Friday, March 23, 2012

And Now...To Make Myself Feel Better....

.....I am going to post pics of our new house :)

Ok. It is NOT ours yet, technically. There are still people living in it, paying the mortgage. But they did accept our offer and the only contingency is the house inspection. So, if that goes ok (and hopefully it does because Dan is a stickler about inspections), we should be moved in by the end of May! We were hoping for April, but the sellers need more time.

Not the greatest picture of the front, but you get the picture...

 Media room? Yes, please....

Ok. So it's a lot of gray. Now I don't mind gray...but it really is A LOT of gray. So I think that we will be changing that before we move in. Despite the gray **everywhere* there was a lot of light. However, I don't know if I could deal with gray walls during the gray months of winter where we live.

But we're excited...hopefully things work out!

80 Degree Weather and a Hospital Stay. Sucks.

Man. I've had a crappy February and March. Like-really bad. Of course, most of you know about all the IVF stuff already and how sick I felt after that...and then getting sick with the stomach bug...having Alex get sick....and then I had a hospital stay :( Here's what happened:

Sunday night I began running a 100 degree fever and had bad chills. Monday, Dan drove me to the doctor's because I felt too sick to drive myself. I was diagnosed with some sort of UTI and given Cipro. That afternoon, I was running a 103 fever-pretty high for an adult. I felt absolutely horrible. And I was freaking out because Dan was leaving for Germany that evening for business. I began alternating doses of Advil and Tylenol. So by the time he had to leave for the airport, I felt somewhat better. Basically, I told him to go, that the Cipro would kick in and we would be fine. Alex and I survived the evening and that night I did not sleep because I was running a fever all night.

The next day, I barely had the strength to get Alex to daycare, but managed. I came home, took more medicine and vegged on the couch. I actually felt pretty decent and thought that the Cipro was finally kicking in. I took a nap. When I woke up, I had horrible chills. I mean-whole body shaking chills. I should mention that it was probably 75 in my house and I was in long pants and long sleeves-and still shaking. I took my temperature: 104. Well, that couldn't be good.

So I call my doctor and tell him what's happening. He says that the Cipro should be working by now and that I needed to go to the hospital to get IV antibiotics.

So then begins the freak out. Dan was out of the country, my parents are in Florida for the winter, and his parents are in Australia. My friends are all working. I can't drive myself to the hospital because I'm too sick by this point. And WHO is going to pick up Alex from daycare???? All the people who could pick her up because they are on the "pick up list" are OUT OF TOWN or out of the country. And-you can't add people to the pick up list by simply making a phone have to do it in person for obvious reasons. So I'm basically screwed. I start crying, which makes me feel worse. And what was I going to do with Alex??? She certainly wasn't going to the ER with me. Who could watch her? My friends would, but I hated to ask them in case I was admitted to the hospital, because they all work. I knew they would do it for me, just didn't want to have to go there if I didn't have to.

So what ended up happening is that my God Mother drove to my house, picked me up and we drove to Alex's daycare in my car. Picked her up. My friend, Nicole, followed us  over in her car. So once we got Alex in the vehicle, my God Mother drove her back to our house. And Nicole drove me to the ER.

And they admitted me. Not only did I have some type of bad UTI, but kidney stones. Ugh. I have a tendency to form stones. I ended up receiving TWO bags of IV antibiotics because of the nasty infection and they thought they may have to go in and take the stones out surgically. However, they decided they were small enough to be passable. So now I'm just waiting to pass the stones-and hoping that it isn't too God awful.

But staying in the hospital sucks. It always sucks. No matter what. However, staying in the hospital for two days when it's hot and sunny out. That's just torture. Especially when you are rooming with a crazy woman who is groaning all night and telling the doctors how she smokes pot everyday for anxiety and who speaks EXTRA LOUDLY on her cell phone at all hours.

Anyway. I'm home now. Thank God. I have to follow up with a urologist on April 9th. Hopefully there is something we can do to stop the stone formation. I knew that I was sucking on drinking my water. After my last kidney infection/stone issue, I was obsessed with drinking 100 fl. oz/day. That last issue was four years ago, so I'm guessing the water helped. Well...I've since begun slacking....and I guess I just can't. The rule is-100/day. One good thing did come out of it...Dan came home from his business trip early <3

Hope you all had a better week then I did! Wouldn't be too hard to do!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

What a Nice Fertility-Free Weekend.

