Monday, December 29, 2008

Beta #2 = 656

I realize now what an overachiever I strive to be.

Beta #2 was done 72 hours after the first because of the weekend. My numbers went from 324 on Friday to 656 today. That is a 48 hour doubling rate of 60% which just cuts the mustard. I don't like just cutting it. I like to surpass. I need to remember I'm dealing with my reproductive system which has never been stellar to begin with. I should be happy with just getting by. My clinic said my numbers were good and to call tomorrow to schedule an ultrasound. They said "Congratulations." They sound pleased so I should be too. I am glad there are no more betas scheduled until then (I hope).

I wanted to put that fun little HCG chart from babymed on here, but I cannot figure out how to cut and paste just the chart. I am still kind of new at this blogging stuff. . .

I was commenting on PJ's blog that infertiles get too much information after they become pregnant. Most of my fertile friends just pee on a stick and go in for an ultrasound 8-10 weeks later. They probably don't even know what betas are and could care less about doubling times. We, however, get to jump hurdle after hurdle and hope we clear each one. STRESS! Who needs it? I don't.

I'm happy. Today could have easily gone the other way. They say the ultrasound is a bigger indicator of a successful pregnancy than beta numbers anyway. I'll save my worry for then.

As I said before, I am going to try my best to enjoy this pregnancy. I am going to try my best not to worry. I am going to try my best not to fixate. I am going to try my best not to obsess. I am going to keep telling myself this until it sinks in.

Friday, December 26, 2008

My Belated Christmas Present. . .


We are in complete shock! It really hasn't sunk in yet. I find it hard to believe I'm writing a post like this.

Our beta was this morning. I knew I wanted to come home and POAS. I needed to find out myself before a random nurse broke the news to me. DH and I were so nervous. We just held each other for those excruciating three minutes. The pee stick has never been a friend of mine, and I just couldn't fathom how this time would be any different. We held hands on our way to check and neither of us really wanted to look. When we finally did, we were in disbelief! I still am. I walked around the house for about 20 minutes with that thing in my hand just staring at it. (DH kept asking me when I was going to put it down. He was also a tad grossed out that my pee stick came dangerously close to his face whenever I tried to hug him. )

I was pleased the line was so dark, but I was going to hold out for the beta number. The nurse just called. My 1st beta is 324! That sounds kind of high. She said she'd be happy with anything over 50. That's a big number to double. I hope it continues to rise.

There are so many things I could worry about, fixate on, obsess over. I made a conscious decision before these results to try to enjoy every minute of this for what it is; to try not to preoccupy myself with all the hurdles to come. It will be hard, but I will try.

Today is a good day!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

A Picture Tag and the 2WW

After reading Jill's blog at Desperately Seeking Spawn. I became intrigued over her picture tag game. Here are the rules:

1) Choose the 4th folder where you store your pictures on your computer
2) Select the 4th picture in the folder
3) Explain the picture
4) Tag 4 people to do the same. NO CHEATING! (cropping, editing, etc!)

I've never posted a personal pic before, especially a random one, but when I saw which pic it would be, I thought I'd go for it.

This was obviously taken at our wedding a little over three years ago. We got married at a golf course in the wine country. It was a picture perfect day despite the fact that our stupid DJ played the wrong song as I was walking down the aisle. I get pissed off thinking about it to this day. Oh well, it was still one of the best days of my life. My bridesmaids are (left to right)

1. DH's sister, my SIL

2. My good friend from college (mentioned in this post)

3. A fellow teaching buddy and super-supportive friend (mentioned in this post)

4. My other SIL, fellow teacher, friend and the reason I met DH (DH's brother's wife, mentioned in this post)

5. My maid of honor. I've known her since college and now, sadly, she lives all the way in Alaska. She visits often though.

There I did it.

I tag the following people to do the same:

1.Brenda at No Regrets (one of my first friends in the blogging world and a constant source of support)

2.Emily at What to Expect When Your NOT Expecting (I loved all the pictures from your last post. What's one more?)

3. G at What doesn't kill me. . . (Let's see some pictures from Australia.)

4. PJ at Infertility on the Brain (Come on. Be brave. I did it. Teachers love things like this. Right?)


In other news. . . The 2ww is finally getting hard. I realize now how torterous this is. Work was a great distraction last week and now I am left with nothing but my thoughts. Yesterday afternoon I had one bout of discolored light brown spotting when I wiped. I was 8dp2dt. I think that is too late for implantation spotting. I immediately thought it was my period trying to come and the hormones were holding it back. I usually only have a 10 day luteal phase. That could still be the case, but so far I haven't seen anything since and I don't want to see anything like it again. I want to live in ignorant bliss a few days longer. Let me pretend all is well. I might very well be dissapointed soon enough, but please, not yet. I want to hold on to this wonderful thing called hope. . .

Sunday, December 21, 2008


Did I get the lettering right? I've never titled a post like this.

Progesterone is kicking my ass! (pun intended)

Not only does it feel like I've been literally kicked in the ass after each shot, but it is making me crazy. Really, really crazy.

I had been doing great up until about 5dp2dt. I actually felt good. I had lots of energy, my boobs weren't that sore, no cramping, not overly emotional. Then Friday afternoon I got some slight cramping for about two hours. I thought it was because I was a little late taking my afternoon estrogen. Even though they say some cramping is a good thing, I don't like it. It reminds me of how I feel before AF and I don't want her to come.

Yesterday, I woke up very weepy and emotional. Nothing new with me. I've been hormotional (thanks Brenda) all cycle. This was some new kind of crazy I have never experienced before. DH and I had been arguing all morning (can you say stress). We stopped by Starbucks and I almost had an out loud sobbing attack right there in the middle of the store. A weird noise came out of my mouth and I tried to cover it with a cough. It felt like a surge of hormones course through my body. I'm not kidding. Then it passed and I could regroup.

The same thing happened at church later that night (We've been going lately. We are both not super religious. I was raised Catholic- in the loosest sense- and DH had no religion at home, but has been wanting to attend recently). This time the wave of hormones came with the urge to laugh uncontrollably right in the middle of church. Highly inappropriate and I again tried to hide it with coughing. Before it passed I got a hot flash and broke out in a sweat. I was crampy throughout the night.

I thought stim drugs were bad, progesterone is insane!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Trying to Take It Easy. . .

. . .is not so easy.

Not because I'm obsessing about my 2ww. I'm barely on Day 5. Most people are getting their transfers at this time. The hard thing about a Day 2 transfer is you get more days of responsibility. I've been carrying around these little embies for days already and I hope I am doing right by them.

Going back to work has been the opposite of my first two days of bedrest. I didn't realize teaching is physically exhausting. Teachers are always on their feet, and are constantly talking and moving around. And to add to the chaos, tomorrow is our annual holiday show. Today I had to pick up and move chairs. The chairs were by no means heavy and I only moved two of them, but I immediately became concerned that I did something wrong. I felt fine, but my paranoid nature started kicking in. Work is so distracting, that I actually forget what might be going on inside me.

Then after work I went to the grocery store. I bought a few mildly-heavy items and proceeded to carry them upstairs to my condo. Once again, I thought, maybe I shouldn't do that.

Or maybe it doesn't matter. Think of how many fertiles don't even realize their embryo is trying to implant at that very moment and run, lift, have sex, live their blissfully ignorant lives. I am going to take it easy as much as I can- don't get me wrong. I love taking it easy and I'm not going to do anything stupid that they tell you not to do. I do however need to be able to live my life.

