Saturday, September 29, 2012

So.....What Happens Now?

First of all, thanks for the kind words/comments/support from all of you out there in the Interweb.  I did read every one and it really did make me feel a bit better.  We really weren't surprised by the results, and, to be honest, weren't that gutted by the BFN.  Perhaps that's because we were still a bit numb from the DE failure (which was a blow), or maybe because, with only one embryo making it there really wasn't a fantastic chance to begin with, but we were actually able to deal with it quite well, all things considered.

Oh, and to the troll who posted that insanity?  You can go suck it. 

So, as to why I haven't posted. seems that I am now finally "gainfully employed".  It was official in August (in the midst of the cycle) so I didn't say anything, just in case something got screwed up.  But, thankfully everything went smoothly (for a change) and I am not teaching full-time, with a full-time salary AND BENEFITS!  Boo-fucking-ya, bitchez!  Needless to say, I've been running around like an asshole to get paperwork handed in, go to my new school and check out the scene and get ready for the new school year.   It's an inner-city elementary school (one of the largest in NJ) and yeah, it's not the greatest compared to where I've been in the past, but I really do like it so far.  The kids (I'm teaching 1st-5th grades, Special Ed and Bilingual classes) as a whole are great, the staff and administration is pretty supportive and I feel like I finally have a purpose, other than getting up in time to watch mindless daytime TV.  The district eliminated all it's K-8 performing arts teachers when our "illustrious" governor slashed the education budget a few years ago, so this school hasn't had music for almost three years.  It's really great to see how happy these kids are when I come in to teach.  It's been exhausting and stressful but definitely enjoyable.  So, we're getting back into the swing of things, finally.


We finally had our follow-up with BIC about the latest failure the other day.  Dr. Pipsqueak showed us the PGD report-out of the five embryos tested, two had trisomy 22, one had trisomy 13, one was classified "multiple abnormalities" (I don't even want to think about what that would be) and, of course, the normal one that didn't implant.  She said that they went through every piece of testing that I've done and they can't see anything that would point to some hidden factor that's inhibiting a successful pregnancy, except for bad luck.  She felt that the donor, although she initially seemed a good match, really wasn't the right one for us since, out of the three cycles she donated (ours included) she only had one success.  Dr. Pipsqueak suggested that we try another round of DE, if we were up to it, and she let us know that they had a donor already in mind for us-apparently she's like the cash cow of egg donors.  She donated once before, and we were told that the recipient now has so many leftover embryos that "she can't use them all in one lifetime" (her exact words).  Because of this, they're suggesting a shared cycle with two other couples-one fresh and two frozen.  We were informed that, even though we had a failed cycle, we were still at the top of the list, and therefore would be the primary recipients (meaning we'd get the fresh cycle).  Hey, I've got insurance now, WITH donor egg coverage!  Sign us up!

Well, since I was conveniently on CD 3, they drew blood and she did my ultrasound.  I have a saline sonogram scheduled in about three weeks-she wants to check the tubes as she saw what she thinks is a paratubal cyst on one ovary, but she wants to make sure that it's not the tube itself (in which case I'd have to have the tubes closed off....hey, they don't work, so what's the big deal, right?).  Then I got some prescriptions (OCP, and two antibiotics I have to take before the SHG), then we met with the financial coordinators about insurance.

And that is when, folks, we found out that we have maxed out on insurance.  4 attempts, lifetime.  And in "lifetime" they mean my lifetime, not the lifetime of the policy.  And that means, it's time to self-pay.  Game over.


So, now we're faced with a choice.  Obviously we don't have the $26K to pay out for a cycle (damn Powerball), so the nice lady gave us the option to possibly seek financing from a company that only underwrites loans specifically for fertility treatments.  I did a little research and it's not disgustingly expensive, assuming we'd get approved-I guess that's the benefit of not having too much in the way of bills.  But.....ugh.  A loan.  Paying out of pocket.  We're finally getting back on our feet financially and now this?  I refuse, absolutely refuse to ask my family for money-it's not fair.  Do I want to pay for a loan for something that could potentially not work?  Not really.

Then I realized something-they're suggesting a shared cycle.  With two other couples.  That means all the donor fees (medical, compensation and prescriptions) should, in theory, be split three ways, right?  So I shoot an email to the Nice Financial Lady at the clinic asking the very same question.  I got a response yesterday that said that they are looking into what the costs are (my clinic very rarely, if at all, does shared cycles) and that they would send me a new cost breakdown once they figure it all out.  So, potentially, our costs could be cut in half, which is not so bad.

Are we doing it?  Once I get the numbers, we'll apply for the loan and see what happens.   If we're approved, then we'll discuss it.  If not.......well, then I guess we're done, for now.  Or maybe for good.  I just wish that I'd get a clear feeling/answer/whatever about it.  It always seems like every time we get ready to do this, something happens that's bad, then something pretty decent happens to even it out.  Of course, nothing REALLY GREAT happens in terms of a successful pregnancy, so I just don't know what to do or think anymore.  I feel like maybe God is testing me to see if I'll give in to the insanity one more time and have it fail, or maybe He's trying to open that door for good this time. 

Either way, decisions will have to be made, eventually.  When it's ready to happen.

Saturday, August 25, 2012


BFN.  Again.

Dr. P made the phone call-she seems just as frustrated as we are right now.  The team will meet within the next two weeks to discuss the cycle and hopefully see if there are any answers they can give us.

At least she and I are on the same page-that there is something, some freak-ass thing that a doctor might see once in a lifetime, going on.  We've had two healthy cycles using my own eggs via PGD and a donor cycle that failed-there's got to be something that everyone's missing.  Hopefully they'll find out.

That is all.  I'm going to order a Mega-Sushi platter and get drunk as fuck until AF shows up.  I guess I'll post more as I hear it.

