed at me for not RSVP'ing to her baby shower for #2. I would have told her no, if she had bothered to give an email address for the RSVP. Like I want to call and talk to her. Hopefully she was able to stay off the smack for this pregnancy, maybe they won't take this child away from her.

I honestly don't know what else the universe can throw at me. I have had more tragedy in my life than I even care to talk about. It could always be worse, but I have had many a day where I felt like Brian in the Monty Python movie, starting when I was a child. I don't know if it's karma coming back from a past life, or maybe this one? Maybe since I'm not usually a positive person, I just bring negativity into my life. All I know is that when we actually got pregnant and it wasn't a chemical pregnancy or a blighted ovum, I truly thought the universe was going to pick on someone else for a while. I mean, after what we have endured, this pregnancy should have gone to term. Three separate fresh IVF cycles, and nothing to show for it but a miscarriage. I have no frosties, I have little hope for frosties. I have little hope that another IVF (or four) will bring us our take home baby, but now that we have tasted success it's hard to walk away.

I was so done when we started our third IVF, I was ready to move on to trying on our own again, possible adoption and maybe even child free. I felt like I needed to have my life (and my body) back. And now all I can think about is getting pregnant again as quickly as possible. I don't want to not be pregnant. I also hope I have triplets next time, so I have a couple spares. That might seen like a joke, but I assure you, it's not. Not really.

And for all of those people who say I shouldn't wish for morning sickness, my morning sickness subsided the day I believe my embryo died. So I hope my next pregnancy has me puking all day and all night for the full first trimester.

Then all I have to worry about is pre-term labor, a stillborn baby, and SIDS. And then if I get past all that, I get to worry about all kinds of other things. :/

Friday, August 26, 2011

No Heartbeat

Isn't that like the universe. Right about the time I get comfortable and start to think my bad luck is behind me, I get another swift kick to the crotch.

No heartbeat today. Baby stopped growing a couple days after the last ultrasound.

Now I am trying to decide on how we want to get rid of the pregnancy - let nature take its course, get some meds, or do a D&C. I'm not sure I can handle passing the tissue, and I think my husband would like some answers, if there are any answers to be had. I think I would too.

And of course there are other questions. Are we going to try again? Do we continue the Cobra so we can do another IVF? I'm not sure my ovaries will make it worthwhile. Do we just take our chances with more timed intercourse? What do I do with all the stuff we bought? Hold on to it and keep hoping? or get rid of it now?

Fuck, this is hard. I'm going to drink wine now.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Nursery Planning

Yes, it's early. But it's something my husband is excited to do, so we are doing it. It all started with a crib. The week we found out I was pregnant, my husband saw a beautiful convertible crib at Costco. It was almost $400 so I was skeptical that it was something we really needed to spend that much cash on. But then I went to see it myself and it turned out to be a convertible crib that goes all the way to a full size bed, with all the conversion kits and the mattress!


So then we decided to wait to see how many babies we had - because more than one of these big ass cribs wouldn't necessarily fit in the nursery. So when we found out we were only having one, we thought we should get it. But of course we took our time, and thank goodness too - because last weekend the manager marked it down to $299 to make room for holiday merchandise! We had to get it.

So then we started looking at paint. We both like blue so think we want to paint the walls blue regardless of the baby's sex.


H isn't sold on it, but I am really into an aqua/red color combo that was so cool a few years ago in weddings. I still love it and think it looks fresh and modern and takes the blue to a more gender neutral place.





Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Perfection


No,I'm not perfect. I know this. And yet, I'm striving for it. When you spend over three years learning everything there is to know about getting pregnant and you aren't, you begin making deals with the universe as to what you would do if you were actually graced with a pregnancy.

Sometimes it's a judgement of others - I promise to not smoke or do crack while I am pregnant, or put them in a stoller in the bed of a truck. But most of the time, it has nothing to do with others, it's just my personal need to keep my promises to the universe.

What are my promises? No caffeine for one. I know small amounts of caffeine are probably okay, but I refuse to drink iced tea or even decaf coffee. I also read that while some medications are probably okay, no medication can be considered 100% safe, so I hesitate to even take Tylenol unless I feel it's absolutely necessary. I am trying to manage all my nutrition, ensure I get my calcium and iron (but not at the same time) and I'm trying to eat my vegetables and fruit. I'm lucky in this respect that vegetables sound good to me, while meat does not. I want to start exercising, but only after I get the green light from my doctor.

I have a feeling this goal of perfection will follow me into the delivery room and beyond. Is it too crazy to require that every single person who touches the baby has a pertussis vaccine? It is over the top if we install Purell dispensers at the front door and in the baby's room? Of course since I learned everything there is to know about getting pregnant, I need to know everything there is about being pregnant, staying pregnant, giving birth and babies. I haven't really bought much in the way of books, but have had a good deal given to me by all my friends who are already moms,and I'm reading them all.

Crazy? Maybe. Too much pressure on myself? Probably. But this is probably my one and only chance, so I need to know that I did everything I could.

Monday, August 15, 2011

So much for that

I was supposed to be in a symptom free pregnancy - one of those bitches without morning sickness that everyone loves to hate! Don't get me wrong, I've had a number of days where I just wasn't hungry. But I was still able to make myself eat something, and eat it happily.

Today, not so much.

Today I did not want to eat my breakfast. But I did it anyway, and immediately felt a little ill. I didn't pack a lunch so I knew I needed to go out, but I couldn't think of a single thing I wanted. I went to the grocery store and the only thing that sounded good were olives from the salad bar and a frozen burrito. However, the frozen burritos were $3 (WTF, right?) so I opted not to do that, but stopped at Del Taco on the way back to the office. They had a three bean burrito special for $1.29. Score, right?