I always thought I'd be the kind of woman who would treat herself like a fragile china doll (and if you ask DH he'll probably say I do). I have been trying to let go of some of my control issues. I doubt the results of this IVF cycle will be determined by the movement of two plastic chairs or the carrying of two bags of groceries. I have to tell myself that at least.

I will try to take it a little more easy. After Friday it should be no problem. (I get two weeks off!). I think this post is a result of feeling guilty after reading all about Infertile Turtle's bedrest during her 2ww and Clio's nephew carrying groceries for her (lucky!). I wish I could do that, but the reality of my life says I can't.

What do you think girls?

Did anyone else go grocery shopping?

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Transfer Complete

My day started off with a minor panic attack. I was sorting through my several pill bottles, trying to lay out my numerous medications (estradiol, medrol, asprin, prenatal vitamin, high blood pressure pill- Did I mention I am a 32 year old with high blood pressure? I'm sure that will make for an easy pregnancy someday). Well, I realized that I had been taking DOUBLE the dose of estrogen (2 pills instead of 1). What an idiot! I never mess up things like this. I was afraid my lining would be too thick and they'd have to cancel the transfer. It was the first thing I confessed the nurse when I saw her. She didn't think it was a big deal and said to just go back to my regular dose today. Thank God for the valium! It was exactly what I needed.

The transfer was easy. The only hard part was my very full bladder. The nurse scanned me and told me I could go relieve myself for 10 seconds. That helped for about two minutes and then it filled right back up. Really, I have the badder the size of a pea.

We have pictures of both embryos. The ratings changed because they are now Day 2. From what I've researched everyone uses a different grading system depending on the clinic and the day of embryo development. There is no real rhyme or reason. I personally think they should all jump on the same bandwagon.

Anyway, they are graded on a 1-5 scale with a one being the best quality and a five being the worst. We have a 2-cell grade one (actually make that a 3-cell, it divided right before transfer) and a 6 cell grade three (this one had some fragmentation). So it sounds like one good and one fair. I am so glad they are in me now and I don't have to analyze them anymore.

I have been taking it easy at home today. My parents came over and had lunch with DH and me. That was a nice distraction. I love to relax, but I am going stir crazy. I have pretty much been stuck in my house since Friday after retrieval. It has been a whirlwind weekend and I am happy the majority of the craziness is behind me.

I have read so many things about bedrest. Some do it strictly, some just take it easy, some go back to their normal daily activities. I've decided to play it somewhere in the middle. I literally laid around the first half of the day and now I've switched to sitting up in front of the computer. Tomorrow I am not going into work, but only because I am a teacher and on my feet all day keeping up with 6 year olds. I cannot bring myself to lay flat on my back. It just seems unnecessary. (In fact, Dr. G. told me the woman who came in for a transfer right before me was going to watch The Nutcracker today.) I watched the embryos go deep into my lining. My clinic has reiterated over and over that they will NOT fall out.

I sure hope so. . . (TMI WARNING- TURN YOUR HEAD IF NEEDED). Around noon today I went pee and something about the size of a pea plopped into the toilet. I am pretty sure it was discolored cervical fluid from the procedure and all the estrogen, but just the same I tried not to worry. I am pretty sure I'd have to shed a significant portion of my lining for them to fall out. Right?

I know the 2WW is going to be hell, but it hasn't happened yet. I'm sure my obsessive nature will take over and I'll be a basket case soon enough. Right now it feels completely unreal that this could ever turn into a pregnancy. It feels impossible. Not because I'm being Negative Nelly, but because it is beyond my grasp at the moment.

On Tuesday I plan to get off bedrest and on with my life, enjoy the holidays and relish in the fact I've come this far.

It's all I can do.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

It's On!

We got the results.

Out of the four eggs, three were good and were ICSI'd.

Two of them fertilized and are ranked the highest grade (A).

We're thrilled to have come this far!

Here's the part I'm confused about. They're transferring them on Day 2. That's tomorrow. I was totally unprepared for a Day 2 transfer. I don't really understand a Day 2 transfer. I thought they didn't really do that anymore. I need to consult Dr. Google. I have heard some differing opinions that the eggs do or do not survive any better in your uterus versus in a lab. I think they are figuring that we will transfer these two no matter what, so they might as well do it tomorrow.

I read this article a while back regarding which days to transfer. One doctor had the opinion that eggs do not survive any better in you uterus than they would in a lab. He said that it is a way to make your clinic look better in case of a negative outcome. "Your embryos were fine when we put them in you. What did you do to them?" I wish I could go back and find that article. It offered an interesting perspective.

I guess what I really want to know is if a Day 2 transfer does any harm. It's not like we have any eggs to pick and choose from, so maybe it doesn't matter what day they go back in.

Maybe I should just be happy and trust that my doctor has some experience with this and knows what he is doing. He has gotten me this far in a crazy cycle.

DH said something bittersweet when I was talking to him about all this. He said, "Wouldn't you want them to be with us if they don't make it, instead of in a lab all by themselves?" Wow! That caught me off guard. He is usually not so sentimental.

So tomorrow it is.

I will bring them home.

Hopefully they'll stay.

Morning My Ass!

This has been torture.

The nurse yesterday told me they'd call in the morning with the fertilization results. I gave them my home number because I thought that I'd be here all morning. It is now after 12:00. I called to give them my cell phone number instead. This was really just an excuse to call. I was kind of hoping I would be able to talk to someone who knew something. I think I was talking to a receptionist.

Here's my worry. I am afraid that they save the 0% fert. results for the afternoon so my case manager can call me instead of someone in the lab. I asked the receptionist if it was normal for them to wait this long to call. She told me they don't usually call until 2:00. What? I can only hope that this is because today is a Saturday and things work a little differently.

I've never been in the 2WW but I dare to say this might be harder (feel free to set me straight). I have no idea if my eggs are crap or not. If they are, then our chances for a pregnancy are slim to none. I feel like our whole IF future is waiting on this call. Am I being dramatic?

Why won't they just call?

Friday, December 12, 2008


The fantastic four have made a comeback.

They retrieved four mature eggs today. I am sitting on pins and needles waiting for the fertilization report tomorrow. This whole thing doesn't get any easier does it? I would love to make it to a transfer. One thing at a time though and today is done.

I was lucky I was the first retrieval of the day. They had four scheduled and a ton of transfers. They're trying to get everyone in before the holidays. Get the docs while they're fresh, that's what I say. We even ran into the embryologists in the elevator on the way up. I hope he takes good care of my eggs and can make us some embabies today. I should have slipped him a 20 to make it worth his while. :)

Everyone there was so nice. The nurses really run the show. I have been so focused on stimming and growing eggs, that I kind of took for granted the whole retrieval procedure. The nurse explained the whole thing and I learned something new. That hasn't happened in a long time. I feel like I have researched everything there is to know. She said that they go through the vaginal wall to access the ovaries instead of going up through the uterus. They take a shortcut. That made sense to me and what did I care, I was going to be knocked out during the whole thing.

Then the anesthesiologist came in and I learned something I didn't really want to hear. It was not going to be general anesthesia, but sedation instead. She told me I'd be awake the entire time but would be in a twilight state and probably wouldn't remember anything. Thanks a lot to my case manager Nurse X for getting my hopes up! ("Oh you'll be completely knocked out." Liar!).