Fuck.  Fuck. Fuck.

Friday, August 24, 2012

9dp4dt-Redux, Redux

I've been peeing on sticks since Wednesday.  All BFN.  I thought that I saw a glimmer of a line, reaaaally faint on one type of them (why yes, I bought several brands-the FRER, the generic one with the one line/circle window, the plus/minus-the round window ones were showing the faint line) but I think that it's an evap line.

I caved and did a digital this morning-which says "not pregnant".

So....we'll go in for the bloodwork tomorrow for shits and giggles, but I really think I'm out.  Again. And again.

I just don't know what to think anymore, except that perhaps being a family of two is the best we'll get at this point.  It's obvious my eggs are shit, so they won't be trying that again.  DEIVF didn't exactly work for us either, although I do think that perhaps it was the donor we chose (she only had one successful cycle out of the three she did).  Our clinic now partners with a donor egg bank which reduces the cost, but we've learned nothing is guaranteed-what's there to say that it would work?

We've had every test under the sun, everything else is considered normal.  For some reason those fucking embryos don't make it once they're transferred, which makes me feel even more pleased with my body-can't make good eggs, and certainly can't get them to implant.  I just feel like having everything removed just so I don't have to be reminded monthly of the fact that my body can't do what it's designed to do.

Let's not mention the fact that I'm less than two months away from the Big Milestone Birthday.  Honestly, how much longer can I keep doing this?  Do I really want to be the oldest mother in the class?  Isn't that a bit selfish?

Like I said, I really don't know what to think, or even WANT to think at this point.

I'm just too damn tired.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

6dp4dt-Haven't I Seen This Movie Before?

Thanks everyone for the good ju-ju!  And, I do apologize for not posting my usual post-transfer countdown, but, well.....there's not a whole lot to report, really.  Here's the short-form version:

1dp (Thurs)-was a lazy ass all day on the couch.  A little brown spotting, no cramps.
2dp (Fri)-continued the lazy-ass theme.  I did go out and went to the mall and bought the CUTEST dress.  Sean had a haircut after work and we went out for dinner.  Still a little brown spotting, but nothing major, just on the TP.
3dp (Sat)-went for a bloodletting, then breakfast, then Costco.  Made brownies.  Went to a BBQ at the MIL's and ate WAAAAY too much food.  Slept in the chair due to food coma.  A little "full-feeling" and bloated, but nothing major in the way of side effects.  Nurse called and bloodwork looks great-progesterone is over 40.
4dp (Sun)-Church, where our friend Priesty Boy is posted.  He gave us the surreptitious sign of the cross "down low" as he put it, for the good ju-ju.  Went to a farmer's market afterwards, came home and took a power nap, had dinner.  Very tired-couldn't make it to 10 for my RHONJ addiction (I KNOW....don't judge me!).  Still spotting, nothing major, still brown and only on the TP.  A couple of ovary twinges, but that could be because they're settling down after retrieval. 
5dp (Mon)-Tired, bloated belly, occasional twinges, and sore, heavy feeling boobs-thanks, progesterone!  A little grumpy
6dp (Tues-today)-same symptoms, still brown spotting at times, blah blah blah.

As you can see, nothing to write home about. 

Now, it's coming up to that time when we of the infertile world like to call "Pee Test Mania", which is an compulsion anyone who's been TTC for a good amount of time.  We all rush out to our nearest pharmacy and pretty much buy out the Evil Pee Stick stock of whatever brand you like the best (or, you can be eclectic and buy a few of each) and then basically urinate on anything that has a litmus strip attached to it-there is a minority out there who do the pee-in-a-cup and dip routine-and then have a panic attack waiting to see if (1) the HCG trigger is tested out of your system or (2) the HPT is testing the "real" HCG your embryo is (hopefully) producing.  If it's negative you either freak out/make bargains with God/dance naked at midnight holding a lighted candle, or it's positive and you freak thinking that the line isn't dark enough and you're going to end up with a chemical.

So, where am I in the process?  Well, I DID buy the tests (2 boxes-one for each day, starting today) but I have yet to break them out.  I know that this is going to sound out of character, and no pun intended, but I kinda don't have the urge yet.  I'm not sure that it's because I'm a chickenshit, or that maybe it's because I don't want to start the roller coaster of emotions that I know will begin once I pee on that first stick, but I'm kind of "eh" about it right now.  I've found that I'm not as overly anxious about this 2WW as I usually would be-it's not that I don't care about the outcome, but my attitude is so mellow right now that it's sort of creepy for me.  I'm feeling like whatever is going to happen will, and no amount of urinating on plastic contraptions is going to change it, or make the results happen any sooner.  I'm not sure if it's me separating myself from it so as to not get super-emotional about it, or if that's my true attitude on it all, but there it is.  I'm sure I'll test eventually but I'm really not feeling the need to do it.  Realistically, with one embryo at 10dpo the odds of anything being picked up isn't great, even with the sensitivity of the tests, so why unnecessarily stress myself out? 

Now, the real question I think that it worked?  Who knows-progesterone is such a bitch in that it mimics all those pregnancy "symptoms" that would theoretically happen if you weren't on the meds.  I really have no clue-there's no one thing that I can say I'm feeling that would point me in either direction.  No weird dreams, no "signs" that I can see.  I'm remaining hopeful, which is good, but I'm not really going to make myself crazy right now obsessing about it.

Perhaps that, in itself, is a "good sign".  I'll update you on the HPT start date...oh, who am I kidding, it'll probably be tomorrow, but we'll see.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Settled In

Well, there was a transfer this afternoon-yay!

The downside (if there is one, I suppose), out of the 5 embryos tested, only one was normal.

