Thursday, December 30, 2010

Bliss

I cried today. It was weird because I didn't feel it coming.

I laid on the table, greeted my Dr., and watched the screen intently. For a brief second, I was a bit nervous because the little sac didn't pop up on the screen immediately like it did last week, but as soon as he found it, we could see the most beautiful little flicker...

...and the water works began.

It was amazing! It was everything I had hoped it would be. And, AND! Our baby actually MOVED! My RE giggled more than once because every time he tried to let us actually listen to the heartbeat, the baby would move and he'd have to start all over again, it took a few tries before that perfect sound echoed through the room. It was delightful.

136 perfect beats per minute. Everything measured right on track and I'm am officially in the care of my OB. (Well, he'll be my OB after the 14th, when I meet him for the first time.)

Today was a wonderful day. Perfect, even. The best way imaginable to kiss goodbye to 2010. 2011 is going to be SO. MUCH. BETTER!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Happy Faces


I am stuck. I feel like I have nowhere to go.

The handful of people that know about this pregnancy are beyond optimistic. Everyone is full of sunshine and rainbows, and practically spewing positive energy. Everyone is so dang happy. Like they don't have any doubts at all.

And I feel like a big, fat LIAR for playing along!

I know that this could all be ripped away at any moment. I know that although we've made it farther than we ever have (save LJ), we aren't THAT far, ya know?

DH's parents know. We couldn't get around telling them, and my MIL is so optimistic that she's already bought a "little gift". DH wants to tell his siblings on Christmas - or sooner.

I think I'm going to barf.

I WISH I had that much confidence. I can't imagine telling everyone, only to go to our appointment on Thursday and see that there is NO heartbeat. What then? How would I face them all... AGAIN?

I am getting so irritated. Every time DH and I talk about anything pregnancy related and I preface my words with "If", he always corrects me and says, "no, WHEN." I feel like all my VERY VALID fears are being ignored, by everyone. I know that if this pregnancy continues that I will always feel some anxiety, and I will never get over what has happened. I'm not completely naive. IF scars. The wounds may close, but they will always leave their mark.

I am trying to focus on little goals. The first 2 I've checked off: rising betas and an intrauterine gestational sac. Excellent. The next one is the biggest for me. I NEED TO SEE A HEARTBEAT! From there I will survive on the odds. They would definitely be in my favor at that point. I know that no pregnancy is ever guaranteed, but a heartbeat just might be enough to let me sleep at night.

I want this more than anything. I am doing everything in my power to keep this little bean tucked in and growing. But I've done that before. 5 other times, in fact. And yet... it's only worked once. How do you get around that? How do I sweep that under the rug and just pretend that this pregnancy is a sure thing? There is a huge difference between positive thinking, and lying to yourself... and I don't know where that line is. I am just trying to be realistic. Not negative, not ungrateful, and I'm certainly not expecting the worst. I'm just trying to be Smart Suzy, not Debbie Downer. It's just that it's soooo early, ya know? Even my RE has surprised me. He didn't mention one "if" at my appointment. He talked like it was all guaranteed. He even told me to make an appointment with an OB for the first part of January.

I don't want to be told that everything will be fine, and to just let it be. It just makes me feel like I'm creating drama. My feelings are real and they are NOT unfounded. I'm not saying that I don't want people to be positive, just not overly so. Acceptable: "Congrats! I'm crossing my fingers for you!" Unacceptable: "When do you want your baby shower?" Acceptable: "How far along are you?" Unacceptable: "Where are you delivering?" Can you see the trend? Please, let's not get ahead of ourselves. I am feeling so very, very overwhelmed.

Damn you, Infertility. You have screwed me out of another BFP. Is it too much to ask for a little joy? I fought hard for this. So hard, I've lost part of myself. A part I will likely never get back. And yet, most days I'm okay with that. I voluntarily gave it up, with my sights on a higher goal. One that is now very much within my reach. But I still feel like I'm at war. I want to rest. I want to be happy. But most of all, I just wish the people around me would "get it".

Bottom line: I'm pregnant. I hope with every bit of my being that I stay that way - but it is not a sure thing. I just need someone, preferably IRL, to tell me that they understand, that I'm not jinxing myself because I'm not 100% sure (I'm at least 75% sure, that's something, right?), and that it's smart not to get my hopes up too far.

I don't think that's too much to ask given our history, right?

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Learning to Breathe

Today was our first ultrasound. I was in tears before I even got out of the car, and nearly hyperventilated before we ever got to the exam room.

It took about 10 seconds. But, there it was, right were it was supposed to be. One nice, round gestational sac measuring right on target with a perfect yolk sac inside. My RE was very pleased with everything. I just stared at the screen in disbelief. I didn't think I'd ever get to this point. It seems so surreal. Is this really happening? Is this MY life??

As expected, we didn't see a heartbeat yet but we are scheduled for another ultrasound next Thursday. My RE said that they don't usually expect to see the heartbeat until the middle of the 6th week at least. Today I am 5w6d, so all is well. If everything next time goes as my doctor predicts and a heartbeat is found, he said that my risk of m/c is only 10% until the 13th week, then it will drop even lower.

When we left my nurse gave us a little bottle of Martinelli's, a stack of pregnancy related reading material, and a bunch of ultrasound pictures.

Still, this feels so weird. We were told to pick an OB by Thursday. WE ARE BEING RELEASED!!! They need to know where to send our records.

This is such a strange place to be...

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Funny Story...

A few weeks ago I was on my way to yet another monitoring appointment. It was at the tail end of stims, and I was dreading my encounter with the "wand", if you will. If you recall, I have an ovary that prides itself on being able to disappear whenever it so chooses - this makes those scans a bit more... um, challenging.

As I was driving to the clinic I was pleading with my ovary (don't judge) to please cooperate. "I really don't want to cry today" I told it. Then, my mind wandered and I began to talk to all of my reproductive organs. Really, there was no point in pissing one of them off by not including them in my heart-felt pleas! In the middle of my rant, Adam Lambert's "Whataya Want From Me" came on the radio. Have you heard that song? No? Sad.** Let me enlighten you:




I found it so amusing. I laughed so hard I cried. (So much for that goal!)

So, forevermore this will by my IVF-song. Because, really? Who can't imagine our poor, overworked, under-appreciated ovaries screaming this very thing every time we stab yet another needle into ourselves with the hope that we can prod those little suckers along? Poor things.

"Whataya want from me!"

I hear ya, Little Ladies. "I won't let you down" you say.

Well, thanks for keeping your promise. Because after a rocky start, I'm happy to tell you that as of today... I'm pregnant. 5w1d. I have officially been released from beta-hell, (with a standing order waiting at the lab in case I need reassurance) and our first ultrasound is scheduled for Tuesday to verify placement. With a history of ectopic, they wanted to have a look a little earlier than usual.

Forgive my earlier freak out. Betas weren't doing exactly what we were hoping for (they were close), but with yesterday's rise of 125% in 48 hours... all is well - we hope. Progesterone is now at a "makemegagconstantlyanddon'teventhinkaboutsleepingonyourstomach" level of 132.34.

We are hopeful, but cautious. RPL can spoil any BFP. But, hey. It's Christmas right? Why not celebrate (just a little)? We are hoping to tell our families by New Year's Eve, after we've heard a nice, strong heartbeat. Oh, please. PLEASE let us make it that far!




**You really should come out from under your rock once in a while. =)

Monday, December 13, 2010

I love you, but...

No, really. I love you.

But...

I'm dealing with so much right now. I can't do it here, too. I know you are all waiting, and I'm sorry. But honestly - I'm not sure what to tell you. All I can say is: It could go either way.

Please just be with me in heart, and send all the positive thoughts, vibes, prayers, ANYTHING my way.

Sorry for the distance, but I just can't...

Monday, December 6, 2010

The Wall

You know how when you run (yeah, like I run...) and you get super tired and feel like your legs are going to melt into the ground before you could possibly take another step, but you don't dare quit just yet because you told yourself you were going to run for a WHOLE mile (snicker, snicker) without stopping to walk, and you only have a few feet left and if you just pick your feet up a... few... more... times....

Yeah, that's what this 2ww (cry, sob, scream!) has been like so far. I still have what seems like forever until the dreaded beta. I might be going a little crazy, but I've managed to stay away from the pee sticks. I will make it, damnit!

Until then...

Monday, November 29, 2010

And Now We Wait. (Updated)

I love our embryologist! A lot. He remembered that last time I asked him to take pictures of the eggs before they were fertilized. This time, he took it even farther and took a series of pictures for us to have that documented the later half of our cycle.

Allow me to share:

This is what eggs look like fresh from the ovary. They are encased in cumulus cells. Cool, huh?


Then we have the counted, mature eggs. One polar body and one pro nuclei.


He even took a picture of them after they were fertilized. Two polar bodies, two pro nuclei.


A sample of what they looked like on day-3 (Sorry, I'm not sure what these particular embryos were graded)


And then finally, our 2 beautiful blasts that we transferred today. L-"Squirt", graded 5AB, and R- "Sprout" graded 4BA (as pictured)


As you can see, Squirt had already begun hatching when this photo was taken. When Dr. R brought in these photos and was telling us the condition of all our other embryos as well, he gave us a 72% chance of success using these little guys.