Luckily it wasn't bad at all. I remember bits and pieces and a couple times I felt something down there, but for the most part it went fine. Time flew. I thought we were in there for four or five minutes, but DH told me it was more like 30. I remember Dr. G. announcing 4 eggs but that didn't stop me from asking the nursing staff multiple times how many they got. I guess I was pretty out of it.

I don't think my clinic makes a habit of telling people the maturity of their eggs before they leave. When I asked about it during registering, they said I might find out today, but most likely it will be tomorrow morning. If my chances were over today and none were mature, I'd have liked to know instead of holding out hope. I was so doped up I forgot to ask. DH did it for me. Right when he asked I felt a sense of dread. You want to know, but you don't. Luckily the news was good. They were mature right at retrieval. I guess that is better than having to wait for them to mature.

I pray that some will fertilize.

I don't want this to be over yet.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Trigger Happy!!!!!

What a difference 48 hours makes.

I brought DH with me for support. He wanted to be there too. He felt bad he wasn't there to comfort me after Monday's appt. He's never been to a monitoring before and was a little uncomfortable in the room. I found that slightly amusing. I told him I didn't want him to have to come until there was a baby to look at on the screen, but this might be as close as we ever come, so he might as well be there.

Dr. G. came in and did his thing. I usually ask questions and provide commentary during the whole u/s but not today. I just stared at the screen in silence and waited for the final tally. Here it goes:

Left Ovary: 19.5, 7 (one showed up late to the game)
Right Ovary: 17, 17, 17, 15
E2: 1257

Nurse X called and I finally get to trigger tonight! I never thought I'd make it! It is the small miracle I was hoping for. Those follicles finally decided to get on board at the same time. My lead follicle slowed down and the little ones took off. Dr. G. called DH my good luck charm. He's right. . . Or then again, maybe it was my "Chicks with Brains" socks. . .We'll never know.

DH didn't look. He just hid in the background the whole time. I called him over to show him the picture of my ovary that was left on the screen. I started to explain to him what he was seeing. Dr. G. got very excited about a chance to educate someone and printed off a picture of my follicles for him to look at. Now we have this u/s picture of my ovary. It's hilarious. Most people get u/s of their pregnancies. We have one of my follies. It might be the closest thing we will have to being parents. Should we post it on the fridge? Send them out as Christmas cards? :)

I never imagined I'd be jumping for joy over 3, 4, or 5 potential eggs. If you asked me before we started IVF#1 I'd have been appalled to hear such a thing. Now, I am thrilled and I'll take anything I can get.

I know we have so many more hurdles to face and possible disappointments in our future, (the odds are stacked against us) but I am so happy to have gotten this far. Thank you God. I finally get my chance.

Our retrieval is scheduled for Friday morning. I am going to relish the fact that I don't have any injections tomorrow. Whatever will I do?

Thank you so much for all your comments and support. You all make this hellish journey a little easier.

Monday, December 8, 2008


Today started off horribly.

It had been 24 hours since my last check. I thought I was out of dominant follicle territory. I thought wrong. Here are today's results:

Left Ovary: 17
Right Ovary: 12, 12, 11, 11

What the fuck!

One of them shrank! One of them took off! And two of them grew a little bit.

I knew right away when I saw the big one on the screen. Dr. G. said he was willing to let it go and hope the others continue to grow together (THAT IS A BIG PROBLEM FOR ME), as long as my E2 didn't drop or my P4 didn't rise. I said, why would my progesterone rise? Aren't I taking Ganirelix to prevent that? He said yes, but people who are prone to dominant follicles don't always respond to it. Don't I respond to anything?!! What the hell? I'm so frustrated.

He was trying to stay positive, but I just knew I'd be cancelled today. I was really trying to hold it together, but he just sat there talking to me and saying, "Don't worry, you still might have a chance." It was the exact same conversation we had in August right before his nurse called and cancelled me. I felt tears rising. I just kept nodding and trying not to speak. He just kept rambling and would not leave. Pretty soon I couldn't take it any longer. I started to cry right there in the office with Dr. G. and a nurse. I never cry in front of people except DH, and my mom and dad. I am not an overly emotional person. I don't cry at the drop of a hat. I couldn't help it today.

Dr. G: "Oh, you're upset."

Ya think!!!

Pathetic Infertile: "I'm sorry."

Why the hell was I apologizing for being upset?

Background Nurse: "It's okay, we understand."

Do you really?

Dr. G. was trying to be sweet, but he finally got a clue and left. I called DH in the car sobbing and he felt so bad.

Oddly enough, once I got to work I felt better. I think I felt relief. I have been through an emotional wringer at every stinking appointment. Not once could I leave one feeling satisfied with my progress. I have had to stim longer than most people I know at very high doses and I was feeling overwhelmed last night. I felt like I just couldn't go on. So I used work as a distraction and I thought about coming home and drinking (a lot of) wine in front of a fire and not having to think about IF if I didn't want to.

Then I looked at my tests results online. . .

My E2 level rose to 800
My P4 level rose from .5 to .8

I thought for sure when I saw the rise in progesterone that this cycle was a done deal. About an hour later Nurse B. calls and tells me to take the same dosage of meds and to come in Wednesday morning.

What the fuck?

I am assuming that my rise in E2 is the only thing that is keeping me in the game and the rise in P4 must not be enough to warrant a cancellation yet. I hope the ganirelix does it's job and prevents the lead one from ovulating. I hope that the other ones continue to grow ALL TOGETHER.

Honestly though, I've lost all confidence in my ovaries. I've lost almost all hope for this cycle. This is too hard. If I were going to be cancelled again, I would have preferred it be on my second stim check like before. The farther you go the harder it is. Not to mention the amount of money I've spent on meds to stim for 12 or 13 days.

I will go through the motions Wednesday, but I will try to have zero expectations.

I am numb.

I am drained.

I am frustrated.

I am tired.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Fab Five?. . . Triple Threat?. . .Terrific Two?

I'm confused.

IVF #2 is not going very well.

Today's check revealed these results:

Left (lazy) Ovary: 16
Right (really trying) Ovary: 15, 12, 9, 9
E2: 590

It looks like only two or three are really in the running at this point. One came out of nowhere today. That was interesting. If they would just all grow AT THE SAME TIME I would not be as concerned. It seems like every time I go in for a stim check, my chances dwindle. I'm worried what tomorrow will bring. It looks like (for the time being) we have avoided a dominant follicle, but, hey, with me anything can happen.

I have decided to treat this cycle as a very expensive experiment. Unless something drastic happens, DH and I plan to go to retrieval with whatever we have to work with. I need to find some things out about the quality of my eggs: Are they mature? Can they fertilize? If this had been my first attempt, I'm sure Dr. G would have encouraged me to cancel and try again hoping for better results next time. He admitted that I had a poor response, but this is probably the best I can do. I somewhat agree with him. I will not throw in the towel if this doesn't work, but I do believe that we shouldn't let this chance pass by.

I'm disappointed, but it's not over til it's over and I am not a quitter. I am, however, a realist. I know the odds are stacked against us. I am still going to give it all I've got. I just hope and pray it is enough.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Oh where, oh where have my follicles gone?

Oh where or where can they be?