Dr. Pipsqueak did the transfer today, which was a first for us throughout this journey-out of all the retrievals and transfers we've had, she's yet to do one.  Even though there was only one, she seemed to be very excited about it-she said that it was a really good one and she was pleased at how it looked, and, more importantly, it was genetically healthy.

So.....we transferred a lovely morula.  It looked like it was starting to compact a little, so it's hopefully well on its way to being a blast.  Dr. P and the embryology staff told me in the OR that they all said a prayer to make sure that it was a good outcome, and I replied that Sean and I were going to ritually slaughter a goat in a pit we dug in our backyard and then dance naked around our fire pit.  Not sure if they thought that I was serious or not, but hey, whatever works, right?   Of course afterwards I got a little weepy and she gave me a big hug.  I told her that no matter what the outcome of this is, I couldn't thank her enough for everything she's done for us.  Even she got a little weepy at that, and it was at that point that I decided to christen the morula "Bobo".  Because, well, why the hell not?

10 days to go until we know.  Any prayers/positive vibes/juju/santeria chicken slaughtering that you're doing out there, please keep it up-it's definitely being felt by me right now, and I'm so grateful for all of your support.  Y'all rock!

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Doing the Math **UPDATED** the fert report this morning:

12 eggs retrieved, 9 mature and fertilized and, as of this afternoon, 5 made it through the first round.

All in all, not too shabby for someone who's on the last 9 weeks of their thirties.  Do I wish there were more?  Sure, but perhaps in all of this that's a bit of a greedy thought-I keep thinking of that woman in the bed next to me who only had one retrieved-what's there to say that it was mature or able to be fertilized?  Believe me.....I'm counting my blessings.'s the game plan (as it's been explained to me):

They'll call me tomorrow in the afternoon to let me know how they're doing, and when the biopsies will be done.  Depending on their status, the biopsy could be done on day 3 (Tuesday) with a transfer on day 4 (Wednesday).  If they feel that they can make it to day 5 (Thursday), they will biopsy them then and freeze the normals for a FET next month-apparently they do this because, even though the company that does the testing is in the same town as BIC, they aren't guaranteed to get the results back in time for a day 6 transfer.  Hey, whatevs-I'm just going to go with the process.  Whether they do it this cycle or the next, it doesn't matter-what DOES matter is that they're normal, healthy embryos.

Hopefully we'll get two or even three out of this. Even though I am actually chill about this at this point in time, any good thoughts/prayers/white voodoo/offerings to the Flying Spaghetti Monster would be appreciated.

More (hopefully) later.


Got the call today-they're going to do the biopsy tomorrow, with transfer set for Wednesday at 1:15pm.  Worse case scenario (which I think you can figure out), they'll call us Wednesday morning.

Here we go!

Saturday, August 11, 2012

A Carton Full

Yup, retrieval is done and over with. Not a bad haul, despite there being a ton of smaller follicles that weren't developed yet.

12 eggs in all. Which I'm grateful for-they brought someone into post-op after me who only got 1. I really felt badly for her-it's every IF girl's worst nightmare.

So.....I'll update more tomorrow. As for me....back to bed and a Tylenol dosing, and I'll be just dandy in the morning.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Thursday, August 09, 2012

Holy Crap.....

I'm taking the HCG trigger tonight, at 11:00.  Retrieval is set for 9 am Saturday. No food or drink after midnight Friday.'s like I'm a fucking Gremlin.  Oh, wait....I guess I am-considering that instead of dousing me with water in order to multiply, I'm going to have 10,000 IU of Novarel injected into my ass, and then have them sucked out of my body with a big-ass needle.  I'll bet Chris Columbus didn't think of THAT scenario when he wrote the movie-and he's lucky as hell that if he did, PG-13 ratings wouldn't exist for like six more years.

In other words, thank GOD for conscious sedation-that's all I've got to say about THAT!

I was really expecting to stim one more day, because at today's wanding most of my follicles (about 20 that were measurable) were at 13-14 mm, with the largest being between 15-17mm.  Nurse Blondie said that she was a little surprised, but that all four doctors in the practice looked at the numbers and thought that it was good enough to trigger.

So not ready for this, but it's too late-this is for realz now!

Wednesday, August 08, 2012


So far, so good-we've got a bunch of good follicles (as to the number, to be honest I didn't keep count since there's still a bunch of little ones) bubbling away-the better growing ones seem to be on the right side as opposed to the left, but I've been assured that they should be able to catch up.  I'm definitely starting to "feel" them now, as well as some achiness, so hopefully they're cooking away in there.  I've told them to get a move-on, at least on the one side-this mama needs a good egg count!

What, you don't talk to your ovaries when you stim?  Shame, do you expect them to work?  Yeah, that's a lot like asking your cat to go fetch the remote from the kitchen counter because you're too lazy to get up and get it.  Oh, you don't do that either?  I guess that's just me....

(And please don't ask why I left the remote on the least I didn't leave it in the fridge like I did the other day.)

As of yesterday, my E2 was at 785-not too snazzy for being on stims for five days and being an OHSS risk.  I went back today for a turn at the wand and bloodwork, and I suppose from here on out I'll start every day monitoring until trigger. 

The follicular fun has begun!  I'm going for the Gold!

Saturday, August 04, 2012

Fifty Shades Of Mood Swings


So far, so-so.  The Menopur is....uh, interesting.  Mixing up the vial makes me feel all cool and scientific, as if I'm channeling my inner doctor, but the medicine stings WORSE than FolliSTING.  Serrriously.  Plus pushing in 1CC of it is a little daunting and freaks me out, but there's nothing I can do but grin (sting) and bear it.  It makes the FolliSTING injection a breeze compared to the Menopur.  Luckily I'm on a small dose of each (75IU-or one vial-of Menopur and 50IU of the Follistim) so it's not horrific.  Of course the first day I hit a vessel with the Menopur, which was not welcome, but otherwise, it's been okay.

