2 women trying to make a baby

Tuesday, September 29, 2009


Do you ever have a series of events happen in your life that leave you feeling dumbfounded? Yep, that is where I am right now. After days of going back and forth between acceptance, sadness and anger, I did not expect this turn of events.

So this is the story.

Yesterday, I had not gotten AF after 7 days which made me concerned that something might be amiss. J called the IVF nurse for me who suggested I take another hpt but said not to worry. Don't get excited... still negative. I bought some super cheapo hpts, because I did not want to spend good money to tell me what I already knew. The first test, I failed. Seriously, I failed it and got no response at all. Apparently, I flooded the thing and got no lines whatsoever. I did not know that could even happen! El cheapo #2 confirmed that I am still not pregnant. Really it's okay. J and I laughed alot.

Also the financial lady from our clinic called. She is really nice and we like her. She said that the whole clinic was upset that our cycle ended with a BFN. Then she said.....wait for it...... that the clinic will let us cycle again for the super low introductory donor egg price!!!! Not exactly free but 1/3 the price of what other people are paying now. They felt that we have been through too much and they saw no reason this cycle should have failed.

*slightly dazed look and glassy eyes* Yes, I would like 2 more tickets for the crazy train, please.

So today marks CD1 for me and I get right back on BCPs on Thursday. The nurse was calling my other meds into the fertility pharmacy this afternoon.

I also feel the need to apologize to my credit cards in advance. They are about to be inundated.

Sunday, September 27, 2009


The weeds have grown back in my flower beds again, as they are so wont to do. So today rather than taking the nap I wanted to take, I decided to clear out some weeds both physically and metaphorically. I grabbed great angry handfuls of tall weeds and jerked them out from the roots. I am not fooled though. I know that the weeds are still lying in wait underneath the mulch and they will grow back again. Vigilance and determination is the key. And aren’t those really the keys to everything?

I also pruned the enormous and unruly bridal wreath bush. It blooms when and if it chooses. And it adamantly resists all my efforts to contain it. It is at the corner of the flowerbed and at times I find an errant new sprig has grown outside the boundaries of the bed. It refuses to stop. I cut it back to near stubs at times and yet it always finds a way to grow larger, greener and healthier. I respect that bush.

So today, I will enjoy the sunshine. I will breathe and I will find new territory to grow into. No one ever promised that growth would come without a price.

Friday, September 25, 2009

The fleet of hope is so pretty

Tread carefully, there be sharks in these waters!

So I want to begin with a heart-felt thank you all of you who commented or emailed me this week. Every word was like a lifeline and while I hardly feel as though I have the words for a post I want to let you know that I have not done a swan dive from a bridge. Also, I really do plan to email all of you back: hopefully I can stop wearing this damn albatross around my neck (which is really weighing me down). Every footstep feels heavy and gravity is not my friend. I find myself feeling the need to sit and stare into space at every opportunity. For instance, right now I am blogging as I left a half-completed pan of twice-baked potatoes waiting for their filling. Meh.

When I look at myself in the mirror, I hardly know the woman staring back at me. I look as tired as I feel. My body is bulkier than when I began TTC and my eyes don't convey a sense of mischief anymore. I don't even feel funny, and I think I used to be pretty funny. Not to mention that I have having some serious anger toward my physical self. I have a friend who is HIV+ and he always refers to his blood as poison (yes, he has issues). When I think about my own reproductive tract, I internally call it the "embryo terminator". I used to call it that aloud but J put a rapid end to that level of emotional flogging. Alas, gallows humor is not her thing.

After we got confirmation that this cycle was a bust, J and I briefly talked about giving up TTC then she had an insight that she doesn't even know if we could be who we were before we started trying. J wants to talk future plans. She wants to consider our options. She wants me to be okay. Mostly I just want to nap.

Also if another well-intended person in the non-TTC world says to me that a baby will happen for J and I "when the time is right," I am going to completely lose my mind. So I could have saved the 50 grand we have spent as well as all this emotional turmoil if I could be more tuned into when God and the universe are ready for us to conceive?! R.i.g.h.t

Monday, September 21, 2009

I sound my barbaric YAWP...

It is over. I am not pregnant.

I went to the RE's office only to find that my pg test was not covered in the large fee we paid for this cycle. My insurance required that my blood be sent away to another lab which means no answer until tomorrow afternoon. I literally began sobbing in the lab tech's little cubicle area. I almost felt sorry for the blood lady as she tried in vain to comfort me. I gathered myself and made it to my car. Where I called J and reported the day's suckage through sobs, sniffs and gasps. She called our GYN who I am convinced is the nicest man in the universe. The GYN agreed to do a bloodtest and give us the results within a 2 hour period. All covered by my insurance thank.you.very.much. Of course the doc came in and said that there is no HCG in my system. He was kind and apologetic. He also wrote me a new script for my anti-depressant.