No, seriously, where did they go?

I had seven just the other day. Today I'm down to four. I don't like this pattern.

The pros:
All four are about the same size (9 or 10 ish).
My estrogen rose nicely considering I only have four ( 290).
No dominant follicle (yet?).
I am still in it.

The cons:
They. . . take. . . forever. . . to. . . grow. . . (Cha-ching! There goes another $1000 on meds)
I can no longer blame my poor response on the lupron.
Everyone at the RE's office was getting news to trigger with a plentiful amount of eggs and I felt like a big loser.

I have decided to focus on the pros. I am surprisingly okay with these results. Of course I am disappointed, and I feel like my odds of actually getting pregnant this time are a long shot, but do you remember when I said I would be okay with 4 or 5 and that I just wanted a chance? Looks like I got my wish.

Thank you God for a chance.


Following in the footsteps of everyone who names their embryos, I'm going to name my follies in hopes of inspiring them and keeping them around. I shall call them the Fantastic Four.
(To a fertile person I must sound like I've lost my mind).


Okay, what is it with me and small worlds?

Oddly, I have always felt very alone at my RE's office, even though I am surrounded by people I have so much in common with. No one usually talks to each other. Online, I have this whole supportive community of "strangers," but in real life, I don't have much of a desire to share my story with these people. Weird.

Today was different. I found an old friend. A sorority sister from college. We were in the same pledge class, so we shared a lot of experiences. It took us a moment to place each other (I haven't seen her in almost 10 years). Then she just gave me the biggest hug and we sat and talked while we waited for the lab to open. This is her first round of IVF. She already has a nine year old. She got married three years ago and is experiencing male IF. I didn't get her details but it sounds like she's right on track and will have her retrieval Sunday. I'm sure I'll see her then, at my next stim check. We exchanged numbers and she wanted me to call her and let her know how things are going with me.

It made my morning a little easier.

Thursday, December 4, 2008


I've been an emotional basketcase.

Last night DH brought me home a brownie that a lady in his office made. It was the most delicious thing I have ever tasted. It was moist and chocolaty and had a peanut butter cup in the middle of it. If there's one thing I love it's chocolate and peanut butter. I had just finished my injection for the evening and I was treating myself to this little piece of heaven when DH said, "That's from the woman at work who never had any kids and is also infertile." I know he meant not a thing by this statement. We talk about IF all the time. Why should it bother me now? Blame it on the meds, but I burst into tears. All I kept thinking was how unfair it was that a woman who is such a good cook doesn't have a child of her own to bake for. Totally irrational, I know, but I couldn't help it. I cried and cried for how unfair this world is. I felt better after. I haven't had a breakdown yet this cycle and I think I just needed to get it all out. Poor DH felt really bad. Then this morning on my way to work, I was listening to some stupid song on the radio and lost it again.

I wish I could blame it on the hormones, but I'm worried that my estrogen hasn't been rising enough. I don't feel like a lot is going on down there. (Most of my "cycle sistas" have moved much faster than me.) I've felt a little bloated and tender in the ovaries, but I haven't had any wet quality cervical fluid (sorry if this is TMI- I think you can handle it). Does anyone else see this as a symptom of rising estrogen during an IVF cycle?

I'm just really worried because tomorrow's appt. is when it was all over for me last time. I am so afraid of what will happen. I know I'll brush myself off and go back for more, but I will be so frustrated and disappointed. How am I ever supposed to get a baby if I can't produce enough mature eggs? I don't want to be stuck at square one.

Here I go getting ahead of myself. I need to calm down. There's nothing I can do about it. I will feel so much better if I can continue past tomorrow. I might have a chance then.

I want a chance.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

I'll Take That

I am really trying to take this cycle one day at a time and be thankful for everyday I can still participate. At today's check Dr. G found 7 measurable follicles (all still fairly small) all pretty much the same size. That will do for now. I remember when I used to assume I'd make more, but if I were to get seven (hell even 4 or 5) mature follicles I'd be thrilled at this point. Funny how your perspective changes. My E2 level came back a little low (what's new?) at 76. He said he assumed it would be anywhere between 50 and 200 by looking at the ultrasound. I guess he thought it must be a little low though because he upped my dosage of menopur (my favorite) to 300 ius a night! That's four vials I have to mix now! The follistim will remain the same at 300. What is wrong with my body that I need that much medicine to kick it into gear? If I continue, I'll have to order more. We'll see what happens at my next stim check on Friday.

Please no lead follicles. . .Please no lead follicles. . .Please no lead follicles. . .


As I was getting dressed this morning to head out to my appt. I thought of PJ at Infertility on the Brain. I decided to wear some cute socks under my boots. I've never really given much thought to my socks at an RE appt. before. Today I did.
And guess what? He noticed! He asked, "What do your socks say?" and I said, "Chicks with Brains." He thought that was hilarious and asked where I got them. I told him from a friend at work (only teachers give each other cheesy gifts like that). I'm totally wearing my "I love my dachshund socks" next.
So PJ, this one's for you:

(You can't tell from my crappy pic, but there is a chick wearing glasses)*************************************************************

I knew Dr. G moved out here last spring from Ohio with his family. This summer during my first try, I found out he was looking for a house in the city I teach in, the same neighborhood no doubt. So at the beginning of the school year I looked at the class rosters of the fifth graders to see if his last name showed up on any lists. I couldn't find it. I assumed he got a house somewhere else. I assumed wrong!

At today's appt. he asked me what time I needed to be in the office. I reminded him I was a teacher. One thing led to another and it turns out his daughter does go to my school (I don't know how I missed the name). You should have seen the look on his face. It was pretty funny. It was like he instantly melded his two worlds of work and family. Good I say, every little personal thing he remembers about me the better. I might get some extra care. And if he doesn't make me a baby, then I know his daughters teacher, and I'm going to make sure she fails every subject! I hope the thought crossed his mind. I just upped the ante. He probably really wants to get rid of me know.

What a small world.

Sunday, November 30, 2008


Just about the only thing I have been feeling is sleepy and out of it. I did not feel this way last time, but I also started stimming long after AF left. This time, I started on CD2. Maybe the sleepy feeling is due to her not the follistim. Speaking of which, I am still spotting (because I know you care). It's so annoying. I thought with all the drugs she'd disappear sooner but that doesn't seem to be the case. Hhmm. . . Did anyone else ever feel sleepy or fatigued from stim drugs like Follisleepy (get it: Fall-a-sleepy! I crack myself up!)?

Today is my third day of stimming. I take the follistim in the morning and menopur at night. I've realized that the reason I felt no symptoms from the meds last time (as in bloated, swollen ovaries- I wish!) was because nothing was happening. And of course this time, I feel like nothing is happening as well. I know it is only day three of stimming, yada, yada, but I can't help worrying about what I will see (or not see) at my first stim check on Tuesday. I wish I could move on to a new worry, like retrieval, fertilization, grades of embryos, etc. I'm so tired of obsessing about follicle growth. Grow dammit! All together now! Grow!

I just realized, I must sound like a medicated nutjob. . . Forgive me.

These are my ramblings and getting them out makes me feel better.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Follistim Friday

I just realized I have been spelling Follistim wrong in past blogs. . . Oh well, I just shoot it up, I don't study the label. Geez!