Mood swings are back in force.  Holy SHIT....I was spoiled with the donor cycle because I completely blocked from my brain the mood swings and the edginess I feel on stims.  Yesterday Sean was lucky that I didn't kill him, and being touched in any way, shape or form sets my teeth on edge-and I mean a simple hug makes me feel claustrophobic right now.  I feel like I'm crawling out of my skin, and it ain't gonna get any better.  I'm going to assume that either it's the Menopur (which I've never taken) or I've had some sort of amnesia because I don't remember it being this bad before.

I also had to freeze my gym membership and training sessions, for this month, on advice from Nurse Blondie-with my history of OHSS, and the fact that without BIC paying for 90% of the cycle (I'll explain that in a minute), I'm not about to take any chances. The only sucky thing is that it's a stress release for me, so it would actually help in terms of the edgy feelings, but there's no point in paying for this month if I can't do a whole hell of a lot.  It doesn't help that it's hotter than a witch's tit in an iron bra outside, so the few things I CAN do (walking) aren't exactly enticing right now.  I do have some 10lb barbells so I might try to get something in.  Hopefully the heat will break and then I can go for a walk in the park, or else I'm afraid that I'm going to end up staring at Sean in the middle of the night like that possessed chick from Paranormal Activity.  How's THAT for a visual, folks?

Follicle check #1 tomorrow morning.  Here's to hoping that there's a good batch brewing!

Monday, July 30, 2012

172,800 Seconds

That's the wait time until I start stims for this cycle.  For the Mathmatically Challenged, that's two days, y'all.

I still can't believe that I'm crazy enough to do this, and that this is really happening, but here it goes.  I stopped my last BCP on Saturday night, got the Migraine From Hell today, which is my usual main symptom before I journey into Hell get AF.   I go in for a follicle check on Thursday (which is also my mom's birthday) and if I'm clear......away we go!

This cycle feels weird to me, and not just because it's so unexpected.  Part of it is the unfamiliar antagonist protocol (as opposed to the agonist-AKA "Long Lupron") protocol-I've never used Menopur; although it seems pretty straightforward, I'm having a little anxiety in having to daily mix the vials up-luckily I'm only on one vial (or 75IU) a day, along with 50 IU of Follistim daily.  Plus, despite the fact that I'm a regular at the IVF Bar and Grille, the Menopur needles freak me out a little.  At least there are these cool little things called Q-caps that are for the reconstitution of the powder, which is cool and eliminates the whole "OMGWTF I just stuck myself in the finger" scenario that likes to replay in my head. 

I'm also a little freaked out since I'm what you call an "overachiever" in the follicle department-I know that this protocol is typically used for slow responders, and I'm scared that I'll get OHSS again.  Of course, I know that this really isn't going to happen, since they're going to watch me like a paparazzo at the Robert Pattinson/Kristen Stewart residence, but still.....hyperstimming ain't really that much fun.  Especially when you've been busting your ass at the gym and want to enjoy the last bit of the summer without people asking when you're due, when you're not even sure if you're knocked up yet.  Yah.....good times!

At least, as Thalia pointed out in my last post, it's going to go quickly.  The Long Lupron protocol is....well....LONG.  Like you wonder if you're in that movie Groundhog Day long.  This seems so much easier and less time-consuming, since you're knocking about two weeks off the process.  Hopefully with this protocol change I might not only make a good amount of eggs (which I and the RE is certain I will), but that they might more than likely be "good" eggs.  I did a little research on the supplement front, and I've found some data that using CoQ10 and melatonin is showing some preliminary positive signs of bettering egg quality.  Of course you're supposed to start these 3 months before cycling for maximum effect, but I started taking them last week.  The CoQ10 is taken at a pretty high dose (600-800 mg/day) but also has to be taken with a fat for better absorption, which is working out great with that fertility diet that I read.  The melatonin is 3mg/nightly, and both are taken up until retrieval.  Apparently, from what I've read, we lose both as we age, and it affects us from the cellular level, and CoQ10 especially seems supposedly helpful from everything to better heart health to migraine relief, and if it can't hurt, why the hell not try it-I've really got nothing to lose at this point.

But.....we have everything to gain.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Plans and Open Windows say the words "thank you" for all the kind posts in the aftermath of this seems so paltry and insignificant compared to what I've read.  To be honest, I didn't even think that people were still reading this-most of the people.....okay, 99.9% of the people who started this journey with me have crossed over into the Parenthood Realm, so I totally get that it's hard to relate to someone who's still struggling with infertility, because it's in the past.  I'm not saying that to be weird or judgmental in any way, but let's face's pretty much true.  And it doesn't offend me in the least-it's just the way it is.

But, there ARE people reading.  And I feel like the infertility little old lady compared to some of you out there, especially if you're still early on in this madness.  Trust me-not everyone ends up like me or has my story.  The majority of people who go through this end up successful.  I'm just the freak case, so please don't think that if your first or second attempt at ART fails then you're a failure.  Because you're not.

I truly believe that God has a plan for everyone.  It may not be exactly as you've dreamed, it may not happen when you want it to, but it will happen.  If anything on this crazy journey, I've learned not only perseverance, but also patience.


So, what's been going on in the month since our BFN, you're wondering?  Well.....sit down for this one, kids......