Just before transfer, he put them on a large screen so that we could see them before they were loaded. We were all pleasantly surprised to see that "Sprout" had begun to hatch as well, earning himself an upgrade to a 5BA!

Everything went perfectly. As we left the clinic we got so many "congratulations" that you'd think the results were in already, and this was a for sure thing! It was so surreal! It was a complete 180* from our last cycle. I have to admit; it was SO much better leaving with a smile on my face rather than stifling sobs.

Later, my nurse called to tell me that my progesterone is a bit high. (I can't believe I just typed that... too HIGH! Who'd have thunk?) They like it to be between 30-135 at this point, and mine is sitting at 232. I don't think it's EVER been that high! For now we aren't changing my dose, but she gave me a list of things to watch for. We'll see if I can handle the super-sensitivity. (I'm so glad I'm not crazy! Smells have been making me gag for a couple of days. Now I have a legitimate reason!)

The freezing situation is still up in the air. We decided to do an extended culture to see how many we can get. As of this morning, we still had 12 embryos of varying quality, with at least one worth freezing. Dr. R thinks we will get a few more by tomorrow (probably around 4.)

So, there's my update. Things are blissful right now. I really hope it lasts!



**ETA: Embryology just called. We have 5, maybe 6, to freeze! The embryologist is going to wait until this afternoon to see if the the 6th develops a little further. There are 3-5BB's, 2-4BB's, and 1-3BC. I am soooo okay with that! =)

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Day 3 Report Card

My Nurse called at 9:30 this morning to tell me about my "fabulous embryos."

Last time, at transfer, my RE told us that we should really ignore the grades because "we don't often get excellent embryos, so the grades can by misleading."

Well, take THIS Dr. H!!!

Currently we have:

4 Excellent (!!!!)
6 Good
2 Fair, and
1 Poor

Oh, yeah! Oh, yeah! Oh, yeah, yeah, yeah! (Yes, Dory is swimming in my head right now...)

We are still set for a day 5 transfer on Monday. Let's hope my luck holds out!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving, Indeed!

13. That is how many embryos we have waiting for us.

THIRTEEN!!!!

We are scheduled for a 5-day transfer on Monday.

I can't believe this is happening.

This is the best Thanksgiving EVER!!!

Thank you for all the prayers and well wishes. Please keep them coming.

And to you and yours... Happy Thanksgiving! I am so very thankful for all of you.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Stunner

It seems I'm having a bit of a lucky streak. That big 'old blizzard? It never showed. We got snow, don't get me wrong... but this is Utah. We always get snow. It was so over-hyped. The roads were kind of crappy on the way to the clinic, but were just wet by the time we left.

Retrieval went very well. We got 16 eggs! 16!!! And the kicker? They are ALL MATURE!!! My nurse called and told me because she was so excited. (Normally we get the maturation report along with the fert report the day after retrieval) And, AND! The fluid is gone. GONE!!

Ho-ly crap!!

My RE is predicting a day 5 transfer with some left over to freeze.

I think I'm dreaming. I don't have this kind of luck! But God, if you're listening... THANK YOU! Please let it last!

I'll update again when I get the fertilization report in the morning.

I might just have the best Thanksgiving EVER! =) =)

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

So Where's the Punchline?

I am scheduled for retrieval at 10:30 tomorrow morning. We have to be at the clinic by 9:30. Which would be totally fine... except that there is a blizzard heading our way.
No kidding. A BLIZZARD!!! Did I mention that it takes me approx. 50 minutes to get there on a GOOD day?!?

It is expected to hit our city in about an hour and last at least until 11 am. The windchill factor alone is supposedly going to drop the temp to -12. We are being warned that it is likely that the power (and heat) will be out at some time tonight, and that we should get ready for it now.

Of course it had to hit now.

This is soooo not funny.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Here's Where I Freak Out

The fluid in my uterus is back. If it stays there, transfer will be cancelled.

So, here's the plan.

I have a few follicles that look like they could stand a bit more FSH (we have measured at least 14 of good size already, but want to squeak out a few more big ones), so I will do one last shot of 450 iu tonight with my trigger. Also, my RE gave me one dose of an antagonist to see if that will help with my risk of OHSS, and as a side effect help get rid of that fluid. He has never tried this before, but learned about a study done in Korea that showed very promising results. The antagonist was actually used to help prevent OHSS, but the side effects would also include lowering my E2, which will subsequently get rid of the fluid... at least that's his theory. Of course it's much more complicated than that, but I was kind of in la-la land during the discussion.

I had this same fluid issue last time, but luckily it cleared up on its own. But now, my E2 levels are much higher than last time (they rose by over 1000 overnight!), and we didn't do the FSH with the trigger during my last cycle.

UGH! My head is spinning. I need this to by my last cycle, ya know? I need to be done. I don't know if I can handle having to do an FET later. Not only that, but how in the hell would we come up with $4k more?

I know that it's not a done deal and that my body could get rid of this nuisance fluid before transfer, but right now... I have to let this out. I've been super positive all day, but I have to get the "what if's" out.

Thanks for reading my vent. I needed it.

Oh, and if you could stand to send up a prayer or two on our behalf, I'd be eternally grateful!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Oh, the Possibilities...

I helped throw a baby shower tonight. Voluntarily. Zero pressure.

And... I had a BLAST!

My cousin, E, is going to have her baby very soon and I honestly couldn't be more excited. She has spent her time (5 1/2 years) in the infertility and RPL trenches, and is about to emerge victorious. It gives me butterflies to think about it, and makes me grin from ear-to-ear.

I loved tonight. E was beautiful, happy, and so much fun to be with. She is seriously the cutest pregnant woman I have ever seen. And you know what? Even though I had to sneak out to give myself my injections, I didn't get sad! It was more me going through the motions, and not really thinking about the shots. I was mostly just anxious to get back to the party! I love spending time with my cousins, especially the ones that were there. I always have a good time when I'm around them, and never leave without shedding a few tears that come from laughter.

I came home with nothing but fond memories and hope tucked in my mind. Not an ounce of bitterness. E, has just taken a little bit of power away from the IF monster on my behalf, and she doesn't even know she did it. I can't even express how grateful I am. Her baby will always have a special place in my heart. This Little One is proof that it's possible to win.

E, is totally going to rock this "mom" thing. I can't wait. This baby can not get here soon enough!

I'm going to take this feeling as a sign. This cycle will be better. I'm not sure how... but it will be better.

Speaking of this cycle... my E2 is already at 526 after 5 days of stims (it was 180 on Monday). I'd be lying if I didn't say I was a little nervous. At this point last time I was only at 368, and by the end my Dr. was getting pretty worried about OHSS. Apparently it doesn't take a lot to stimulate (or overstimulate) my ovaries... too bad they don't have more to give. I did have 5-8 follies measuring at 11 mm, and a few smaller ones as well. As usual, my left ovary was playing hide and seek, and it was hard to get a clear picture. Hopefully Saturday will be better.

So, to recap - Not all baby showers suck, E's pregnancy has given me a ton of hope, and things are moving right along with my cycle.

Oh, and my cousins are better than your cousins.

I'm just sayin'.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Guesses, Anyone?

I submitted my favorite post of 2010 for the Creme de la Creme list that Mel complies each year.

Any guesses which one I picked? (I won't tell, but I'm curious which one YOU think is my best.)

What's the Creme de la Creme, you ask? Well, here's the link.

So, what are you going to submit?

Sunday, October 31, 2010

365

Today was perfect.

As I walked around the neighborhood with LJ and my nieces and nephew watching them trick-or-treat, I was so grateful. Beyond grateful. Completely humbled, because 365 days ago, I was laying in a hospital bed unable to be with my beautiful daughter and my family that I love so much.

365 days ago, I almost lost my life. It has taken the entire year to realize that. I. Almost. Lost. My. Life. I downplayed what the doctor told me, and I swept most of my emotions under the rug. I ignored him when he told me how serious my ectopic had been, and how much blood I had lost; how lucky I was that the ER Dr. had ordered the high resolution scan before releasing me. But the fact remains that things could have been SO much different this year, in so many ways.

This year was filled with pumpkin carving, trick-or-treating, family, and even a plethora of glitter and makeup. It was everything I wanted and, even more - everything I needed it to be. Today was bliss.

But today is also the first anniversary of losing - what should have been - our 5th child. Today it has been 365 days since I had to sign my name to the bottom of a form that gave my doctors permission to end our baby's life. I did that. I chose my life over my baby's. And today, for the first time, I realized whole-heartedly that I made the right decision.

I know that sounds crazy. I know that that child would never have survived, I know that I really didn't have a choice... but something about me signing that form will haunt me forever. I wish so much that I would never have been asked to signed it. There is so much guilt.

But ya know what? Today healed a lot of that hurt. And it was hard, and it was wonderful, and it was so many things rolled into one. There were reminders everywhere.

I lived. My baby didn't.

But my daughter, who I am blessed to share everyday on this earth with, has her mother.

And that is what we made today about.