Anyway, after some confusion with a nurse on what was actually my CD1, I started my first dose of Follistim this morning. I was expecting to be a day late and start tomorrow, so I was shocked that the time was now. I was still groggy (I called the clinic first thing when I got up) as I gathered my materials and brushed up on my instructions. There was no nerves, no fanfare; I just went through the motions. It feels so much different this time around. I'm not sure what to make of it.

I am not looking forward to the Menopur tonight. I hate mixing that stuff. I don't know what made me think I could to be a doctor when I was little. I am not at all crafty with a syringe.
All aboard!

The IVF train has left the station.

I hope I make it all the way to my destination.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Where did I come from?

Fedex sucks!

They were supposed to deliver my meds between 9a.m. and 1p.m. I had plans to have lunch with a friend of mine. At about 12:30 they call to confirm my address. They say the driver brought the package back to the warehouse because they needed an apartment number. "Um, I don't live in an apartment. I do live in a condo and there is nothing more than a number to my address. So bring me my f-king meds and just be glad I'm not on them now!" I had to go get them myself to ensure they'd make it to me by today. It felt better being the one in control. I am a control freak after all.

I brought the package to my friend's house and threw the follistm in her fridge while we ate. The whole time I was there I could hear her 1 1/2 year old old coughing up a lung in the next room during his nap. I have never mixed a cold with IVF drugs, and I don't think I'd like to start now. As soon as he got up, I grabbed my box of meds and I was out of there. Not before her son points to my package and asks,

"Wat's dat?"

"Oh, these are all the things I need to have a baby. Most people only need a bed."

And that got me thinking. . .

If this whole IVF thing ever works. Just think of the story I can tell my offspring when they ask where they came from. I think it might go a little like this:

Well, (insert name) it all starts with two people who really love each other. But sometimes their love alone is not enough to make a baby and they decide they need some help. So here's where you came from.

First mommy and daddy wrote a big, fat check to a doctor.

Then a big box of medicine arrived at our door.

Mommy used this medicine to help grow a little part of you. This part was not easy for mommy.

Next, a doctor in a high tech lab mixed a little piece of mommy with a little piece of daddy to make you.

Finally you grew inside mommy for nine months.

So, you came from a team of doctors, a box of drugs, a high tech lab, a ton of cash, and oh yea, a whole lot of love from mommy and daddy too.

Okay, so maybe the story wouldn't go exactly like that.

But it might be pretty close.

Monday, November 24, 2008

On your mark! Get set! Go!

What a day!

It started off at 7:30 am in my RE's office for my baseline ultrasound/bloodwork. They don't open til 8:00, but I was told my doc was busy and to come at 7:30. The door was unlocked but all the lights were out and I don't think anyone was home. I called out "Hello." My voice is very small and goes nowhere so I just sat down in the dark to wait. About two minutes later a couple of nurses walked in and, surprise, my doctor was there all along. The appointment itself went quickly and I was out of there by 8:00. No cysts, so I was happy about that. He also found a few follicles (not many I think 5 or 6 total). I took my last BCP today so I am not even on cycle day one yet. I thought that seeing follicles already was a good thing. Then stupid me googles baseline u/s and antral follicle count. Stupid! Stupid! Stupid! All I saw were women with multiple, multiple follicles just sitting there waiting to stim. I was getting discouraged before I even got started. I am going to try to still be happy with my measly follicle count. Why? Because last time when I was on the lupron, I am not sure I even had any (I don't know. I didn't think to ask- I didn't ask this time, he just told me) and I am not even on cycle day one yet so more can join the party (I sent them an invitation- I'm still waiting to hear back), and my ovaries looked today almost the same as they did last cycle after five days of stimming. I am trying really hard to stay positive. I. am. trying. really. hard.

At my clinic, you can see your test results online. Sometimes they show up hours before the nurse calls. Not really a good thing for a person like me. My progesterone was .4 (I was okay with that) and my E2 was <20 (that was the official number). My E2 has never been that low before, even on lupron. I again consulted Dr. Google and got myself nice and worked up.

I did have to pull myself away from the computer long enough to go to the dentist . It felt weird being in a medical office without Dr. G. and a dildo cam. Even though I've maxed out my crappy dental insurance for the year, a part of me thought I should get my scheduled cleaning done anyway "just in case" this time works. I feel like I jinx myself when I do these things. I hate not knowing how to live my life.

While I was at the dentist, Nurse B called (Nurse X is in Cancun for a week- must be nice). She said the blood work looked fine but I shouldn't just start injections on Friday like my calendar says, because I need to wait for AF to arrive and start them on CD2 (which very well could be Friday). I called her back and asked about my low E2 numbers, she said they were fine and they like to see low numbers at this point. My AF better behave and show up on time, otherwise I have to call if she doesn't arrive by Thursday. I'm not sure why I have to call. Just to check in? I'm not really clear about that. They better not decide to reschedule me if she's late! There is a short window for IVF procedures in December and I need to fit into that. I can't wait any longer.

So that is my long, boring account. Sorry if your eyes are glazing over. As you can see, I focus on every painstaking detail. It is a fault of mine. This blog could have been much shorter, but I need to get it all out. Analyze, accept, move on. It's what I do.

I just want to get farther than I did before. Wait, that's not really true. I want the whole package. I want the trigger shot, the retrieval, the fert. report, the transfer, the 2ww, the BFP, the pregnancy, the baby. It all seem so overwhelming right now. One day at a time right?

Today is done and I am still in the race.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Dishing My Dirt

Today was the day I told my boss that am dealing with infertility. I had been pondering whether or not to for some time. I had a couple reasons I needed to get it off my chest.

This summer, I turned down the opportunity to interview with her for the vice-principal position. My old principal had retired and the new one needed a VP. I had tons of support and encouragement from my old boss. She was a real cheerleader for me. I think I could have gotten it. So why didn't I try? Oh that's right, this beast called infertility reared its ugly head.

I was overwhelmed this summer with all things IVF. I just couldn't take the stress of a new career path. And besides, remember the part of me that thought this was going to work? I didn't want to leave my principal high and dry while I went on maternity leave. Oh, so naive!

Now, several months later, the beast is back, and he's going to be my date for the next few weeks (That's if I'm not cancelled after two stim checks again). I needed to let my boss know that I would be taking time off for appointments. As a teacher, you can't just mosey in an hour late and say, "Hey First Graders! How was your morning? Did I miss anything?" I need the help of a colleague to take my class on the days I have appts. My last principal was very understanding of this. I thought this one would be too, but I wasn't sure. I wanted to give her the reason why. And most importantly I needed her to know why I turned down the chance to take the VP position. I am a woman who goes for what she wants (obviously- just look what I'll do for a baby) and the way I've been acting at work lately hasn't reflected that.

I had been dreading talking to her all day. No conversation is harder for me than one that involves telling someone out of the blue that I am infertile. Where do you begin? I had set the appt. with her in an e-mail to discuss something "personal and private." I added, "Don't worry, I'm not pregnant, moving or dying." So when I showed up in her office today she was totally stumped.

It was so awkward. I just started talking. I don't even really remember what I said. I didn't overwhelm her with details. I was very general. To her credit, she was very nice. She's younger than me (29) and single, so she couldn't really relate, but she told me she had a friend who was going through the same thing right now and to just "do what I needed to do." I trust her to be professional and not let anyone know. My last boss would have never found out because she had a big mouth.

