Sunday, February 28, 2010


I called the nurse Friday to let her know I was starting my period, and she kindly allowed us to come in for testing early Saturday morning so we wouldn't have to be tortured waiting until Monday. (The scheduled date).

So in order to make a long story short: I am not pregnant.

And in order to make light of something that isn't here are some funny ways to say you are "riding the big red wave"


"Miss Scarlett's Come Home to Tara"

"Taking Carrie to the Prom"

"Game Day for the Crimson Tide"

"Falling to the Communists"

"Rebooting the Ovarian Operating System"

Now I will focus on recovering my bludgeoned muffin tops from the misery that is PIO injections. There's my silver lining.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Pink Proof

This week I have felt my body trying to have a period. But that feeling could be from anything. Maybe embryos implanting feels like the start of a period? But tonight I saw the light pink proof that is the beginning of my period. I just haven't decided what to think about it yet.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

The homestudy progress

My adoption license came last week. I was startled and oh so happy it came so fast and oh so happy, did I say that already? It was the only piece I was waiting on in order to get my private homestudy done. The woman conducting that homestudy informed me she will be out of town March first through nineteenth. So though I want to move forward, wrap up the private homestudy and submit an interest form on my Texas kids this very minute, I don't want to go through the homestudy saying "well I may or may not be pregnant." I want to actually know, and I am sure any agency would want to actually know as well. So that puts this show after March 19th. I sort of hate that waiting for this pregnancy test is holding up my adoption plans. Even if it is for just a few more weeks. It makes me feel like I really have let the biological trump the adopted which drives me nuts. But of course I want to appear as sane and thoughtful in the adoption interview as possible, so if the IVF doesn't work I can simply disclose it and discuss it if needed, or just proceed in finding some kids for H & me and baby.

Corrections, etc

Oh and as a follow up to my previous post, I just now realized that tomorrow IS Monday. But you know what I mean anyway. I will be sure to relax tonight and then for sure I will be knocked up tomorrow. Because of course relaxing and just forgetting about it has worked for many women. And then I'll try the no dairy thing if that doesn't work.

And I did say a cuss word very loudly in the hallway at church right before I burst into a brief hysterical sob. I remembered the meltdown for sure, and fortunately there was only one witness plus H and a few startled passers-by. I did not remember the swearing. H just reminded me of that. I think it was just hell or damn though so I really feel no guilt.

Some legends should die.

Today was just a sucky day at church. I was prepared for the inevitable "Did you hear ----- is pregnant! - Because many of us got the same email.

But yes, a very kind acquaintance sat by me and said "Did you hear ---- is pregnant! I am so excited for her! You know she was basically on the verge of having to go through IVF but then she found this herb doctor and now she is pregnant! I need to call her to find out what that doctor did because it totally saved her from having to do IVF!" I was smiling and nodding in excitement and agreement while dying on the inside. *

Oh, so this is how those horrid stories are born: As in ..".I knew a girl who tried everything, and then was almost having to do IVF, and then decided to (insert here anything you can possibly think of: see an herbologist, acupuncturist, Traditional Chinese Medicine Doctor, chiropractor, ...go off dairy, meat, sugar... say more prayers, just relax, adopt...take up yoga, start running, stop running, join the circus...." Fact is, someone knows someone who has fit into every category under the moon. And I won't knock the validity of anyone's personal story. But these anecdotes are awful and horrible and should be never passed along to me. For as long as I live. And not at my damn funeral either. Even if I go off dairy tomorrow and get prego on Monday.

Thank you.

*Note: This girl has no idea I am doing IVF. Though I am pretty sure she knows I have been infertile for a gazillion years. I am confident she would be the one dying if she knew, which is certainly not her fault. She was just being happy for a mutual friend. Totally understandable.

I'm so happy for you!

My church friend who has been really fervently trying to get pregnant for two or three years now (the one i was going to do IVF in Czech with) emailed me and some others who knew of her plight, that she is pregnant. (She moved away a few months ago) My next sentence would customarily be "and I am so happy for her". But I feel that it is stupid that I feel I have to add that. Of course i am happy for her, who wouldn't be? But I say it over and over, or OVER emphasize it as it to assure not only my happiness for her, but that her news hasn't hurt me and I am un-phased by it. Which is just a big luscious lie. There is no way an infertile exits the fruitless world without really stupefying the ones still on the barren rock. And it happens to us all.

