Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Merry Thanksmuskah

First, I want to apologize for the delay in posting. The Holidays have been busy, and I haven't felt any epiphanies or realizations in the realm of infertility, so my blogging fingers have been quiet.

It was a great Christmas. I have been talking recently about taking some classes or at least reading some books about jewelry design. I have a particular aesthetic that revolves around old Victorian along with more modern elements, that I am sure stems from my recent steampunk art and literature fetish. Well, my husband shocked me by giving me a beautiful necklace that he designed and created himself. It has exposed clock parts and beautiful green jewel (green is my favorite, in fact my engagement ring is an emerald). I was seriously shocked and touched. He is so wonderful.

Enough gushing. Tomorrow I leave for the west side of Michigan to a rented cabin for New Years. In college, a great friendship developed between the groupies of my husbands band. We started getting together during college for drunken revelry and thanksgiving. It is always such a wonderful time of year, and we dubbed it Thanksmuskuh, since there are friends from all backgrounds. In the end, we have created a tradition that has lasted over a decade and I am going to live it up. 2010 can kiss my ass, but I will show it off with a bang.

Here's to 2011 and to dreams coming true in the new year.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

My Perfect Cycle

My body cracks me up.

True to form, my cycle this month has been picture-perfect. My reproductive system is a full-on Monet. Sure it looks good from far away, but up close its a big mess. (Thank you Clueless).

In a move that brought on the creepy deja-vu heebie-jeebies, I restarted my fertilityfriend account and dug out my thermometer. My accupuncturist has decided she wants to see some charting, so she can more finely tune the Chinese herbs she is prescribing me.

Have I mentioned that these Chinese herbs taste like the ass of a tree. Well they do, so I'm not too excited about having a variety of tree ass to test my gag reflexes with twice a day. But, I'll do it. Just mark it down as one more thing we infertiles have to go through to achieve the same goal that Candy Crackwhore manages to achieve when accidently tripping in a semen-filled alley.

But I digress. My temps looked great. I had a dip yesterday, and also noted some great egg white goings-ons...and my temp shot up today. My Ovu-cue also detected ovulation as well. Day 15. Pretty perfect. Not that it matters of course.

It depresses me that I've never been pregnant, even once, even a little, even for a week. I am still left wondering, if my body is doing what it is suppose to do...what is wrong with me?

If I have terrible egg quality...Why? Has any RE in the history of RE-dum ever answered this question?

Sometimes I think my RE wants me to admit I lied on my paperwork and I'm actually older than I am, that way he could just blame it on my age and be done with it. But its hard to tell a 28 year old that her eggs suck because of her age. I'm afraid it's not going to be so hard to tell a 31 year old my birthday is a short 3 months away :(

Oh well, I'm really not as bitter or depressed as this verbal diarrhea post may have you believe. I am excited for Christmas. I have some great presents to hand out this year and I am looking forward to spending some time with my wonderful family and being thankful for all the blessings I have in my life.

With that, I will leave you with this funny cartoon from Mompetition. I ran across her videos yesterday, and they crack me up. Enjoy!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Consolers of the Lonley..

Infertility can be especially isolating for the introverted.

Books, movies and videogames currently hold more appeal to me than most people.

To be honest, it may be that these distractions are easier than
keeping up with high school and college friendships that have loss common bonds, as they achieve parenthood and I am left yearning for something they have started to take for granted.

During my first IVF, my immensely ignorant, delusional, and overly-confident self told my best high school friend (and maid of honor at my wedding) about my treatment.

We loss touch over the ensuing months, and when I spoke to her again, I was gearing up for IVF #2. Since she had been one of the few people I told about #1, I told her about my anticipation for IVF #2. Her response was "You've done this before"?

Nice huh?

I have a vague recollection of my ears turning red (one of the lovely side effects of my embarrassment and/or anger) and mumbling something dismissive trying to find a way to leave so I could go home and be by myself.

And since then, I've managed to stay by myself pretty well. This was helped when my workplace allowed me to start working from home. So now, not only am I a hermit, but I'm a hermit that doesn't even have to get out of her ultra sexy hermit snowman fleece pants.

I have kept my current infertility woes between myself (and N8 of course) and you lovely folks.