I don't know how it is in your neck of the woods, but up here in the good old north east, it has been upwards of 75 today and yesterday. It has been h.e.a.v.e.n. Seriously. If this weather didn't get me in a good mood, nothing could. Well, it does help that I am no longer a hormonal freak-show with estrogen levels 5,000 times greater than a "normal" woman. So yeah. That helps...I'm feeling leveled off. Back to my old self. Which is VERY welcome!

We've spent a lot of family time together this weekend. Dan is going on a business trip to Germany from Monday until Saturday afternoon. That definitely bums me out, but I'm glad that we all got to spend quality time together--especially outdoors in this weather! I just can't get over the fact that I have all my windows open in March! So we went to a playground and went to the zoo, went out to lunch, went to the mall, grilled out... and DID NOT think about babies or pregnancy for pretty much the entire weekend. Yay me! Although, just writing this, I am kind of thinking about fertility, but not feeling too bad so it's ok.

And and and....we also went to see a house! We have been house hunting for about a year and a half. We are very picky. Both of us are very picky. So it has been hard finding something we both like that meets all of our needs. But we *may* have found the house this weekend!

Our realtor came over today to write up a purchase offer. Dan has to call the town tomorrow to make sure he can put a pole barn on that particular property. And if that is ok, we'll tell our realtor-who happens to be my cousin-to put the purchase offer in! And then we wait. They need to come down a bit on we'll see what happens. I'm hopeful, but do not want to get my heart completely set on this house until we know if these people want to play ball. Fingers crossed!

And since I FOUND my camera charger, I can share some pics of the weekend :)

 Enjoying some playground time

 More playground

 At the zoo! Check out the shades...

 Big helper

 So brave!

 Awww...she's actually looking!

 Getting a ride on daddy

Snack time

Thursday, March 15, 2012


Well, life is generally back to normal. I'm not sick (well, a little stuffed up perhaps), Alex isn't sick, Dan isn't sick, the period from-absolute-hell is almost over, I'm off the blood thinners now, not jabbing myself with needles daily, no suppositories in my immediate future...and I can exercise again! Back to Zumba and Hit Fit! Although, the mandatory break was kind of nice, let's be honest. Especially because I didn't have to feel guilty. After all, taking a break wasn't *my* idea....

I went to the clinic on Tuesday for my Beta blood test. There is something extra special crappy about having to get that test done when you are actually *having* your period (not to mention that the office is 20 minutes away and my appointment was at 7am-blech!). Don't get me wrong...there have been several times when I have driven to the clinic for that test, knowing full well that I was not pregnant because I tested myself. But having your period at the same time-yeah, well that adds a whole new dimension of suckiness. And then the LPN, poor girl, said to me "Well, it's ok if you have your period...some women still have it and are pregnant". Yeah. Let's not deal in false hope. But I couldn't really be annoyed. This particular nurse is the only one who can regularly get blood from me on the first try. So I like her.

And so that brings me to my HCG level: .6. Pretty freaking low. Progesterone was .9. Guess that explains the period. Ah well-onward and upward, right?

Our next step was to book a follow-up appointment with the doctor who did our egg retrieval and transfer. Dan and I have tons of questions about the best course of action from here. Now booking that appointment was kind of a pain in the ass, because the protocol is that we had to email the doctor first with a list of questions and concerns. Then the doctor would respond and basically tell us to go ahead and book the appointment with the call center. Yeah. Annoying. Red tape. Not exactly stream-lined. But whatever. We have our appointment for April 11th...a date that I am happy with. It's the week we come back from Florida. And until then, I am going to do my best to not do any research (fertility related) or get overly angst-y about this past cycle.

We'll get there. Some way. Some how. Something will work. Knock on wood.