Wrong. Those made me sick. Yes, I ate all three, but they were small, I swear! So I spent the afternoon drinking water, snacking on peanuts and clementines and trying to keep my lunch down. Of course, then the husband asks if I want him to make chicken for dinner. Cue the retching. All I'm having for dinner tonight is salad and vinegar. And maybe some olives and pickles. That's the only stuff that sounds good right now.

In the meantime, I'm "enjoying" feeling pregnant for once!

Saturday, August 13, 2011

New Blog Design and 101/1001 Update

I felt that with our new status, my grey, desolate blog personality just didn't fit. I thought it needed and happier, more hopeful update. I hope you like it.

That brings me to my 101 Things update. Well, this happy news combined with my procrastination means I will not be completing my 101 Things. Things like trying a crossfit class *might* be able to be completed when I am cleared for exercise after birth, but competing in a figure competition... HA! Actually, the more I look at the list, the less I see that can be completed. But guess what - I am doing the one thing that is most important to me. If I don't complete some of these things, then I have less to come up with for my next 101 list.

But here are the things I may have a shot at completing:

12. Have a family photo taken with the dogs
13. Visit my Grandmother's grave site
14. Become a mommy
18. Write a letter to my grandmother
20. Write a letter to my uncle
21. Host a dinner party
22. Host a wine tasting
25. Get a couple's massage with H
26. Go on a picnic with H
27. Compile a family recipe book
28. Visit my Grandfather's grave site
30. Volunteer
32. Pay for the next person's order
33. Donate $5 to charity for every goal I don't attain on this list
35. Attend a demonstration
36. Work on a political campaign
37. Work in a soup kitchen on Thanksgiving
39. Start composting
40. Grow an herb garden
41. Grow a veggie garden
43. Send and receive a postcard through Postcrossing.com
45. Send a care package to a soldier through anysoldier.com
48. See the Grand Canyon
51. Rent a motorhome and drive through several states
56. Go Camping
58. Visit Legoland
60. Go to the Santa Ana Zoo
61. Have a beach bonfire
62. Visit Hearst Castle
63. Eat at a place featured in "Diners, Drive-ins and Dives"
64. Take H to Catalina
65. See the Winchester Mystery House
68. Visit 10 new cities not already listed
70. Go deep sea fishing
71. Take a trip on a train
72. Get a new job
73. Start a business
74. Write a short story
75. Learn the fundamentals of Photography
76. Work a gig as a photography assistant
77. Print and frame one of my own photos
78. Get a photograph into an art show
79. Upload a photo to iStockphoto.com
80. Do a Project 365
82. Participate in NaNoWriMo
83. Learn another language
84. Try my hand at stand up comedy
85. Enter a recipe contest
85. Perfect my handmade pasta recipe
87. Read 30 unread books from the BBC Top 100 books list (0/30)
88. Be able to define all 100 words every high school graduate should know
89. Read 10 unread books from the Banned Books List (0/10)
90. Enter something into a Local Fair
92. See every movie on AFI's 100 years...100 movies list (42/100)
93. See a play
100. Sing a song with a jazz or swing band

I better get my ass in gear!

Friday, August 12, 2011

Seven Weeks, One Day


Where does the time go! I was going to post last week when I got to "Six Weeks" and then was going to post the next day after my ultrasound where we saw a heartbeat. And then time got away, and before I knew it, I was almost to seven weeks! So I decided to wait one more day again, so we could have another ultrasound update. :)

So, everything seems to be progressing normally! Last week, at 6w1d, we were measuring 5w6d so a couple days behind. This week, our heartbeat is still going strong and we are measuring 7 weeks on the nose, just 1 day behind now. Our little monkey is growing!

I'm still super nervous about everything. I don't have as much reason as some, but infertility alone will turn you into a complete freakazoid. Fridays are happy, the weekends are relaxed, Mondays and Tuesdays are days where I might forget I'm actually pregnant, and Wednesdays and Thursdays bring out the crazy. Early Friday morning I'm a ball of nerves, and a few minutes later, I'm beaming.

Anyway, hanging in there. Still grateful to be in my position, but I have to say, I feel I have earned it. Not everyone who has been through the ringer gets a happy ending though, which is why I am sending love to all my sisters and brothers who are still struggling. I think of you every day.

Friday, July 29, 2011

How many?

Just one.


I am thrilled. I am just thankful to be pregnant. Yes, a part of me was hoping for twins, just because this is most likely our last chance for 100% biological children. Two and done, right? I would have been happy with triplets too, even if I would also be terrified! But I am thrilled with one. One is more than I expected, one is all I truly asked for. I don't have to worry about the complications that come with multiples, I am less "high risk" so I have more choices. I can afford to buy the beautiful, slightly more expensive and slightly larger crib we were looking at, instead of choosing smaller, cheaper versions that would fit in the nursery with 1-2 mates. I have more choices when it comes to delivery. I can breastfeed without having to do it in tandem. I don't have to buy the big ass car that would fit multiple carseats in addition to dogs and cargo. The list goes on.

But I am also sad for all the embryos I lost. The ones that ceased to thrive in my womb. Even though they aren't miscarriages because they never implanted, they were alive and now they are not. Five embryos transferred, and only one survived. I am so thankful and happy for the one that made it.

And there are still the other family building options that were going to be on the table if this IVF failed: Embryo adoption, donor egg, and the adoption of a child. Those will still be available, and I will love my next child just as much, no matter how they arrived in my arms.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Beta #3

After poking me several times (I was a little dehydrated and my veins are now lodging protests) we finally got some blood for beta 3. I was more relaxed about this one, but when my RE's normal callback time came and went, I started to get more anxious. Finally at about 12:30 my nurse called. I guess I'm far enough along that he is delegating to my nurse. Fine with me!

HCG: 1126 (doubling time of 40 hours)
Progesterone: 42.8

Baby is still growing!

I am thrilled beyond thrilled. This whole experience is still so surreal! First ultrasound is scheduled for Friday. I'm excited to see how many are in there!

Monday, July 25, 2011

How did I get so lucky?