I didn't even have the heart to tell my Mom about this latest cycle, and my
in-laws in all their ultra-conservative Catholicism, I have decided to keep in the dark.

So really all I have to vent to is you, my consolers, and I am immensely grateful for your pixelated presence in my life.

Every once in awhile I need to put down my dragon slaying axe, or my newest steampunk paperback novel and face reality. I am infertile and lonely and it hurts.

Wow, reality sucks. I think I'll go back to dragon slaying. The villagers need me.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Songs for Happy

When I was younger I use to ask my Mom about the year I was born. I remember her once telling me that she would always remember 1980 for two reasons. She gave birth to her first child and John Lennon died.

At the 30th anniversary of his death, I still feel a pang of sadness. My Mom instilled in me a love for music at an early age, and I feel lucky that she had such great taste.

I mopped floors to blaring Led Zeppelin and washed dishes to Elton John. And the Beatles..the Beatles were everywhere.

Music is very important to me. I married a musician. (I will have a great post on how I managed to snag the sexiest musician on campus some other time.)
Now, he's an engineer by trade, but I know his passion is music.

I have been to more concerts than I could count. I use to spend every last dime I made in college on concert tickets. Practically every other weekend I was in Detroit or Chicago to see a show. (For the curious, The Flaming Lips on New Years will never be topped in my opinion).

Maybe its because I love music so much that it can affect me so. I did a few things this week to actively try to pull myself out of the depressive slump I've been in. I hung Christmas decorations and put up our tree, and I made a new mix of my favorite music that fills my heart with happy.

Maybe they could fill your heart with happy too! Don't you love presumptive people who believe you will love whatever they love??? Well, you're in luck because I'm one of those people!

Here is Reese's Cure for the Blues:

1. Sigur Ros - Gobbledigook. One of my favorite bands, even through I don't know a word of Icelandic. Every time I hear this song it just makes me smile. I look out the window of my home office and can't help but be overwhelmed with how beautiful my little piece of the world is.

2. Sufjan Stevens--Concerning the UFO sighting near Highland, IL. - Only Sufjan can make a song about Alien abductions beautiful.
Funny story about Sufjan Stevens. He grew up in Michigan and attended a Liberal Arts College with one of my friends I work with. When I discovered this fact I squealed and jumped around. She just shrugged "I think he was in my English class--He was a dirty hippy".
A DIRTY HIPPY! I stood there with my mouth open, trying to force syllables out of my mouth. She sat in English class with somebody I consider one of the greatest musicians alive today..and that is all she can say. Of course, I've tried to convert her to little avail. *Sigh* Don't worry I don't give up.

3. Phoenix--Love like a Sunset. I want to live inside this song.

Hope your day is happy and that if you find yourself in one of those dark places infertility sends us, that you have a beautiful song that can help pull you out. And if you do, please share! I'd love to know what songs help you out.

Monday, December 6, 2010

The 180

This morning I was still high on the words of the Hope Harpy that's been feeding me advice for the past week. I was still feeling A.O.K.

I'm not sure what triggered it. Was it SIRM's OBRS Success Rates.

I am a "B". That means my chance of success is about 29%. That means my chance of failure is about 71%. I was floored by this.

Or was it just the motion of my fingers typing "IVF #4 success" into Google and clicking "I feel lucky".

Suddenly, another version of myself, the 28 year old version of myself from a short 24 months ago saw me type IVF #4 and I couldn't help the rush of despair that came over me.

How the f*ck did I get here?

Who is this person?

How can I possibly be going into IVF #4.

I'm 30.

I have f*cking glowing FSH levels.

Why are my eggs always immature? Why has nobody given me an answer?

How can I keep doing this? How can I possibly look at my husband and tell him it didn't work again? I love him so much. I feel like such a failure. I feel irrecoverably damaged. There is something wrong with me. Something so wrong that IVF will not help me. This is how I feel today.

Friday, December 3, 2010

SIRM Consult

Happy Friday Internets. Your pixelated skin is positively glowing today!

I can honestly say I am feeling...fine. I think I've bounced back from this loss faster than my first two cycles. I'm getting good at this.

