My Story

The chronicle of the journey from infertility, to miscarriage, to finally raising twin girls born in June 2012.

Sunday, October 30, 2011


Had an early dinner with K last night.  He was stuck at work for an extra long day due to scheduling snafus so I went up to his workplace to take him to a long "lunch" near dinner time.  And the whole time, I was saying "I have no proof, but I'm 99% sure I'm pregnant."

Why did I think this?  Because of all the activity going on in my abdomen.  Because I'm actually getting HUNGRY instead of just kinda wanting a snack.  Cuz I'm dreaming like crazy every night instead of the one dream per week that's average for me.

On the way home, I was in a really good mood.  At a red light I was totally rocking out to something on the radio.  And 20 minutes later as I took my freeway exit near home, I started crying imagining looking at my first ultrasound and whether or not it will have 1 or 2 Maybies in it.  That's some major mood swing action so I knew that when I made it home, I had to pee on a stick.

Being only 4dp5dt, I expected to see nothing of course.

Now, I realize that the second lines are very faint, especially since they don't want to show up on camera, but they're there.  I had peed on a few earlier, including the morning of transfer to ensure that this is NOT the trigger shot leftovers.  Nope, that has completely cleared from my system so the only possible source of any HCG right now is my little Maybies.  And I really am thinking that it might be twins again.  It showed up on day 4 for crying out loud!  And every cramp and pull that I'm having is either the lower left or the upper right, the same locations as those 2 really strong, potentially implantation twinges.  But never in the upper left or lower right.

I really thought that I would get upset at seeing my BFP, but I didn't.  Guys, I'm having emotions almost as if I'm completely naive of what could happen.  K is not and he really kind of pissed me off last night by not getting all excited with me.  I am afraid that this pregnancy will last no more than a day or two before fading away, so I guess I'm trying to enjoy it for the few moments that I have it.

Here's my freakout list -

  • I peed again this morning and while the faint, faint line is still there, it's even fainter.  Is it going away????  Is it a chemical pregnancy and I'm going to be back in the IF/MC club next week??
  • A line showed up on day 4, just how many are in there kicking out HCG anyway????  I had an embryo split last time to create 2 babies and we transferred 2 perfect embryos this time.  Am I going to have to some horrible decisions to make when we can finally count how many may have split and stuck?
  • Am I jinxing things by saying this out loud and actually being happy about it?
Okey dokey.  So.  At the moment, for at least this moment, I'm knocked up!

The starter pistol has sounded, I'm officially running towards the finish line.  But wow are there a lot of hurdles between here and there.  The first hurdle - still being pregnant when I do my beta test on Thursday, Nov 3rd. In other words, determining that this pregnancy is real and not a chemical pregnancy.

I'm fully expecting to lose a few followers this week.  I tend to stop reading IF blogs that become pregnancy blogs so if that's how you feel, I totally understand.  I hope you'll come back and join me again when you're on your own track towards graduation.  And if you see me back on the ICLW list on the Stirrup Queens website in the future, it will mean that this is no longer a pregnancy blog and has returned to being an IF/MC blog and it's safe to read me again.  I don't intend to participate while pregnant, that just seems rude.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

4dp5dt stupid stuff

Currently 4dp5dt so I obviously have nothing really to report.

There's activity in my abdomen so I'm fairly certain I'm gonna have good news in a few days.  Can't really describe it.  It's not quite cramps and it's not very consistent in what it feels like.  This morning when I woke up, it was kind of a general ache in the whole lower, center area.  I'm getting little bands of tightness across the full abdomen.  And little, uhm, burning spots for lack of a better description.  The evening of transfer and the next morning I felt 2 very specific hard twinges so, ya know, here's hoping.

But yeah, just kind of vague general activity from time to time.  I have no idea if this is still just recovery from egg retrieval and all the stims or if this is new activity.

And of course all of the blogs and forums describe symptoms this early as feeling like the onset of AF.  Well I have no clue if that's what I'm experiencing because being a PCOS person, I don't really have AF without medications so I don't ever have any indication that it's coming, so I sincerely don't know what the onset of AF feels like.

As I comment on various IF blogs, I'm starting to think I should record the Captcha words as potential baby names.  My favorite so far is PooPom.  Leave me your Captcha baby names in the comments!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Conversations with the Hubby

After another annoying trip to the bathroom to deal with Endometrin ickies, I had the following conversation with K.

Me:  Interesting IVF fun fact #83.  The size and shape of the endometrin splooge that lands in your underwear will never match the size and shape of the pad you have put in your underwear to catch said splooge.

K:  Thank you for that.  I'm ignoring you now.

