Thursday, November 30, 2006

Um, yeah, a huh...

Remember all my whining about onesies just yesterday. Well, when I got
home from work, DH had a little present for me. He went to the baby
store (he has NEVER been there before) and purchased some
"replacements". I was touched and even as I relayed the story to a
friend on the phone later that evening I welled up just thinking about
how lucky I am. She said she did also.

Since I am talking about foot in mouth moments, remember that baby shower I was convalescing about yesterday. I "forgot" to add the part that made me look bad -
a.k.a. The words that made me stop speaking and start drinking. Shortly
before the shower began DH informed me "a certainnewmom" was not going to be there because her 9 month old needed to go to bed at 7 or so.

Sidenote: when did having kids make people so incredibly uncool. Like staying
up an extra hour or so is that big of a deal. The baby is home all day
with parents and he is hardly fussy, or so they say/brag. Oh, yeah, I
don't understand because I don't have kids, or so I am told all the F'in time.

Anyway, DH told me he talked to MR "a certain newmom" and it was just too stressful to have to attend an event that started at 7 because of the whole bedtime debacle so he was coming stag. Did I mention that the showeree recently hosted a shower, which we all attended, for "a certain newmom"? Let's get this straight, the crazy infertile, a.k.a ME, had to attend this shower but the person for whom we had a shower didn't. Did I say attend, I probably meant co-host, but who's keeping track anyway.

Me, bitter, you ask? No, not at all.

Well, it all sounds good and nasty and I was quite forthcoming with my criticism until "a certain newmom" walked in the door w/baby in hand. She thought she should try to make it for a little while anyway. Should I take back what I was saying
BEFORE she came, heck no. The fact that she even considered NOT coming is still insulting, but since I did make a HUGE deal about it I probably should open my mouth and insert foot.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

The shower update

Ever since we realized having a baby would not be easy for us I have tried to avoid baby showers. Can someone tell me then how I have ended up hosting or co-hosting 4 of them? I guess I am a sucker, but in my defense 2 were for fellow infertiles, one defaulted to our house when plans fell through otherwise, and the 4th one was last night.

I don't know why I do this to myself. Last night was not bad and actually kind of fun. It was a friends shower (not just females), the food was awesome, there was liquor (lots of it), and the only "game" we played was the baby picture game, which is hardly a game and the prize was a can of WD40 rather than some stupid lotion set.
I was even a good sport and continued with my tradition of "making" present for my friends. You can see the absolutely adorable booties above (there is also a hat to match). But.......Babyshowers are just so hard and such a reminder of what I don't have. Our friends always say that they will have the best shower for us and while that is nice, it doesn't "solve" anything. I don't know when that time will be.

Also, last night I brought some onesies to hang up as decoration. These were clearance onesies that I bought at Target a while ago. It is stupid and I brought them fully knowing I may not get them back, although I did not make any suggestion that they were for the showerees. Well, my heart sunk when the soon to be dad gathered them up and said "who do I have to thank for these". I just didn't have the heart to tell him that they were not for him, but inside I was so shook up. I guess I thought going into it that I would not be bothered if they thought it was a present for them, but I was wrong. Please let me stress, I am not mad or even faulting the dad, but rather just sad for us. It just feels so painful knowing that something I bought with the hope of having a child was taken by someone about to have one. That is the part of IF that really sucks. You see someone living your dream, your life, and enjoying the happiness that you deserve also. DH and I were up most of the night thinking. It was not the loss of the onesies, but rather the affirmation that someone would not think I need them. You know, why would I, I am not pg and may never be. I guess it just felt like someone was taking my dream. I know that the soon to be dad would feel AWFUL if he knew I was upset and I don't want that. I am not upset at him, but rather the situation we are in and I don't know anyway to explain how much that hurts to a fertile.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

I can't write you a prescription for this one...

We are going ahead with round 3. So that is good news, right?

First off, I must add again that my dr. is amazing. He can handle all my obsessive qualities and still makes time for meaningful small talk. Today he (Dr. Bowtie) commented on DH's outfit. Yeah, DH is a awesome dresser and he is not afraid of color, bold ties, funky blazers, and pocket squares. Last year he went on an ascot kick and had me searching all over town for fabrics.

Anywho, Dr. Bowtie thinks it is probably an egg problem (although the sperm is not the best either), he is willing to consider my sis as an egg donor and may even explore the option of starting a donor cost share so I don't have to switch clinics (note: my clinic recently did away with their donor cost share). He didn't want to talk much about the donor options since that "is still a ways off". Actually it isn't, but I know he wants to focus on the next step. What is the next step you ask? Well, he has me taking DHEA 3x's a day for the next 3 -4 months and then wants to try again. I read the study that states that DHEA can help improve egg quality and such, so we are going to give it a try. Once I find it I will link it for all you curious souls but right now I am preparing for a baby shower that I am hosting so I can't focus on my own fertility (but rather on someone elses again!)- more on that tomorrow. It looks like the stim protocol will be the same since I had 15 eggs. Oh, did I mention that he will get my prescription in soon so it is covered under this years insurance (my idea not his). Anyway - I left feeling like I was in good hands.