I still have a long way to go, but I guess October really isn't so bad. I will always cringe when I see "October 30" on the calendar, and I will always feel the flood of emotions when I think about what this day means... but I will be here to do it. I will BE HERE!

Yes, today was perfect.

Friday, October 29, 2010

In Which I Admit...



...that I may have a drinking problem.

I was hooked after my first cycle with FSH... now I can't kick the habit. Nice.

Sinking In

I start Lupron today.

I start Lupron today.

I start Lupron today.

Somehow, it doesn't seem real that we are doing this again. And although I'm extremely grateful for the chance, it kinda sucks, ya know? I am just getting to a point where I feel good again. I haven't had a headache for a couple of weeks, my energy level is just starting to pick back up again, I've lost 11 pounds, and I've even been sleeping through the night. But...

I start Lupron today.

Tomorrow's gonna suck.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

What the???

My blog is making me crazy!

When I view it, my side bar is below all my posts. Is it the same for you? I have gone into the 'design' tab, but everything looks fine.

How do I fix it??

Friday, October 15, 2010

Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day


Today is October 15th.

At 7:00 pm, I will light 4 candles in honor of our babies*, and 1 for all of yours. I will remember what should have been. I will pray for a different outcome for this cycle and I will ask for peace for everyone who will forever grieve for their Little Ones.

Please feel free to join me.







*I have never posted about it here, but 5 months after we were married I had my first suspected miscarriage, at somewhere around 10-12 weeks. We didn't even know I was pregnant until it happened. There are many reasons that I don't speak about it here, but mostly it's because this space is reserved for my life during IF. I don't consider my first loss part of that journey.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Must be the weather...

(Warning: I am about to whine about my current struggle as a Mom. Please don't attack, or leave nasty comments. Hopefully, you'll read and just understand.)

October sucks, and lately I can totally feel myself slipping.

The last few days I've felt totally out of control. LJ has become possessed, and DH has been working late the last 2 weeks leaving me flying solo in the parenting department. Seriously, the way this child screams, I fully expect DCFS to knock on my door at any moment! And what's terrible, is that she does it when no one is near her! It sounds like someone is stringing her by her belly-button! The most recent causes? Running out of time to do her homework (she had 3 hours to do a worksheet. She sat and played - in spite of my coaxing and offering to help - and when it got to be bedtime, I sent her to bed.) The next melt down was a few days later because her pencil wasn't sharp enough. No kidding. When DH got home, he went up to see what the problem was, (she was still screaming at 9:30 at night from her bed) and when he couldn't settle her down, he tried to leave her room. She started yelling, "NO, DADDY! NO! PLEASE, NO! DADDY, NO!" in the most horrible way, that it sounded like she was begging him to stop beating her! It was awful! What's worse is that there is nothing we can do to make her stop. Honestly, this began a few months ago, but it's just getting worse. We have tried everything. I thought she just needed more attention, but that didn't help, and neither did a reward chart. Then we tried taking away privileges - she didn't care. We moved her bedtime up a 1/2 hour. No help. I don't know what else to do. I am certainly not going to hit her! In her opinion I am just a "Big, Fat, Meanie!" Her favorite phrases as of late are, "whatever!", and "who cares?"

Granted, this is not an everyday thing. Most days, she's delightful. But this is happening 2-3 times a week. (My poor neighbors.)

I told you October sucks!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

A Little "Off"

Something felt weird today. I couldn't figure it out for the life of me. This is NOT my favorite month, and I have been dreading October for a very long time. I have felt like I'm on the verge of tears all day.

It didn't hit me until after dinner.

Today I should be singing "Happy Birthday", and watching my child tear into his/her very first birthday cake.

Instead, I'm sitting here working the numbers and praying that I can make things work in time for my next... my last... cycle. (kind of forgot about all the meds involved!)

So, you've got my undivided attention, Little One. I'm all yours for the rest of the night.

We miss you Sweet Baby.


Friday, October 1, 2010

Saint Heather

WE HAVE OUR MIRACLE!!!

Nurse Heather is amazing.

I don't know how she did it, I don't know what she said... but our clinic's office manager (who wouldn't return my calls, and completely ignored every attempt at contact that I made) is going to let us pay our portion in January.

I hope I'm not jumping the gun here, but all indications are that it's a done deal. I even clarified with the billing department today. They have the same impression I do, although none of us have heard it from the horse's mouth, so-to-speak. She's written it all out, and set the terms. Everything short of just saying it outright.

I had my follow-up appointment with Dr. H today. He told me that I am "a doctor's worst nightmare" because my cycle was "full of surprises." He would like to up my dose to 300 iu's of Gonal-F, and we will just watch it all very closely. He's still pretty worried that I will overstim, given my high E2 levels. It seemed that they were so closely in check with the FSH dose that we can't push it too much harder without just being stupid about it and putting me at too high a risk. The ICSI should tell us if it's a sperm or egg issue. If we have a higher fert. rate than we know it was most likely a sperm issue but if the rate is about the same, then obviously, it's my eggs. I feel like this is a reasonable way to diagnose it without risking too much, if anything.

Overall, I left with a great feeling about where the cycle is headed. I feel much more confident with Dr. H than I did with the RE I met with last week. I feel like I am ready. I know how much is riding on this, but I feel that I am more prepared. Before, we thought we had a backup plan. This time, we'll be happy with 2 good embies. We'll take what we can get.

Thanks for the prayers. I am so grateful for them. Please keep them coming, but this time for success.

I don't want to sound selfish, God, but I'd really appreciate just one. more. miracle!

Monday, September 27, 2010

We may have ourselves a miracle...

...courtesy of Nurse Heather. We will know by the end of the week.


PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE pray for us!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

The Things I Couldn't Say

Beta was negative.

There is nothing left to heal me. This time, defeat brought so much more than usual. It brought the end.

We are being forced to be done. We are out of miracles. We just found out that our infertility coverage ends January 1st; 2 weeks exactly before DH gets his bonus that would allow us a second chance. Our clinic won't wait. Our portion is due by November 13th. We don't have it now, and won't by then. Our credit cards are maxed, we have already borrowed against our retirement. We don't qualify for bank loans, and our family can't help us. There is nothing else. I never thought a mere $3,000 would cement our fate. (and how pathetic are we, that it does?)

I met with another RE, Dr. W, this week. We were offered a free consultation, and even though it is over 1 1/2 drive one-way, I figured I'd give it a try. After the consult, I left even more defeated.

He is convinced I have bad eggs. He says we need PGD, and even then doesn't think we have a great chance. Most of this is centered on my AMH (antimullerian hormone) level. Mine came back at 1.1, which my clinic said was fine - anything over 0.7 is "normal" in their opinion. Dr. W disagreed completely. He told me that if we cycled with him, he would double my FSH to 450 iu, and add menopur instead of the low dose hcg. He seemed very willing to risk a cycle just to find the "why's". It was as if the puzzle was more appealing than actually ending with a healthy pregnancy. When I expressed concern with my embryos not making it for the extended culture he wants to do, his reply was "then they wouldn't have made it in your uterus, either."

I left in a haze. If I cycle with them, they will allow me to pay my financial portion in January. But honestly, my gut told me to run! They don't have any statistics listed with SART, and their sister clinics had much lower rates than my current clinic. When I asked Dr. W about the clinic's current success rates, he arrogantly said, "oh, 55, 65%. Very respectable. Very high!" I didn't believe a word. The secretary had told me that their rates were comparable with their other clinics (roughly 40%) but the Dr. made an excuse that the reason the other clinic's rates were low was because they couldn't include data from clinical trials they had done (the trial patients rates, he claimed, were over 70%). But that just raised more questions for me. What about all the prior years reported? The rates were all about the same, some much lower.

It felt like a trap. One that I can't bring myself to step into, no matter how desperate I am. I can't risk my dreams, and my health.

I don't know what else to do. I can't fathom trying to cope with the fact that the last 7 1/2 years were for nothing. That having LJ was a fluke, and that we will never have the family we have so desperately tried for.

I don't know how I will ever accept that it is all actually over. When I hoped for things to "end", this is not exactly what I had in mind.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Nothing much to say...

Sorry to keep you all in the dark. I really appreciate the emails and texts checking in on me, though! I totally love you guys!

The only problem is that I don't think I can find the words to tell you how this week has been. My beta is tentatively scheduled for Monday, but I think I'd die on the spot if it was a decent number, if positive at all. (Yes, I POAS. BFN at 12dp2dt)

There is so much more to tell, but I just don't have it in me to "say it out loud" so to speak. I think I just need to "be" for a while.

Hopefully, it won't take too long. Thanks for understanding.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

You almost made me crazy, Anniversary. ALMOST!

I almost POAS today.

Not because I have a "feeling", or because I am just so damn eager to know (because strangely - I'm not), but because 9 years ago today, I POAS. And that was a pretty good day.

The night before I had had this crazy dream. (I know, I know... me and my dreams) and I was telling my friend about it on our way to the store to pick up some lunch. When I had finished explaining what had happened in my dream, she stopped in the middle of the aisle and asked, "Well, are you late?" Of course I was late! During that period of time I was always late. I honestly hadn't thought anything of it. When I told her that, she insisted that she wasn't going to let me leave the store until I bought a pregnancy test. So, I did.