Not something I was hoping to excel at. Maybe Ballet, violin, or synchronized swimming? But no, I excel at processing pain and moving on. I think it may be my Irish Heritage. Nobody I know has been dealt with more pain in her life than my Mom, and she has to be the most gracious and warm (and stubborn) person I know. If shitty things happen, you just deal with it and move on. That'll be a fun topic for a gloomy day. But today is Friday so lets celebrate.

I had a good consult with SIRM yesterday. Dr. can sure talk, let me tell ya. But I liked what he had to say so it was all good.

He thinks I probably have some variation of PCOS. He thinks the A/ACP is a great protocol for me, but would not do estrogen priming with it like I did last time.

He would put me on birth control, and start out with a FSH only protocol at the beginning of stims and then add in some LH towards the end. (This is the opposite of what happened last month, my RE started me out with 225 Follistim, 225 Menupur and when my E2 started skyrocketing he dropped the Menupur. So I got LH at the beginning when its more likely to damage my follicles, instead of at the end when they need it more.) He also gave me a COMPLETE Biology lesson on why you do not want too much LH at the beginning of a cycle, especially if you have PCOS. It was interesting, but I was running out of ways to say "uh, huh" whenever he paused to make sure I was still listening. :)

He also said he would absolutely not recommend Donor Eggs for me at this point. I am young, and though it may take a few tries he is confident with the right protocol that good eggs can be produced.

I am going to bring all of this up with my RE. I hope I can anyways, I have a tendency to clam up when I feel like I might be critical..I don't want him to think I am criticizing him personally. I need to keep the goal in mind. This is about me getting pregnant...not his ego. Right? Right!

I think going to SIRM may be higher on our list than CCRM right now. I know CCRM's rep is great, but their prices are prohibitive. We are a straight up middle class couple, with very little extra cash to go around. We would definitely have to take out a loan to pay for any extra IVFs. SIRM would be a lot cheaper than CCRM and I think probably a better experience than my current RE. Plus they have some packages that help lower costs.

However, if my RE will take these recommendations and go with it, I may be convinced to go with him again just because it would be so much less disruptive with my job and would be incredibly less expensive than traveling anywhere else.

For right now, I feel closer to making a decision. Wish my WTF meeting wasn't so far away. I am anxious to KNOW NOW and get prepared.

With preparation in mind, I am going to get back on a diet I did at the start of this year that helped me lose 20 lbs. I could stand to lose 10-15 more before I'd be at my "ideal". I am also going to start my weekly accupuncture sessions. I miss them, and I definitely think they helped with this last cycle.

Ta-Ta for now!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Next Steps

In an earlier post I had mentioned that I usually have a Plan B in case of IVF failure. This plan B includes something nice to look forward to in order to help cushion the blow. IVF #2 Plan B resulted in the best little puppy-wuppy in the whole world. Who's the BEST PUPPY?? UR the BEST PUPPY! YES U ARE! YES U ARE!

Um...sorry. Ok where was I? Oh yes, Plan B for IVF #3. Well, I don't really have one.

At one point I wanted to get a tattoo to cover up the ill-advised "I'm 18 and I do what a want" tattoo I got on my back in 1998. I no longer really like it and its in the gag-worthy colors of purple and teal. I've wanted to get a whimsical, black silhouette tree. However, since the affects of tattoo ink in the bloodstream is pretty unstudied and unknown, I don't want to risk anything right now. So, that will have to wait until sometime later in life.

I think my plan B will just have to be my yearly cabin retreat at New Years with college friends, and the fact that I won't have to explain why I'm not drinking. To put it politely, me not drinking at this event would definitely be noteworthy.

I am also moving forward with our "next step" decision making. I have a consultation with SIRM on Thursday. I am thinking about coughing up the $250 to get a consult at CCRM. We'll see.

Unfortunately, I don't get my WTF appt with my current RE until 1/25. Guh. That is forever away. Especially since if we decide to go there again I would want to cycle in April, and that would mean starting Provera in February since he likes to have me on it for 2 months prior.

We'll see. I was definitely frustrated with his easy dismissal of me at our last WTF. I was hoping he wouldn't mention Donor Eggs, but it was about all he talked about. I know he wants me to have the best possible chance for success, but I wasn't ready to hear it, and I personally feel it was too soon to bring this up.