First, the nitty gritty:

HCG: 491
Progesterone: 33.5

I'm really pregnant. This is really happening. I can't even tell you how insanely happy and blessed I feel.

And yet I still think of my infertile sisters and brothers, still struggling. Why am I seeing the light at the end of the tunnel and they aren't? I don't know. I also don't know why pregnancy comes so easy for some, and so hard for others, and I definitely fall in to the latter category. I'm no less deserving that the woman who got her BFP the first cycle she tried, and I'm no more deserving that the couple still waiting for their bfp after multiple IUI's and/or IVF's. I'm also no more deserving than those who choose not to pursue ART, because that is such a personal decision, fueled by money and beliefs.

Am I feeling some survivor's guilt? Maybe a little, but I also have to remember that I've worked for this. Over three years of TTC, this was my 43rd cycle. My husband and I have been through two RE's, an HSG, an SHG, two urologists, multiple SA's, an unsuccessful varicocele surgery, countless blood tests and ultrasounds, three bottles of PNV's, a crapload of wheatgrass, acupuncture, 3 IVF's, 12 eggs, 5 embies, 2 transfers, and 42 bfn's. I could also go into everything I gave up - dairy, multiple running races, four (and counting) TNT Coaching seasons, two planned vacations, my fear of needles, my modesty, and the ability to make plans more than a day or two in advance.

Was it all worth it? FUCK YEAH! Would I have done another cycle is this one didn't work? No, mentally, I had already moved on.

I feel so fortunate that my body and embryos decided to do what they are supposed to, when it counted the most. While we were so fortunate to get insurance to cover IVF, it was still in the range of $1500-2500 per cycle which was hard for us. By no means was it anywhere near the normal cost for an IVF cycle. And thank goodness for that, because when we were told over two years ago that our only chance to get pregnant was IVF with ICSI, there was no way we could afford one cycle, much less the three we ended up doing. Maybe my eggs would have been better back then, but there's no way to know.

Anyway, I've paid my dues, and I'm hoping I will serve as a beacon of HOPE for those still struggling, going into their nth assisted cycle. My heart is still with all of you in the trenches, and I hope I get to congratulate you very, very soon. xoxoxo

Thursday, July 21, 2011

OMG - I'm Pregnant!

I'm freaking out, crying, laughing, etc.

HCG was 116. Progesterone was a little low, so I'm up to 1 cc 2x a day

OMG this is actually happening!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Dreaming of Peeing

I'm terrified to pee. Well, actually, I'm terrified to pee on a stick. Last night, I dreamt I peed on two different sticks, and in my dream, I was pregnant. Now that I am awake, I'm terrified again.

I have had countless symptoms over the last 5 days or so, but I think most of them can be attributed to my progesterone shots or an overactive imagination. Or something that's psychosomatic. Short periods of nausea, random headaches, and overwhelming feeling of exhaustion (I'm sleeping 10 hours a night for fuck's sake, and desperately want naps too), hot flashes, salt and vinegar cravings (although those may be normal for me), body aches, etc. I feel like I have the flu without actually being sick. PIO is the devil.

Part of me can't actually comprehend a bfp. In the 3+ years we have been trying, I've never even so much as had a chemical pregnancy. I've never even seen an evaporation line. I keep telling myself that with three embryos on board, we have a really good shot at this happening, but all I have ever seen is stark white pee sticks. Emotionally I can't handle scrutinizing it for that second line, squinting my eyes to try and force a faint shadow to appear.

The last time we actually transferred embryos, the 2 week wait really got under my skin. I thought I saw spotting, which I knew was probably the Crinone, and thought my positive pee stick would ease my mind until my Beta, which was still four days away. Not so much. I plunged into a pit of despair so deep that nothing could pull me out. I cried for the four days leading up to the official news, bfn. Back then, I was desperate because I didn't think we could afford any more cycles, and my body didn't produce anything for a future FET. Now I'm desperate because even though we could potentially afford more cycles, there really isn't any reason for them, as my ovaries are shutting down. Life is an ironic bitch sometimes.

I'm hoping that I won't see that pit again, but just in case I will, I think I deserve a few more days of blissful ignorance.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Breeders Vs Infertiles: A Bitter Altercation

First of all, I want to say thanks to all my readers and commentators. Sometimes I don't realize how many people I have touched. I may come off as a bitter bitch most of the time, but it does make me feel better to hear that I have touched other people's lives in a positive way.

But this post is about the bitter side. Which is kinda funny, because half the time my "bitterness" is really just my dark sense of humor. Since sarcastic and/or humorous fonts have yet to be invented, I find I am misunderstood on a regular basis.

But I digress. It seemed like the clash of the titans (Infertiles vs. Breeders) started with a certain Twitter follower. I normally get two kinds of followers (aside from spam): people who follow me to get a follow back (businesses, marketers, etc.) and people who have something in common with me (usually Infertiles, sometimes endurance sports athletes, liberals, etc.). This week, smack dab in the middle of bedrest, I get a follower who is a self-described "anti-feminist" and a self-proclaimed "breeder" who also specifies that she has 9 kids and one on the way. Please note: if you have your 10th child on the way, the term "breeder" is redundant.

I took offense. Her tweets were protected, so I couldn't see the type of things she posts, I only had her Twitter profile, and guess what - I was OFFENDED. Believe it or not, I was mostly offended by her calling herself an anti-feminist! Being the liberal, wanna-be vagina warrior that I am, I find that kind of self-loathing abhorrent. But then there was the "breeder" part, which is a slap in the face to someone in my current position. So I bitched about it on Twitter, which is my Al Gore given right, for fuck's sake. I couldn't see any reason why this woman would want to follow me, unless it was to either hurt me or try to convert me, and neither is welcome. I have nothing in common with a conservative breeder, and that's what got me in trouble.