And lately is has struck me that I haven't posted any pictures of Alexandra in forever. Not because the focus of my blog has changed a bit with going through this latest round--but because I could not, for the life of me, find my camera charger! Pretty sure my kid walked off with it. She does that. Takes things (hey, she's two) and puts them in strange, odd, weird, funny places. Anyway-we finally found the charger in the dog's crate. See what I mean? So now I can go picture crazy again. I admit it, I like showing her off. I think she's pretty spectacular :)

Monday, March 12, 2012

Well. That Was Horrible.

I think that I have just lived through a new variant of hell. And that would be to live through a violent stomach bug (both ends effected, if you get my drift) while still needing to take care of a sick two year old child--with NO help. The no help part being the clincher.

Dan is out of town on business until tonight. My parents are in Florida. His parents are in Australia. That means no grandparents around to save me when I began vomiting uncontrollably yesterday afternoon. I was reminded very quickly how horrendous the stomach bug is. I was sick, weak, had major chills--and poor Alex would get so scared every time I vomited that she would cry. So I was hacking into a bucket and my poor, sick baby was crying :( Fail.

It was not a good day. At all. And I also had the menstrual cramps from hell-probably from the gigantic lining that I built up while stimming...lot of good it did me.

But honestly...I didn't know how I was going to survive. I felt that horrible. And Alex felt that horrible. I think at one point, we were both crying. And neither of got much sleep either, as she came to sleep with me at 2:30am and is a notorious bed hog. Oh well. We both needed some comfort, I guess.

We are doing better today. My vomiting has stopped, although the "other" stomach issues remain. Alex went to the pedi today and has an ear infection and possibly strep. So now she's on a course of antibiotics and will hopefully be feeling better soon. And I....I am currently running the water to a hot, near scalding bath--just the way I like it.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

I'm Calling It.

I'm calling it: IVF cycle numero uno's official time of death: 3/11/12 at approximately 10am.

Good ol' Aunt Flo showed up. And there's no mistaking that it's the hag and NOT implantation bleeding. This is something new that she's doing, showing up before I am told to stop taking the progesterone suppositories, showing up before the official "call of doom" from my clinic. Not sure how I feel about this. Hoping that it doesn't mean that my progesterone levels have sucked this whole time....

I'm doing ok. Surprisingly, I haven't shed a single tear. I really was prepared for this outcome. Now it's time to start looking ahead, time to start planning the second cycle. We really have to figure out **when** we want to cycle again. Although, that also depends on whether we will do IVF again, or IUI. If we are doing IVF again, I'm just not sure. This month is out. We need a break-and we have vacation to look forward to!

That leaves us with an April/May cycle-which is our only option because we are going back to Australia for a month at the end of June.  Basically, we are trying to decide if we want to fit one more cycle in before that trip, or start anew in August. I waver every single day. April/May would be crazy, because it's annual review/reevaluation time, so I really can't afford to miss work. In August, I would be more rested, not back at work and so days off wouldn't be an issue. The downside-having to wait until August. So I don't know. Not a decision we have to make straight away. I guess we'll see how we feel in a month.

In other news--my poor little monkey has been running a fever since Friday night :( It started off fairly low-grade (around 100) but has been higher yesterday and today (between 101-101.6). Alex is acting relatively happy....until she gets tired-understandably. I tried to schedule her a pediatrician appointment yesterday, and they were unexpectedly closed for computer upgrades-grrrrrr. Of course, they have no Sunday hours so my only choice is taking a sick day tomorrow to take her in. Plus, she can't go to daycare until she is fever-free for 24 hours. This is the problem with not having grandparents around. My parents spend the winter in Florida and, well, Dan's parents are a zillion and a half miles/continents away....

And Dan is on business in NYC, so it's just me and Alex. Not that Dan would be able to do anything to help Alex any more than I could, but it would still be a comfort to have him around for this. I hope she feels better soon; I just feel so badly for her--especially because she doesn't really want to eat or drink anything. And it's a beautiful day and I can't even let her outside. *Sigh*....Poor kid :(

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Secondary Infertility

Does it suck more, less or just as much as primary infertility? Well, of course there really is no answer, no one answer. But I've suffered from both now, so I can gladly give my point of view ;)

And my point of view is that...I don't know. It's certainly not worse than suffering from primary. Only a very few horrible things could equal that hell. But I wouldn't say this time around is significantly better, either.