Now for the BAD news - you knew it was coming, didn't you... Well that cyst is most likely going to have to be surgically removed and he wants to open me up laparscopically to do it. Those f'in cysts are eating up all my vacation days. I would honestly prefer to use those days to sit on a beach somewhere or stay home on a rainy day like today. Anyway, since it keeps coming back on the right side, a.k.a. Lola, he thinks it may be a benign tumor. At this point he can just take out the whole damn ovary becasue it isn't doing me much good.

A few random notes:
1. DHEA is not a prescription but rather something you get at a health food store. If some of you egg quality ladies want to give it a go it can't hurt.
2. At the Co-op, while buying the DHEA, I also purchased some Ethiopian bread. I am easing myself slowly into the adoption stuff.
3. Spell check is not working on blogger - sorry.
4. I recently switched to BEta Blogger and I can't sign in using my google account to post on all your blogs so I am using the "other" feature. Has this happened to any of you?

I'll update you on the shower tomorrow but now I have to get back to my prep and cocktail.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Queen of Cystdom

Yeah, that is me: I am officially crowning myself Queen of the Cystdom. Since my body is in charge this is not gonna be a socialist or democratic society but rather a pure dictatorship.

We go in to see Dr. Bowtie tomorrow and I have big surprise for him - another cyst on my right ovary (Lola) the left one (Pricilla) seems to be behaving a bit now but maybe I just cannot feel her because Lola is hogging all the pain receptors. These cysts seem to be related to ovulation but they don't go away until they are aspirated or we wait. Hmm.....

So our questions for Dr. Bowtie center around egg quality, sp. quality, fertilization and embryology. Basically, this past time we got fertilization, although the fert rate was low (5 out of 15). Also we need to know what factors could be contributing to our poor embryology - our embryos did not have much fragmentation but they were dividing too slowly and probably just fizzled out after a few days. I am fully prepared that we will get no answers, but a girl has to try at least.

We are also going to ask him about what to do next. It is funny, when going through an IVF cycle you want it to work so badly that you will settle for nothing else - all other options seem second class. Now that we are not in that emotional cyclone I am much more open to adoption. DH still thinks my mothering instincts will kick in at some point and that urge to bear a child will resurface, but right now I would just be happy to acquire a child. Perhaps I am just desperate. I am almost positive that Dr. Bowtie is going to put us on this DHEAS (or something?) study that will require me to take this drug for at least 4 months to improve egg quality. I can't imagine revisiting this madness after 4 months - I kind of just want to hurry up and get it over with. How am I going to suspend my obsession for 4 - 6 months?

Oh, if any of you want to vie for my crown of Queen of Cystdom please let me know. I will give it up if you are deserving. In my defense, I will say that I have had 2 surgical cyst aspirations, 7 cycles "delayed" for 1 -3 months. Did I mention that I still get them when on BC to try to prevent or supress them? Perhaps we could co-rule?

Friday, November 24, 2006

Collected ponderings....

O.K. Just a warning - this post is going to be quite random, but I am just in that mood. I decided to go into work today and I am sitting at my desk listening to a remixed Sergio Mendes album and thinking about the past few days. I hate malls, cars, and people(mostly fertiles and stroller pushers), so I thought I could avoid them all by "working".

Let's see, where to start...

Well, I usually HATE Thanksgiving - not the holiday and the food but the having to see my family part. My dad and brother spend the day with dad's brothers and my cousins hunting/drunk somewhere in Iowa for some poor animals, so they are not there. My mom drives me crazy and being around her family makes it worse. Also, most of my 16 cousins are extra fertile and someone is always pg or toting around a baby. They all live in the country town I grew up in and we drive down from the "big" city. Can you see why we may not enjoy this much? Let's just say we are very different. My strategy this year was to have a few drinks. (Un)fortunately I spent the morning baking my fab croissants (yes, from scratch - they rock) and had not eaten, and we were late, and I was tired, and I was dreading this event - can you see where this was going. Yeah, I got there and hit the wine we brought (everything else is pink) and had a few glasses, err - a bottle. thing I knew Grandma was asking all of us to hold hands for the prayer. After the formal prayer she added some lines about how blessed we are and something about being grateful and something about asking the man upstairs to continue to look after us like last year (note - last year grandma got hit by an 18 wheeler crossing the road and after 2 brain surgeries and lots of rehab she is 85 and still sharp as ever - I LOVE her). Grandma added a moment of silence for all of us to add our thoughts and I knew she was praying for a baby for us because she told me she would - anyway, after the prayer I dropped grandma's hand and my elbow hit my glass of red wine which managed to cascade onto my shirt and down my fab new pair of long and lean jeans. this some message about me refusing to be blessed? Am I really that unlucky? Is this the response to the baby prayer? Next thing I knew all my aunts, mom, and sis were telling me not to move so they could massage the wine off my sweater. I decided to lay off the wine until later in the evening.