Someone was offended by that comment, apparently in addition to other comments I have made. She said I was rude to pregnant women and mothers. She said she couldn't stand to read my rude and condescending tweets any longer and was going to unfollow me. I love how she told me! Gotta love someone who makes a point to try and hurt you. All because I was offended and announced it. That, of course, became Twitter drama, which was actually pretty damn funny. What wasn't funny is that this particular person suffered from infertility and underwent IVF's herself. What? She lived through it and doesn't get my feelings? That, I have a hard time comprehending.

So let me set the record straight. I don't hate mothers just because they have kids and I don't. Believe it or not, many of my friends are mothers. Some of them are mothers after infertility, and some of them didn't have any trouble at all. Just because I make jokes about "stoopid fertiles" and condemn a few mothers' self-absorbed actions does not make me anti-fertile. For a Fertile to get pissed at me for this is kinda like a suburban soccer mom being offended by a homeless person scoffing at her Mercedes. First World Problems, bitches.

For the record, I am bitter at the Universe and people who shit on the gifts they are given. People who are lucky enough to have a child, but smoke/drink/do drugs during pregnancy, harm or neglect their child. That's bullshit. I am also bitter at fertile people who don't have empathy for infertiles. I don't think it's so hard to imagine what it would be like, at least a little. To be fair, I also don't have respect for people who lack empathy for the poor, the homeless, or the hungry. Basically, fertile or rich, you aren't very far from the other side, so have some compassion.

Therefore, I don't plan on changing my outlook, my sense of humor or the way I Tweet. If you are that insecure, I can't help you, but you are entitled to your feelings, just like I am entitled to mine. Let's just not make a big deal about the unfollow - do it quietly, like it's meant to be.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

And then there were three!


The original title of this post was going to be "And then there was one" but my phone rang this morning. My first thought was "fuck, that's it, Austin Powers has stopped dividing, it's over."

I reluctantly answered the phone, and was greeted by a particularly happy sounding RE. He then informed me that we were still on for transfer that morning, and we had three.

Wait, what? Three? What?

I think after all the bad news he has had to give me over the last 7 months, he was thrilled to finally have some good news to share!

I immediately burst into tears, but unlike the tears I have been plagued with over the last four days, these were happy, ecstatic tears. We were going to have a fighting chance!

Looks like those two injected ended up growing. They must have missed the double nuclei stage, so they thought they didn't fertilize correctly, but I am so glad that 1. I decided to transfer ADP anyway and 2. That they didn't toss those pups right away!

Transfer was smooth, he said that they are looking for anything from 4 cells and up, and we have a 5 cell, a 7 cell and an 11 cell (Austin Powers, the rock star) now on board.

Operation relax and hope is in full swing. :)

sunnydaytodaymama

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Good News and Bad News

Being the pessimist I am, I normally want the bad news first.

My one little mature egg fertilized abnormally.

And the good news? Two of the other four matured overnight and were ICSI'd today. That means I have another 24 hours to wait. I guess waiting is better than the alternative.

I was watching a movie last night, "Love and Other Drugs." Hopefully this isn't too big a spoiler for you, but the heroine has Parkinson's. It got me thinking, about infertility and fertility and a Twitter comment I made the other night.

We were at our town's 4th of July celebration, waiting for the fireworks, and it felt like half the town was knocked up. Fuck man, I drink the water too! What gives? And my comment on Twitter was based on the obviousness of pregnancy, how it's such a slap in the face. If my heart's desire was a horse, I wouldn't be able to tell just by looking at them that everyone else had a horse when I couldn't. If all I wanted was to have my wedding on the beach, it wouldn't be completely obvious that they were able to have what I wanted. These are trivial things, and that almost makes it worse. It makes me feel sometimes like the universe is teasing me. I know that's silly, but it seems so unfair.

But I have found the silver lining. You see, unlike many diseases, such as Parkinson's, we don't wear a blazing red "IF" on our chests. We can pretend outwardly that we didn't want kids, or we had them and they grew up, or they're at Grandma's right now. In some ways, that doesn't help our cause, because being invisible is pretty much why we are ignored and forgotten in the first place. But for a private person like me, having my infertility not outwardly obvious is welcomed.

I guess what I am trying to say is that if Infertility was like Parkinson's, I would get a lot more looks of pity, and that wouldn't be kosher with me. So, my thoughts go out to those people afflicted with anything that is outwardly obvious and has to suffer through other people's bullshit because of it.

Except pregnant women. ;)

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Insert Clever Post Title Here

So, ER seemed to go well. I barely remember anything, go a nice buzz going before they even injected the sleepytime meds, so I barely felt the burn. When I woke up, my husband was already there and told me they got five eggs. FIVE! And my husband said they were all good ones. I knew I should wait for the embryology report before I got too excited.

Doc called about 4:30 this afternoon. Husband picked up the phone and Doc wanted to talk to me. News could have been better. Out of the five, only one was mature enough to ICSI. Two were MI and we are hoping they progress overnight. The other two were less mature, I'm guessing GV even though he didn't say exactly.

He made a point of telling me that I did everything I was supposed to, and we stimmed for 13 days, yada yada yada. That I couldn't have done anything to make things different. I want to believe him, but I wonder about my diet, my weight, my everything. I could have done more. Would it have made a difference? I don't know. Whatever happens, I am transferring everything we get. I want off this rollercoaster.

I'm just waiting for the phone call tomorrow. We'll go from there.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Twas the Night Before Egg Retrieval

And I'm crampy and bloated, although it doesn't really matter, because to those eggs I am devoted.

Hahaha Not sure why I felt the need to write a poem. It just felt right. I am crampy and bloated. I also think I hit a vein with my trigger, but didn't think about it until the syringe had blood in it. I always pull back on the plunger to make sure, but of course forgot last night. And that spot hurts. But they checked my blood and all must be well, because they didn't call me to tell me there was an issue. That spot hurts really bad right now, so my guess is I blew that vein and it ended up in my fat anyway. Right? RIGHT?