And he actually followed that with something I haven't seen since high school -

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Final Embryo Count

Got the final update today on what we got from this round.  And the total is 5, just like last time.  I've got 2 of them floating around in me now, 3 went on ice, and we still have 1 frostie from our first attempt.  So I have this attempt, and 2 more in the bank.

I was really hoping to get three attempts in the bank.  I know that these numbers are actually really, really good, and the quality of the embryos is really, really high, but like everyone else in the world, I wanted more.  I just can't help but be scared that it's not enough.  What if none of them ever take, or what of some of them become pregnancies that don't make it to term?  Will I feel like I did enough to be able to walk away from IVF without regrets?  I just don't know.

But we're not focusing on that right now.  We're focusing on my swimming Maybies!

Aren't they cute?

And because I'm like every other IVF patient in the world, I'm imagining all sorts of twinges and pangs that can be interpreted as something but are likely nothing.  Had some sharp pangs on my lower left yesterday and right now I'm experiencing some pangs on my upper right.  I'm 1dp5dt.  That's waaaaaayyyy too early for implant, right?  They still need another day of swimming, right?

I wish these pangs could reasonably be interpreted as implantation.  Cuz if they could, that would mean that both are implanting on complete opposite corners of the uterus which would be fabulous.  But I'm not deluded enough to think that it's real.  Psychosomatic I'm sure (she says fishing for someone to tell her otherwise).

K is being totally supportive.  He's doing all the laundry and the dishes so that I don't have to lift or bend.  And when I can start doing pottery again (the position I sit in while doing kind of crunches the core so it will be a few days), he's going to put a bag of clay up on the table for me every morning so I can just cut off what I need without having to lift it.  And he's going to help me unload the kiln tomorrow or Friday when it's ready to be unloaded.  I was smart, I loaded the kiln the day before transfer except for the top level so that I wouldn't have to do it after the transfer.

Ok, now that I've completed the second half of IVF, I'll need to write another IVF Random Tips posts.  Please ask me your questions or submit your tips so I can get them included!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Get set

Did the transfer today.  And for some reason, I don't have a whole lot to say about it.

We transferred 2 embryos and the embryologist said they looked as good as they could possibly look.  They were exactly what you want to see.  Yay!

Here are my current embryo numbers -

1 frozen from the last attempt
1 frozen from this attempt
2 transferred and currently swimming around looking for something to grab onto
2 that look awesome and will likely freeze tomorrow
4 that are 50/50 at the moment.  They could be totally awesome tomorrow for freeze, or they might go south, there's simply no predicting.
1 that's still alive but will most likely be discarded.

So out of the 10 mature eggs that we got, I still have 10 embryos!  And there's every chance that as many of 9 of them will look good enough to try to become babies at some point.

Cross your fingers that 6 more make it to freeze tomorrow.  I want as many attempts in the bank as possible because I never want to do this again and I never want to worry that if I had tried harder, more attempts, maybe the outcome would have been different.

If I have 2 inside me, and 8 Maybies on ice, then it would take me a solid year or two of trying before I used all of them up.  By then I would be 38 and I could walk away.  If I can't create children from ages 34-38 with perfect embryos and every chance of it happening on my side, it will be pointless to try this again between the ages of 38-40.

Ok, now we wait for the GO so we can start jumping some hurdles on the way to the finish line.

PS - I'll post the embryo picture, but I think it's in K's pocket and he's grocery shopping.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Still at 10

I have my appointment time for transfer.  1:30pm on Tuesday which is day 5.

So today is day 3 and I got an embryo update.  And I'm gobsmacked.  All 10 are still going strong, 8 or 9 cells each and looking exactly how you want them to look on day 3.  All rated as "good" quality.

Gotta say, I wasn't expecting that.  I was expecting maybe about half of them to be looking good and half to be looking a little questionable.  We can't expect them all to make it to blasts, but looking at them, he can't pick out any that he would predict to be the losers.

Before we learned how many eggs were retrieved, I somehow had my mind set on and hoping for a total of 8 transferable embryos.  2 for this attempt and 6 to put on ice.  As soon as I learned that we had less eggs than last time, I started hoping for 4, maybe 5.  But wow, we might actually get the 8!!!  How awesome would that be?

I'm bouncing off the walls, and then feeling a bit nauseous from the various chemicals in my body.  Getting my hopes up WAYYYYYY too high right now!

Friday, October 21, 2011

On your mark

Out of the 14 eggs that were gathered, 10 were mature and all 10 fertilized.  So we currently have 10 Maybies sitting in a petri dish.

I only vaguely recall my numbers from last time.  I want to say that 19 eggs were gathered, 17 were mature, 12 fertilized, and 5 made it to either transfer or freeze.