The whole way back we were quiet. I felt dumb buying a test, and she felt confident that my dream "meant' something. When we made it back to school, (we were in cosmetology school together) I excused myself to the restroom to take the test. Because this was before I was an absolute basketcase (thank you, IF) I nonchalantly took the test and set it on the back of the toilet while I washed my hands. I glanced back at the stick while the water was still running, and totally did a double-take. It was positive.

I left the restroom in a daze. I was shaking so hard I almost didn't dare walk. My friend already had a client in her chair, but as soon as she saw my face she went white, and mouthed the words, "no way." I didn't know what to do. So, I ran into an empty classroom and cried tears that came out of nowhere. I wasn't sad or anrgy. I was in complete shock. When another friend came in to see if I was okay, she saw the test on the counter next to me, and offered to take me to the Dr. to confirm. I quickly dialed my family physician on my cellphone and asked if I could come up. The nurse told me that it wouldn't be a problem, so we told the instructor's we had an emergency and left.

I walked into the office, was spotted by the nurse I had spoken to and quickly ushered into a room. She gave me a cup and some instructions and pointed me to the bathroom. After she had done the test, she came back in and said, "It's positive, would you like to know your due date?"

About 7 1/2 months later, this little beauty entered our lives.






I almost POAS today.





P.S. I still have the pee stick from that day. I am never going to throw it away. And so far, it hasn't given me a reason to. It still looks the way it did the day I tested. The test strip never turned yellow, and the lines are bright and crisp. Man, they sure don't make 'em like the used to!

Friday, September 17, 2010

Calling All Experienced IVFers

(Can I just tell you how awkward that feels to call you all something that ends with "effers"?!?)

How long after transfer did your doctor have you do a beta? Is it just me, or is 17dpt a little long?

Honestly, I'm not really sure I want to know, but still... 17 days?? I thought 12-14 was the norm. Am I wrong?

ETA: Actually, I meant 17 days post retrieval. I thought it right, but typed it wrong. Apparently, it's not just a speech thing. LOL

Monday, September 13, 2010

The Flip Side

Last week was awful. I pretty much just let you all believe that it was all IF related, but there was a lot more happening, too. Here's the rundown:

Sunday: Have Dr. H threaten to cancel my cycle because of my illness.

Monday: Learn that DH's 31 year old cousin died in his sleep. We have no idea how.

Tuesday: Super painful monitoring appointment, followed by a late-night trigger.

Wednesday: I am told that LJ's hero, her kindergarten teacher Ms. M, has passed away. LJ is beyond devastated. (So am I.)

Thursday: Retrieval. Only 6 eggs.

Friday: Fert report. Dr. recommends 2-day transfer. I have a melt down. (We will have to miss Ms. M's funeral, which is heartbreaking to me.)

Saturday: Transfer. (Let's not talk any more about it, k?) That night, after visiting my friend and relaxing, I left for home at about 1:20 AM. But wait, where's my car? What's that, Mr. PoliceDispatcherMan? You say m car's been towed? Oh. Nice. The "perfect" ending to my "perfect" week. (It cost me$225 to get my car back. I am going to go after my friend's HOA to reimburse me. If they are going to implement a rule that you can't park on the streets after 1 AM, you should probably let the residents know, right?)

Sunday: Sit in bed and feel sorry for myself all day long.

AND NOW FOR THE FLIP SIDE:

The embryologist called me today. I love him.

Dr. R told me that I shouldn't pay any attention at all to the "grading" when it comes to my little MB. He said the only reason he didn't grade it "good" was because of some fragmenting. He told me that "many, many, many" times, embryos that are graded "fair", or even "poor" on day 2, become healthy Strong blastocysts by day 5, ("it happens ALL. THE. TIME!") and since we can't know what my embie will do, we might as well assume it will do great. :D :D :D :D When I said, "but fragmented embryos have a lower implantation rate, right?" he replied in a high pitched tone (and I imagined a scrunched up face...) "eeeeeeehhhhhhhhh." as if he wasn't all that convinced, and then redirected the topic. LOL! It made me laugh. He reminded me that women "my age" and with my FSH and AMH levels, have really great success rates with single embryo transfers. (I found one study done in the Netherlands that quoted rates in my age group as 72% vs. 76% for double embryo transfers. Granted, they all transferred blasts, but I am willing to overlook that little fact right now.) He was careful to tell me that it could go either way, as all cycles can, but he gave me a little ray of hope. He seemed very optimistic. He told me that embryo grading is very subjective, and not to worry about it.

Seriously, love him.

That whole conversation lightened my mood considerably. He didn't just sound like he was rooting for us, but he supported his statements with facts. He spent a good 30 minutes discussing it with me. I feel so much better! Especially considering that for most of my cycle I was leaning toward a single embryo transfer anyway! It wasn't until the end when a nurse gave us a few more stats that I started to think transferring 2 was a possibility.

So, there you have it. Monday brought me a not-so-small miracle. I have a bit of hope. That's right. I said it. HOPE. I am still suuuuper nervous, and not at all delusional about this being a for sure thing, but at least now I actually believe it's 50/50.

Thank you, Dr. R. You can soooo come to my birthday!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Over Before it Began...

Well, at least that's how I feel.

When we arrived at the clinic this morning for transfer, we were promptly ushered into a conference room where we waited anxiously for Dr. H to come in and give us an updated report on how our embies were doing.

He started by telling us that all 6 of the eggs retrieved were mature, which he said almost never happens, and that that was a good thing. Then his expression changed. He told us that as of right now, we still had 2 embies. 1-3 celled, graded fair, and 1-1 cell, graded poor. I started crying.

He said that they had seen poor embryos make it, and women have successful pregnancies, but ovbiously the odds weren't good. He said the fair embryo is where all our hope lies. I cried some more. He said the embryologist was strongly recommending that we do assisted hatching because the zona was pretty thick. He said that it could be what really helps the little guy take off. We agreed.

When we went back for transfer, they got me in the stirrups and all ready to go. The embryologist came in and told us that they had a new fancy-shmancy camera hooked up to the microscope, and he was actually going to let us watch him do the assisted hatching. They put it on a giant flat screen TV in the room, and we watched as he used a laser to etch a tiny tunnel through the zona to help the embryo hatch. (It was pretty cool, and we actually got video, but I can't figure out how to get it from my cellphone onto blogger.)

Dr. H inserted the cathedar, and told the embryologist (Dr. R) that we were ready. He cheerfully replied, "loading 1 embryo". Wait. What? I quickly said, "no, 2, right?" He looked at me all confused, and Dr. H clarified. "1-3 celled, and 1 poor." Dr. R called back, "oh, the requisition just says one. Why are we doing both? The poor embryo never cleved. It's arrested." I started sobbing. Obviously, both Dr. H, and Dr. R didn't quite know what to say, so Dr. R finally offered to load it as well. "We can tranfer them both, Meim, if you want us to." "What's the point?" I asked. "It would be like tranfering the ones that didn't fertilize!" "That correct" he said. "I'm sorry for the confusion" said Dr. H. "I misunderstood Dr. R and I's prior conversation."

[MB before the assisted hatching]


So, in went one embryo. 3-celled, with a "fair" grading. When it was over, and I had managed to stop crying, Dr. H asked if we had any questions. I asked him if single embryo transfers were ever as successful with "fair" embryos, and he answered that they didn't usually do single embryo transfers unless the embryo was graded "good" or better.

Yeah, I'm screwed. I feel like this was all for nothing. I am angry because instead of getting answers, all we have are more questions. Was it the sperm or the egg? They don't know. Is it possible for us to have better success with ICSI? They don't know. They can't tell if the sperm actually made it into the eggs, but didn't fetilize, or if they didn't get though at all. They can't tell us anything!

And to make things even better, Dr. H told me to be watching for signs of OHSS. With my estrogen levels being as high as they were and only getting 6 eggs, he said that it is still a very real possibility. Nice, huh?

Also, in addition to the PIO which we all know I just LOVE, I am also on heparin twice a day to give this little embie that we've named, M.B. (maybe baby) a better chance of implanting, as well as to help prevent another ectopic.

I feel pretty close to hopeless. I wish we never even did this.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Not really sure what to say, here.

Dr. H just called with the fertilization report. We knew something was up beforehand, because I had checked our patient portal online, and saw that there was an appointment set up for us tomorrow.

He said that only 2 of the 6 fertilized, and that rescue ICSI wouldn't be worth it at this point. Because there really is no point in waiting any longer (why stress the little embies longer if we aren't waiting to "choose" the strongest ones?) we are going to transfer both tomorrow. Yeah. A day 2 transfer. Yikes.

The embryologist has assured us that both embies look really good so far, and that our chances are just as good with the 2 day transfer as we would have on day 5. Dr. H said that he doesn't have any real statistical data on day 2 transfers, but that he would estimate at least (he made sure to emphasise that) a 40-50% chance.

So, excuse me while I freak out a bit, and try to wrap my head around not having anything to freeze (so long, back up plan!). Tomorrow is going to be rough.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Just What I Needed to Hear

My Munchkin is awesome. Seriously.