Remember what I just said about God having plans for everyone?  Well, I was a hot holy mess the day of and the day after the beta.  Like just awful, which was expected considering the news.  To be honest, Sean and are REALLY GOOD at the BFN Post-Mortem, since we've had them a gazillion times.  My good friend (and fellow IF'er with a beautiful baby girl) called on beta day after I found out and I just lost it on the phone.  She's a Good Catholic Girl and is a big believer in faith, since it got her through the years that they were trying.  She told me that she really feels that God has a plan and that things will work out for us.  Of course, as helpful and caring as she was trying to be, I wasn't really buying it, because I was in negative beta hell.  But, I did (and do) appreciate the support so I knew it was coming from a place of love.

So, Thursday rolls around and I'm sitting at the computer, alternating between looking up job postings and Googling "Why Donor IVF Cycles Fail" when the phone rings.  The number that pops up is main number of the hospital that BIC is affiliated with.  I almost didn't answer it, because I thought it was my friend M trying to check in (she works there now), but something told me to pick up the phone.

When I was Dr. Pipsqueak calling.  WTF....she NEVER calls herself-it's usually the nurse or coordinator calling. So, that in itself was unusual.  She said that she was so sorry that the cycle failed that that everyone in the office and the embryology lab are devastated that we didn't end up with a pregnancy or embryos to freeze.  She told me that she met with the embryologist and went through every one of my cycles in detail, and he (the embryologist) feels that, with the technology improvements in the lab and with the PGD technology, I should attempt a cycle with my own eggs.  He told Dr. Pipsqueak that he felt that I was a good candidate for something called micro-array CGH, which wasn't available yet when we did the cycle with my own eggs 18 months ago.  In fact, the US study results wasn't published until last February, not long after Lone Embryo ended up as another BFN.

Well, of course I had questions, since we were told that my eggs are basically more scrambled than a Denny's Western Omelet special, so it was obvious that we were going to have to go in for a meeting with her and the embryologist.  However, there is that pesky fly in the ointment-namely, that I don't have health coverage right now due to that stupid little detail called unemployment, so a cycle either with my own eggs or Lady Gaga's ain't in the cards for a while, if ever.

Here's the kicker, though.......ready for this?  I swear, you're going to shit yourselves, so make sure you're somewhere you won't be arrested for pulling a Bridesmaids crap-fest.

Dr Pipsqueak informed me that, whether we decide to use my own eggs or another donor's, the cycle, INCLUDING MEDS, will be funded through the clinic.  We would only pay for a donor's compensation fee if we decide that route; if we use my eggs the cycle would be 100% covered through a research trial of the new procedure.

Did you shit yourselves yet???  Check your panties...because I SURE DID after THAT statement.

We went for an appointment on the 10th to meet with Dr. P and the embryologist, who explained the entire procedure in detail, and why he felt that we were good candidates.  I also had to update my Recurrent Loss Panel and a few other tests, since I insisted that if we were going to go through this with my own eggs, I wanted to make sure that there was no other factors going on that would make this not work in our favor, which they agreed with.  They also wanted me to get this book that advocates a low-GI diet which they said that they're finding some success with, and I've done my own research and will try some supplements for egg quality as well (so far, I'm reading about CoQ10 and Melatonin, but if anyone out there has other suggestions as well....bring them on)-I figure that it can't hurt, right?

They're going to try an antagonist protocol this time, which I've never had before.  Even though in past cycles I've been a great responder, I suppose with my age they want to make sure that I get enough eggs for biopsy (even though they're retesting my AMH, which was great last year).  So, that's going to take getting used to, but it actually seems a little easier than the Long Lupron one. So, after talking with them, signing a gazillion consent forms, bloodwork and OCP 'scripts, we got my bag of meds and were on our way.  Literally.

I can't even believe that I'm even SAYING this, but it looks like we're back in the game.  With my own eggs, which is so insane I'm still having a problem wrapping my brain around it.  And, it will be soon, since I got AF yesterday-I go in for CD bloodwork tomorrow morning, and then hopefully will start OCP and get the SHG and we'll get this party started after the lab opens up in a few weeks.

Holy motherfucking shit.

You know how, when shitty things happen that you just can't get, and people say (with the best of intentions, of course), "Don't worry, when God closes a door, He always leaves a window open"?  Well......he sure left a big-ass one open for me.  And it's something that I will always, no matter what happens from here, be grateful for.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Worse Case Scenario

BFN.  No embryos made it to freeze.

I think that it's safe to say that my journey is, unwillingly, over.

11dp3dt-The Day Of Reckoning

Tested again this morning-still BFN. For the first time in all these years of IF treatment, I actually seriously thought about not going in for the beta draw-I mean, why make it worse? But, since I'm a medical follow-the-rules girl, I did it anyway, as well as take my morning Estrace dose.
I can't stop crying. Three mornings in a row now. Fucking stupid hormones. Fucking stupid HPT's.
Still have yet to hear in regards to the state of the 11 embryos that were being watched. Hopefully no news is good news, but I'm sure I'll find that out today too.
Worse case scenario-BFN beta and no embryos left. Since I have no job with insurance benefits that would cover a DE cycle, no money to self-pay and Sean's benefits are exhausted, that means we're done.
"So-So" scenario-BFN beta but we have frozen embryos to do a FET.
Best case can figure that one out.
I'm preparing for the worst and hoping for at least so-so.
I really think that "best case" isn't an option.
Why me?
- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Monday, June 11, 2012

10dp3dt-Snow White and the F'd Up HPT

Okay, we're at the "shit or get off the pot" point of the 2WW.  Am I, or aren't I pregnant?

Boobs started getting sore yesterday, and I was SUPER crampy for about a half hour.  I've basically been lightly crampy and achy and having a full, swollen feeling in the ute area since the transfer, but the cramps yesterday were the strongest so far.  It's almost like I can FEEL my uterus from the inside, but how the hell can that be?  And the cramps are low down toward the pubic bone and are shooting into the leg.  Huh?