Perhaps some of the edge has been taken off, some of the mind-numbing, all "consuming-ness" of primary infertility is gone. When we faced infertility the first time, I could NEVER wrap my mind around, or be ok with the thought of never having a child. The thought of that made me literally sick to my stomach. It was something that I knew I could never find acceptance with. And that made it so scary and made me feel so desperate and out of control.

This time around, it's scary. It's a roller coaster. It's up and down. It's bitterness and anger at times. The hurt still feels the same though. The pain of a failed cycle is still the same. What is different is the fact that I don't have to wrestle with the fear of not becoming a mother. And that fear was so intoxicating last time, so sickening to me that, at times, I felt like I couldn't breath. So that is one difference. But the hurt, in the moment, is still the same. It's still intense. It can still take over my day. That ache is still something I carry in the same way as before. Does that make sense?

I've been reading some interesting articles on secondary infertility and the differences in experience between primary and secondary. Lucky me-I got to experience both scenarios.

Unique characteristics of secondary infertility (actually, I don't really even fit this definition, since it is usually reserved for women who did not need fertility medications the first time around. I guess I am without definition. Not the first time I've heard this):
-There's not as much support from doctors, family and friends for this type of infertility, as you already have one or more children. The thought is that it is not as difficult to go through and one should be grateful for the children they have. I haven't found this to be true in my experience. People are still generally very sympathetic and want to be helpful.
-Secondary can be tough because not only do you have to worry about your own emotional state, but your child's as well. Yes and no for me. I am SO GLAD to have a child to worry about...but I don't want her to see me crying, if I am feeling I have to suck it up. Might not be a bad thing though. I am forced to get out of my ruts faster.

-A different type of guilt...the guilt at not being able to give your child a sibling. This can get worse when the child begins asking about siblings. YES YES YES!!!! I've been feeling so guilty lately because I want Alex to have a brother or sister so badly. I worry about her growing up alone. I worry that she will be lonely and I really dread the day when she might ask for a sibling. I pray that we don't ever get to that point.

-Women with secondary sometimes don't feel like they fit into any group. They are parents, so they can't completely relate to childless women, but find themselves having difficulty relating to their fertile multi-child friends. Yes and no again for me. I've been through primary. I know how it feels and I still feel that I can relate to women going through it. But they may regard me differently, I don't know. As for my mom friends, I do feel different. I know that this is my doing, but I can't help it. They always say, "Wait until you have more than one and then you'll see...". They ask me when we'll be having another, as if having one child is not an option for anyone. They get pregnant so darned easily and announce on Facebook at 5 weeks. They are naive because they can be. They don't know the reality that I do. Most likely, they haven't had to fight for every child they have. I know that fight. I know that grief. And it does make me feel a little different from them. I don't know if that will go away, even if we have another baby. I think, to a certain extent, infertility has become a part of who I am. It's part of my history. And while I won't always be so angst ridden about it, it will still be there in some form.

-Guilt over wanting another child. Oh heck yeah! This is me all the way. I used to pray for "just one". Now we have Alex and I thank God for her everyday. But a small part of me says, "you should be happy you got your one...that's better than a lot of women". I'm working on this still.

-You grieve and romanticize the sibling relationship. Yup! I think of Alex playing with her sibling. I think of them doing different things on vacation or in the summer. I think of Christmases, of having coordinated outfits (I know, kind of lame). I think of her holding her baby brother or sister for the first time. And it hurts. It all hurts-and more than I thought it would. I feel like I am already grieving these elusive experiences.

So secondary infertility isn't worse than primary. In my opinion, for me exclusively, it is slightly easier. The pain is STILL the same in a lot of ways. The feelings do not change. The tears are no less because I have one child. However, this time around, I can escape a little bit easier. I can take my daughter to the park. I can bake cookies with her. We can snuggle on the couch. I can escape that world in a way I couldn't before.