Other random ponderings and some humor...

....You know the big hand holding farmer in the dell style circle I mentioned above? Well, my cousin's little kid - age 4 or so - was looking for her place in the circle while picking her nose and then grabbed my other cousins hand to hold. Nothing like a good Thanksgiving booger.

....Last week the news told of a newborn baby that was found (alive) abandoned in a field by a farmer in MN somewhere. Grandma told me that she was gonna call them and tell them to bring the baby to my house (yup, seriously, she is determined to help us out). She decided not to because she thought later that the birth parents would come back in a few months and have decided that they want the child back and because of the screwy laws here we would have to give up the baby. She said she could not stand to see us hurt again. She must have seriously thought this was gonna solve all our problems. At least she gets it though - I must say I adore her.

....Not once (outside of grandma) did anyone mention our infertility nor push their children on us. This was a first. I am sure the news of our 2nd failed IVF must have traveled to them. I don't even know of they know what IVF is. Actually, I would like to be a fly on the wall during their whisper sessions after I leave to hear what they think it is. I hope their version involves robots and light sabers because that is much more fun than shots and retrievals.

I think that is all the randomness I can handle for now.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

I finally got off my arse...

Now that one week has passed since the official notice of the BFN I am done with my pity party. Thanks to all of you who attended - I must say I know how to throw a party and the turn out was fab. Next time I will serve more crabcakes.

Anyway, now that I no longer have an excuse (depressed, sore ovaries, 2ww, etc) , I decided to actually do something about those extra 10 pounds I am carrying around in my rear. I would not say that I am fat, rather a white girl with back. Since I started IF treatments a few years ago, the stress, waiting, meds and physical discomfort caused me to bulk up a bit. Last January I got on the scale and the number read a whopping 162 - YIKES! I knew I was stressed with starting IVF, I hated my job, I still was not over the miscarriage, and I had not accepted my lot in life as an infertile. Now that I am still stressed with IVF, I have a new job, have gotten over the miscarriage a bit , and have come to acknowledge my life as an infertile I proudly announce that I currently weigh in at 142. It is crazy to think that I was carrying around an extra 20 lbs that I could live without. I wish I could ditch infertility as "easily" as I lost that weight, but rather I think it will hang around with me like those last 10 lbs.

Why am I blogging about this? I know you don't care how much I weigh and some would say that it is tacky to talk about it, but if I have to wait a while to do another cycle I need a new obsession. Also, DH and I booked tickets to Key West for a week this spring and I want to be one crazy hot infertile in a bikini on the beach.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Infertility is now affecting the dog...

This week has been a bit stressful.

Let me recap:
1. IVF #2 BFN (I prefer big f'in nightmare)
2. The adoption program we prefer is waitlisted
3. Found out true cost of donor egg program
4. Researched snowflake babies and it is not an option for us
5. Many huge fights with DH
6. All the work I didn't do while waiting for my BFN is now urgently due
7. Spending time hiding from neighbors who are upset that we could not attend their child's 2nd b-day party - more about this later because I am still steaming and I cannot even get it together to compose a legible sentence.
8. The dog is sick.

Poor little guy. It breaks my heart to see him not wanting his food and moping around the house. Before you start to question what sort of freak I am please stick around while I explain why the face you see on my profile is so incredibly important to me.....

Two years ago this December 26th, we were in Key West with DH's family for the Christmas. We go to Key West frequently since DH's uncle has a place there and who can argue with spending Christmas by the ocean. While the weather this trip was not so great everyone was in good spirits because we gave them a wonderful Christmas present - the announcement that a baby was on the way. When I left for Florida I was between 6 - 7 weeks pregnant off our 3rd clomid cycle and when I came home all I had was a shattered dream and a strong realization that this was not going to be easy for us.

While the world was mourning the tragedy of the Tsunami, I was at the Key West hospital waiting for confirmation of what I already knew and hoping to get the Rogam quickly so I could return to the condo and cry myself into a coma. When we returned to the cities a few days later I was numb. I would sit in a chair and stair at the TV or out the window with tears rolling down my face. Many of your know this feeling - once you have experienced it the slightest mention of the dreaded miscarriage brings backs the immense feelings of emotional distraught. My depressed mood continued into the spring and worsened with every failed clomid cycle. When the end of March rolled around and my b-day approached, DH asked what he could do "to bring back the beautiful smile he missed." Without even thinking I responded, "I want a dog." The next day we were up early and driving to pick up our new family member.