After I got home and immediately updated this blog - I crashed. When I woke up, DH was on his way to class, and LJ was assuring him that she would take really good care of me. (They are both treating me as if I'm made of glass.) I've been sore, but I'm trying really hard not to take any pain pills, as not to mess with the chemistry in my body right now. I have been doing pretty good, so I told him earlier that I wouldn't need anyone to stay with me while he was gone, but LJ insisted. "If you need anything, Mom, just tell me. I will bring you anything you need." (Did I mention how awesome she is?)

Anyway, a few minutes after he left as I was laying in my bed watching T.V., LJ came in and started talking to me about her day. She told me about the really cool cup-stacking trick they learned in school and even recited the arrays of 24. She had a lot to say.

After we finished talking, I told her to please go into her room and put away her clean laundry. She agreed, and headed out the door. Then she stopped. She turned around and this is what she said:

"Mom, I'll love you no matter what." She stood for a minute, and then explained.

"Even if this doesn't work. Even if you adopt, and even if you don't. Even if I never get a baby brother or sister, I'll still love you."

I was crying before she finished her sentence. I hadn't realized how much I needed to hear that. All I could do is hug her. Probably for way too long, but she didn't seem to mind.

She is truly amazing. I realllly hope this works. Everyone deserves to have a big sister like LJ.

And honestly, everyone deserves to have an LJ.

Update

Retrieval went well. We got 6 eggs - which I was pretty bummed about - until my RE came in and told me how happy he was with the results. He said that with my estrogen being as high as it was on Tuesday, (2993) that only retrieving 6 eggs points to better quality.

As expected, my ovaries were assholes. The nurse kept telling me that he really had to "dig around in there". Of course I am feeling it now. I usually have a pretty high pain threshold, but I needed 2 shots of demerol before I left.

So, that's how it went. Fertilization report tomorrow, and then updates every other day after that until transfer.

I'm glad the worst is behind us.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Oh, Boy...

This is really going to happen.

I trigger tonight at 11:30, and retrieval is scheduled for 10:30 Thursday morning.

I am super nervous because BOTH of my ovaries were little bastards today. It took a considerable amount of *ahem*, coaxing, shall we say? to get even a glimpse of them. He could only count about 7 follies today, but then again... it was a pretty crappy view. My E2 was 2993 so we're figuring about 10 mature eggs, but we shall see.

I am so scared that my considerably pissed-off little oophors are going to throw a tantrum and protest the entire procedure on Thursday. I'm considering sleeping duct-taped to the bedroom wall on Wednesday night to ensure that gravity has a chance to pull the little suckers down. UGH!

So...here we go.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

just a side note...

First and foremost: if you haven't already, please stop by One Day's blog and give her some love. This is not a one-time thing. She is going to need our continued support.

For those of you who had already offered her some encouraging words, THANK YOU! I saw your comments, and it made me cry. Thank you for the incredibly heart-warming act of human decentsy. I really love you for it! (But then again, I already knew you were amazing!)


Now for the side note.

My appointment went well today. My lining is back under control, at a manageable 14mm (RE thinks the fluid in my uterus was skewing the measurement last time). We were able to find my left ovary, and overall I have about 7 large follicles. My E2 is up to 1900. I will probably stim for 2 more days, and my RE is going to monitor me very closely. I will probably stop the frequent updates and just let you know of any real developments.

My biggest fear right now is having to cancel due to illness. I have had a cold for a few days, but today spiked a fever of 101*. My RE said if it gets to 102, we will have to cancel. Let's hope Ty.lenol is really all it's cracked up to be.


Oh, and Mummy,

HELL-FREAKIN'-YEAH!!!

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Thoughts for a Friend

Please, please go stop by One Day's blog. She is suffering through an unimaginable horror and could use ALL OF YOUR kind words and well wishes. I honestly can't imagine what she is going through.

Please go, now.

Thanks!

One Day's blog.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Houston, we (might) have a problem.


I had another appointment today. Here are the stats:

Right Ovary: 11.17mm, 11.4mm, 12.14mm, 7.03mm, 11.84mm, 15.32mm, 8.03mm

Left Ovary:... hello? Are you there, Left Ovary? (poke) hello? (jam wand at impossible angle) I know you're in there somewhere! (jam harder while smooshing Meim's tummy) Well, this is strange. (ask Meim to roll onto her left side with wand still in place) Hmmmm. (10 minutes and an unmentionable amount of torture later) Nope, can't find it.

YES, THIS REALLY DID HAPPEN, AND NO, WE NEVER DID FIND THE DAMN THING! But, Oh, did I feel it!!! (I can still feel exactly where it is, in all it's enraged glory, but we never could find it on u/s)

Also, Dr. H was a bit concerned that my lining is already at 15mm, with a pocket of fluid in the center. Apparently, embryos don't implant as well once the lining reaches 22-23mm, and they don't like to swim in fluid either. He said that there have been people in that situation that have actually had to do the retrieval and then freeze the embryos in order to have a period and then begin again in "more control circumstances."

See, the problem is that my uterus is "hypersensitive" to the hormones in my body. Namely, estrogen. You know, like the estrogen created as these follicles grow. The estrogen that is going to continue to increase over the next 4 days, as those little follicles grow big and strong... also making my lining thicken. Can you see why this is an issue? I can't stop the meds or my follicles won't be big enough to have mature eggs, but if I stay on them, my lining may be too thick for the embryos to implant.

CRAAAAAPPPPP!!!!!

So, in addition to feeling like I got punched repeatedly in the stomach, and my lady parts all assaulted and junk... I am in FULL PANIC mode that my cycle will be canceled if my lining doesn't chill out, and my uterus doesn't dump that fluid. It really could go either way from here.

EFFFFFFFFFFFFF!

I am to stay on my same dose and go back in on Sunday for another scan/blood draw.

Please pray for me.

ETA: today's E2 is 937 (is that good?)

Also ETA: I found a study that made me feel a bit better. You can read it here

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Cycle Update

E2: 368
Left ovary: 3-4 follicles at about 10mm
Right ovary: 5-7 follicles at about 10 mm

I am staying on the same dose, and going back in on Friday for a repeat. I hope I get a pleasant surprise and there are a few more follies that pop up.

At least they all seem to progressing together. *sigh (oh, and my right ovary is a bitch.)

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

...still going,

Yesterday's E2 was 122, after 3 days of stims. My RE told me (through his nurse, of course) that I should stay on my current doses, and that everything looks perfect so far. She kind of shuddered when I asked what my level was "supposed" to be, but said that generally speaking, they like it to be between 100-150. I wonder if she's making it up for my benefit. They said they "like to see" between 8-16 antral follicles, too, (safely tucking my 12 right in the middle of that figure) I'm sure just to make me feel better.

Today I am feeling it, whatever "it" is. My assumption is that my right ovary is sucking up all this FSH and hoarding it without even a slight consideration for the left's feelings. Apparently, my right ovary is a bitch. Go fig.

Tomorrow I have more blood work and an ultrasound. I'll let you know how it goes.

Friday, August 27, 2010

And So it Begins

(Actually, I guess I'm about 1/2 way through, but still.)

I had my suppression check this morning. My E2 is 64, and the NP counted 12 antral follicles in my resting ovaries. (She never counts as many as my RE, even on the same day! Too bad he was with another patient or I'd have had him check, too!)

I will be lowering my Lupron dose tonight, as well as beginning the FSH and low dose HCG.

Here we go!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Dreamer

I have this problem. See, I have really, really vivid dreams. The kind that actually has my subconscious arguing with my consciousness. "You're asleep." "No, you're awake." etc. etc. (This became a problem once when I was around 14 or so. I dreamed I was on the toilet. Can you see where this is going? Brings a whole new meaning to the term "wet dream." ooooh, sorry. That was naughty. LOL)

I am one of those people that can actually hold a grudge because of something you "did" in my dream. Just ask the hubs. One time I woke up and hit him because he had taken a plural wife in my dream. I was pissed the rest of the day.

Normally I have dreams that once the original shock wears off, I laugh about. I know that it isn't reality, and I let my husband tease me relentlessly. (I still get crap about dating that penguin)

But last night's dream was different. I went to bed really early and slept for nearly 11 hours. Unfortunately, my dream lasted the entire night. In it, we were at the hospital for the birth of another niece/nephew. While my SIL was in labor, I started to have flashbacks. I remembered being in the same hospital giving birth to triplets. 2 girls, and 1 boy. The only problem was that I only had LJ, and one more daughter. I was missing 2 children! As I began to remember, I started asking questions to the staff at the hospital. They all looked at me with a horrible sadness in their eyes and told me that I needed to talk to the head nurse. When I finally found her, she told me that she remembered me and asked me to sit down. She handed me a scrapbook and asked me to search the pages for my picture. When I found it, near the middle of the book, the picture made my heart sink. I was laying on the floor of my home with 2 babies in my arms. My little girl was laying slightly across my chest and my son was resting peacefully in the crook of my left arm. I was looking directly at the camera with such a sad, yet peaceful expression. I read it instantly. My babies were sick, but in the moment the picture was taken, they were alive, and I was just so grateful to have that time with them. When I finally looked up from the photo album, tears streaming down my face, the nurse gently asked me, "Would you like to see them?"