J and I are so sad, angry and broken that there are no words to express the emotions. We are wrestling with "why" and what to do next. There are no answers in this primal place. But we are open to answers if anyone has some.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Into the rabbit hole

I took a hpt this morning. Eight days past a 3 day transfer seemed like a safe-enough time. It is negative. I cried a little but mostly I got really numb. J did her best to cheer me up. She told me how early it is and that the blood test may show something better. (I admit that I am still holding out some hope for that.) J also said that I need to stay strong and positive for the embryos. But I think that they are either attached and thriving or arrested and gone: I have little faith that my hope or lack thereof will have any effect at this point.

I looked at J and said, "What will we do if this didn't work?" Her response without a moment's hesitation, "We will save up and try again." Truly I never doubt her love for me and that makes me glow inside. But I must wonder, do I just look foolish at this point? I keep trying this and that, tweaking the protocol, trying a different road, thinking outside the box....nothing works. When is it time to stop banging my head against this damn brick wall?

Monday, September 14, 2009

All in

So, neither of the extra embryos made it to freeze. Let me just say that I am not a "live on the edge" kind of gal. I am much more about hedging my bets. I buy extra insurance. I buy extended warranties. I like having a safety net. Why does the universe never allow me a reproductive insurance policy?

So as usual, I am waiting through this 2ww knowing that the outcome is black or white. No do-overs for me. Is this some cosmic lesson I am supposed to learn?

But here is my bright side thought: Why wouldn't this current cycle work? the embryos are high quality, my uterus was ready and textbook, the lab used ICSI and AH. This will work!!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Of emotions, waiting and celebrations

Since my transfer, my emotions have been all over the map. Granted I have been a more tearful person in general since I began TTC but seriously I have hit a new level of emotionality. Now I don't feel that it is enough to simply get tearful over other people's blogs, kind remarks from friends, television shows (especially when babies are born) and etc. Now I feel that there must actually be tears rolling down my cheeks and occasional sobs. This behavior is really embarrassing for me. I tend to be rather understated so all these waterworks are more than a little disconcerting. The problem is that I cannot seem to stop myself. Seriously, I try all the tricks: looking up at the ceiling, deep breathing, reminding myself that I am also being affected by the medications at this point. Nothing works!

On other fronts, I am feeling cautiously optimistic about this cycle. I keep telling myself: "young eggs and high quality embryos." The clinic also used ICSI and assisted hatching. I like the idea of using new techniques (for me). Surely new efforts will equal new outcomes, right? Right? I am trying to focus on eating well, meditating and not allowing myself to worry too much. The jury is still out on whether I will be able to stay in this calm happy place. I think I am hoping for some small symptom in the next week, like impossibly sore bbs, a bit of implantation spotting or something.

Also today J and I are celebrating our 6 year anniversary. We are keeping it rather low key this year as I am still under many cycle-related restrictions. I think we will have a nice dinner and some shopping afterward. Feeling inspired by the rash of "how we met" stories I have really enjoyed lately, I may put together the story of how J and I met in a future post.... must stay busy in the 2ww.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Transfer complete

2 sweet perfect little embryos are hopefully snuggling into my uterus right now. J calls them our pearls and I love that idea. One embryo was 7 celled and the other was 8 celled. The embryologist said that they both looked just the way they hoped for today. The RE (one I had not seen before) called my uterus textbook perfect. In fact every RE has called my uterus some version of beautiful. I am taking that as a good sign. Let's hope this fabulous uterus is the perfect home for my little pearls.

My other 2 embies are still doing well. I will know Monday if one or both can be frozen.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

More updates

Original post:I have an update of sorts. A different person called from the IVF lab this morning. He said that I have "several embryos" which "seem to be developing well." Then he re-iterated that my transfer is scheduled for tomorrow morning. He said they would bring photos of our embryos then.

OK- I am happy that some of our embryos are developing well and that I will get embryos to transfer.

BUT- I want a number!! Are 4 still doing well? Has a fifth embryo made a late start? Are we down to 3 embies now? *banging head on desk*

Now, breathing and reminding myself that all I really want is 2 excellent quality embryos to transfer, implant and grow into a healthy child/ren.

Now back to being excited....

Update: My ever assertive J called the woman she has made pals with at the RE's office to get more detailed information. I love my wife! Now we know that 2 eggs did not thaw well. 2 eggs did not fertilize at all and 4 fertilizing is quite good. She then said that 2 embryos are looking spectatcular! Two other embryos are still living and dividing but they are just "looking good." The clinic will let those 2 good embryos develop to day 5: if they make it to the blastocyst stage, they will be frozen. So yay, we still have 4 embryos.