Um......let's see what else?  Oh, YEAH.....this is a completely weird and slightly gross thing that's never happened before in ANY cycle I've done, do I put it....

My pee smells funny.  Like after you eat asparagus.  But I haven't eaten asparagus in WEEKS.  WTF?

So I'm still testing, and it still looks BFN.  But, then again, I used up the FRER's right away and am using these generic EPT ones, which I think might be a bad idea since they aren't usually as sensitive as the FRER.  So, OF COURSE I'm going to waste more $$ today and cave for the FRER, because I'm a glutton for punishment and need to torture myself before tomorrow's beta.

And also, because I still have a glimmer of hope that it's a late implanter and I'm actually the "P" word.  You'd think, after a gazillion transfers (I think that I'm on to lucky number 10 by now), that I'd be hardened to this, but no.....the anxiety and hope and fear are all still very much there, jockeying for position as Emotion Number One on my list.

I'm rooting for number two on that list.  'Cause that's the only one that really matters.


On the bird front-the babies "fledged", or left the nest on Saturday for good. The babies started flying on Thursday or Friday. We were a little sad and of course Captain Anxiety took hold and told me that it was a sign that the cycle was a bust.

But then, this morning, the adults were back.  Or maybe it's a new pair-they all look the same to me.

Building ANOTHER nest in the neighboring flower box.  What in the hell does THAT mean, that this is a sign that the cycle worked, or we're the most popular Dove Luxury Hotel?  AAAAAHHH!

Friday, June 08, 2012

7dp3dt-Let the Obsessing Begin!

Well, it's 7dp3dt (or 10 dpo, whatever phrase tickles your fancy).  Let's check off the symptoms I have so far that may or may not be termed as "pregnancy signs", shall we?

*tired-must nap daily or else I am a Screaming She-Bitch.
*slight dizziness.
*queasiness-think of how your stomach feels when you're a little hung over, like it's constantly turning over.
*weird taste in the back of my mouth/throat-I wouldn't call it metallic, per se, but odd.
*hunger-like I'm about to eat my arm off if I don't consume something every 3-4 hours.
*odd feeling in sternum-maybe slight heartburn, but it feels like that burny sensation you might get in your gut if you haven't eaten, which, trust far from the case in this situation (see the last symptom).
*crampy off and on- it always feels like my bladder is either slightly full or is pressing on my ute, but it's basically felt like that since the transfer.
*frequent urination, or feeling like I have to go. I'd make a WONDERFUL spokesperson for Depends-move over, Lisa Rinna, you've got competition!
*bloated-my usual MO, but not "can't zip my pants OMGIAMAFATCOW" bloated.
*veiny boobs (or what Sean calls "angry boobs")-not sensitive, but definitely "fuller" feeling.
*wicked headache- only one so far, but pressure in my head/sore neck muscles....could be the usual allergies, or it could be that I'm being a lazy bitch and am lying on the couch watching "The Chew" too much.

*emotional/anxious/hormonal-I teared up at a promo commercial of "Extreme Makeover:  Weight Loss Edition" yesterday, which might gauge the extent of the madness.
*extreme sense of smell-I usually have this anyway without IVF (I can smell bad food in the fridge from the living room couch), but Sean ate my leftover risotto last night and it turned my stomach.  I also could tell when he took the trash out last night by the sudden smell coming from the kitchen.

Signs of pregnancy, or progesterone working it's "magic" on me?  Who knows.  All I know is that I've been here waaaaay too many times before to start freaking out as to what's going on in there.

BTW......I HATE PIO.  Hate hate hate would rather have all my teeth pulled out without anesthesia hate.  I have a nice lump the size of a walnut on my left ass-cheek, courtesy of PIO (yaaaay!), which itches and is also bruised as well.  It makes injecting on that side oh-so-dreamy.  I've been trying to walk, apply heat, topical cortisone, but nothing seems to work. 

Now, I'm SURE you're wondering if I've started using the Evil Pee Sticks of DOOOOOOM yet, and I will be honest-yes.  I've tested yesterday and today and nothing yet (unless you count the evap line that I think I see).  Yes, I know it's technically too early, and yes, I also know that I'm starting the slow obsessive descent into madness that this stage of the 2WW brings, but fuck it-I will fully admit that I'm addicted.  Only one a day, though, because those HPT's are EXPENSIVE!  See, there IS an upside to being unemployed!

Seriously, though...I'm tired and ready to figure out what's going on.  This is the part of the wait that is the longest and the part of the whole process that sucks the most. 

Four more days, and we'll know-one way, or the other.

Sunday, June 03, 2012

Friday was transfer day.  Although I was a little disappointed that I didn't get a phone call in the morning moving it up to a 5 day (because I like to be an over-achiever), it wasn't for a bad reason.

Out of the 16 originally fertilized, 13 were still hanging out by day 3.  They transferred the two best of the bunch (I'm assuming)-a 12 cell and an 8 cell.  The remaining ones are going to be watched until I suppose today or tomorrow, and they'll cryo the ones they think make the cut.

A lot like "American Idol", right?  Or maybe "America's Next Top Model", minus the catfights and eating nothing but lettuce leaves and having to "smize" constantly.

Oh, yeah.....transfer!

So, I was the first transfer of the afternoon (they do retrievals in the mornings/transfers in the afternoons), which was a first for me.  I go in, change, get in the pre-op recliner, get my vitals taken and am sitting there with Sean when I hear my name being called by a little Filipino woman.  She's a nurse there (been there for 5 years), has been post-op at all my transfers and previously worked at the clinic where I had my first IVF cycle with Dr. Vest (where he basically almost killed me, but pffft....whatever), so we know each other pretty well at this point, since I have the IVF Frequent Flyer Card that entitles me to an all-access pass to nursing and scientific staff.  Anyway, she comes up to me and gives me a big hug, saying that she saw my name on the patient list for the day and she was so happy to see me.  I asked her if she was working post-procedure again, and she informed me that she would be the nurse in the procedure room with me.  So, of course I had to let her know that she was going to be my good luck charm-she's just so sweet and funny.  Luckily she didn't make me laugh too much or else I'd have wet myself, what with all the water I drank beforehand (did I mention about that over-achieving thing?)