So we may have started with smaller numbers, but our ratio of survivors seems much higher this time.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Retrieval Day

I'm still a little loopy so I make no promises that this will be written either coherently or entertainingly.

Started my morning at o dark thirty to make sure we got through Seattle traffic on time for my retrieval.  Traffic was on our side and we got there about a half hour early which kind of sucked since I wasn't able to go and get a snack or anything to pass the time.  So we hung out in the car listening to NPR make of the republican debates.

Gotta say, I was really nervous going in.  Not for the actual procedure, but for the weigh in.  I printed out the email I was sent saying that the procedure would move forward even if my weight had popped up above the 40 BMI cut off point and I was really prepared to raise a stink if anyone questioned me about the fact that yes, my weight has gone back up.  Fortunately, when I did weigh in, no one said a word about it, so all that worry and fight prep was for nothing.

K and I were taken to a back room and to a little bed behind a curtain where I stripped myself down.  I learned there why you can't be a fat patient, the gown hardly wraps around you!  If I were any bigger, I'd be mooning every body.

I got myself into the little bed and the technicians came in to put in the IV and that became quite the comedy.  They were both very lively women, unlike a lot of the zombies I've run into on the medical front lines elsewhere so there was a lot of joking around as we attempted to get a vein to work.  They thought they found one on the back of my right hand and when the numbing agent started plunging in, I accidentally jerked my hand.  I was startled by the intense burning of the stuff.  And it kind of went downhill from there.  My veins are just so sick of being poked, and I hadn't been allowed anything to drink since midnight last night, so all of my veins were hiding and not allowing medication into them.

The technicians attempted 2 different locations on my right hand, of 2 needle pokes each and were forced to give up and ask a doctor to come in and do it.  He went after my left hand and it took him 2 tries as well before we finally got what we needed.  And it's weird when they put that numbing stuff in, it swells up just under the skin so it looks like you've stuck a pea under there.  Between me jerking my hand, and them not finding the right vein, it took 9 needle pokes.

All the prep took about a half hour or so and it was very good natured, with a lot of joking around and stuff.  Then it was time to take me in and for K to go away to do his part, and for no reason at all I suddenly started crying.  I hate it when that happens!  I suddenly get overwhelmed and my face just wants to cry for no damned reason.

So then I find myself on the bed in the OR and I realize why I'm crying.  The last time I was looking at ceiling tiles like that, I was losing my girls.  And that's the last thing I said before waking up again back in the original bed.

K was next to me when I woke up of course and I was given a cup of animal crackers and a cup of water.  I knew I was going to want some pain meds before I left so I started chowing down on the crackers to get something in my stomach.  And I told K that we should get waffles on our way home and everybody giggled a little bit.  They told me that while I was still really groggy, I had muttered something about waffles.  Apparently I really wanted waffles!

They got 14 eggs.  I'm sure most people reading this think that's a fabulous number, but I'm really disappointed.  Our last attempt had 19 eggs and in the end we ended up with 5 good embryos.  So I was really hoping to have similar numbers, if not better to start with this time.  And since I had 15 ready to go at my last ultrasound, I had it in my head that 15 was the minimum that they were gonna get.

I really wanted to put an obnoxious number of embryos in storage from this attempt because I really never want to do this again.  While we have absolutely no way of knowing what the final tally will be at this point, if the numbers go about like they did last time, we anticipate 2 embryos to transfer, and 1 or 2 to put on ice.  But if we only put 1 or 2 in storage to keep that last one from the previous attempt company, that means that even if I get knocked up and deliver a baby from this attempt, I only have 1 or 2 attempts for a second child in the future.  I was really hoping for more than that.

On our way home we had breakfast at IHOP.  And just because I like to confuse everybody, I did NOT get waffles.

It was about noon, and I went straight back to bed and K decided to join me.  As did 3 of our 4 cats.  It's 5:15pm right now and I'm up, but K is still sleeping.  You know, because HE had a rough morning of making babies.

I'm bleeding a little bit and I'm planning on riding the Vicodin high today and probably most of tomorrow because I am in some pain.

And Bleeding Tulip, I got your comment - K had already stocked up on grilled cheese supplies yesterday.  My go to meal when I don't feel good is cream of tomato soup and a grilled cheese sandwich.  Sometimes we get fancy and put some tomato slices and/or bacon in the sandwich.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Prepregnancy pregnant feelings

I triggered last night.  And in a cruel twist of irony, the clinic made me take a pregnancy test this morning to ensure that the Hcg absorbed.  Am I the only one who thinks it's kind of cruel to make an infertile take a pregnancy test and see a positive result when we know full well that we're not actually pregnant?  I do.