I think if this cycle had gone as poorly as the first two in terms of retrieval, fertilization, and quality of transfer, I would be looking at Donor Eggs a lot more closely. But since we had a great response, and some pretty good looking day 3 embryos, I would like to pursue this protocol some more and see if it can be tweaked at all to produce some more mature eggs (always a problem for me), and a larger batch of quality eggs. This cycle, even though it was negative, has given me more hope that it may still be possible with my eggs. At this point in time, that is all I need to keep going forward.

It won't be all I need for very long, but for right now it is.

I really hope that my RE is more optimistic when I meet with him in January. He has given us great discounts since we have had to do this multiple times, and staying with him is the option that makes the most sense financially and logistically. I just hope he makes me feel that it is the best decision emotionally as well. If he's an ass, I might push N8 to let us throw some big money at SIRM or CCRM. We'll see how those consults go.

Until next time...

Saturday, November 27, 2010


I feel empty of hope. I don't think we'll be able to have a baby with my eggs. I thought I was prepared for this, but it is hitting me really hard.

I want to give my parents a genetic grandchild. I am their only chance.
I want a baby with my reddish hair, my Mom's shyness, my Dad's uncanny memory.

I want to not feel intense jealousy towards some unnamed, unknown woman when I think about donor eggs.

For now I think our options are:

1. Try again at our clinic in April. Because you know the old adage, "when at first you don't succeed, TRY TRY TRY again". Doesn't have the same ring, but oh well. This would be the cheapest next option.

2. Pull out the big guns. Get some credit cards. Go to CCRM and do a fresh cycle with the knowledge that if(/when) it doesn't work, we at least gave it everything we had.

3. Do a Donor Egg Cycle. Admit that my eggs just suck. No explanation needed. Doesn't matter that I'm only 30 (and remember they sucked at 28 too) They just suck for no reason and will never create a child. I know I will be able to get over my insecurities about a donor egg cycle. I know I have it in me. I will be so happy to give birth to a baby, to nurture it, to know my decision gave him or her life. Plus, they will have the best Daddy in the world.

I keep wavering between all 3. We'll see. Stay tuned. Thank you for all your support.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Ignorance is Bliss

When I went in for my retrieval 2 weeks ago today, my husband and I were put into a section of "rooms" that were divided by those sheet things.

Next door we could hear another couple who were clearly getting ready for their transfer. It also became clear that they were doing a 5 day transfer.

When the nurse came to visit them, the lady said something along the lines of, "My friend said I should ask about Blasto-sites".

N8 and I just kind of grinned at each other. "Blastocycsts" I whispered. "What a newb, psht". Even though it provided a little comic relief for us, it was also quite sad. Because I really envied this person.

It was her first IVF, she was doing a 5 day transfer, meaning she likely had some great blastocysts to put back. She would likely get pregnant and this experience would have a limited impact on her life. She would likely remain ignorant of so much, including the pain of multiple IVF failures.

I am now prolonging my own ignorance. I no longer want to know about this cycle.
Today I will celebrate Thanksgiving with my family, and I want to continue to remain ignorant as long as I can.

I've never waited until Beta day to find out and I doubt I will this time, but I am now thinking I will test on Saturday. For now, I will bask in this unique bliss of not knowing.

Hope all you and your families have a great Thanksgiving.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Put Down the Stick!

I have decided to put away the stick at least for 2 more days.

I am bowing down to my reader's superior wisdom and my own terror.

Thank you for all of your encouraging words and support. They mean more than you can know.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Not doing so well

Today is 7dp3dt and I have a confession to make. I am an obsessive POASer. Its shameful, I know. But I cannot help myself.

I had to take a booster shot at 2dp3dt, and so I started testing so I could tell when the booster was out of my system.

Well, the booster is definitively out of my system today.

Today the left line was Snow White, and she just became my least favorite Disney Princess. The bitch doesn't want to give up any of her little people.

I just spent the last hour bawling my eyes out. I am trying to hide it from my husband, because he only wants me to "think positive" and "hope for the best", but I am unable to do that right now.