I then spent the rest of the time waiting for the doctor by taking my little paper surgical cap and making it into different shapes and then trying to keep it on my head, saying that I was practicing for my chapeau for next year's Kentucky Derby.  Sean, of course, was not amused, although I was having a hell of a great time.  No anesthesia either, folks-see, you don't need drugs for a good time!

So, the doc came in, explained the goods and escorted me down the hall to the operating room where they do the retrievals/transfers, where I saw another old buddy of mine embryologist that I've had previous transfers with.  She went through the procedure with me, they prepped me, and off we went.

I've been a lazy shit ever since-I actually went grocery shopping today, but made Sean carry the heavy bags, even though I'm really not a weakling.  I'd really like to get back to the exercise routine by the end of the week-although the post-transfer instructions say not to do anything that will raise your body temp, my nurse said that it really was fine since my ovaries aren't stimulated-as long as I stay out of really strenuous stuff I should be okay.  Anyone out there have any feedback or experiences on exercising after a DE transfer/FET?

Tomorrow I get to go to do my two-day civic duty at the local courthouse and I'm really REALLY hoping I don't get chosen for a jury-can progeste-rage count as an excuse?  Hormonal psychosis?  Ugh....maybe if I just stare creepily at the lawyers and chew my hair they'll let me go home-no harm, no foul.  Here's for hoping they think I'm a wack-a-doo!

So, there we are-we've got two in there, and a decent chance of something happening.  Let's hope luck is finally on our side.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Pick Of The Litter

Fert report is in!

She had 22 eggs retrieved yesterday, with 17 of them being mature.  As of today, 16 have fertilized and are chugging along. 

16.  Holy motherfucking shit, it's like a Little League team.  My donor truly is the original Ovarian Rock Star.

Transfer set for Friday afternoon at 1:30, but there's a good possibility that will be pushed to a day 5 (Sunday), given the number of embryos and the fact that her last cycle had a 5 day transfer.

Wow.  For the first time I am so SO excited.  We finally have an even playing field! 

Bring on the H2O bitches-I'm ready!

Sunday, May 27, 2012

We Have Liftoff!!

I peeked at the nest on Friday and saw.....

Aren't they adorable!?  And it's a little appropriate right now since....

We got the phone call this morning-our donor is doing her HCG trigger tonight, with retrieval Tuesday morning.  We'll get the fert report the next day, and then play the transfer by ear (it's set for Friday, which is day 3, but on her last cycle she made to a 5 day, so it's very possible we'll be told to come in for a Sunday transfer).  So here I am trying to get my thank-you card and gift together to bring up tomorrow, because I want to make sure she gets it on Tuesday.

Question for those of you who did DE-did you go to the retrieval with your spouse/partner?  I'd like to, in case of any insurance issues, since I'm the one who deals with insurance, but I don't want to potentially see the donor (I saw her picture only once, but just in case).  Thoughts?

We're on our way! 

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Um, Really?

Look at what I noticed on my Estrace bottle this morning...

Yeah, that about sums everything up, doesn't it?

Lining's looking good, donor started her meds this past Friday and is apparently an Ovarian Rock Star, because we might have a retrieval this Friday instead of next Monday or Tuesday.

Holy shit.  This is actually happening!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

...And A Partridge In A Flower Box

Last Monday, (the day I started chemically starving my ovaries Lupron) I noticed an odd thing outside my bedroom window.  The day before we put up new shutters (well, we've had them in the basement for four years, but we just got around to painting and installing them) and added our usual flower boxes underneath the windows.  Our bedroom faces the street, so it gets lots of sun and we like to look at something pretty as the summer progresses.  On Monday morning, I saw a bird sitting in the flower box.  Just sitting there.  Staring at me:

Awwww, I thought, isn't that cute?  And, in all the years that we've put up these window boxes, I've never, EVER, seen a bird sitting there!  And, just staring at me?  Weird!

I had no idea at the time what kind of a bird it was-it wasn't a pigeon, was too large for a sparrow, definitely wasn't a crow.  But, it was odd that it wasn't afraid of me, that it wasn't getting spooked and flying away.

The bird finally did fly away, and I saw this:

Looks like the beginning of a nest, doesn't it?

Sean and I watched, fascinated, as every day the birds kept building the nest (yes, there are two birds involved in this one).  There's even a bit of blue landscape tie in the midst of all these twigs and grass blades.  Sean was a little worried that either the cats would freak them out or that we now can't open our bedroom windows or that the concept of watering the flowers is now kaput.  But I was engrossed in this process.

So, starting on Friday the bird (birds?) didn't leave the nest.  Just sitting there again.   And, on Saturday we finally saw THIS:

Yup, two little eggs.  Sean figured out, finally that they were mourning doves, which are common around here, and we did (okay, I did) some research.  They're monogamous birds, both parents incubate (mom at night and early morning, dad during the day) and feed the hatchlings something called crop milk, which they produce in their upper digestive tract.  We can tell the difference between male and female now, because the male has these cool iridescent feathers along the back of his neck and head.  The babies should be hatching within the next 5 days or so.  The not-so-cool part?  Doves tend to rebuild nests in the same place if they feel secure and can have up to 6 broods a year.  We might be screwed on the flower front, at least this summer.