Happy happy, joy joy!!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Early returns

After much waiting and fingernail-biting, the lab let me know that 6 eggs were able to be ICSI'd. 4 fertilized. Of course I wish I could have gotten a 100% fertilization rate, but I am excited to know that we have 4 little embryos dividing and growing at this point. It is also reassuring to know that the little embryos are made by healthy young fertiles. I am reminding myself not to be greedy. J and I just need 2 excellent quality embryos to transfer on Friday. The lab will give us another update tomorrow afternoon, so keep sending positive, thriving energy to "the babies." Incidentally, we keep talking about the 4 embryos as though they are fully functioning children hanging out in the lab. "Do you think they are lonely?" "Do you think they are thinking about us too?" Do you think they will like the dogs?"

Ok, deep breaths.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Held hostage

Well not exactly, but the clinic did not give us any details on how the egg thaw went today. I called my clinic-created mailbox all afternoon and.... nothing, nada, zilch. zero, no dice. I came home and double-checked my paperwork and the clinic said I could call for a fertilization report TOMORROW. So it seems that technically speaking, the clinic is doing is exactly what they promised and taking care of the embryos (You say potAto/ I say potato). Doesn't my RE know that I need some information today? Doesn't she get it that mommy needs information about the egg babies? The good news is that it seems that J and I are equally disturbed.

So J comes home and says, "Do you think we have babies? What do you think they look like?"

Me: "Microscopic round little balls most likely. High quality perfect cell balls."

J said: "High quality perfectly round balls with equally dividing cells."

Me: "Yeah, those are our babies."

Shoutout to Queerstork:

Monday, September 7, 2009

Oh the places my brain goes

This cycle is so.... quiet. I am still taking Estradiol shots twice weekly, Lupron daily and today I began taking PIO injections. The RE also added an antibiotic and a steroid as a "just in case measure." It's funny the things a person can get accustomed to. I set my phone's alarm, I take the next med and I move on. My side of this cycle seems easy, physically.

I am finding the mental aspect much harder. I find it hard to truly admit this to myself, but this attempt is quite likely the end of our journey. I am hopeful that I will get pregnant and will have a baby from this cycle, and if that does not work, I am hopeful that we will have frozen embryos to use in the future. But after that.... I think we have to be done. What other drastic measures can a woman take after 3 IVFs and the use of donor eggs? If this does not work, I cannot keep asking J (and myself) to keep pouring money down the drain. In honesty, J could have walked away after IVF 2 or 3: she keeps persevering because she worries how I will react if she says "no more." So this is now my task, I must be the one who finds the end game, edits our priorities. Clearly money is not the value we esteem most, but imagine the vacations we could have financed with our "fertility money." Imagine the student loans we could be finished with. Imagine the simple good times we could have if our focus were not always on the next step, the next chart, the next plan..... the life we hope we will have. How might our lives be different if we could honestly start living presently? If we could fill this moment to the brim with LIFE and fun and happy memories, would that be enough? So here comes the big question: if this donor egg thing does not come through, will the life I am left with be enough?

I have asked myself the same question many times throughout this journey and every time I have answered that "NO, my life cannot be full without a child!" But I think I am at a different place today. My answer is not a calm, serene, "Sure." My answer is more like, "I can find a way to make my life happy." I watched a powerful presentation on TED.com about this very topic. The speaker showed research that discussed the level of happiness people present after events and the results were surprising. Getting everything a person wants (like winning the lottery) does not make that person any happier than a person living through a trauma after 6 or more months have passed. It seems that we must find meaning to make our lives happy. So I am trying to find ways to make my life meaningful with or without a BFP, with or without a child.

See my point? The physical side of this cycle is rather a cinch compared to all the mental machinations I am putting myself through.

But all in all I am not as freaked as I seem. I am still hopeful and I believe this cycle will give J and I the child we are meant to have. I think I am just moving to a place of letting go of the wants of my ego to move to a place of accepting whatever fate my life holds. Either way, I will move forward without regrets.

Tomorrow morning, our eggies will be thawed and ICSI'd. I feel like a kid waiting for Christmas. A kid with a really intense set of thoughts and worries.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

A bit of clarification

I have been playing fast and loose with the cycle dates I have mentioned in my posts, causing some confusion in blogland.

So here is my attempt to be less confounding:
  • My 8 little frozen donor eggs will be thawed and fertilized on September 8.
  • 2 (hopefully) perfect quality embryos will be transferred to my uterus on September 11.

I am so excited I can hardly see straight!! Wanna know another thing I am oddly excited about? The RE has prescribed 1 Xa.nax for me the day of the transfer. That lovely little pill goes so nice with uncomfortable procedures.

Here is a mental picture to leave you with: J is cooking supper. yay! I looked up to notice that she is wearing my new apron. I did a double take to discover that she is wearing only my apron and some panties.