And the biggest difference is that I can engage in the *act* of considering a life with one child. I may reject the thought immediately upon considering it (which I do), but it does pop up. Don't get me wrong-we will fight with all we have before we concede to that. We will spend time and a ridiculous amount of money on our quest for a second child. We will probably do it for years to come (please, God, don't let it come to that....I'm not asking for a test, here!). We will consider all available options. But, this time,  I don't feel like I am going to lose my mind or throw up at the thought. Not having a child was inconceivable. The thought was horrendous to me. I don't have that same burden anymore. And maybe that's the difference for me.

So. The pain is the same, the feelings are the same. The ache in my heart is the same. But the fear is different. Not nearly as intoxicating. But, we'll fight the fight. There is some comfort in knowing that we have fought with everything we had, with everything we are, that we exhausted all resources. And if it's not meant to be, it's important to know we did everything we could. And then we can pray for acceptance.

I pray. Which would surprise a lot of people in my life, as I don't regularly attend church and am generally sarcastic and self-deprecating. I swear more than I should, too. But I've prayed since I was a teenager. Normally, it's for my husband and daughter's health and safety. Lately, it's also to have another healthy child. But also, if that's not in the cards for us, for the desire for a second child to disappear. Now I'm just waiting for something to happen ;)

11 & 12 DPO

BFN's. No hint of a line. No shadow. Not even a darn evap. So I'm about 96% sure that this cycle is over.  I'm actually doing alright. I think I did the vast majority of my grieving for this cycle when I got the BFN at 10 dpo, as I had such high hopes for that day.

I guess I just have to be happy that I had a two week wait. There were *several* times when I didn't think I would even get that. I wasn't responding, then I was over-stimming, then my estrogen was getting too high, then only four of my 13 mature eggs fertilized, then one stopped growing early on. Yep-the fact that we got to transfer anything-especially two good quality embryos-is a success to some degree. Of course, I had hoped for much more...

We will definitely be taking this next cycle off. We are going to Florida the first week in April, so even if we wanted to stim, timing-wise it wouldn't work out. I don't want to have to deal with being monitored out of town. I want to concentrate on being on vacation. On enjoying Dan, enjoying Alex. Enjoying our family. I don't want to spend that time thinking about fertility, or infertility.  And I'm happy to take the month off, get my body back to normal, resume my normal fitness schedule (down 20 pounds now!), get my hormones back to normal, my emotional state back to normal. It should be a nice break.

We DO plan to consult with the actual doctor before our next round. We have questions about this past cycle and really need some recommendations for the next. We will be asking about a different protocol, about whether we should even bother with IUI, given my not-so-great egg response, whether we should bother trying to transfer our little frozen embie at this point in time, etc. etc. We have a ton of questions. We've also been, since virtually the beginning, a little concerned with how this past cycle was handled. At times, I felt that they were not keeping as close of an eye on my levels as they should have. Also, we have seen so many nurses and NP's...and some have more expertise or experience than others. Some have completely different opinions and theories on how cycles should go. This concerns me as well. So, we have a lot to go over.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

10 dpo

Or, to be more specific: 7dp3dt. Same thing either way. Woke up to a nice BFN this morning. That one hurt. I know that it's still *very* early and all, but I got my first positive test with Alex at 10 dpo. And it was a fairly dark line at that-no squinting, no holding the stick up to the light. I know that no two pregnancies are the same...but rational versus emotional thoughts are waring and the emotional side is winning. It just seems like a lot of people get their positives at 10dpo. Needless to say, I'm feeling discouraged. I feel like "it's" over, logical or not.

I just don't get it. How could neither embryo take? They were decent could both arrest or not implant or whatever? So, ok, I'm probably getting ahead of myself...but I'm really just not feeling "it" for this cycle. I don't think that this is our time.

And to make my day even more fun, I was greeted with another pregnancy announcement on FB. A girl I went to high school with just posted a picture of a positive test. She just got married *literally* three weeks ago. I can't even think petty nasty thoughts to make myself feel better, such as "oh, they got married because she was pregnant"...because she wasn't yet! Bah!

I think I fell victim to the thinking that IVF would fix everything....that it would be a sure thing. Maybe a pain in the butt, but a sure thing. The magic bullet to baby-dom. Now that I most likely don't have the luxary of that thought, I feel a little bit lost. A little bit hopeless-especially since my eggs kind of sucked this time around.