Then my dream cut back to my SIL, still in labor. I was outside on a bench, sitting on the deck that was connected to her room through a sliding glass door. I sat there weeping, holding my 2 dead children. Of course, because it was a dream, they were perfect. Beautiful in every way. They didn't look like anything was wrong. My husband stood there with me, softly trying to console me, but crying at the same time. The longer I sat there, the more I realized that the rest of our family was staring at us. They were angry. At one point, someone came out and asked us, "You really think this is an appropriate time to be doing this? while SIL is having her baby?" I didn't know what to say, so I just stood up with our babies and walked away. I wandered through the hospital, never daring to speak to anyone.

That was the rest of my dream. Walking aimlessly, desperately clutching my children into my chest, not knowing how or when they had died. I spoke to them, but I couldn't hear what I was saying. They felt like little dolls. I had them wrapped in a single blanket, their tummies up against my chest.

When I woke up, I felt like I couldn't breath. I must have been crying in my sleep, because my pillow was wet, and my eyes are puffy and red. All morning, I haven't been able to shake this immense feeling of loss. DH was kind enough to get up with LJ and feed her breakfast and get her ready for school. Even though I know it was just a dream, I can't help but miss my children. Although they weren't even alive in my dream, I am craving the feeling of holding them in my arms. I want to see their faces again, but I can't remember what they looked like.

I HATE dreams like this. Even when they aren't sad, I hate them. I hate saying "goodbye", simply because I have to wake up.

It just might be time to go back to therapy. My counselor would have a hay day with this one.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

365

So I have a tiny secret. Nothing major, really.

Today is my birthday. My 29th birthday. No big deal, right?

Well, according to my "plan", I was going to be done having kids by the time I turned 30. I got married when I was 18, and planned to have 4 kids in 12 years. Totally doable, right? (*sigh)

So, now I have exactly 365 days to pop out 3 more kids.

Should make the decision of how many embryos to transfer easy, huh? (insert eye-roll here.)

Why is it so hard to let go of "what could have/should have been"?

Excuse me while I go gorge myself with cake.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Hypersensitive

I think I'm in panic mode, but not fully aware of it. (I know how absurd that sounds. Trust me.)

Although for the most part I feel pretty good and functional; I think that I'm absorbing every little bit of sadness and negativity around me. Even though I don't feel particularly negative or worried, I have noticed my body reacting as if I am.

For instance, I have read a few really sad blog posts recently. Failed cycles, miscarriages, etc. I have found that I am completely incapable of expressing my reaction to these posts in words. It makes me feel like a terrible friend. With everything moving so quickly in my own cycle, it is hard for me to process what is happening to others in theirs. When I read these posts, they sort of haunt me. With the way the last year has gone, I am all too accustomed to grief and failure. I find myself reading about a loss, failed cycle, or an ectopic, and it takes me right back to the midst of my own losses, failures, and ectopic. I have absolutely no ability to separate myself from what is happening to them, and what happened to me. It makes me feel like there is no way this cycle will end well. After all, just look at my track history.

I feel so so terrible for the women that are currently dealing with these issues. Honestly, I can't get them out of my mind. Like, when I disagree with the treatment (or lack of) that their doctors are recommending, I get so upset I can't sleep. I kind of feel like I have to fix it, or anything bad that happens to them will be my fault because I "knew better." Of course, there is NO WAY I can fix it, and I know that, but like I said... I can't separate myself. There is one woman in particular, that the very thought of her makes me cry.

Between school starting (for DH, LJ, and myself), IVF and the financial strain it has caused, and issues with my friends both IRL and online, I have found that many days the stress is so much that I can't eat without an extraordinary amount of stomach pain. I am to the point of downing Maalox like it's water.

I know this all sounds terribly dramatic, and I apologize. I wish I were making it up. So, please, please forgive me if my comments come across as robotic, or as if I don't care. The truth is - I care too much, to the point that I just might have to cut back. You girls aren't just "fellow bloggers" to me, you have become my friends and sisters. I want success for you as much as for myself. Please know that even if I am not commenting, I AM thinking of you. Everyday.

Hopefully, it's just the hormones that are making me so crazy. If not, I can totally see myself being committed. I'm a total spaz. What else can I say?

Have any of you experienced this? or am I actually schizo?

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Sing it, Sara!

*EDIT: The video was too big for my blog, so you can watch it here instead.


LOVE it!!

Excuse me while I push play... again.

Okay, I'm back.

This song is going on my IF playlist. There are a handful of people that I want to send this to, with the hopes that they'd get the point that I don't appreciate the comments like:

"Why do you keep putting yourself through this?"
"Maybe you just need to accept that it's not going to happen and move on with your life."
"You need to just prepare yourself to adopt."
(this one was said to me the day I got out of the hospital after my ectopic. Great timing, huh?)

or my personal fav,

"At least you got LJ. That's more than a lot of people get."

This one pisses me off the most, and of course it's the one I hear the most! Not only does it imply that I am ungrateful for my daughter, but it doesn't actually take her thoughts and feelings into account. Try listening to her plead with God night after night to "pleeeeaase send [her] a little brother or sister" or have to listen to her heart break (again) as she tells you about her latest friend to become a big sister. Wanting another child isn't just about me and my husband. We ALL feel that our family is not complete.

Ugh, sorry. If you haven't guessed this is just me venting. It's been one of those days. I'm sick of all the advice and instructions from people who couldn't possibly understand what this has been like for the last 7 years. The bad thing is this is all coming from people close to us (mainly immediate family). Is it any wonder that we've kept IVF a secret from almost everyone?

If you know me in real life and are reading this, consider yourself lucky... and warned. Don't say stupid stuff like this to me. I've had it with being polite. (Granted, I've only given this blog link to 4 people, and they all know better, but still. A reminder never hurts.)

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Healing

Two weeks ago I told you about our beloved pets, Molly and Roxy.

If it had been up to me, they would have been the last bunnies we ever had. I was not ready to move on. I couldn't even think about cuddling another furball and it not being one of them. It was just too painful. But - it's not just up to me. After we buried our sweet girls in my Dad's backyard, LJ started asking for new bunnies and she wanted them. right. now. So for her sake, I started looking at ads. It didn't take us long before we found 2 sister rabbits that were almost too adorable for words. We spent about an hour with them before we decided to head to the bank so we could come back and buy them. (I had purposely not brought any cash as to avoid an "impulse purchase." So much for that!) We picked out names, discussed how precious they both were, and how lucky we were to actually have found them so close to our house at just the right age. One was pretty mellow, and the other full of spunk. We just knew that they would be perfect for us.

On the way to the ATM, I got a text message from a girl, K, I had left a message for earlier that day about the bunnies she had for sale. I had asked her to send pictures because there were none listed with her ad. She explained that they were purebred Rex rabbits, and that they were 9 weeks old. Then she sent me this picture:

I immediately texted her back and made an appointment to come see them. I called the other seller back and told them that we were going to go look at some other bunnies just to be sure, and that we would let them know what we decided. Thankfully, I knew the woman from PTA and she was really cool about it and wasn't irritated at all.

When we got to K's house she had the bunnies waiting for us. Her little sister had them wrapped in a blanket and snuggled into a basket. They were beautiful. It immediately hit me of how little justice was done to them by the picture she had sent. We sat down on the floor and let the bunnies roam around. They didn't go far.

All 3 of them hopped up onto DH's lap and settled right in. When I took one from him, she snuggled into the crook of my neck and fell asleep, all-the-while chattering her back teeth in contentment. (it's called tooth purring, no kidding.) I was done. I had to have this one. I couldn't believe how mellow they all were! They were definitely snuggle bunnies - exactly what we were looking for. We knew we wanted 2, but DH and LJ couldn't decide on a second bunny. Pretty soon, they were asking if we could take all 3! Um, no. So after about an 1 1/2 hours, they finally chose and we brought them home.

Allow me to introduce our newest family members:

Allie - our Squirrely girl:and Sadie - Often referred to as "Sadie Sweetness":


I can't even begin to tell you how much it has helped me to heal to have them around. They are exactly what I needed. Both of them love to cuddle, and will let me hold them whenever I'd like, for as long as I need.

Sadie loves to be held like a baby, and usually falls asleep in this position:
When she is super relaxed, she lets her ears droop. She ends up looking like a little helicopter. It is so cute.

The first thing we did when we got them home (after a clean bill of health from the vet) is bathe them. This is usually not a fun task, because rabbits hate water just as much as cats. Imagine my surprise when they both let me bathe them, and then blow dry them without protesting at all! We have since bathed them 2 more times with the same result.

Did I mention how much I love them?

So, these are our new babies. We adore them. They are helping us to heal, and we are so very grateful for that. The day after we brought them home, LJ decided that she needed to go tell Molly and Roxy about their new sisters. She made sure to take them a few leaves of Romaine, and spent a good 15 minutes over their grave talking to them. It was a very touching sight. When we got home, she told Allie and Sadie that Molly and Roxy were happy they were here and that they told them to take good care of us. They both gave her kisses, and then begged to be held.