I felt some relief letting her know. I always do after I spill my "secret." Once I am out in the open with it, I don't have a hard time talking about it with people. It's just the initial announcement that I can't stand. I don't know why these conversations are so hard for me, but they are. I think I am done for now. No one else should need to know.

Monday morning is my suppression check. I can't believe it is almost here.

Let the mind games begin!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

A Delayed Reaction

That is what DH is having to all this infertility stuff.

When we first got married, I knew DH's stance on kids. We'd have them, but really only because I wanted them. He knew he wanted to be a father someday, but if he never had any kids he would probably be okay with that too. Once he learned he suffered from MI all that changed. He suddenly wanted what he might not be able to have. Or at least, he suddenly realized he really did want children. After our first cancelled IVF, it got even more intense for him.

He started to notice what I have for years- fertile people are all around us. He got upset when men at work announced their wives were pregnant, he suffered through a couples baby shower (I luckily had other plans), he sees pregnant women everywhere now and has trouble being around our friends with kids. He never used to be like that. Never. Welcome to my world I say.

It all came to a head last night when my friend invited us to dinner this weekend. She and her husband have an 18 month old. I have been her friend for over 12 years. She is not one I'm going to give up on even though she has a kid. For not being infertile, she has tried to take an interest and understand what I'm going through. She is not afraid to ask me questions that other people might feel too awkward doing. She's always been a good listener. When I brought the invitation up to DH he cut me off with a quick "NO." Okaaaaay. . .

Turns out he can't stand couples events with kids anymore. He says it hurts him too much. This couple especially tends to only talk about their baby. So I understand, but I am worried that he won't be able to get over it if it turns out we can never have kids. I don't want to cast off all my friends just because they have children. I think once we know the path our lives will take, he will be able to adjust. But right now he is in the thick of things and dealing with feelings I have been faced with for a long time. It's interesting watching him go through this.

I have become so calloused to the countless times everyday my infertility is waved in my face. Being an elementary teacher is especially fun! Just today we were reading a story about all kinds of families. The book read, "Families have a mother and a father. Families have children." Children was one of our high frequency words today so it came up a lot in our reading. I was quick to point out to the kiddos that families are all different and some people don't have children, but they are still a family. We then quickly moved on. Normally I wouldn't have even batted an eyelash, but remembering how sensitive DH is lately, it hit me how much more I deal with it all on a daily basis. I see kids and their parents and their younger siblings all the time. I hear pregnant co-worker's updates in the lunch room. It is always there. I have learned to deal with it (even though it hurts) and I hope DH can do. He deserves peace.

Why does this have to be so hard?

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Babies on Parade

The last week has been a little stressful on DH and me. The upcoming IVF cycle is looming near and we start to get a little testy with each other. Gone is the excitement that comes along with starting a new cycle. Instead I am filled with anxiety and dread. I know I should have a positive attitude and all that shit, but I don't work that way. I like to set myself up for the worst and then be pleasantly surprised if it goes better than that. I don't know how to do it any other way. I tried last time to be positive. Actually, I didn't need to try. Deep down I really thought it would work. The success rates for IVF were so much better when it was just MI. I started thinking of my future as being pregnant and having a baby, maybe even two. Well, that thinking didn't really get me anywhere, except to a new reality. Now with both of us facing IF, the odds are stacked against us. Even if I can get some good eggs this time, there is no guarantee any will fertilize, let alone live to day 3 or 5 for transfer. . . Ooops! I better stop. I am getting way to pessimistic here. If I'm dropping $4500 on fertility meds this time, I better at least have a positive thought or two, otherwise why am I doing this again?

Anyway, I digress, so the stress of IF had caught up with DH and I so yesterday we decided to go on a date night to a local steakhouse. We were seated at a booth next to the lobby. We got to see pretty much everyone entering and leaving the restaurant. It must have been bring your baby to dinner night because I swear almost every couple who passed by was young, cute and had a baby in tow. So much for getting our mind off of it. I think I counted close to 20. Really, at a steakhouse? It's not like we were at flipping Applebees! The pregnant lady seated next to us didn't help matters. Lovely, just lovely.

In spite of this, DH and I ended up having a nice evening and flaunting my glass of wine in front of my preggo neighbor helped improve my mood. Just maybe she was jealous of me, especially when one of the babies in the restaurant started screaming. The grass is always greener right?

Monday, November 3, 2008

Reality Check

As in, I really have to pay for all this IVF stuff.

I mean, I knew I did. I had to before. But this time, I was so focused on the nitty gritty details, like new protocols and calendars, that I kind of forgot how much this all f****** costs. Okay, I didn't really forget, but I must have put it out of my mind. At least until yesterday when I had to pull out my old meds and take inventory. I really didn't have much left. Three measly vials of Menopur and no follistm. Of course I had all the post retrieval medicine left because I never even got that far before.

I was looking at my new calendar and I noticed that they doubled my doses of stim meds from last cycle. A part of me is glad of course because I want to have more eggs than I did last time. The other part of me sat down and did the math. And the math really isn't that hard. Double the dose means double the cost. That hurts! It didn't help matters that I decided to pay all my bills on the same day. Not smart.

DH and I do okay, but the financial burden of IVF sure adds to the stress of it all. How long can a couple keep taking $15,000 hits? It weighs heavily on how far we will decide to take this whole process. I wish I could say it didn't, but it does. If it were free, I'd probably never give up until I hit menopause, but it's not, at least not under our insurance. Reality sets in and you realize you can only do so much. There are only so many times we can try.

It's not fair. Nothing about any of this is.

What I really need is one of these. . .

Wednesday, October 29, 2008


You know who they are.

They are annoying.

Those super cute families who have everything personalized. Return address labels with one stick figure for everyone in their house, stick figure families on the back of SUVs (As if everyone on the freeway cares how many kids you have. We don't people. We really don't.) personalized door mats and Christmas ornaments, holiday photo cards, family T-shirts, hats, you name it.

You know why I hate them?

I'm totally jealous. I want all that cheesy family stuff. I really, really do.

If we can't have kids, DH says we can always start a wiener dog farm. We'll buy a big house and let them run around the yard, kind of like a Sprint commercial I saw years ago with a whole stampede of them. Who knows, I might turn into a crazy dog person, buy an SUV and put a whole slew of stick figure dachsunds on the back.

Take that you cheesy suburban soccer moms!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Here We Go Again

What a day.

It started off nice. I only had to work two hours. I took a 1/2 day off for my appointment with Dr. G this afternoon and I had a prep time at 10:30 (my kids were at PE) so I left then for the rest of the day.

I came home, had lunch, walked my dog and found out I left my cell phone at work. That was the beginning of my demise. I was doing so well until something so little happened. I was suddenly completely overwhelmed by the fact that I would need to stop by work on my way to the RE's. Normally, this would not be such a big deal, but I realized how much I was dreading my visit with Dr. G. I just didn't want to go back to that place. I was embarrassed. I felt like a failure. I didn't want to put myself through all that disappointment again, but I knew I would just the same.

I pulled myself together and left a little early so I could stop by work. Utterly unexplainable emotional meltdown number two occurred as I discovered my cell phone was not on my desk, where I thought I had left it. I called DH and told him I was on my way to pick him up at work and I wouldn't be able to call him when I got there because I had lost my cell phone.