Before Matisse, IF was really hard and I was hopeless. There were nights that I ate and went to bed to cry myself to sleep. The pain is still there, but I now have a reason to be happy and smile. There is a little guy who waits for me to come home from work at the back window and comes running to the door with his favorite toy d'jour in his mouth to present to me. I know it sounds silly, but I have a reason to not let infertility keep me down indefinitely. Even when getting bad news, there is a bubbling fountain of happiness waiting to lick my tears and bring me his beloved stuffed animals to cheer my mood. Unfortunately this week was a bit much and now my little guy is sick from a stress induced stomach problem.

Anyone who has a pet knows that their friend feels the mood of the house and for us the mood at our house has been a bit volatile. I feel awful that he is so stressed out. He is incredibly sensitive and has spent a lot of time hiding under the table this week as DH and I scream at each other (we believe he was abused as a puppy - before we got him that is.). Are we ready to be parents if we cannot properly deal with our disappointment and fear, acting in a way that causes anguish to someone we love so much? DH and I agree that we have to change, unfortunately our sick dog had to be the driving force.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Recipe for Avoidance....

I have not been too social lately. Actually I have been a recluse - I don't answer the phone, hide from neighbors, and lock myself in my office at work. It has not helped that I have had a migrane for the past 2 days from the changes in hormone levels, stress, and who knows what else.

Anyway, I began wondering if it was me avoiding people or vice versa. I did make my favorite Garlic Soup Recipe Sunday evening and had the leftovers at work on Monday. Anyway, if any of you are feeling the same reclusive tendencies as me give this soup a try, it seems to repel annoying fertiles pretty successfully.

Roasted Garlic Soup

2 heads garlic
olive oil for drizzling
2 onions
2 tbls. thyme
4 tbls butter
1 can (64 oz.) chicken broth
1/2 cup half and half

Preheat oven to 350. Remove about 8 cloves of garlic from one of the heads and set aside. Take remaining head of garlic and cloves (do not peel them) and put into a small roasting dish. Drizzle with enough olive oil to cover and form a little pool at the bottom. Sprinkle with sea salt, cover loosely with a lid or foil and roast for about 35 -45 minutes - or until cloves are soft, browned, and a little mushy.

Meanwhile, chop set aside cloves and onions and saute in a soup pan with butter until onions are translucent and garlic fragrant. Sprinkle on 1/2 the thyme and set aside. Once gloves are roasted squeeze them from their husk into the onion, fresh garlic, thyme mixture in the pan. Add chicken broth to pan and bring just to a simmer. Using a hand blender or regular blender, blend soup in small batches. If it is still hot and you are using a traditional blender, don't fill the blender up entirely and substitute a towel for the lid - this allows the steam to escape and not blow the lid off.

After blending the soup to a smooth consistency put it all back in the pot. Add enough 1/2 & 1/2 to create a silky consistency and salt to taste. Add remaining thyme, bring to simmer and serve with crusty french bread.

This is one of our winter comfort foods - enjoy. Like I said, it also does a pretty decent job of repelling folks for a day or so.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Don't tell me, "Well at least you have options..."

Yesterday sucked. Not only did I work from 7am to 10:30 pm, but I came to terms with my options. You see we have our meeting to ponder FAILED IVF w/ ICSI #2 w/ Dr. Bowtie on 11/28 and I want to be prepared. I don't take these meetings lightly and I know that if I miss my chance to ask him the questions I need to ask I will have to:

1. Be satisfied with the answer the nurses give me or trust them to relay my questions correctly to him and call me back. I am NOT saying they are incompetent but rather that I am a fertility control freak and I don't even trust DH to relay information like egg quality, # retrieved, fertilization reports.
2. Allow these questions to simmer in my being until I boil over and start getting all my answers from Dr. Google.
3. Plan out the worst case scenarios answers to all my questions so then at least if the news comes back differently I am not disappointment.

You see, it is just better to be prepared. Also, if I am prepared I will be less likely to cry. I have not shed a tear in front of Dr. Bowtie yet and I do not plan to. It is not that I am afraid to cry, but rather once the waterworks turn on my brain turns to mush and I forget everything I need to ask as well as the answers to the questions I did ask. Then all I can think about is that I have to walk through the lobby with my mascara running down my face. Clinic #1 at least had a back door for this purpose. I know I would not be the first failing Ivfer to cry but I just don't want to cross that line.

Now that we have failed twice I am really concerned that we will get kicked out of the program so I need to have plan F ( F is because we have exhausted A - E and also because at this stage we are F'ed). Plan F involves choosing between donor eggs and adoption. I will post later about the intense never ending conversations DH and I had to arrive at these options, but frankly for now I am sick of the topic. To continue, I called my clinic and was informed that they did away with their donor cost share program. I was devastated. I immediately got on the internet and checked out the 3 ivf places here and it looked like the only program for Donor Shared Risk costs about 33,000 with additional donor fees, prescreening, medication and monitoring. YIKES. Also, after calling no one could answer if they allow you to use known donor eggs. I left a message but was not too optimistic. At this point I called DH and told him our decision was made because we can not put this much on the line without a guarantee and it doesn't look like known donor is an option.