So, the surgery center is nothing if not thorough. They told me yesterday, and this morning, and then called me three times. Yes, I know to be there by 8:45 am. Yes, I know I can't have anything to eat or drink after midnight. Yes, not even water. Which totally sucks ass because it's like Africa hot out here. I'm already thirsty and I still have three hours to suck down the agua.

So, I'm tired of looking at numbers, comparing cycles, etc. Whatever is done, is done. I am kinda excited that I feel so crappy right now, but whatever the outcome, this is it. I am also taking time away from work to let the monkeys burrow in nice and good. No stress, no exertion, no nothing. Just relaxing and thinking good thoughts. Today, I also sent back the authorization to thaw Austin Danger Powers. I'm praying that he makes it, along with his brothers and sisters that are still in my ovaries right now. I want this to work, more than anything. Come on follies!

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Day 12 of stims? Maybe? And random thoughts on infertility

Lining: 12
R: 19, 17, 17, 15, 12, 11
L: 8 or smaller, so nothing

Doc is pretty confident that we'll trigger tomorrow, ER Wednesday. We're close, and I can really only hope for three eggs at most this time. I have people asking about what's next, and my answer is "nothing."

I guess that's not really true, as silly as I am, I will probably still track my periods and hope for a miracle, but as I've said a hundred times, no more treatment. Sometimes the person asking had a sad, puzzled look and it makes me reconsider what this means to my life. I am giving up, and I am okay with that.

I guess because I am okay with it, I know that this is the right decision. Will I be sad? Of course, but a part of me will be relieved. Hopefully, I won't wallow. Actually, hopefully Austin Danger Powers will latch on and not let go. But I know I'm going to be okay.

Can I go off on a tangent about that too? I was having a conversation about special needs children and the other person said "special people have special kids" and it got me thinking, is that why I'm infertile? I've always prided myself on being a strong person. Am I infertile because I can handle it? Are the clueless fertiles only fertile because they can't handle the alternative? I don't know, but it makes me feel a little better, if not a little superior. ;)

So universe, if you're listening, I can't handle another bfn. You might know I'm lying, but let's just pretend this one time. :)

Saturday, July 2, 2011

What day is it today? I lost count

So, I think today is day 12 of stims. I don't even want to count any more! Today we were on the better ultrasound machine, but I think it might also measure smaller? These follie scans are not an exact science as I am realizing. Today my lining measured 10, my right had 17, 15, 14, 12, 11 and my left had two 7's. Doc thinks that we will have a Wednesday retrieval, which means a Monday trigger. I don't know if my follies will be ready.

Sometimes I wonder how much bad stuff my doc isn't telling me, like if my E2 levels indicate those little follicles aren't going to catch up at all. I guess what I should be hoping for now is that we get at least one good embie from this and Austin Danger Powers (as my husband is affectionately calling him) survives and thrives his thaw.

Today is also a weird day for me. I'm 38 now, pushing 40. I have to deal with SIL being pregnant with #2. And my grandma wrote new a letter with my birthday card telling me all about my little cousin being pregnant with #2 as well. Unfortunately for her offspring, this particular cousin got knocked up the first time with her 30 something drug dealer boyfriend. Did I mention she was barely 18 when that happened. She had her daughter taken away from her too, because she was too loaded to feed her. Of course, now they say she's clean, got married to the previously mentioned boyfriend, and is pregnant with their second.

I don't know why the universe has such a sick sense of humor. Sometimes I'm sad for me. Sometimes I'm sad for others. Sometimes I'm angry at the world. Other times I'm angry at myself. Sometimes I'm angry at my husband. Sometimes I'm just angry.

I'm still as hopeful as can be expected. I haven't heard from my the RE, so the plan is the same: 450 gonal-f, 150 menopur, ganirelix, back in the am.

Friday, July 1, 2011

IVF 3.0, Birthday Follie Check, Day 11 of stims


Gotta love the 80's!

Lining: 10.5
Right: 16, 16, 14, 12, 11
Left: 10, 9

I am wondering what happened to the 14 that was on the left a couple days ago, but at the same time, I'm not sure we really found the lefty since we had more difficulty than normal (hard to top the normal difficulty we have!) locating my left ovary. I might need to drink some prune juice to get things moving in my bowels, opening up my gut a little bit! That might be more information than you need to know, but whatever.

So, interestingly enough, RE is increasing my stims tonight as well. Happy birthday to me? He always told me 450 IU's of stims was all that ovaries could take. Well, tonight we are moving up to 600 IU's: 450 of Gonal-f AND my normal 150 Menopur. Crazy, right? I thought I was going to start the Ganirelix tonight, but they didn't say anything about that on my voice mail. I called and left a message for my nurse, just to be 100% sure. I wonder if he is being even more agressive than normal since he knows this is my absolute last shot. I hope I have enough meds! Having to pay another copay isn't the end of the world, but I only have enough to get me through Tuesday based on 300 IU's a night. :S He thinks I'm going to be fine, but I like being sure, and these long weekends with no potential shipments screw with my preparedness. Shit. Now that I am thinking about it, since I am increasing my dosage by 50%, I only have stims to get through Sunday night, and if my follies grow 1-2 mm a night, I need at least 2-3 more days. He wasn't concerned this morning, but now I am.

If it comes to that (which hopefully it won't), I hope they can let me borrow some.

On a side note, I was hoping that the staff at my RE's would have wished me a happy birthday. Guess they don't look at the DOB on the charts or have any sort of notification. Bummer.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

IVF 3.0, Follie Check, Day 9 of stims

Lining: 10
Right: 13,13,12 and a couple smaller ones he didn't measure
Left: 14

Still remaining hopeful. There is a lot of stuff that I can't really care about anymore. One is keeping my job, another is keeping my condo. I just can't stress about it anymore, either it will be alright or it won't, but it doesn't help for me to get all worked up about it, you know? My follicles are like that to. I am hopeful that we will retrieve four eggs, and all of them will be mature, but I will transfer what I get and be happy that whatever the outcome, I tried my best.