I got DH and we finally arrived at the clinic which shares its building with other offices. The parking lot was packed. I finally found a spot and I politely wait for a SUV to pass so I can pull in. Well the bastard pulls in instead. I did something that is not characteristically me. I honk. I am so non confrontational that this is really a lot for me. I immediately become embarrassed and tell DH I shouldn't have done that. Emotional breakdown number three.

I suddenly worried when I saw that "the bastard" had come with his wife and they were walking in the direction of my RE's. . . They were going to the same floor. . .They were going in the same door. Don't I feel like an ass! Poor people were there for their first infertility class. And here I am the jerk who honks at them. I was then stuck in an awkward line with them while DH and I checked in. At least I hadn't flip them off.

Dr. G was about 15 minutes behind schedule. While we waited we saw a woman bring two kids in (both about 6 or 7). The nurse tells her where the infertility class is located. Nice, take your two kids to a class on infertility. I know secondary infertility is hard, but in this case, bringing children didn't seem appropriate. How is she going to be able to pay attention? And what kind of education did those kids get today?

Well, we finally get in to see Dr. G and he is not all doom and gloom like Nurse X was on the phone two weeks ago. He agreed that my ovaries were performing like a woman pushing 40 (tell me something I didn't know) and that there were other protocols to try. It was between an antagonist protocol and a micro-dose lupron flare. He then went into a very long explanation of how each protocol worked. I was well versed in each one so I was listening and nodding and asking very appropriate questions. Poor DH was lost. I think at one point his eyes glazed over. I guess he didn't need to be there, but I wasn't sure if they would try to write me off or not and I wanted him to help me decide what we should do next if that was the case.

We decided to go with the antagonist protocol because he said that dominant follicles (which I had last time) were more prone in a lupron flare protocol. I didn't want that to happen again if I could help it. Overall Dr. G is very knowledgeable and answers all my questions completely. I like the fact that he respects and appreciates all the research I've done and welcomes my questions. In the end (as we know well) it is such a crap shoot. No one can predict anything for sure.

I have mixed feeling about getting underway again. I am happy I have something else to try. I feel more proactive that way. But I dread all that comes with another cycle. I need to call Nurse X tomorrow and have her make my calendar. Next month the fun will really begin. Hey, at least I won't have to take any lupron shots!

Now if I could just find my cell phone.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Getting Off My Ass

So I hate exercising. Really, really hate it.

I am fortunate to have a petite frame and I can loose any extra pounds pretty easily by watching what I eat. The motivation to exercise has never been there. I know it's good for your heart and all that. Blah, blah, blah.

Anyway, a friend of mine was telling me this weekend about a 5K run she did. I told her I always wanted to run but was never good at it. My shins hurt, my side cramped and I think I look funny when I run. Not as bad as Phoebe on Friends, but maybe close. She then proceeded to tell me about the "Couch to 5k" training program. I'm sure many of you have heard of this, I hadn't. Apparently in 9 weeks, you can be running a 5K, even if you've never run before. When she told me the first three workouts were 60 seconds of running, followed by 90 seconds of walking repeated for 20 minutes. I thought "Now that I could do."

And today I tried it for the first time. I made sure to find an empty track and field without a neighborhood soccer game going on. I didn't need the added pressure of an audience. After my 5 minute warm up, I started my first workout. No side cramp, and I was hardly out of breath, but by the end, my legs felt very heavy and my shins were a little sore. I think I need to invest in some better shoes.

A friend of mine at work is going to try it too. My goal is to complete our city's 5K Bah Humbug Run with her in early December.

This is also when I am scheduled to start my stim meds (if I get the go ahead, if I don't have any cysts,- you know the drill). I am so tired of living for "what if." I am going to proceed as if I am not infertile and not a slave to my IVF calendar. Last time I felt like such a fool for stopping all exercise (not that I did much mind you) on stim day 4 as they suggested. What a joke! Nothing was going on in my dusty ovaries. I didn't need to worry about them twisting around themselves.

I hate scheduling my life around fertility treatments so I am deciding this time to cross my IVF bridge when I get to it, and not a day before. If I need to cancel my run, so be it. But I am not worrying about that now.

What I am worried about is how sore I am going to be tomorrow.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

A Makeover

For my blog. . .not me, although I'm sure I could use one.

I am so new to this blogging business and aesthetically, my blog wasn't cutting it. It seemed a drab, depressing color that wasn't me, so I gave it an update. Much cheerier I say.

Nothing new for me this week. I am just waiting for my consultation on Thursday. I need to gather a list of questions I have for Dr. G. One of my biggest questions is why my antral follicle count in March was 11 (during my saline sonogram) and I could only produce six on a medicated cycle in August? I thought the whole point of a medicated cycle was to produce more. I guess my body doesn't follow the rules. Or maybe, I am on to something with the whole over suppressed thing because of all that lupron. At my suppression check before my stims, my E2 level was 30. That number didn't seem over suppressed. Has anyone ever had something similar where you feel your body was over suppressed, but your numbers didn't look that way?

See how I over analyze everything? I guess this is my way of taking to take charge of something that I really can't.

Maybe if I'd just relax. . .

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

The Pumpkin Patch

Today I took my class to the pumpkin patch. When we arrived it was kids galore: small kids, big kids, medium kids, screaming kids, crying kids, laughing kids, full of snot kids, smelly dirty kids, unruly kids. You get the picture.

Today was one of those days when it felt okay to go home to only my dog and have a little time to myself before DH gets home. Today was one of those days I thought- I can be patient. There are some pluses to being childless. That is today. Tomorrow will be different. I wish I could live in the moment; enjoy my life for what it is right now. I'm always so damn impatient for the next step.

It was that way when I was dating in my early 20s. I was always looking for "Mr. Right." Never enjoying my right now. If I only knew then I'd find him eventually, I could have enjoyed my single, carefree years a little more. All my friends had found "the one." I was still searching. I thought I'd never get where they were. I was always so jealous of their relationships. I thought for sure I'd be left behind.

All my friends have once again moved on with their lives. And once again I am so jealous. They have babies and play dates and mommy groups. I am once again left behind. I wish I knew if I would eventually get where they are. Someday I want to hold my screaming baby and wish I had enjoyed my childless years a little more.

But there is no crystal ball to show me the way. No guarantees of where this journey will lead. All I can do is love my husband, my dog, my family, my job, my life. . .right now.

And today I am enjoying. I should hang out at the pumpkin patch more often.

Monday, October 13, 2008

A little perspective

I never knew how good it would feel to reach out through a blog. Writing it was such a release.
Thank you for your comments. It was the first time I haven't felt alone with my infertility in awhile.

My sister-in-law is a good friend of mine. She is the reason I met DH. She was dating his brother at the time. We both married them and now it turns out we have the same first and last name. We are both teachers in the same district. So much in common, except IF. . . (they aren't even trying yet). She tries to be supportive, but really has no idea. Which brings me to her comment the other day.

She has been trying to get a condo in my development (sounds a little to close to comfort for me). They have put in two offers on two different homes and both were outbid. She was in such a pissy mood when she found out. She said "It has just put me in such a bad mood all day. We had our hopes up. We thought this one would work out. . .You know of it feels to be disappointed."

WTF?! Did she just compare infertility to the housing market?

I wish I had had the guts to say something.

But then again, maybe she's right. Whenever we get down about infertility DH and I rest assured that it could be worse. We could have been outbid on a house. Sure helps us keep everything in perspective. . .