I was really hoping I would see the line fade and then see it start to get darker. Tomorrow I will be using my last pee stick, and if Snow White insists on sticking around I don't know how much hope I can hold out for this cycle.

As far as symptoms go I am not sure I have had any that I haven't had before on other BFN cycles.

1. My boobs hurt like hell
2. I have been cramping on and off. I had an especially painful one that doubled me over yesterday while Christmas shopping that was surprising in its strength.
3. I sleep way too much and am still tired all the time.
4. The one *new symptom* would be clogged ears? Is that a symptom? I don't know, but its annoying. I feel like I'm underwater.

The symptom I want the most, I still do not have--Peeing on a stick and making it turn pink.

Fun with HCG

Ever wonder how long it takes for the HCG trigger shot to be gone from your system?

My lovely husband has created the following program to calculate the exact time it should be out according to the product's line of a 1/2 life every 33 hours (this claim is made by the Ovidrel website).

Of course, the prevailing wisdom is that approximately 1000 hcg is processed every 24 hours. Which is a lot different than a 1/2 life of 33 hours. So, this estimate is extremely conservative.

**Edit: Apparently the following is only currently working using Google Chrome and Internet Explorer, sorry Firefox. Input your Date and HCG concentration in IU. Ovidrel has claimed a 1/2 life of 33 hours, please review the website of your particular brand to see its published 1/2 life. The mimimum is the amount of HCG in your system that would produce a positive. I have input 10 has a good base.

Start Date, Time
HCG Start Concentration (IU)
HCG Half-Life (Hours)
Minimum Threshold (IU)

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

The Embedding

Though it may sound like blockbuster scream-fest, it is actually what should be occurring in my uterus today.

I gave my embryo pictures a strict talking to.  I let them know I will not tolerate any slacking in the embedding department.  I can only now pray that Huey, Dewey, and Louie don't take after their father and my pleasant asking voice basically guarantees said request will not be fulfilled, since said embryos did not come up with the idea themselves but were rather directed to perform said embedding...sigh.   

I think it goes without saying that I am also going insane.  

At least Modern Family is on tonight, so I may have a 1/2 hour respite from my constant fretting.

If you my dear internets have any ideas out there for ways to distract from compulsive behavior during the 2WW, please advise.

Until then I will be glued to Dr. Google like a well-behaved blastocyst to a triple striped lining.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Progesterone Side Effects

I've had them before, and now they are back with a vengeance.

Last night, I dreamt that I got a shipment of Chia heads shaped like my new brother in law's head.  I made hair for them using mashed potatoes and baked them in the oven.  I was excited to give them as gifts for Christmas.

WTF PROGESTERONE! Get out of my head.

1dp3dt.  I'm sure there will be more to come.  

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Day 3 Transfer

Well, I got the call this morning to come in.  I was a bit crushed we didn't make it until Tuesday.  In fact, I was sure we'd come in there and have doc tell us we have jackshit to put back in, but why not try with a couple of low quality embabies. 

I think I felt this way...well, because its happened twice before.

However, things weren't all bad news bears.  Out of the 8, 5 were of good quality on day 2.  Of the 5, 3 looked promising today, so doc decided we might as well get these 3 in today.

Today we transferred a 6-cell embryo, an 8-cell embryo, and a 10-cell embryo.  They were all described as beautiful. 

Fun fact, when I got into the room, they said they had 2 6 celled and a 10 cell, and one of the 6 cells divided into 8 cells prior to the transfer.  I think it was trying to impress its Mommy.  I was suitably impressed.

I feel good.  This was our most promising cycle and our best chance yet, so I am going to use all the positive reserves I have left to think good thoughts about  this cycle.  Thank you all for your support and well-wishes!

Saturday, November 13, 2010


Of the 17 retrieved, 10 were mature.  Of the 10 mature, 8 were fertilized.

I am very happy with this result.  Its not perfect, but given my history of pretty dismal, pretty good seems perfect to me.

I find out tomorrow how my 8 are doing.  I am nervous.  I have never had a great looking embryo.  I am hoping there is at least one in there, dividing all prettily, anxious to become my baby.  Depending on how things look they'll either have me come in tomorrow, or they will hold off until Tuesday.  That I have a chance of making it to a 5 day transfer is definite progress.