In college my husband and I spent a summer term in Guanajuato, Mexico. It was lovely and safe town, but still had its share of extreme haves and have-nots. Cardboard shacks next to mansions, that type of thing. Walking back to our apartment from dinner one night, I watched a family celebrating their child's birthday. An entire extended family gathering around a five year old to watch him open a huge wrapped present. It was really fun to watch. And then I noticed I was not the only one watching the party. A little beggar boy, the same age had been watching from the corner and probably unknowingly had walked closer and closer to see what was going on. The birthday boy opened his present - a new bike, and squealed and his family laughed and hugged him. It was picturesque. And I looked back at the beggar child expecting to see jealousy on his face and what I saw was indescribably worse than jealousy. I could see his little wheels turning, but didn't see anger, excitement, sadness. Just a tiny little boy with nothing attempting to take in a scene his own life had given him no ability to digest. I cried night after night because of that look. And still cry thinking about it now. I still have found no word for the look on his face, and though my situation is FAR different, I have felt that feeling.

It just is.

And I imagine that though I don't know anyone personally who is further along the IF road than me, if I did, then there would be someone out there who I care about who I would have to tell the happy news "I am pregnant"( if indeed I am.) And I wouldn't filter my own happiness. And I wouldn't expect her to give me the cursory "I am so happy for you" but of course she would.

We just do.

Alien bloat, PIO poop, and the non-high road

I have been feeling good post transfer and my scary water belly which was by far larger than my little sister's five month baby-bump is finally receding. It is sort of bitter having an uncomfortable alien like bloat when you are NOT pregnant,(okay, MAYBE pregnant) so I am really glad it's going down already.

I was going to write a triumphant post that the PIO shots are not nearly as bad as I was told, but that very night my shot was horrible and they have been all over since. So my verdict on them is you just never know how they will be. And I think that physical pain triggers my emotional pain. The night of the bad shot I had an ugly "I never even wanted to do this, you made me do this, I hope you get closure from this you big jerk because we will have to part ways if you don't" rant. It was emotional baggage dumping on my husband and he bore it kindly, and certainly didn't deserve it. This has been a rollercoaster for him too. But though my words were meant to hurt, I feel they were true. I won't do this again. I was done before we started. I feel no need to test out a bad road, before getting on a happy road. But H did. And the bad road, though unnecessary for me, could lead to a baby, or at least the closure H needs. I hope for either.

The last two clumps

We were told the embryologist would call us the next morning to give us the update on the two embryos still in the lab. Morning came and went with no word, and I was okay with that, but by one o'clock I emailed the IVF nurse, telling her we were still waiting. She immediately emailed back that she would pass my message along to the lab. H called again around two thirty and discovered the embryologists were all in a meeting. I was technically supposed to to be on bedrest still that day, but opted to go into work, and the irony was that the most stressful thing going on that day was the fact that my little embryos were languishing in a lab and I had no idea how they were. I was really mad about the bad 'service' we were recieving. H was beside himself. The embryologist called at three and H missed it, probably while we were conversing in tense whispers in the hallway at work about what ho's those bad embryologists were. H listened to the message, which was very thorough, but called the Dr. back for even more information and then IM'd me to pow wow in the hall again to hear the news. He had me listen to the message.

It was a very nice calm and sympathetic voice saying something like this: "...your embryos were not even morula's on the day of transfer and we were hoping they would grow into morulas and then even reach blastocyst stage. We only freeze blastocysts. Your embryos continued to divide, but then began to die today, having never even made it to morula stage."