I think this is going to work out splendidly.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

A Great Big Sigh of Relief

I just spoke to the IVF coordinator for my clinic. As it turns out, I won't actually be using all of these needles for injections. A lot of them are just to draw up the medication. Instead of 3 shots a day, I get to mix the meds together in a mixing vial, and then just do 1 shot.

I am SO much happier today! I might be able to do this after all! =D

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Whoa!

My box of meds arrived yesterday and HOLY CRAP there are a lot of needles. 188 to be exact. Granted, 84 of those are for enough progesterone for 12 weeks... but still. That leaves 104 needles that I will be ramming into my own tummy.

Anyone else feel like throwing up? GAAAAHHH!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Dear Penny,

I miss you. What do I have to do to get you to start blogging again? Cookies? Chocolate? Just say the word.

Obviously, I'm not above public pleas, and I AM willing to beg. Also, this is kind of what you get when I can't follow your comments to a blog, don't have your email address, and know that you check my blog. =)

Did it work?

(Seriously though, love you lots and miss you most!)

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Running

My favorite quote:

"Don't ask the Lord to guide your footsteps if you aren't willing to move your feet."

We might not be sprinting yet, but we've definitely picked up the pace. ---------------------->

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

In Which Meim Falls Apart

(warning: LONG and DEPRESSING post ahead.)

I am a pet lover. Did I ever mention that? My weakness? Bunnies.

Last year for LJ's birthday we decided to get her a Rex Rabbit. Hubs had a connection at work, and the woman who breeds them, M, made us a deal we couldn't refuse. We ended up with 2 adorable bunnies. Molly and Roxy.

We did a lot of research before we brought them home and decided that it would be best if they were indoor bunnies. We live in a climate that can be quite brutal to these Fluffy Ones, and we decided that we would train them to be like cats; liter box trained, and family oriented.

We succeeded very well. Our sweet girls learned to do tricks by voice command, walk on a leash, and lots of other things that are mind-boggling to most people. (Bunny kisses, endless snuggles, and back massages included)

Last Thursday before we left for our trip, we took our babies down to the woman who we bought them from so that they would be taken care of while we were gone. At first we were going to take them, but simply couldn't fit everything required to do so in our car along with all the other camping necessities. We told her we would be back Tuesday morning.

By Monday morning, I was antsy. My allergies were killing me, and I was ready to come home. We decided to come home a day early, and continue our trip this weekend instead. We got home at about 4 o'clock and DH called M to ask if we could come pick up our bunnies. Her reply was that we couldn't. I wasn't sure what was being said, but M has had some marital issues and by the tone of DH's voice, I could tell something was wrong. He excused himself from the house and finished the call outside. I figured that she had a fight with her husband and that it wasn't going to work for her for us to pick them up that night. Oh, how I was wrong.

A few minutes later he opened the back door and asked me to come outside alone. Once outside, I noticed that he was shaking. He explained that we could not go pick them up. When I asked why, his face said it all. They were gone.

M told DH that she wasn't sure what had happened, and that they had been checking on them every 3 hours. They fed them at 9 that morning, and when they checked at noon, they were both dead. Dead -- I can't believe I just typed that.

This is about the time that I about collapsed in my backyard sobbing like an idiot. When I gained my composure, I had the lovely task of telling LJ. That is when my heart actually broke. She cried so hard she couldn't breathe. Her knees buckled and her whole body shook. It was the most heart-wrenching thing I have ever witnessed. I couldn't help but sob with her.

We dropped LJ off at my Dad's house and went to pick up our bunnies. When we got there, I lost my mind again, and stood weeping on M's front lawn. DH and M's husband went into the backyard to get our girls, and I -between sobs- asked M what happened. She told me (in a very irritated and defensive tone) that she didn't know, and proceeded to tell me how they had been so diligent and had checked their food and water, the cage, and all around the area they were in, and couldn't find a thing wrong. She told me how they took them inside during the heat of the day, and made sure that they had frozen water bottles in their cage to make sure they didn't get too hot. She simply "didn't know" what had happened. DH brought them into the front yard, and I again, cried my eyes out. I must have kneeled over them for a good 30 minutes telling them how sorry I was, and repeating how much I loved them both.

We left and took them to a vet who lives in our neighborhood and had him look at them. He took one look and told us that they died from heat stroke. He explained that rabbits usually do pretty good outside, even here in Utah, as long as they are in a shaded place. He told us how he could tell it was heat stroke, and then told us what their symptoms would have been. THEY WERE AWFUL! My poor bunnies suffered before God finally took pity on them and ushered them to Heaven. AND IT ALL COULD HAVE BEEN PREVENTED! He gently told us that there is no way that M wouldn't have been able to tell something was wrong if they had actually been watching them as closely as she claimed.

Today I am crushed. I could tell that something wasn't right in her story just by the way she told it. I know it couldn't have been that our bunnies weren't used to being outside because we let them play outside every. single. day. in our shaded backyard without ever having an issue. Our bunnies died from neglect. OUR bunnies. The ones that have toys scattered around my house, had just had their check-up with the vet 2 weeks ago, and that were a part of our family in every single way.

I will never again get to lay on my couch with Molly on my chest and look into her adorable little face and tell her how much I love her or thank her for being there for me through all the atrocities that occurred last year. She will never be there to sooth my tears, and nuzzle into my neck when she can sense I am upset. Roxy will never again re-arrange the rugs in my kitchen, or make me laugh by smoothing the wrinkles on their bed before she'll lay down. And neither one of them will excitedly hop to my feet when I walk in my backdoor.

I am SO angry! I don't know how to process this grief. I know how silly it sounds to be so upset over rabbits but nonetheless, these were exceptional little furballs! They are 100% irreplaceable. And to lose them in such a way... devastating.

To give you an idea of how much this has effected me: AF started today. IUI #11 was a complete and utter failure... AND I DON'T CARE!!! I can't express how much sadness I feel. I have never bonded to a pet the way I did with these two. I already miss them so much it hurts.

We buried them in my Dad's backyard wrapped in one of LJ's baby blankets, along with their favorite ball and LJ's stuffed animal, Ellie the Elephant. Ellie is who always makes LJ feel better when she is sick or sad, and she wanted to make sure that her bunnies would always have her to tell them how much she loves them.


Molly:


Roxy:
Rest well, Sweet Bunnies. We will love you forever and will cherish every moment we had with you. Thank you for being a part of our family. We will miss you so much!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Away

I'm going off line for a few days. We are heading to the Hub's family reunion and I fully intend to take advantage of the beautiful scenery and calming effects that are offered by the gorgeous canyons here in Utah.

I plan on swinging on rope swings over the river, reading a book near the bank, and to absolutely NOT, under ANY circumstances cave into the overwhelming urge to POAS. ( I really think we should all chip in, and create a 12-step program for this depressing addiction!)

Bye for now!

Friday, June 25, 2010

Clever

So, what do you do if you are a Quail jonesin' for strawberries, but the crazy infertile woman who grows them shoo's you away every time you get close?

Show her your inch-and-a-half long babies of course! ALL SEVENTEEN OF THEM!

Then of course she'll be so overcome with their "cuteness" that she'll have to let you get your fix of those bright beautiful orbs of deliciousness. She'll probably be so distracted that she'll let the hubs have a bite, too! Sounds easy enough, right?
*sigh*, right.

(Mama Quail to Meim: SUCKA!!!)


Monday, June 21, 2010

Remembering




A grain of sand would fair so well, to find its tiny home
Through pain and strife a pearl is born;
Its beauty is well known.

Amazed at how a pearl is made, I think about my own.
Our tiny Babe was nestled deep-
Not where it should have grown.

Yet ours will never be the gem
The sand was meant to be
Instead a precious angel sits above and waits for me.



---------------------------------------------------------
Remembering our Pearl baby on his would-be birthday.

Apparently, it's now a collection.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Day 3... again

I had my baseline scan today. 6 antral follies on the left, 5 on the right. I start Femara tonight, and then will up my FSH this cycle ever so slightly from 112 units, to 137. Hopefully that will do the trick.

I saw yet ANOTHER RE in the practice today since Dr. H wasn't in. Dr. HH did my scan today. He is new to the clinic I am going to now, but he came here from my old clinic. Y'know... that clinic that I adore? The one that my beloved Dr. P practices at? Yeah, that one. As he did my scan, we talked about Dr. P and how lovely he is. We chuckled about the antics of my now retired OB, Dr.D, and his hilarious plan to open a "Fredrick's of Provo." (Oh, how I miss him. Come baaack Dr. D!) It was nice to talk to someone who is familiar with all of my previous doctors, and seemingly loves them just as much as I do. (For the record, Dr. HH switched clinics so that he was able spend more time with his patients and not have to worry so much about the teaching aspect that comes with working in a teaching hospital. He did not leave on bad terms.)