Monday, June 27, 2011

IVF 3.0, Follie Check, Day 7 of stims

Other than oversleeping, being 10 minutes late for my appointment and then waiting for an hour, making me 20 minutes late for work, this morning's follie check was good!

We saw a full FIVE on my right! 11,11,10,10,9 which is awesome because they are all about the same size! Please little ovary, keep growing evenly! We didn't see anything on my left because we couldn't find it. Granted, we didn't try too hard today since it's still early. Lining was at 8.5.

Back on Wednesday!

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Follie Check, day 5 of stims

After my crap week (Hey, guess what! Your FSH is sky high and this IVF probably won't work! Oh, and by the way, if you don't meet an impossible goal, you're losing your job! Good luck staying relaxed!) I was somewhat resigned about this folie check. Obviously, this follie check doesn't really tell us all that much, other than there is activity.

But the results are good regardless! Lining is 6.5, 4-5 on the right, 3-4 on the left, largest measuring about 9mm. I'll be back on Monday.

For some reason, I am more hopeful this time around. Maybe it's knowing that my Lupron might actually work this time! Also, I'm confident that increasing the gonal-f might improve my response/quality. I guess that part will be revealed soon enough!

Footnote: E2 is 70

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Everything is Going to be Okay

I wrote that 37 times in my little notebook last night, right before bed. Trying to instill some sort of positive thinking, but something like "My eggs are healthy and developing perfectly" would make me feel like a total fraud. We all know that my ovaries are going to pump out what it can, but chances are my healthy, perfect eggs are going to be few and far between. Maybe tonight I can graduate to "I will get pregnant when the time is right," but even that could be a little far fetched.

This morning I found out that I have to pay OOP for an uncovered, compounded version of Lupron. Why? Because Lupron is still backordered over the whole country. Awesomesauce. I spoke to the Insurance and they claim they will reimburse me because of the situation, but of course I'm going on 2 months without a check for my meds from last cycle. Good times!

I might have issues with second guessing myself, and anxiety, but today, I know that I made the right decision to move forward. Stick a fork in me, I am done. I have been done for a while. I am ready to move on, no matter what happens on this cycle. This is my Hail Mary.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Over before it starts?

So, I got up extra early this morning to get to my RE appt, get my antral counts and have my blood drawn for CD2 labs. I had 3-4 follies on each side which was good. Was given my protocol (0.2ml Lupron for three days, 300 Gonal-f and 150 Menopur), come back for follie check on Saturday. We decided to up the Gonal-f this time, since my response was better back in November when I was on 300 Follistim. I'm all set to start stims!

And then I get the phone call.

This time it was my RE, not my nurse. Which always means bad news. FSH is at an all time high of 16, up from fucking 5 last cycle. WTF! He doesn't like to start a cycle at anything over 15, but since it's borderline, he is letting me make my own decision. He would prefer to wait a month and test again, but that puts us into another month of hell, another month of life interrupted. He knows how much I canceled for this cycle, this cycle that I wasn't supposed to do in the first place.

So I'm choosing to move forward and start stims tonight anyway.

I need encouragement. I'm so angry at myself for not keeping up with my acupuncture, for not drinking my wheatgrass like I should have, for cheating with dairy way too much. But honestly, how much could any of this affect my actual response to drugs? FSH isn't everything, right? Even if I lowered it last cycle with these lifestyle therapies, it couldn't have possibly helped my actual response, could it? I feel like I fucked up big time by not taking care of myself like I should have.

I'm so angry at everything right now.

I guess we'll see what happens. If I don't respond and we don't go to ER, then I save myself $537 in COBRA for next month.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Zero to 60

Wow. Things change in a matter of seconds around here. So what's new with me? I'm cautiously optimistic that the insurance is reimbursing me for the meds I paid OOP just about two months ago. I got *most* of my meds for my next cycle last week. Lupron is once again backordered, and I'm really happy I will get it in time...

Because CD1 is today, and my RE might have me start stims TOMORROW. WHOA.

Where did the time go? Eeeek. Of course, here is the part where I go all OCD out of control crazy planner crackhead on you. If I start stims tomorrow, and stim for 12 days before triggering, my ER will be round about Wednesday, July 6. Which would make ET on Saturday, July 9, and Beta round about Friday, July 22.

One month!

This is it. It's already going fast! I will be so ready to move forward. Pregnant or not, this is when I will emerge into the rest of my life.

But, please let it be pregnant. :D

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Bad Places

I'm a bad blogger. I just haven't had the energy. I go to work and come home and veg in front of the TV until I go to bed. It's quite the glamorous life.

I have also been trying to be more positive, but of course haven't done the exercises from either the Bounce Back Book or The Spark.

I feel like I'm on a runaway train, with no ability to stop it. I have put so much of my life on hold, spent so much money, put myself through so much heartache. I wish this was all behind me. I am so ready to move on. But I have to endure one more cycle.

Of course, I hope beyond hope that this cycle is it. I hope that I end up pregnant and that is the end of the crap, even though I know it won't be the end of my anxiety. If I end up pregnant, all this will have been worth it.

I'm afraid I won't end up pregnant. And of course that will mean I will regret every single dollar spent, all the things I passed up in order to go through treatment, all the plans that I canceled. I already feel cheated. Is it possible to feel even more cheated? There are many times I ask the question all infertiles ask: "why me?" I have adequate haters that would say I deserve it, it's karma, or my negativity brought it on myself. Don't think all of the above haven't crossed my mind multiple times a day.

I know I should think of all the ways I am lucky. I am very lucky to have the opportunity to do IVF. But how lucky am I really when I need IVF in the first place?