We shall see what happens.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012


9 dpo...and I know something for certain.

The trigger shot has left the building. Wahoo! Which is probably why I don't feel like death anymore. I don't remember Ovidrel affecting me nearly as much as the actual HCG trigger. Perhaps I had a small bug on top of everything (kids = mini typhoid Mary's), but all I know is that last week was rough!

So I was greeted with a BFN today. I totally expected that. It's so early! But I simply could not resist the call to pee on something. At least I know the trigger is gone now and that *if* another line were to appear, I don't have to wonder if it is real or not. So that's a good thing.

Off to work in a few minutes. It is going to be SIXTY today! How excited am I, you ask? Nearly delirious with happiness. And not only will it be warm-but sunny!!! I'm thinking that Alexandra and I might get some outdoor playtime in this afternoon. I know that daycare will bring them outside to the playground today-probably a few times...she's going to lose her mind! That kid adores the slides and climbing...and mud puddles!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Smug, Former-Infertiles

It does happen occasionally. Not too often, but I have seen it once or twice. The smug infertile. Er-the smug "former" infertile.

So let me tell you about "Beth". Beth is a girl that I work with. I'm not really friends with her. Not that I hate her, we just don't "jive". You know how you have "soul mate" friends? They just get you, you get them? It's an easy relationship. I would never have that with Beth.

Well, I overheard that Beth was having issues getting (and staying) pregnant. Well, I didn't really "overhear" this; rather, it was the gossip in the faculty room one day when I walked in. Having been there myself, I approached Beth in a pretty delicate way. I wanted her to know that she wasn't alone. That lots of women have these issues. That it is ok. Nothing to be ashamed of. And that there is lots that can be done these days to help women conceive. Hadn't treatments worked for me? Alex was my testament.

Beth started crying. I think it was simply a relief to talk about it to someone who understood...and who wouldn't give her pat advice or say something completely asinine like "my aunt's uncle's brother's son's wife couldn't have a baby so they adopted and YOU KNOW WHAT???!!! They got pregnant ONE MONTH  later!" Basically. She knew she was safe to talk and rage and just to simply be sad.

So Beth and I spoke a few times. I was happy to do so. She was happy to hear my story. And then she got pregnant. After about 14 months of trying, she was pregnant....super nervous at first. I told her that it was normal and that the anxiety would get less and less. Happily, Beth got her healthy baby girl in November!

So where does the smug part come in?

When Beth was very pregnant, I walked into the faculty room to her telling another staff member how "easy" it had been to get pregnant, and how surprised she was. Huh??? Ok. People are private. I get it. But I was surprised she outwardly (basically) lied. Why just not say anything? But people are weird about things-so I didn't think too much about it. Just thought it interesting. Beth is very concerned with appearances, so I kind of just attributed it to that.

BUT...and this is the kicker....I saw her yesterday at the mall. She was walking with her mother, sister and the baby in the stroller. Adorable little girl! Anyway, she asked me, in front of her mother and sister ( I also work with her mother) when I was going to have another baby. Really!? Because I seem to remember talking about how WE BOTH hated that question.

I, of course, have had my head in the clouds thinking about pregnancy lately, and stalled long enough for her eyes to widen. She then said "Oh my God...ARE you pregnant"??? So then I had to go through the whole song and dance of convincing her that I am certainly not pregnant. And, being superstitious, also now feel that the conversation jinxed this cycle.

So then...the parting blow: "Well, you should really try again soon....never know how long it will take". *smile* *wave* *walk away with the baby*.

Apparently, my initial impression of Beth's friendship potential was spot-on.

Limbo. Sucks.

I've had some cramping today. Very mild, dull. Not sharp or piercing. Very easy to ignore...if it weren't for the fact that I notice any tiny twinge in my abdomen times 10000+.

Cramps. Well-not even cramps really. A dull ache. A minor, slight, dull ache. Oh cramps...How I have such a love/hate relationship with you-ESPECIALLY in the 2ww.

Could it be implantation? Could it be my period coming early (I am known for having a nasty luteal phase defect-thanks, PCOS, thanks a lot)? Could it be an indicator of nothing at all? Gah! Depending on the moment, I am convinced of all three scenarios. Until I'm not...about 3 seconds later.