On a fluke, I called the other IVF program in cities to get some cost info. I guess we are at the point of shopping around for the best deal now in case we decide to try some other currently unknown option (Plan S for sucks). How depressing. After I got off a not too reassuring phone call with them the phone immediately rang and it was the same clinic calling me back. Apparently, they have had so much demand for a known donor shared risk program that they are starting one up as we speak. The cost is also 100% refundable and comes in at about 26,000 for 3 fresh cycles with medication costs separate. I think this is good news, but please do not tell me it is great to have options because if options involve selling one of our cars and taking out a larger loan again our home I don't know how good of options they are.

Anyway, if Dr. Bowtie kicks us out and leaves us only with the option of donor eggs and we can find the money to continue this insanity because you know it is just oh so fun, we may be able to consider donor eggs. Of course this would mean that I would have to go to my 3rd fertility clinic, get to know another dr., and get another full time job. Also, the Dr. that we would most likely see at that clinic also appears to be a bowtie freak from the website photo, so how would I name him? I think that is the real problem here - Dr. Bowtie 2 lacks creativity.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Now I really hate Britney Spears...

I have no energy to be creative, so here is the update.

It is confirmed. This cycle was a BFN. I did have some very small amounts of HcG in my system on Friday and even less today, so I was probably pregnant at some point but the embryo didn't stick around. My progesterone was at least very good - 32.5, so I don't have any problems in that area. I didn't know if that was supposed to be good news!?!? The nurse who gave me the news was very sweet and empathetic. One of the nurses is pg and I truly hope they don't allow her to make these calls. Could you think of anything worse than hearing about your BFN from someone who is PG???

Anyway, the next appointment with Dr.Bowtie isn't until 11/28, so I have 2 weeks to dream up scenarios for that meeting. Is he going to kick us out, make us do the DHEA study and wait 6 months to try again, or tweak the protocol and just get this miserable IVF process over with so we can move on to the next step - donor egg or adoption. We are part of a cost share, so either way we are out some money but we do get some back. Since we have paid down on our loan we will come out about even (not actually even, but that is what I need to tell myself). I have not calculated how much we have spent so far on failed fertility treatments and when I do so I am sure you will hear about it because it will piss me off. Has anyone heard about infertility bake sales?

I really can't decide on what to do next. I know some of you will say that I don't have to because I still have one cycle left, but let's face it, DH and I are probably never going to have children of our own. We have come to terms with that and are willing to move on....but we can't just yet. Adoption seems like such a guarantee, but I really can not drop the feeling I have to be pregnant, grow with a child in utero, give birth and parent the child from birth. I know this is selfish and I should just get over it, but it isn't that easy.

We are seriously considering adopting a baby from Ethiopia. That too comes with concerns and brings me into a new area of uncertainty. You see, I am acquainted with all the "uncertainty" of infertility and I don't know if I am willing to throw in the towel and get involved in a different f'ed up game of sorts. Really, I do believe in adoption, but my frustration is just getting the best of me.

Anyway, this is all the thinking and writing I can handle for today. Sorry for the scattered post. I have been beaten down by failed IVF #2. I will be back tomorrow with a new set of thoughts and hopefully a brighter outlook for our options.

Friday, November 10, 2006

So you really want to know how I am feeling......

You know those feeling charts with the little faces expressing all the feelings one could have. You typically see them in dr/counselor offices or the cubes of really, annoying co-workers that circle their mood that day so we can all be forewarned that they may not give us the response we want by first looking at the chart and seeing that the sour faced "irritable" circle is tagged as the emotion of the day. You know, those charts... Well, if only it was that easy. If only I could identify one emotion long enough to circle it and claim it. Rather, I would have to circle the whole dammed chart because that is how I feel right now.

People have been asking how I am doing with the whole 2nd IVF thing. I usually answer that it is fine and we are dealing with it very well. That is actually very true and if I told you that I was not lying. We are champions of our emotions this round, but it is also somewhat of a cop out answer. Most of my days are great and I really love my life. I have a wonderful husband, amazing dog, great and caring friends, a home of our own that we love, and a job I enjoy for the most part. I live in a progressive, affordable city where my quality of life is amazing. I have had opportunities to travel the world, am financially stable, and have had any educational opportunity available to me if I decide to pursue it. I am not complaining and I really do know how good my life is and I appreciate it. My husband and I comment on how wonderful our lives are almost daily. Before you start to hate me please realize that not everything in my life is grand - I do have my share of crap, but I am able to compartmentalize all of those situations. Even when my FIL was diagnosed with cancer we could deal and we knew it wasn't fair, we accepted it and we continue to cherish every day we have with this amazing man. Currently the news has been positive, but let's face it, he has stage 3 kidney cancer - a very rare form at that - and things will change.