The bottom line: I am switching RE's again. Although I miss Dr. P very, very much, and will still probably end up back in his care at some point... I feel a bit of the same warmth from Dr. HH, as I get from Dr. P and I am certainly happy about that.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------

I am more than a little bummed to be starting another cycle of IF treatments. This weekend will be incredibly hard for me. Not only is it Father's Day weekend, but Monday is my would-be due date. Sunday we are going to spend time with the in-laws, which means lots and lots of babies. The babies that mine should have grown up with. The oldest and youngest (ours) would have been separated by less than 8 weeks. Now I look at them and see even more of what I lost. Don't get me wrong, I LOVE being near them... just not this week. This week I want to remember MY baby and what should have been.

I think the worst part will be knowing that they have all forgotten. It is horrible to feel insignificant to those you love, but even worse when your children are forgotten.

It's just much too much this week. No more, please. I've had my fill.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

NIL

So glad I did 2 weeks of particularly painful PIO shots in the ass. It firmly cemented my hatred for the BIG FAT ZERO that was my beta today.

DH and I have decided to to do a few more injectible/IUI cycles. If no success by the end of August - we're moving on to IVF. It sucks when you realize that you are actually at the end of your rope. I never thought we'd have to make a decision like this. It kills me to have to shell out thousands for one cycle, and end up with no guarantees; only "maybe."

I feel sick.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

An Unapologetic Baby Fix and Other Rambling Subjects...

I'm sure that most of my readers know, but in case you forgot perhaps I should discuss with you the infant explosion that has happened in my neck of the woods as of late.

On April 19th my nephew L was born. We greeted him at the hospital and offered our most sincere "congratulations" to his parents. They had been hoping an praying for him for just over 6 years when they found out he was on his way. It was a blissful day, and one I will never forget.

May 18th brought the arrival of sweet little H, with her beautiful red hair and super tame disposition. She loves to hold hands and has the strongest neck of any newborn I have ever met.

Just 8 days later, on May 26th, baby A made her debut. She is tiny and petite and has the cutest cry ever. She has this adorable little dramatic whistle-like sound that she makes when she takes a breath as she cries. It is both heartbreaking and adorable all at once.

I have been pleasantly surprised by how much I want to be around these new little ones. I crave feeling their tiny bodies in my arms and listening to their sweet breaths and gentle coos. I am beyond grateful that their mothers are not stingy with the baby-time and allow me all the snuggle time I want. Honestly, I can't say I'd be the same way (hopefully I'll get a chance to work on that!)

The other day, my 4-year-old niece, J, sat on my lap and told my SIL, A, who was sitting right next to me that she was
not her favorite aunt. No amount of persuading to make A "one of her favorite aunts" could change her mind. My SIL, W, who was sitting across the way from us asked (while pointing to herself), "J, who IS your favorite aunt?" J, nodded politely and then sat still until W laughed and the conversation seemed to be over. She then leaned in next to my ear and said in a loud whisper: "You are my only favorite aunt" and gave me a super big hug and made me promise not to tell. Although everyone sitting near me obviously heard her, none of them said a word. I guess they all realized how much I needed to hear that. And boy, how I LOVED hearing it. It ranks up there with the feeling I get when I walk into the house and they run to the front door happily yelling "MEEEEEEMMMMM!" and then tackle me in a huge hug.

I have one more SIL who is pregnant, due in Sept. This one I am struggling with. Although I'm not feeling the same way I did, I am still having a hard time with it all. We get a long just fine, but we haven't really talked about it at all. DH and his brother talked (no, really. There wasn't even yelling, or punches being thrown!) about it, and that is where it ended. DH and I have simply realized that there is nothing we can do about it, so we are trying to move on. He and I are currently in talks to negotiate another name. It may take a while. Names are really hard, especially when we were soooo emotionally
tied to, and had planned on that name for nearly 5 years. We still may use it, but figured we'd at least try to find another name we like.

Why did I tell you all of this? I don't know. I guess I just needed to tell you that I am doing okay with all the babies around me and I'm not hiding in the pit of despair, like I tend to be doing when there are scarce postings to my blog. We didn't cut any family ties despite current events, and although we are hopeful that this current cycle is a success, we are trying not to focus on it too much. (although we all know how impossible that is. Especially when progesterone screws with your mind and turns you into a hormonal mess, full of emotional mood-swings, and crazy-vivid pregnancy dreams! EFF YOU, PROGESTERONE! YOU'RE AN ASSHOLE, AND I HATE EVERY LITTLE BIT OF YOU,
unless you make a baby stick, in which case I will sing your praises until my dying day. Just so we're clear.)

If you'd like to share, I'd appreciate any input on boy baby names. We like traditional names, and my qualifying rule is: "Can you see his name as a Supreme Court Justice?" For example; Jacob, Andrew, Matthew, Brandon, etc. Of course none of those names work for us for varying reasons, but you get the point. Thank you in advance.

I was going to apologize for the length of this post, but then I figured, "my blog. I'll post as much as I like. So there." I guess you'll stop reading when you're bored... which was probably somewhere like, 10 minutes ago. =)

Yeah, you know I love you!


Wednesday, June 2, 2010

How to Save a Life

Before all this crap that is infertility began, I had a goal.

One day at a regular 'ol OB appointment while I was pregnant with LJ, a the ripe old age of 20, I noticed a flyer taped to the back of a bathroom door. It was an advertisement seeking egg donors. I took one of the tear-away phone numbers and called later to find out how it all worked. I knew that in my current state; nearly 8 months pregnant, I wouldn't be able to do anything until after LJ was born, but I wanted to know how long I'd have to wait, what the risks were, etc.

When I called I was a little discouraged when I was quickly told, in a way that closely resembled a mother trying to bribe a child to do something unpleasant, that I could "earn" $2,500 for donating eggs. It made me sad to think that there were probably women out there who did egg donation just for the money. I thought of how they were surely missing the bigger picture. When I thought of being able to give a couple the family that they desired, it brought tears to my eyes. What better gift is there? It wasn't a huge risk for me, and it seemed like such an easy thing to do to help someone else in a major way. I was all in.

Unfortunately, when the time came that I could actually be an egg donor, I made the mistake of mentioning my intentions to a few family members. It didn't go as I had expected, and actually caused A LOT of conflict. By the time it had blown over, we had just decided to start trying for #2. I figured I could always do it after we had our next baby. (*insert heavy sigh, here)

A few years later, a friend of mine had a daughter that was in need of a kidney transplant. Fortunately, my friend was a match and the transplant was completed successfully. But it got me thinking about all the other children I saw at the hospital that were not as lucky. I contacted the Living Donor program in my area and asked for an information packet in the mail. After a few more months (before I ever even mentioned it to my DH) I decided that I wanted to be a living donor. Then, of course when I mentioned it to my DH, he had another idea. He was completely against me doing it right then. After a lot of prayer and discussion, I promised to wait until we were done having children. His major hang up was that if we ever had a child that needed a kidney transplant, I wouldn't be able to donate (if I was a match.) We know that I wouldn't not be able to donate to LJ if she ever needed it, but future children... well, who knows. So, I decided I could again "wait."

Then, about a week ago, I was reading the LFCA and noticed that a fellow blogger had organized a bone marrow drive. I read through her blog, then read through all the information on the donor site. I had NO IDEA it was so easy to be a donor! Many times, bone marrow can be harvested through a blood donation, after 5 days of injections (this is one of 2 ways to donate, the other is surgical.) No sweat! I can do that, no problem! And in 6 weeks, your body has replaced what was donated, and everything is back to normal. What does this mean? Well, you can be a donor multiple times. YOU HAVE THE POTENTIAL TO SAVE SOMEONES LIFE EVERY SIX WEEKS!!! (If you are a match, and meet certain health guidelines) I didn't wait to discuss it with DH, and I sure as hell didn't care if any of my other family members had a problem with it. I filled out the donor application online, as well as the health survey. Then, I was promptly DENIED! WTF? Why?!? Well, apparently because I have 3 bulging discs in my back, I cannot be a donor. Again, WTF!! I am not on medication, I have not had surgery, and my "condition" does not usually interfere with my daily life. Most of the time I am pain free. Does anyone else see a problem with this? Even if I were a match to someone and had to donate through the surgical method (bone marrow is harvested from the pelvic bone with a large needle and syringe under general anesthesia,) this would not worsen my "condition." At most, I would be uncomfortable for a few weeks. Does this really out weight a critically ill cancer patient's need for a bone marrow transplant?!? Hmmm, let's see; Meim being a little sore, or Patient dying. Oh, yes, clearly my back is the bigger issue! (sarcasm better be dripping from your monitor!)

I am beyond disgusted. It doesn't seem right to me, not even a little. I am willing to do it. It is such a little thing I can do, but with such a huge benefit for a sick human being, many of which are children. I called the 800 number hoping to convince them that I am indeed a healthy candidate, but I was referred to the regional office in California. I have yet to get in touch with anyone, but have left several voice messages. What else can I do? Well, I guess I could try to persuade YOU into becoming a donor, too. It is definitely not something to take lightly, but c'mon, what better way is there to become a real-life super hero? There are thousands of people waiting for someone to be an answer to their prayer. Maybe you are it!

Here is the information. If you are willing, please give it some thought:

Living Kidney Donation

Bone Marrow Donation

I know that you can also become a living liver donor, but I wasn't able to find much information on it.