All that week I had been comfortable with the idea that embryos were being weeded out as our numbers dwindled. But for some reason thinking of the last two scrawny cell clumps struggling to survive and then just dying in a petri dish really tore me up. I cried a little bit listening to the message, but just took a minute in the bathroom to pull myself together and went back to focusing on anything but the things truly weighing on my mind.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Morula Schmorula

We were on pins and needles waiting for the embryologist to call yesterday so we could get the final count. But apparently I was mistaken, and the embryos are only checked on day three and the day of transfer because the more often they are looked at, the more stressed they get. So we had to go to the appointment today and make the decision of implanting one or two on the fly. We wracked our brains yesterday going over every scenario, polling friends and family, and ultimately not knowing what we would decide.

The doctor sat down with us and informed us that we had four embryos still dividing. All four were of medium quality. None were blastocysts yet, which is the desired stage, so not only were we ineligible to participate in the single embryo transfer study, she strongly recomended we implant two. It was maybe not the greatest news, but almost laughable that we had been so distraught about the decision, and here it was, essentially made for us. I am actually really happy with how things went.

The stage of my embryos are called morulas. The two that were not implanted are going to hang out in the lab one more day, and we will get a call tomorrow to tell us their status and a recomendation on whether they are even worth freezing.

I was under the impression that I could just go right back to work, but they gave me some Valium which rendered me good for nothin anyway, and told me I really should have bedrest today and tomorrow. Sounds good to me. According to the doctor, I have about a 40% chance of pregnancy. That also sounds good to me.

So let the countdown to the pregnancy test begin...

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Happy Valentines Day

We got the call this morning from the embryologist that of the 12 eggs retrieved, 9 were mature and as of this morning there are 6 embryos properly splitting. Six is a great number and the one I hoped for last night. Last night felt so much like Christmas eve as a seven year old, only back then I never really worried about Santa bringing me coal. Six embryos is the equivalent of recieving the Barbie jeep that I always wanted. (-and never got. Still a tiny bit bitter on that one Mom.)

I will have a day 5 transfer which means that the embryos are strong enough and in high enough number that the lab thinks it is best to let the embies continue to weed themselves out, hopefully giving us a better indication of the top contenders to go into the womb. So basically more may die, or fail to thrive between now and Wednesday. We will get our next phone call on Tuesday to give us the revised count and appointment for the transfer.

As with everything in life, I want to have options but am easily overwhelmed knowing that the choices I have are my responsibility. I am grateful to be in the position to freeze some embryos, but this also means we will have to decide whether to implant one or two.

Right now our doctor's office is participating in a statewide study to investigate if single embryo transfers can be as successful as dual embryo transfers. Medically, doctors consider multiple pregnancies to be undesirable because of inherent risks involved when adding just one more baby to the mix. We have signed the consent form to participate in the single embryo transfer, but we can opt out if we wish. If you participate, only one embie is implanted, and the remainders are frozen free of cost, and the cost of the next frozen round (about $4000) is free - whether you have a baby or not on the first go-around. You have 3 years to do the frozen round free of cost. We are still unsure if we want to implant one or two. The count on Tuesday will help in making that decision. I am quite torn between my fear of complications of a twin pregnancy, and my adoration of fraternal twins. This decision is a scary one for me. I feel that if something went wrong with the multiple babies, I would never get beyond knowing it was my "fault" for getting greedy. On the other hand, if one embryo does not implant, I will wonder if an additional embryo would have resulted in a pregnancy. And I will worry that perhaps I played it too safe and let $$ dictate my choice. So much to think about between now and Tuesday, and yet I just want time to fly.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Funny guy

So H just brings me my antibiotic that I forgot to take with breakfast -oops. And as I take a huge mouthful of water and pill he bursts out in full falsetto "...that's how love was in the eighties...". So I have water coming from my eyes and nose, as I desperately try to keep it from going down my wind pipe. A redfaced 20 seconds of laughing and trying not to spew water later I successfully swallow. What was that?! I ask H. His defense was "It's a real song".

Then 5 minutes later he comes up stairs in full seriousness and says "I am sad".
"Why babe?"
"Because I can't have a Jimmy John's sandwich shop in my basement. I just want to walk down the stairs, point out my delicious sandwich, and eat it on the way up."

I totally feel that pain.

Oh for the love of sleepy

I think the comments on this blog are far more entertaining than my posts. You guys are hilarious!