It's interesting how one little "symptom" could be foreshadowing something amazingly spectacular...or have the potential to be this cycle's "beginning of the end".

To get myself out of my worried, second guessing, apprehensive mode...I've been listing the good things that would come from me not getting pregnant this cycle.

The list mostly involves consuming large quantities of tropical drinks when we are on vacation. Whatever, I'm not beneath that. And my sister-in-law is specifically looking at resorts with swim up bars. Which is like my vacation dream come true. And baths. I love hot, HOT, nearly scalding baths. And brie. I love me some brie. And Zumba...I can get back to Zumba and Hit Fit classes. And maybe lose some more weight (I'm down 18lbs!).  And I don't need to worry about being pregnant this summer in Australia-so far from home. And cold cuts! Yes-please pass me that "Danny's Favorite" sub.

So all is not lost if this cycle doesn't work. Right?! Right?!

But damn...I don't want to go through IVF again. I will. Of course I will. I just *don't want* to. But who does, I guess?

So I'm trying to convince myself that I am ok with a negative test. And I know I will be, after a day or two. Pick yourself up and move on, right? But man-I'm both dreading and dying to take a test. How is it that three weeks of appointments and blood draws and procedures and is it that the culmination of all that work and effort and mental exhaustion...the culmination of all of that is a two second test that you pee on? All that time and angst, and you have your results within 30 seconds. Not quite sure how I feel about that....

Monday, March 5, 2012

Proud Mama Moment

Our third embryo, the one we chose not to transfer with the other two (for fear of multiples), our embryo that looked the weakest, the least "promising" (8 celled, but grade 2...and four is the best)...well s/he made it to five day freeze! Apparently s/he was a beautiful bastocyst on day five, which is perfect timing! My clinic keeps them for up to seven days...if they are not blasts by seven days, they dispose of them because they have basically arrested. Ours made it-and made it within the "normal" time frame. I'm proud of the little guy. S/he is a fighter!

So we have a snow pea on ice. This gives us slightly more options. If this round doesn't work, we could always try a FET. Of course, there is no guarantee that the little one would survive the "big thaw"...but I kind of feel like we should give him/her a chance, whether this cycle is a success or not.

I'm trying not to second guess our choice regarding how many to put back. Trying very hard. We worked with what we knew and we weighed the pros and cons. That's all anyone can do in any situation, and there is a certain piece of mind in that.

Sunday, March 4, 2012


 WARNING: Ramble alert!

So Dan and I were watching a TV show. In it, someone said, "Happiness is not a destination". Well, damn. That resonated with me. I am typically pretty happy (when I'm not injecting an obscene amount of hormones into my blood stream). I feel fortunate to have a wonderful husband, an amazing daughter and a healthy family. I try not to take any of it for granted. I have everything I *need* right now. And that's something....that's huge.

BUT...I am guilty of certain ways of thinking, fertility-wise, such as "Everything will be perfect if we can have another baby" or "Our family will be complete with another baby" or "I will never have to think of infertility again with another baby-which would make life fantastic".  I'm guilty of engaging in "all or nothing" thinking, something I caution the kids I counsel against. Nothing is magically going to make life perfect.

But happiness is not a destination. I need to *try* to remember this. Life is pretty damn good now, even with our troubles. I can find a zillion things to be happy about and thankful for. Happiness is not an end result, it is a way of living, a way of thinking. It is something that I might sometimes need to work on, being happy. It might not always come easily-but I need to stop waiting for something, for an event (a baby), to complete my happiness. Especially when I have been blessed with so much.

Would we love another baby? Well, duh. Will we try over and over again for another? Most likely-with a few mental health breaks thrown in. Will it be sad or crushing if it doesn't happen? Yeah. Yeah, it will. I'm sure I will continue to cry and rage at the unfairness of it all. I'm sure I will be grumpy and sad. But I'm going to try my hardest to remember that we are happy. That our life is so rich and full and packed with people we love and who love us. But I'm going to try to remember that happiness takes work. It doesn't magically happen. It is a state-a way of being. A choice that is made each day, in many cases.