If all else fails, I think we have at least found a protocol that gives us a good batch of potential, and I am grateful for that.

Will update tomorrow!

Thursday, November 11, 2010


First, I want to say Happy Veterans Day to all who have given service to our country.  Your sacrifice makes our country great.

In a small part of the country, we also celebrated Ooctye Aspiration Day!  The process went off without a hitch.

I love Ooctye Aspiration Day.  I get pampered.  I feel proactive. I get to go nu-night with the help of a strapping anesthesiologist.  This is the part I love the most.  IVF is a process that is all about WAITING.  The anxiety and constant pressure of the second hand ticking its way into our subconcious'.   But in this moment, a handsome man leans over me and tells me, "You will start to feel Slee.....".

AND then BAM I'm awake again covered in warm blankets.  No waiting at all.

After I woke up I had a running mantra in my head.  "At least 5, at least 5, at least 5".

And then my lovely nurse peaked around the corner, gives me a huge smile and in a theatrical whisper said "SEVENTEEN".

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Putting away the black nail polish

Don't worry; I'm falling out of love with my sadness.  My emo fest from yesterday has dissapated, leaving with it the knowledge that a new day always looks brighter, and that I need some new black eyeliner.

My ultrasound this morning looked pretty good.  I would say I have at least 5-6 follicles that are ready to go if we trigger today.  My nurse is betting that I will trigger today depending on my E2 levels.  It was almost under 3000 yesterday, so I am hoping today is the day!  

My mood was also immensely improved by my dear husband who brought me home an Orange Crush and a Symphony chocolate bar, which was the perfect snack for watching the premier of Conan (who just makes me giggle like a school girl, i love him!)

I also read a couple of good posts from Dr. Sher on coasting and I think my doc got it exactly right, so I'm not as worried as I have been.  Keeping a hopeful mindset for Thursday.

Monday, November 8, 2010


Coasting Day 2
Nothing new to report
except how quickly dread darkens
my flickers of hope

Saturday, November 6, 2010


Coasting.  Brings to mind lazy summers with calm pools of water supporting my weight while cottonwood seeds float around me.
In actuality, it means the my E2 level is so high fluid may cut off my ability to breath, causing severe pain and vomiting.

So, after today's scan one of my follicles has taken off at 18.5, then rest are all below 16, with a large chunk at 11.  We finally got a good look at Lefty and discovered she's been hiding due to the shame of only have about  4 measurable follicles.  I am worried.

I am worried that the rest of the follicles will not pick up the pace.  That again, I will get a batch of mostly immature eggs.   Tonight I take my last dose of FSH, then I am cut off completely on Sunday.  I didn't even ask for my E2 level.  I was a little afraid to know.

Monday will hold more answers.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Body Snatcher Alert

Day 8 ultrasound was a bit anti-climactic.  On the right I had a 15, 14, 13, a couple of 12.5, and a bunch of smaller follices.  13 follicles in all on the right.

My left ovary continued to play hide and seek.  She shows up but only when the wand is impaling other organs that I'm pretty sure I need.  I actually had to ask Nurse Probby to dial it back a few notches, and I can usually take pain like a champ. What we could see showed a 13.5, and a couple of 12's.  She thinks there are more but we couldn't get a good enough look to measure.

My nurse just called and due to my E2 level of 2,100! (color me shocked, I've NEVER had an E2 level of 2100 and I once stimmed for 17 days)  has decided to take me off of Menupur and I will only be doing 150ml of Follistim tonight.

I am so confused.  I have searched for pods in my basement, just in case I have been invaded by some alien being without my knowledge, but to no avail.

I am now worried about OHSS and my doctor canceling my cycle.  My E2 seems way too high for the number of follicles I currently have cooking (though its true we can't see all of Lefty).

On a good note, they want me to come in for a scan tomorrow.  My normal office is closed on weekends so I have to drive over 1.5 hours away to get to an open clinic.

For now I just need some hope that my follies will continue to grow without my E2 going crazy, or myself for that matter.