Now, I'm totally not trying to read into this, but really?  Doves building and incubating a nest THE DAY I START LUPRON?  Symbolism, perhaps, or just coincidence?  I'm going with symbolic, seriously, because why now, after all this time?  I have never had something like this coincidentally happen before.  I mean, look at the symbolism of the dove to begin with -peace, faith and hope.  Because doves form pair bonds, they're common symbols of love, specifically marital love, and are mentioned in the Old Testament (Song of Solomon, 2:10-12, which is used frequently in Christian marriage ceremony readings) In ancient Christian tradition the dove is a symbol of mothers and motherhood, specifically the Virgin Mary.  Many people see doves as the reminders that miracles are still possible.  In Hinduism, doves are seen as messengers from the divine.

Should I still see this as symbolism or just a weird coincidence?  Should I not even think of it at all so I don't drive myself even more insane than these hormones are already making me?  I don't know.

All I know is that it makes me happy to see this right now.  And, I'm just going to go with that.

Tuesday, May 08, 2012

Slumbering Ovaries

Well, hello there Lupron.......I know it's been awhile, but you were kind of a shitty house guest to begin with, and I see that this time is NO DIFFERENT.

Ugh.  Yep, we "officially" began our DE cycle yesterday, after being told that my ovaries are cold and dead suppressed and I swear that I'm already feeling the side effects (combined with the three months of birth control pills, and....well, you get the drift).  Can't wait to add the Estrace into the mix on Sunday-good times!  Whoo-hoo!

I'm glad to be moving forward, finally-we were put on hold because there was a chance that I'd be working (and have 100% coverage for the cycle), but Urban School District apparently has "take your sweet-ass time" as part of their hiring process, so we decided to move forward regardless.  I mean, if you interview and seven weeks later have still heard nothing (and was told that I'd "just have to wait" as an answer when following up), then perhaps it's not the district for me.  I do have an interview on Friday (in the district where I got my first teaching job), so we'll see if that pans out better than the last one.  Hopefully I won't be in the throes of the Great Lupron Bleed-Out for it, but you never know.  Yah!  GREAT times!!

Strap yourselves in-we're in for it now!

Friday, March 09, 2012

I Really Wasn't Kidding In That Last Post.....

About the Sock Fairy (aka my disgusting husband) leaving dirty socks on the floor, not unlike Hansel and Gretel leaving a bread crumb trail to make it home.....minus the fact that bread doesn't smell like rancid cave-aged cheese that's been fermenting in cotton for hours on end.

The proof is below.  This was the only clear shot that I got, unfortunately.  The other ones had the cats cautiously going up to sniff them, then running away crazed as if they bit them on the ass.  Hell, they probably HAD bit them, for all I know-those bad boys can probably get up and walk all on their own.

Hopefully #370 will balance out the insanity.  Please.

Saturday, March 03, 2012



It's just a number, right?  It could be anything-how many dusty pennies are rolling around in your car, the oven temp you need to set to make those yummy and not-really-helping-the-diet chocolate chip cookies you bought in that sugar low you were conveniently having at the supermarket, the amount of time in seconds it took to yell at your husband for leaving his dirty socks YET AGAIN on the floor in the living room.  Just three little numbers.

Not for us.

It's our donor's number.  Our match.  The person we've been waiting for.  And she's everything that we could have hoped for in a match.  No, she doesn't look exactly like me (and who will, really) but she looks like she could be related to me, and she's a proven donor.  When I got the call to come in and look at the pictures (we get to see pictures if the donor allows) that she sent in I felt an indescribable calm, like I knew that this was the person and that this would all work out.  And it was definitely worth the wait.

Ask, and you shall receive.

We're on our way, bitches!  BOO-YA!

Monday, February 06, 2012


Waiting is all I seem to do lately.

Wait for a call for a job interview.  Wait for a call afterwards for a job offer (on the occasions that I DO get an interview).  Wait for another rejection letter or just no response from a prospective employer.

Wait for a donor profile to come our way.

Waiting sucks.  But, it's teaching me to have more patience, to realize that sometimes the good things that happen in life are the ones worth waiting for, and that I can't force something to happen that's not quite ready to occur.

I still hate waiting, though.  We're on to month 5 in the Donor Match Extravaganza.  Back in September we had to fill out a 10 page document about ourselves, our personalities, physical characteristics, what we want in a donor in terms of physical characteristics and personality, and attach some pictures (which was GREAT for my self-esteem since I'm really not at my physical best).  We met with the psychologist who is in charge of the matching procedure to talk about the psychosocial issues that go along with using a donor (ie. do we tell a child, and if so, when, how to deal with family, etc.), although I did think initially it was to make sure that we hadn't boarded the whackadoo bus and decided on a one-way ticket to Crazy Town.  Although, if this waiting game continues, I might just have to consider it.....
The only way I can describe this point of the process is that it's a lot like getting picked for the kickball team when you're in elementary school.  As the months go by with no call, it feels a lot like being one of the last two kids left to be chosen for the team-the one who has the crappy reflexes or who can't run fast enough.  I keep trying to tell myself that the longer we wait, the better the match will be, but the feeling that perhaps they won't find a match (which I know is irrational, but who said any of this is rational to begin with?) still tries to grab hold of your psyche.  That is the danger of this whole waiting game-that maybe it's going to be too hard to find someone appropriate, and I can't let myself get freaked out with the "what if's".  It's shitty enough that I'm reevaluating my whole choice in career, given the witch hunt public education is becoming around here (although NJ isn't the only state to do this), but the thought of a "corporate" job makes my stomach heave-I hated it the first time around before I figured out what I wanted to do and started teaching.  Again, this is one of the things that I can't change right now, as much as I badly want to.

Just breathe, I tell myself.  If the wheel turns down toward the ground, it must go back up again towards the sun.

Did I mention that I hate waiting?