So now I wait. The rollercoaster has crested the last big peak and we are about to speed through the rest of the ride. Let's hope my stupid fucking period comes at the beginning of the fucking week next week. If I'm late, I'm going to be so pissed off.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

WTF Update

Here I go again....

Our WTF today was less formal. What could we really say? Obviously everyone involved was disappointed with the turnout of IVF 2.0

Of course I stated crying the minute we started. I'm a mess. I've been a mess for the last week, especially after finding out that the insurance would be fighting me on covering Follistim. Guess I should have spent even more time researching IVF and drugs. Who knew?

So we talked about what went wrong, but we don't really have any answers. We discussed how I was born with all the eggs I have, and my body can't make more, nor can we call up more follies than I start a cycle with. And then he laid it on me, starting with the statement that if he didn't mention this option, he wouldn't be doing his job. He suggested considering donor eggs.

Just because I was expecting it doesn't make it less of a blow.

We talked about options for meds. He truly believes that the ovaries can only handle 450 IU's of stims a day, so increasing my dosage won't work. He originally thought we should increase the Menopur since its FSH and LH, but at the same time, I had a better stimulation on 300 Follistim so maybe we do that and then add 150 of Menopur. I am going to let him decide, put my faith in him.

We also talked about the insurance not covering ICSI, the issues with COBRA, and finances, and how that is truly making our decision more difficult. And what happened next, dear reader, is why I love my RE. He decided to waive ICSI for us, to make it a little easier for us. I found out from the insurance coordinator, and if he was there with me, I would have given him the biggest hug.

So, here we go. One more cycle off, and then we're giving it one last shot. I can't do donor egg, financially. If we have to go donor egg, we would actually adopt. So my job from here on out is to relax and try not to stress, and to try to be positive. Any suggestions would be great.

Friday, May 13, 2011

IVF 2.0 is a Big Fat Failure and Blogger Sucks

I'm so freaking angry at Blogger right now. I needed help. I needed opinions and suggestions. But now it's too late, and the decision is made. Even though I'm not even confident that it was the right one.

They retrieved four eggs yesterday. At first, I was happy. It was at least one more than my first IVF. But then my RE called me to tell me that they really only had two mature, and the other two were not. He said that they would wait to see if those second two would mature overnight and could be ICSI'd, but to also consider freezing what we end up with and going for a third cycle so we could do a combo fresh and frozen transfer.

I didn't realize that I would have to make the decision so quickly. I had questions for him - what are the chances of this embie thawing okay? How can he assure us we can get more follies next time around? What would he recommend? I also had questions for the insurance person - how much more are we talking? What is this next cycle going to cost me? Is there a difference in cost between freezing or transferring now?

He said the chance of this embie surviving the thaw is 80%. He would definitely switch up my meds again, trying to get a better response, but he can't guarantee another cycle will work. I'm looking at two more months of COBRA ($1074), another $1150 for ICSI (how fucking lame that ICSI is the same amount whether they inject two or fifteen fucking eggs), and the copays for drugs. So about $2500 in addition to what I already put on the credit card. Not free, but not full cycle costs.

I should be thankful. Although now that I've decided and it's already frozen, I'm pretty much kicking myself for not giving that one embie a shot. It doesn't matter what I do at this point, I will still be thinking "what if" and that sucks. If I transferred the one and had to cycle again, it would take four more vacation days and $500 additional for the assisted hatching, so not a big difference in cost. I can thaw it if I want to, but now that's it's already frozen, I'm sure the chances of success dip considerably.

The hardest part of all of this is putting my life on hold. Again. Still. No running for me, no racing. No finding another job. I had plans to visit my mom since I haven't seen her in two years. I was going to cancel it if I was pregnant and on activity restriction, but at least I had something to look forward to: either being KTFU or seeing my mom. Now I have nothing to look forward to. Except more injections, another surgery, more work and money stress, and the chance that it still won't happen or work. I'm so done at this point. I want to walk away like I had originally planned. I hate the fucking universe right now. I think the hardest part is I can now cry without crying, if that makes any sense. I used to only be able to cry fully, face wrenched, voice breaking, full breakdown style. Now I apparently can have full conversations that involve my finances and future as a parent, with tears that just run down my face, as if they aren't connected to any emotion at all. Just a random physiological response that I am unable to control.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Thoughts on Surgery

Now that my part is over, I should be able to relax. However, after my last injection last night, I've been thinking. Mostly about surgery. Remembering that I need to remove all my jewelry, can't drink or eat after midnight, have to wear comfortable clothing, etc. I'm not really worried about the catheter it the surgery itself, being put under anesthesia or any of that.

I'm nervous about how bad the anesthesia burns when they inject it. Weird right? I know intellectually it will only be a few seconds, but I remember how agonizing that pain was. Ugh. So dumb.

I'm also not looking forward to how bad I'm going to feel like I have to pee when I wake up. I hope this time I remember that I won't need to and it's just irritation from the catheter. Because being all looped in the bathroom, trying not to fall over and break my head open while I fruitlessly attempt to empty my already empty bladder, is not the best choice.

I am looking forward to the floaty feeling I'll get before they actually put me under, and the awesome nap I'll get tomorrow afternoon.

Here we go. But first, the last bath I will have for 12 weeks and a good night's sleep.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

IVF 2.0 Update, Day 13, Trigger tonight

So, apparently I know nothing. However, WTF body? How did my largest follie grow 5 in one stinking day???

Lining: 11.5
R: 24 (WTF!), 20, 18, 18
L: 13
Cyst: still around 30

So, pretty much sure I will trigger tonight. Which totally fucks my week. Worst possible day because there is a lot of crap happening at work that day and I know my boss is going to be uber pissed, along with other people who won't know anything about my situation. Not that anyone at work really knows anything, but I mean, surgery is surgery no matter what it's for, and I'm not going to go blabbing on to everyone about it.