In answer to Melissa's question, yes I am crampy after the retrieval, but it isn't specific, really bad squeezing cramps, just the overall hot and fussy feeling in the uti that I often get before my real period comes to town. Not too bad, but definitely chill in bed with a blankie kind of cramps.

However: I will say this tiredness is getting old. Yesterday I slept all day because of the drugs with the exception of a three hour break to eat and watch Disturbia, the scariest PG-13 movie ever made. (OK no, the Skeleton Key is still tops, -thanks for the lifelong nightmares on that miss Jennifer) Not even the second scariest movie ever could stop me from having a lovely little 12 hour sleep. Breakfast this morning was too much. All that bowl to mouth spoon action required a little nap from 11 to noon. The nurse called to check-up today and said this tiredness is due to the progesterone. Apparently it mimicks pregnancy tiredness. WHAT!? Ladies with children please tell me how you adjust to constant sleepy? My eyes have been opened. How do you do it you amazing women you?

Friday, February 12, 2010

Moses, also known as Mom

Well folks. I went in for the retrieval today. It takes less than a half hour, and unfortunately I was not awake to witness the little miracle that took place. H was sitting by me as the doctor inserted the needle and camera. As she did she said "now I will start on the left and collect all the eggs I can, then I will attempt to get to the right...By golly the right ovary has moved! I will start right there." H says she was shocked and got to collecting the right side eggs ASAP as if they might vanish in front of her very eyes. (She probably didn't say "by golly", as no one has said that in decades except for in my dramatic re-telling).

So there you have it. I have 12 little eggs hopefully being courted and knocked up by sperm at this very moment. (Yes, Court I am doing ICSI). I am so happy at this outcome.

I have heard many infertiles talk about loathing their bodies and such and it always seemed like such a sad way to view things, but when my stupid ovary went into hiding, I finally got my share of irrepressible feelings of loathing and failure and guilt. I couldn't even get my bod to cooperate during the procedure meant to help it.

The embryologist will call on Sunday morning to tell us how many surviving embryos we have at that point and hopefully schedule the transfer for Monday (if it is a day three transfer) or Wednesday (if it is a day five transfer).

I called my mom to thank her for having the optimism and faith that I just couldn't muster at the time. And to everyone else who was rooting for me. Thanks just doesn't even cover it.

Now that's sassy

I just wanted to be truthful in that these butt shots are not actually in the butt. They are more in that luscious back muffin-top quadrant. Yummy.

This picture shows one of the bulls-eyes the nurse drew on me to ease H's aim.

And the picture below: I had wanted to post a pic at the time of the original post, but first had to learn how to load the pictures. I am acutely technologically impaired. Also, I was tired after taking no less than 30 shots to get just one picture of my face that i deemed OK. Call it vanity, call it insecurity. I am sure it's both. And the needle was not supposed to look like it is going up my nose. I had to drop pickiness 28 pictures in. I was just going for drama and sympathy. That is one big needle.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Time to Harvest

Well I am ripe and ready to go, so on Friday I will go in for the retrieval. I take my HCG trigger shot tonight. The nurse circled the part on my butt where it needs to go and H is ready for his debut as Nurse Nancy.

After the removal I also start having to take the progesterone shots known as PIO (progesterone in oil) Word on the street is that these are horrid - Long, fat needle, thick oily shot. The nurse says people universally complain about them until their positive pregnancy test, then suddenly people don't complain anymore. Imagine that. So I will be taking them from Friday until the pregnancy test at the first of March, and then a couple of months beyond if I have that elusive bun in the never used oven. I guess low estrogen is a common factor for miscarriage so this is the attempt to at least address that.

Now if I don't actually make at far as the implantation, I can stop the PIO. Which I guess is the silver lining on a dark cloud day. Oh, and I do actually have the option of taking vaginal suppositories three times a day! They are more expensive, and I have yet to see if they are covered by my insurance, but if day one of the shot is miserable you bet I will be doing some research. Picking one of those two poisons has been rough. Yucky yet efficient shot, or painless high maintenance vagi drama in my nasty work restroom. Yeah, the shots are on order, but verdict is still out.