I need to work on not thinking of our little family as "incomplete". Our family is not incomplete. It might be in transition (I hope so), but not incomplete. Our family may never get to have the typical two kids, but that doesn't make it incomplete either. What makes it incomplete is the thought, the sentiment, that it is incomplete. It is what it is. Dan and I have been blessed with each other. We've been *super* blessed with our daughter. How can I think of this as incomplete? But, it's a work in progress, eradicating this thought.

Since my transfer, I have felt pretty at peace with this cycle working or not. I don't know why. It's not that I think that this cycle will work or not work. I have no clue. But I think I'll feel ok it it doesn't. I'm sure that this has to do with it being our first medically assisted cycle (not naive here, lol).  I gave this cycle a fighting chance. We tried our hardest. So maybe it won't work now, but maybe it will work in a few months? Maybe the child we are supposed to have is waiting for us, but not ready quite yet. I don't know. It's all up in the air. And maybe nothing will work. And that will suck. But thank you God for the healthy little family I have now. I am a mother. That is what I wanted. And through the grief, I will work on being happy for what I was given. We'll be ok. Either way. This I know.

P.S. Let me reiterate that this does not mean I won't succumb to bitchiness and hormonal breakdowns during treatments! This is a goal, all of it...a goal for the way of "being". Not achieved yet, but in progress...

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Embryo Transfer, CHECK!

Well today was the day, our three day embryo transfer! Wow-how exciting and nerve wracking!

It all went very well. Dan and I were brought into the new part of the clinic which was off-the-hook gorgeous! Makes me realize exactly how much money these people are bringing in; unfortunately, there are a lot of us infertiles out there. Prior to going in, we were waiting in the waiting room and a lesbian couple had come out of an appointment. They went to get some coffee (as they have coffee and tea in the waiting room) and one of the girls remarked that it was a great "10,000 dollar cup of coffee". My heart went out to them, because it is so true. It's amazing how much people pay out in order to have the chance of conceiving. All that money for a chance, no guarantees ever. They seemed very nice and very in love. I hope it works out for them. Thank God I have good insurance and that's one less thing to worry about!

Anyway, I usual. So we went back to the new portion of the clinic which was spectacular! We were able to see the blood lab and the lab where the embryos are kept and worked on. It was amazing! I would have loved to take was just so gorgeous and high tech and like nothing I have ever seen.

So then they led Dan and I back to a beautiful "embryo transfer" room which has a door right into the embryologist's lab. Again, beautiful and relaxing room. The doctor who had done our egg retrieval came in and talked to us about our little ones. He mentioned that the quality was good, but they decided on a three day transfer because I had less than four. Basically, we have three 8 cell eggs, which is exactly where they should be at this stage. One was rated as a 2 (4 is the best, one is the worst), but the other two were rated at 3's (and one was almost a 4). The doctor recommended the transfer of all 3, as did the embryologist. However, upon having a long heart-to-heart, Dan and I decided that we were only comfortable with transferring two.

This was a SUPER difficult decision, as we don't normally go against doctor recommendations. But, we really are apprehensive about having a twin pregnancy (even with transferring three, triplets would be very rare). We went back and forth for what seemed like an hour: two? three? God-what a tough decision. In the end, we chose to do two. It lowers our rate of fertilization to about 30% from 35% if we did three, but it also significantly lowered the chance of a twin pregnancy. Of course, now I'm scared that this cycle WON'T work because we chose against three. But really, it's out of our hands. It's done. We did what we felt was right at the time and hindsight is 20/20. I just have to be ok with the fact that this *might not* be our cycle, but that doesn't mean the next one won't.

We transferred the best two: the grade 3, 8 cell embryos. It gives me some peace that the best ones out of the three are in me. And hey, if our other little embie keeps growing and makes it to blast stage, perhaps we will have a little one to freeze so we can retrieve it later. And if that third one doesn't make it to blast, it probably wouldn't have made it "in" me anyway.

I hope we made the right choice. Not that there is a "right" choice in this case. When it comes down to something so important,  I rarely think that there ever is a "right" choice. Life just doesn't work that way...I'll add a pic of our two little ones later....