Now I am thinking (almost hoping) for a three day transfer. At least then I can participate in another big work related event, one that I really wanted to attend. I really wanted a five day transfer to make sure we transferred the best possible embies, but when you realistically will have four at the most, and RE would recommend to transfer 3-4 ::choke:: we might as well get them in there at three days. No sense in letting them hang out in a petri dish, possibly waiting to die.

Now, you want to hear the weird part? RE might actually have me stim tonight as well. Possibly to try and catch those 18's up. That's why he gets paid the big bucks. Please universe, please make this work.

Monday, May 9, 2011

IVF 2.0 Update, Day 12 of stims

Lining: 11.5
R: 19, 17, 16, 15
L: 12 (found something behind that big ol' cyst! Doubt it will do anything, but here's to that bitch hope)

At least one more night of stims, possibly two. I have a feeling I will be triggering on Wednesday with ER on Friday, which only partially screws my best laid plans. Hahaha

So tentatively:

Tonight: 225 Follistim, 225 Menopur, Ganirelix
Tomorrow: 225 Follistim, 225 Menopur, Ganirelix
Wednesday: Trigger + Ganirelix
Thursday: No shots!
Friday: ER

We'll see if I'm right.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

IVF update, Day 11 of stims

Happy Mothers Day. What a lovely day to be infertile. Please detect the sarcasm. Today I celebrate with a dildocam date, a blood draw and three injections later tonight.

Fortunately, the cyst on my left ovary hasn't grown since yesterday and my RE isn't concerned. There is some hope (pesky hope) that there might be another follie behind it, we will see.

R: 17, 15, 13, 12

At this rate, I seriously wonder when ER will be. Originally, I expected to stim the same amount of time as my last IVF, which would have meant a Monday retrieval. Not so much this time! I wouldn't be surprised if we did it Friday, which puts a big old crimp in my schedule. But, as my infertile sisters already know, you can't make concrete plans if you can't get knocked up on your own.

So happy mothers day, you sexy mother fuckers! If you can have a mimosa, please have one for me!

Saturday, May 7, 2011

IVF 2.0 Update, day 10 of stims

Empty left follicle has grown to 30. LH is down so there is no egg in there. Nobody has called it a cyst yet, but I'm wondering.

Right: 16, 15, 13, 11. Not great IMO. Now I am wondering about a canceled cycle.

Friday, May 6, 2011

IVF 2.0 Update, CD11, Day 9 of Stims

Still progressing, but will need more meds.

Lining: 8
Right: 15, 15, 13, 13
Left: 18 however, RE thinks it's a leftover follicle from last cycle and doesn't have an egg in it :(

He thinks I will start Ganirelix tonight, but will call me to confirm. I have at least 3 more nights of stimming, and thanks to another Twitter Sister Infertile, I am getting the menopur to get me through at least Monday (I'm still good on Follistim, thank goodness, that stuff is pricey!).

So the bad news is that now I'm down to four. Fortunately, they are all growing fairly equally, so maybe I will get four eggs, hopefully four embies. Of course, all I want is one pregnancy. That's all I need to get out of this. I am hoping my eating habits, my supplements, my new protocol and my acu appointments are making these eggs big and strong and healthy.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Follie Check, CD9, Day 7 of Stims

Still only 6, that's about all I'm going to hope for at this point.

R: 13, 11, 10, 9
L: 11, 9
Lining: 10.1

Part of me is a little bummed about only having six follies. I guess in some ways, it's validation for me not to try again. We weren't planning on it anyway, between $537 per month in COBRA and $2500-3000 per cycle for copays, ICSI, assisted hatching, etc., this was a one shot deal for us. We were hoping to have something to freeze, but my RE recommends transferring "more" than two. I got the impression he would practically transfer everything I had. Of course, if all six are awesome and survive until day 5, then maybe not, but seriously, what are the chances of that happening? So this is the last hurrah, and I am at peace with that. But still hoping for all six to make it. Grow follies, grow!

Monday, May 2, 2011

IVF 2.0 Update: Day 5 of Stims monitoring appt

Not much to update, this is just so I can remember :)

4-5 follies on my right, 2 (maybe more) on my left, largest measuring about 12. Lining at 9. Next follie check on Wednesday, stay with the same meds unless Dr Calls me to change anything. No Ganirelix yet.

So far, so good.

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Busting an Infertility Myth: Couples Without Kids Can't Be Happy

Today is the last day of National Infertility Awareness Week®, and I wanted to make this last post special. I wanted to not only show others that pity isn't needed, but I also wanted to remind my fellow infertiles that infertility doesn't define us or our lives.

I started drafting this blog post before I knew about IVF 2.0. It seems almost crazy to me that just a little more than four days ago, I had no idea it was going to happen. But now that I am full blown clycling, it doesn't change the way I feel about this topic.

While the desire to have a child has obviously consumed much of our lives (because, let's face it - if you are reading this blog or are even aware of NIAW, you have been consumed), infertility is not all we are. I spent the last week busting myths and sharing my own thoughts, opinions and struggles, and my God, I have shared a lot of posts about infertility over the life of this blog. Now it's time to take a step in another direction. I need to focus on ME, not my infertility.

I was supposed to pledge to make the infertility posts few and far between, and focus more on life in general. My knitting, photography, food, travel. But let's face it, while you're cycling, it does consume your life. I will try to post about different things. I will probably even start my love letters again. Perhaps one a day telling myself all kinds of positive things about this IVF.

I also wrote this prior to IVF 2.0 becoming a reality:

"Maybe someday, I will get one of those surprise BFP's you hear so much about, but I'm not holding my breath. Or in a few years, maybe I will get the opportunity to adopt a child who needs me. If it's meant to be, it's meant to be. Until then, today is the first day of the rest of my life, and I plan on enjoying it."

I still plan on this. Whether IVF 2.0 is successful or not, I will still live my life. I promise. We are all more than Infertile. So here's to the rest of our lives. xo

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