Sunday, October 12, 2008

My Weekend

Yesterday DH and I went wine tasting with my parents, my cousin and his wife who came to visit from out of town. I was looking forward to a day that would get my mind off of the disappointing phone call I had with my RE's office on Friday.

My cousin made the comment that this would be the last trip they could take without the kids for a while. He has two children (9 and 4). So of course, being polite, I ask why. He then pats his wife's knee and says they have another one on the way-not planned. I am happy for them, but with every new pregnancy comes so much jealousy. I feel like it's everyone but me. I have been proud of myself for not letting that get in the way of celebrating with them. I've never minded discussing people's pregnancies, or their children. It is strange that such a happy announcement can make me so sad. I try to get past that feeling. Some days it is easier than others. Yesterday was hard.

I also have two pregnant coworkers, both due this April. I can't help thinking that if IVF#1 had worked, I would have been right there with them. I find one of the hardest places to deal with IF is at work. (The only people who know about our IF is our immediate family and three of my closest friends.) It's not really the fact that as a teacher I'm surrounded by kids. Being a teacher and being a parent are really very, very different. It is the fact that I am surrounded by parents and well intentioned coworkers who constantly ask when I'm going to have a baby. Actually that is not really true anymore. They used to ask more often. It has tapered off.

I came to a realization after talking with a friend of mine I used to teach with (who is aware of our struggles). She is now a stay at home mom. A fellow teacher was talking with her the other day. She used to ask my friend when I was going to have kids. Just the other day she asked if I was "having trouble." This is their logic: I've been married for three years. . . People know I want kids. . . I don't have kids. . .I must be infertile! It irritates me that people make assumptions about my life.

Meanwhile, my AF is back in full force this month. I guess I should start my BCP tomorrow so I can be on track with starting my injections next month. Whatever Dr. G tells me at our consultation on the 23rd, it's not going to stop me from at least giving it one more try. I'm not going to give up that easy.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

My First Post

So I can't believe I'm doing this. . .

But I have read so many other infertility posts that have inspired, educated, and made me feel not so alone, that I thought maybe someday someone would gain something from mine. I have been such a "taker" in the blog community that I thought I should be giving something back.

Where do I begin? In April of '07 we started TTC. I was charting and ovulated but I was convinced I had a luteal phase defect (only 9 or 10 days) so in September of '07 I went to my OBGYN and told her my concerns. She basically laughed in my face and told me 5 months was not very long to try and to call if it had been a year. She said she was sure I would be pregnant before the end of the year. Wouldn't that have been nice?

In February of '08 we attend a "class" on infertility. They order all the initial tests for myself and DH and my day three bloodwork comes back in the normal range (though I thought my FSH level for a 31 year old was a little high- 8.8) but DH's SA shows a severe MI. We schedule a consultation with RE (Dr. G)and are told IVF with ICSI is our only option.

I then undergo a saline sonogram and it comes back normal. We schedule our first IVF cycle for August of '08. Hey we had a cruise that June and with myself as a teacher August is a great time to conceive! We finally have an explanation and a plan! This could really work. . . We were so naive.

In the meantime DH underwent genetic testing and we determined the reason for MI. We speak to a genetic counselor and learn it is something that could be passed to his sons, but infertility is the only symptom. Decide to proceed.

I was actually excited to begin my lupron shots in July. We were progressing towards a goal. I was on a long luteal protocol. My supression check went well, no cysts. We were ready to start stimming. Here's where my end of the bargain feel through. I took for granted this portion of the process. After all, everything looked fine with me. I passed all my tests with flying colors.

I went in for my first stim check on day 4 and they found four teeny tiny follicles and my E2 level was only 57. They increased my follistim and menopur and tell me to come back in another four days. At my second and final stim check they see six follicles. With a very large, fat one at size 17, one at 13 and three or four other ones around 9 or 10. Dr G. tells me to proceed with stimming for 3 more days and the nurse will call with my dosage once he gets my E2 numbers back. He is concerned that the one at 17 is becoming the lead follicle, but hopefully the others will catch up. I am upset but have glimmer of hope. That is until 3:00 when the nurse calls with my E2 number- 300 s0mething, and tells me they are cancelling my cycle due to a lead follicle. I guess the little ones weren't letting off any estrogen, the big one was taking over. This came as a surprise. No one thought I would react (or not react in my case) this way to stim meds.

For a while the infertility was easier to deal with when I thought it was only with DH. I knew I was in the same boat as him and we were going to deal with it together. But it gave me some peace thinking my parts were working fine. I am humbled. The worst part of this cancelled cycle was that our whole mindset changed. We began to think this might not ever happen. With both of us suffering from our own infertility issues, it just feels like every step of this process will be an uphill battle.

It took me forever to finally ovulate after stopping IF drugs in August. My AF just arrived today. When the nurse called to cancel my cycle last Aug. she said that the doctor would probably change my protocol (yes please) and to call her back when I got my AF. The clinic takes two weeks off in Nov and Dec for the holidays (really?) so the soonest I could cycle again would be late Nov. early Dec.

It was so nice to have a few weeks off. To try to forget about the failure and look towards the future. I researched new protocols. I tried to take my mind off it. It had been so nice not to deal with all that comes with and IVF cycle. And then yesterday I called my nurse again. Start the waterworks. . .

Nurse X. answers and I introduce myself. She remembers me and pulls up file. I ask her what my next step is. Long pause ensues. . . . . . Then she asks "Did you speak with the Dr. regarding your cancelled cycle?" I said no but I would like to before I start a new one. She hadn't mention any of this in August. Another long pause. . . She says, "Well let me talk to the doctor and see if he wants to continue with another cycle for you." WHAT? It was sounding like they were totally trying to dismiss me after one crappy cycle. What happened to we'll try again in December? I hang up with her and am very frustrated and upset. If they thought I was that much of a lost cause, they should have told me that in August.

She calls back 30 minutes later and says the doctor would like to set up a consultation where he will go over our options. In the meantime she says that if I decide to go forward (?) that I will need to start taking BCP on CD 2. At this point I am almost in tears and I try to get her to level with me. She says that Dr. G. will be honest with us about our chances of pregnancy should we go ahead with another cycle. Sometimes people respond better to different protocols. That is a something we should decide together with our RE. In other words, I feel like they are counting me out. They'll do it if I want but they're not very hopeful. I didn't think I was that much of a failure.

I was in shock. I was calling from work because my class had already gone home for the day. I hang up and sit alone and cry. A pity party for one. I finally pull myself together and go to the office to use the bathroom. Guess who's there? A woman who used to work with me who had twin girls two years ago. She had brought her babies to school for a visit. I thought I could take this event two ways. One, as a slap in my face from the IF gods, or as a sign. I swear only infertiles look at the world in this way. This woman I had heard through the grapevine was struggling with IF. She had miscarried before her twins at 5 months when she went in an found no heartbeat. I know she has had her share of struggles. Maybe it was a sign of hope. Or maybe just lousy timing I was in the office then. Who knows.

I hope to use this blog to keep track of my journey through our struggles. It feels so good to have a place to share. There are so many of you I read and follow. I found out about these blogs when I was googling lead follicles. The first IF blog I read was Infertility Bites. Her struggles sounded so close to mine. It is such a great support group.

Thanks for reading.