Even with all of these good "things" there is still a huge hole in my being. It is a void, a sore spot, a desire I have so strongly that words cannot explain. It is not a material desire or anything I can accomplish by working really hard. Some days it is more tucked away than others, but when I look back over the past three years it has been with me in some form or another. There is not one day that I have not had this feeling. I want to be a mother, I want my husband to be a father, I want us to partner and show a child all the amazing things life has to offer. We know life isn't fair and we don't promise our desired child that it will be without disappointment, but our method of coping, our dedication to each other, our passion for life is so strong that we know we can make it through anything. Why are we not being given that opportunity? I promise, we would raise amazing children, people to be proud of, people this world needs more of. We would dedicate ourselves to them entirely and show it as is appropriate, allowing them to grow and lead the life they want and be the person they so desire. I would not force my way into their life, but rather feel privileged to be included. I just don't understand why and I guess because of that I am sad, angry, frustrated, disappointed and all of the other feelings combined from that damned feeling chart.

Today was my first beta. They don't tell you the results until after your second beta, which, for me, is scheduled for Monday. I already know the results. I have been doing the POAS dance for a few days now and the results have not been in my favor. I don't know why I am so emotional. I rarely cry and when I am angry I let it pass pretty quickly. Today is different though. I woke up crying, my eyes welled up with tears while getting my blood drawn and I postponed it until I got out of the DR. office. I sat in the parking garage at work and cried on the phone to DH and, now, tears are streaming down my face as I struggle to complete this post. I guess I would have to say that today I am really, really sad.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Operation Continuing Negative

Status: 10dp3dt still BFN

I know I may be jumping to conclusions, but unlike some of our government leaders, if I am going start something important I want to have plan. What is this plan you ask? Well I am currently crafting a new strategy to achieve pregnancy and taking into consideration that the current egg + sp. Combination make need to be altered. yup, I revisited the donor conversation before 7am this morning.

Yes, I know it is still early, but there is no line. Even evaporation lines have given up on me now and I am stuck with the stark white pee stained strip, and we all know that SWPSS = BFN. Pretty soon the control lines will take a hike. I used to like white, it was such a neutral non-offensive color, well, not anymore, it seems to have taken sides with the anti-positive crowd. My first beta is Friday and I am trying to study but nonetheless I think I am going to fail this test.

Yes, I may be jumping to conclusions since we are not yet done with this cycle and we have one more attempt in our cost share. Dr. Bowtie even talked about some study where I take some drug that can miraculously make my ovaries act like they are 28. Wait, am I 28 and my eggs appear to suck...hmmmm. Also, I don't think it is just the eggs, but rather the combination. I think DH and I are a bad combination. We are great everywhere and in every way except reproduction.

Anyway, I researched the donor egg thing and the cost is a bit prohibitive for us right now so I was depressed. You see, my sister has offered to be a donor for us, but that is a HUGE commitment on someone's part and I don't know if I want to put her through it at a whopping 22 years of age. That is a lot to ask of someone - she would need to stop smoking, partying, and is she even mature enough to make that decision at her age. Plus how would we compensate her????

Then I asked if DH was ready to look at male donors and he said, "Well we should try my guys first with the donor, shouldn't we?" Yes, I guess we should if that makes him feel better. I really don't care where the eggs come from as long as they "work" but for DH I do really hope his guys can pull through for him because I think it will be hard on him if they don't.
Also, if anyone from Wisconsin is reading this, you really must defend yourself after last nights performance.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

I should have left it well enough alone...*** Updated

Despite your encouragement to avoid the POAS madness I couldn't. Yup, I wasted 7 bucks before 6 am. I am only 6dp3dt but I thought just this once my body would be on my side and surprise me, relieve me, and do what it does for most women. Instead of a positive it left me pissed, and instead of relieved it left me uncertain.

Who do we do this to ourselves? I can think of a million reasons not to test - to early, the trigger may still be in my system, it gets ridiculously expensive (I really should try online or dollar store), just leaves me in a dejected funk rather than an anticipation funk, makes me extra bitter at easily pregnant and fertile people, I obsess even more, it consumes me.

Now to reasons why I test: it may be positive.

Just once, I think, it may be, it has to be, how could it not be positive and then this would all be over and I could go on with my life - or so I think.

Instead I sit here somewhat weepy and my b**b soreness went away, and all I have to show for my madness is a stupid evaporation line. Believe me, I am almost certain it is just that because I took the test apart to verify as I held it over a bright light and according to that is exactly what you are NOT supposed to do.

Did I mention I hate easily pregnant and fertile people. I guess that is another story for another post - right now it would just come across as displaced anger and we know that isn't the case, right?

Because I am sure my POAS obsession will continue to get worse I researched pee sticks a bit and found that the ones from the Dollar Tree are sensitive to 25, which is equivalent to the Early tests - you know the ones that say you can test 5 days sooner - I typically pay about 10 bucks a piece for them at Walgreen's / Target / etc. Did I mention they cost only $1. yup a buck - I feel like an addict who found a new supply. I went and got some on lunch and waited to take one when I got home. It was negative, of course, but at least I only wasted a buck and I have a stockpile now without taking out a small loan.