If anyone reads this and has any past experiences or advice, please share.  I am in need of reassurances tonight, or a heaping dose of tragic reality if the case may be.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Revolution 9

Extremely busy week here.  I wish I could have planned an IVF cycle where I would have limited outside stressors, but my job makes it pretty hard.  November is one of the least busy months, but I still had to give a presentation in front of hundreds of people at our annual conference.  I really enjoy my job, so I can't complain too much.

So...maybe just a little complaining?  I hate the anxious feeling I get right before I have to make a speech.  I get terribly nervous that I will completely lose my train of thought and just stand there with my mouth open...uhhhhhhhh.  Luckily, I was able to get through it with a minimal amount of my "space cadetedness" shining through.    I'm so relieved that it is over and I can go back to my compulsive IVF obsessing instead...much less stressful. Right?

In ovary news, mine are doing shockingly well as of my first ultrasound on Tuesday.  My left ovary tends to be a coy bitch and hide behind my uterus, but Righty was a showstopper!  The nurse counted many follies on my right and it went a little something like 12, 10, 9, 9, 9, 9, 9, 9....I kind of loss track after a while.  Needless to say I had a lot of 9's. I was very happy in a 'what the hell is going on' kind of way, the surrealism of the moment reminded me of "Revolution 9" by the Beatles.  This is pretty much what was going on in my head.

In order to understand this surrealism, you would need to know that in my first IVF my day 5 had barely anything to look at.  My Estroidal level came back at 57....after 5 days of stims! 

My Estroidal level after 4 days of stims was 920 this time.  What the hell is my body thinking?  I have never read about such variation, but I guess it goes to show that every cycle really can be completely different.

So, for now I am caustically optimistic.  I go in for my 2nd checkup tomorrow.

Friday, October 29, 2010

The Needles come out..

 I started stims yesterday.  225 follistim, 225 menupur, plus the Ganerelix.  I found out that my protocol is considered the "Sher" protocol and found some decent documentation on it, so I feel better about taking the Ganerelix from the very beginning.

I am very good at avoiding painful things in my life.  I think this coping mechanism is one of the reasons I've avoided this blog for the past few weeks and also why I feel desperately like I want to close my eyes, plug my ears and sing LALALALALALA for the next 12-14 days.

Lets make that a full month.  When I open my eyes, I want to see one thing and one thing only.  2 freaking pink lines.

But, I also know that writing these feelings out makes me realize what I'm doing, and this blog should be a source of comfort, not something to avoid.  Pulling the covers over my head and hiding is not the best way to deal with this process.

I think I need to kick this pessimistic Reese's ass.  Starting today I will strive to think happy thoughts about this cycle.  I will have some alcohol-free fun at my friends Halloween Party tomorrow (I'm going as Carmen Sandiago), I will try hard to do well at my work conference this week, and I will try to cut down on the hours long Donor Egg Google sessions and look more for '3rd try is the charm' stories.

Wish me luck.

Friday, October 15, 2010

IVF #3 The Protocol

Yesterday I received my protocol.  Since I'm a "vet", all I get is a rushed phone call where one of the nurses practices her auctioneer stylings while I take frantic notes. 

I will receive a written protocol in the mail, but here is what I was able to scribble down:

Estimated Period Start  10/27.  (hah, little do they know that my period likes to hide like the snarky bitch she is when I actually want her to appear).
Start Stims 10/28.
225 Follistim Pen
225 Menupur
Low dose of Ganerelix (starting on the first day of stims).
Est Retrieval 11/8

Now, my last IVF was an antagonist cycle so I am familiar with Ganerelix and what it does, but I'm not sure why I would be taking it from the very beginning?  Dr. Google has provided little insight as well.

The nurse also mentioned that I would be taking Prednisone at some point, which Dr. Goggle has lots of information on...lots o scary scary information.  I know most of the scary stuff is in high doses, so I will try my best to just trust in my RE. 

As a reward for reading this clinical and boring post, and upon one of my first readers request (!yay).  Here is a picture of Butters.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Happy Birthday to Plan B

Last October, when I got that final call confirming that my 2nd IVF attempt had failed, I moved straight on to Plan B.

Plan A = get pregnant, have baby.
Plan B = something to look forward to if Plan A does not work.