Looks like I have six eggs on the left ovary available for the retrieval. There are eight on the right, but that ovary is still stuck behind my uterus, so the eggs are unlikely to be retrieved. What a bummer.

I do realize this has dramatically hurt my statistics (that was what all the wailing on Monday supposedly was addressing), but I am feeling pretty good. I just keep thinking. Just one embryo. That's all I really need. Just one good egg.

Monday, February 8, 2010

So I am not the momma salmon after all...

My appointment did not go well.

Last week the doctor looked at the crazy fuzz on the ultrasound screen and told me I had about 20 potential eggs that could mature. I am always amazed how they read those things. So today was day of reckoning numero uno. (Yes in my world there are many days of reckoning.) I was going in to see if my little follicles had mature eggs sitting in them. There was a chance the drugs could have over or under stimulated me. Too many are dangerous to your health and too few just decrease your odds of success. Well the doc counted them up and there were only ten. Which isn't terrible, just mediocre. She also informed me that due to my endometriosis my right ovary has been dislocated and is sitting behind my uterus, making it difficult or impossible to reach those eggs when they do the extraction. So basically I only have about 5 or 6 potential eggs.

Where do I begin - I guess anywhere that doesn't involve me making crazy high pitch squeeling noises as I cry would be productive. Hmmm. That doesn't leave a whole lot else. I did manage to squeek out this question: "How did I get this far into the process with nobody noticing my funked up ovary?!" Answer from doctor is that they just wouldn't have been able to see this until I got all puffed up from the drugs. My fluffy uterus and bulging eggsacs pushed things around I guess. And she said there is some chance that it could move between now and Wednesday when I go back in for another ultrasound. Well Moses parted the Sea and my mom just might move my ovary. She is dead set on making it happen between now and Wednesday so I feel like I am at least covered in the faith department there.

Doctor also mentioned that my low quantity probably isn't the fault of my drugs because endo patients just tend to not stim as well. What? Where was this disclaimer earlier on? I feel like I can handle a lot if I know the pros and the cons. But I really (naively perhaps) did not see this one coming and had actually hoped, yes HOPED that I would be the model 20 egg patient. I hate you hope. You make me look stupid.

So Doctor said that Wednesday we will see how things are progressing, and then she will have a better count of the true potential eggs. She said that less than three, they will not proceed, which is called a cancellation. 3-6, they have a serious discussion about whether it is worth proceeding -And we may be having that talk on Wednesday. H and I are both leaning toward proceeding. If I stop at this point I will be out the cost of the drugs plus a couple thousand bucks, but they will refund the rest. But I will also be at square one all over again and I don't want to go back there.

My sane side realizes it just takes one embryo to make a baby. So all I need is one good egg, that turns into one good embryo, that turns into one naughty baby. So this is not the end of the world, and I still have a chance. Sigh.

Friday, February 5, 2010


I so wish I had something funny/witty/insightful to say. But I got nuttin.

I did have a story about my husband and he just mandated I remove it. It was a little bit funny. What a joy killer.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

The Arsenal

I started out with one shot of Lupron in my stomach per day. The Lupron is supposed to deaden your natural system so you can be completely controlled by the other drugs. I dreamed of being in rainstorms or showers for a few nights and would wake up realizing I had experienced my first real night sweats. Sort of fascinating, but I'm hoping those don't resurface for at least 20 more years. This week I added two more shots in the stomach; follistim and repronex. These are both to hopefully induce me to make many many eggs. At my last dr appt they told me it appeared that I have the potential to make around 20. I don't have another appt. until next Monday, at which point they will have a better idea of how I am reacting to the shots and may schedule the egg retrieval for Wednesday. It is surreal to finally be doing IVF after I had built it up and feared it so much. So far it isn't even a 10th as scary or dramatic as I imagined. Admittedly, I can imagine that this time when I pee on a stick, the stakes will be really high and there will likely be some drama then, and I also am a little worried that maybe the shots aren't doing their job and I'll just be an eggless hen. Oh yes, and my last post? Well that was pure drama. Let's blame it on the drugs.