Now I have to make sure I don't dig it out of the garbage. What, at least it isn't an eclair, George......

Monday, November 06, 2006


In the Kübler-Ross Grief Cycle, the fourth stage is one of desperate bargaining. In order, the stages are: Shock, Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression, Testing, Acceptance.

After the fires of anger have been blow out, the next stage is a desperate round of bargaining, seeking ways to avoid having the bad thing happen. Bargaining is thus a vain expression of hope that the bad news is reversible.

Bargaining in illness includes seeking alternative therapies and experimental drugs. In organizations, it includes offering to work for less money (or even none!), offering to do alternative work or be demoted down the hierarchy. One's loyalties, debts and dependents may be paraded as evidence of the essentiality of being saved.

I have always said that those going through infertility go through the steps of grieving, and I am sure I am not the first. Even if you go on to have a child of your own, you still have to grieve the ability to have children like fertiles (a.k.a. the majority). Since there are so many things to grieve in infertility, I find myself jumping between stages. With that said, I can't say that I follow these steps in absolute order, but I am finding myself at the bargaining stage right now. I find myself thinking...

....If only this works I will not desire more children and just be grateful for what I get, one or two, even though I truly desire two I could sacrifice

....If the next thing on the radio is a song and not a commercial I am certainly pg - note: I listen to public radio so the odds should be pretty good

....If the I'm feeling lucky google search returns good news I will be satisfied

....If I finish typing this sentence before the babychime* I am certainly going to get pg

....If I wait to start the POAS madness until Wednesday it will be positive because I am waiting the 12 days for the HcG to leave my system and a few *extra* days from implantation, which could be late becasue my embies were only 4 and 5 cells at transfer

Now some would call that last one rationalizing, but really I am just bargaining. I am trying to save myself from what I know if coming: BFN. I am currently 95% sure this cycle is not going to work out and we are going to have the donor egg discussion with Dr. Bowtie very soon. Heck, I am already thinking of calling up my sister and asking if she is still willing to be a donor. DH has agreed to use donor sp. if we use donor eggs, so why don't we just get on with it.

Why don't we? We could be done with this madness and have a child to love and share experiences with but instead I am sure we will again put ourselves through hell to get no where. To think, I was most dreading the PIO shots and they are NOTHING compared to the anguish this process causes.

*BAby Chime: as I stated before I work in a hospital and everytime a baby is born they play this little lullaby. Unfortunately my office is right by the speaker for our floor and I get to be reminded of how many babies are born every day. Yes some to infertiles, but many to people who may not have wanted them as much as me.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Optimism, oh optimism where did you go....

So some of my optimism left and I finally had my long awaited cryfest. Now, I must say I am proud that I made it this far into IVF #2 without even a well up of a tear but now that is gone.

I guess it started when I was eating breakfast this morning. Since we are still kind of celebrating DH's PhD (more celebrating that he is OUT of GRADUATE SCHOOL forever) I got up early and went to get us bagel sandwiches so we could have a nice breakfast together. And yes, I even got a sandwich for the dog, although we have to teach the big poodle to savor his food and not inhale it. Anyway, during our relaxing breakfast to kindergarten Cop (the best thing on TV - it is negative attack ad season you know) is when the dreaded call came. You see, DH and I are rather politically active and up in MN this campaign season is especially spicy so we have been getting a lot of campaign calls. I would have taken any other call than the one I got - even a political call for the "other side".

As you probably guessed, it was the lab calling to tell us that none of our embryos made it to blast so they could not be frozen. I knew this was a strong possibility but it just struck me as the first "failure" of this cycle. The Dr. Assured me that this was not indicative of our embryos surviving in me, but I am losing some of my confidence. I guess this is the first time that I had to again consider that we do have damaged goods - not so hot egg quality and poor sperm. I questioned again about why they wanted to put the 4 and 5 cell / grade 1 embryos in rather than the 6 cell grade 3s and she said chances for survival are better even if the embryos are a bit slow. Does anyone have any information about this??? She again stated that they got a +beta off a 4 cycle just recently. In the whole fertility game, I have been the one to defy the odds in the not so good kind of way so why should I believe that things are going to be different this time.

Well, that call started the bad mood and I went into "pick fight" mode. Although, much to DH's credit, he would not respond to my attacks and rather sat down next to me and told me that he hates watching me have to go through this. He then said let's go talk about it. WHAT HAPPENED TO HIM? Really, he is so....supportive in every that I needed. Now I should say, he is a great man but we typically deal with infertility very, very differently and this has caused some whopper arguments in the past. Point blank:
me= irrational, cry, jump to conclusions, dwell (in my defense I am on hormones)
him = extremely rational and able to move on quickly.