After 2 failed attempts, I find that having a Plan B helps get through the despair of a failed cycle, of never getting to meet the human potential of those beautiful embryo pictures. 

Last October, Plan B came in the form of Butters, a labradoodle puppy that I had picked out from a breeder website.  It took awhile to get N8 on board.  He was allergic to dogs and never really wanted pets in the house.  We compromised by finding a dog that was "allergy-friendly", and that was according to N8 "something useful, not one of those damn yip dogs".

Today, Butters turns one year old!  We celebrated by hoping on our hind legs, burying bones in the couch, and singing jarring renditions of Phoenix songs.  (Did I mention I work from home, and as a result have become strangely close to my dog??). 

So...anyways.  Happy Birthday to my Plan B.  Your goofy smile has soothed my heartache, and I am so happy you will be with me in the coming months.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

In the Beginning . . .


My name is Teresa and I am infertile.

Should I start at the beginning?

How prosaic, but I suppose time lines are warranted, given the fact I've stopped paying attention to the Gregorian calendar in favor of my cycles days..oh approximately 48 cycles ago.

After getting married in 2006, my husband, N8, and I started trying officially in November of the same year.  I was especially eager to get started, because you see, I had a "PLAN". Yes, one of those magical things that usually follow the words "never go according to".

I wanted to have all my children before I reached the ripe old age of 30.  I wasn't as blissfully naive as most twenty-somethings.  I had read plenty of studies on declining egg reserves, and most importantly on the
increased likelihood of developmental disabilities in children born to women over 30.

This worry was not without context. My mother had my brother at age 33, and he would go on to belong to a new and growing club when he was diagnosed with Autism at the age of 3.

So when, after a year, I had yet to see that elusive 2nd pink line, I called my doctor and was referred to an RE. We got the basic workup, and it was concluded that I "may" have a partially blocked tube and my husbands morphology was on the low end. Otherwise, we were 28 and everything else looked GREAT!  A few IUI treatments and we'd be on our way to parenthood no problem. 

While saving for this endevour,  we were invited to participate in an IVF study (studying the pregnancy rates of 1 vs. 2 blastocycsts),which is completely besides the point, since we barely got an embryo to transfer, let alone a blastocyst.  This experience was rift with problems:

Problem #1:  Birth Control and Lupron seems to have severely over-suppressed me, as on my day 5 stim check, the nurse vainly (and painfully) searches for any measurable follicles.
Problem #2:  After upping the stims, we start to see some progress, but the estrogen level actually drops..DROPS!(I have yet to read a single instance of estrogen dropping during a cycle and having it end happily). Next day it has gone back up and RE convinces me to stick with the cycle.
Prolem #3:  Retrieval.  8 eggs! ...oh but 0 mature.  2 were matured overnight and fertilized. They were pretty awful quality. No suprise BFN.

So, whats the problem.  I found it easy to blame the protocal.  I'm 28, normal FSH, normal periods, obviously their fault...right?

So, that Fall we moved on to IVF #2 and start accumulating more debt! I felt positive, and try 2 goes much better.... in a sense.  We try the Antagonist protocol; I have many more follicles and my estrogen looks great throughout.  However, come retrieval, they still only retrive 9 eggs (meh!), and only 4 are mature (my "shitty protocol" theory starts flying out the window, as my shitty eggs start showing their true colors). 

We transfer 3.  1-8 cell, poor quality.  1-6cell, good quality.  1-4cell, because why not. 

After the 2nd failed cycle, I got to hear the words "Donor Eggs".  I was 29 years old.  Though I've thought about this option many times, especially considering my higher risk for having a child inflicted with autism, I wasn't ready yet.

I'm still not ready.  So, here I am today.  Starting my 3rd IVF.  I am now 30 years old, past the age when I thought I'd have my young children around me.  Everyday I struggle to remain positive and believe that this time could work. Since my 2nd failed IVF, I was diagnosed with Compound Heterozygous MTHFR.  I have started taking Folate and baby aspirin, and can only hope that this time something is different.

So, Cheers to you dear internets-- for your company, guidance and support during this demanding but exciting process.  I hope from now on to regale you only with amusing and hopefully celebratory anecdotes of this journey from now on.