While we were chatting DH offered up an excellent suggestion. After telling him that I am more afraid of having to go through all the anticipation and anxiety again with another IVF cycle more than a neg test he suggested they should just put me into a coma. Yup - his suggestion was just to put me in a coma through the whole IVF process and keep me there for 4 months if it works to help with the pregnancy after infertility / miscarriage 1st trimester worries. Not a bad idea now, is it?

Friday, November 03, 2006

Gonna enjoy it while I can....

I am only a few days past transfer I can not stop obsessing that our embryos were only 4 and 5 cells at time of 3 day transfer. I have googled it, read reports and am just going to try to not think about it much until I can test next week. I really wish they would have had a few more cells so I would not have this to obsess over my entire 2ww, but at the same time I should just be grateful we got this far. To add to my craziness - I am still concerned that I am going to dislodge them or prevent them for implanting even though I have read a zillion reports that state this is not possible.

In the meantime, DH defended his PhD today and we celebrated with his family. We went over to the inlaws for a drink and immediately upon walking in the door my FIL handed me a glass of Crystal Regal (sp?) non-alcoholic and said "we got this for you since you can't have alcohol". At the restaurant I ordered a salad with beets and chevre chaud and my SIL spouted off about how I should not eat the cheese. FIL would not even let me have a sip of his beer and it smelled so good - like chocolate. Not to mention, DH was having a brie sandwich for lunch and I asked him to make me one (I took the nurses advise to stay in bed / couch and order him around on ET day) and he refused. Normally I would be HUGELY annoyed that these people are telling me what to do and being a little crazy, but instead it made me feel kind of good. I remember feeling this way only once before - before I miscarried a few years ago.

Now, technically, I am not even pg. Heck, the little ones may not have even implanted yet, but in my mind I am going to go with it until I find out otherwise. Is that just pathetic? I want SO badly to be pregnant that I am going to act like I am already?

I have decided that I am just gonna enjoy it while I can because that is what I need to do today.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

The transfer...

First off, does valium do anything??? I guess it made me go home and sleep for a little while but other than that I was not relaxed nor absent of pain. I have a "spare" tablet from my first IVF that I did not need since I never made it to transfer but now I have lost interest in it and will probably just throw it away when I clean out the medicine cabinet.

The transfer went o.k. They put 2 of my little embies in - apparently the best two. The were both grade 1 but only 4 and 5 cells so I was a bit worried and am just hoping that they were waiting to get back into the cozy Uterus before they go crazy with multiplying. The embryologist said she wants them at 6 - 8 cells but the cleaving was very clean and other than that the quality was quite high. Can 1 or 2 cells really make a difference? I certainly hope not. The RN/Tech said they had two 4 cell pregnancies just the day before so not to be too concerned. I hope she was not just trying to make me feel better. I got to see them under the microscope and they were so cute, in a weird only mother would love kind of way. I was kind of worried all day yesterday but I have this feeling of hope since we have not made it this far yet in the process. Not to mention I was watching something on TV and one of the commercials that kept playing was some guy dancing and the voice over said - " got to keep multiplying" I was unable to get it out of my head.

The nice embryologist guy (who I ran into at the coffee shop) was not on transfer duty that day but he made a trip down to wish me well. He is really awesome and I know he truly cares and wants us to get pg. I was just so touched that he cared enough to do that and no he was not just walking by, he actually told us that he will be hoping for the best and can't wait to hear good news and made a trip to the transfer room to tell us. Some people are so dedicated to their jobs and it really makes a difference. Dr. Bowtie was also not on that day but I had Dr. Mystery do my transfer. I call him that because I cannot figure him out - I think he is the really smart shy kind of awkward type. Anyway, when he walked into the room I asked if he was ready to Knock me up and he kind of chuckled and put on his could be climbing MT Everest head lamp to take a peek. Really - do you need that much light to look into my uterus. The process took about 45 minutes - 1/2 of it was spent trying to thread the catheter into my curvy uterus and and the rest on the transfer and then resting. I think Dr. Mystery was a bit nervous because he stopped talked and went into ultimate concentration mode. Once he got the little ones in and got the clear from lab that they were in me and not the catheter, he FINALLY took the metal speculum out, stood up, and did a little dance to tell me my uterus is "curvy". It made me chuckle and distracted me from the still lingering speculum discomfort. I think those things are designed by men.

Now begins the wait. I feel a little, well, I don't think there is a word to describe nervous, anxious, excited, scared.... I am afraid I am going to push those little embies out when I go to the bathroom or that my uterus is not taking good care of them. I so badly want this to work so I can return to some level of normalcy in my life. After TTC for the past 3 - 4 years I don't even know if I remember what that is like, but I am ready to create a new life for DH, Matisse (doggy), and my little ones. I fear the results of this round not because I am further from having children but more because I want to be out of this game right now. I am ready to be done with infertility.