Ok, I'm putting this out there because I'm having pregnancy symptoms related to the Hcg shot that I would have interpreted differently if I were actually pregnant.

I'm bloated.  My lower abdomen definitely feels larger and a bit firmer than it was yesterday.  And I'm getting little stabbing pains, well not pains exactly, discomforts I guess, in that line of the crotch from front to back.

If I were pregnant, I would attribute this discomfort to the extra weight of a baby pushing down on those muscles and ligaments but since I'm not, I guess those are pains from the hormone itself.

I don't have a whole lot to say about it, but just putting it out there so newly pregnant people have the benefit of knowing what some of their discomforts are from.  I'm in the rare position of having the hormone in my body without an embryo growing so I figured I should allow others the benefit of my current knowledge.

But yeah, I just readjusted in my chair where you lift yourself up and plop yourself back down and it kind of sent a bit of mild shock through my crotch and tush.  So early pregnant people, if you feel that, it's not you causing an impact on your baby, it's something about the Hcg hormone that's causing it.

And I'm feeling a little sick.  Nothing severe.  Just enough that it's like I can't figure out what kind of food will make it go away.  Am I hungry?  Did I eat too much?  Have I had too much sugar today?  Would plain toast make the oogies go away?  Not sure.

And my butt feels all bruised from the injection site.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011


A few people have now mentioned to me that you're having trouble commenting on my blog.  I don't know what the issue is since I have it set on the most open permissions available.

If you want to comment but it's not letting you, just email me and let me know that you want the comment public and I'll post the comment for you.  If you'd just as soon your comment be directly to me but remain private, just let me know that in the email too.

And I'm trying to keep my chat widget open more often so people can talk to me directly.

If anyone has any hints on how to fix whatever Bloggers problem seems to be, let me know so I can get it fixed!

And because this post is boring, here's some of my kitty pictures.


Trigger day

We were expecting to trigger yesterday but the follicles were still a little small.  Went in for the ultrasound today and I've got about 15 that are ready to go with a couple more just slightly smaller.  Hopefully by the time I trigger in about 12 hours, those will be up to size as well.

Last time they got 19 eggs and 5 made it to final embryo stage.  We transferred 2 and froze 3.  We're hoping for similar numbers again.

And I might have to go to my husbands pet store to do the trigger shot because he's working the late shift tonight.  Since the shot is in my butt, I couldn't do it by myself even if I wanted to.  He's going to try to take an hour off so he can run home, do the shot, and go back to work but we'll see how well that plan works out.

I've got band-aids on the back of each hand because she couldn't get blood easily today.  Grrrrr.

Morning got here way too early today.

On a funny note, we've determined that my clinic has been playing Survivor.  We mentioned something about how their other office runs and the technician said "Yeah, we're on our own little island over here" to which my husband replied "and everyone keeps getting voted off."

Yup, right at the merge, my favorite nurse disappeared.  Recently, the woman who used to do the blood work disappeared, the financial aid person is also gone.  And now my doctor is leaving.  We liken him to the major power player who everyone eventually turns on a few votes after the merge.  The only one left is his right hand "man" which is my nurse.  Not sure how she's going to finagle her way into staying on that island.  I have to assume that her days are numbered as pretty much the last member of her original tribe.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

I'm petrified

There are only 2 potential outcomes to this IVF cycle.  Either it works, or it doesn't.  And each of those options brings with it its own unique hell.

If it doesn't work, my world is just shattered.

I'm supposed to be a really good candidate for IVF and so far, every time I've done a fresh transfer, I've gotten pregnant with twins (that's 1 out of 1 times for those of you who are new here).  If I do another fresh transfer and don't get pregnant from it, suddenly I have to realize that my success rate with IVF is far below what we anticipated it would be.  I will lose all confidence in future attempts.  I was prepared for the FET to fail so it really didn't hit me all that hard.  It hit K hard because I don't think he ever considered that it might fail so he was devastated when it did.  I'm not mentally prepared for a fresh cycle to not work.  But I'm starting to realize, of the 4 absolutely perfect embryos that have been placed into my uterus, only 1 has survived.  Granted, it split into 2, but that means that 75% of the embryos transferred into me have died.  If that track record continues, I just don't know how many attempts I can handle.  This might be the last fresh attempt I'm willing and financially able to do.

And what if it does work?

I'm so afraid of being pregnant again.  Not of the being pregnant part, I loved that.  But I had no warning that something could go wrong last time.  I was being reassured every day that things were perfect.  And I got far enough along to turn that emotional corner.  To actually believe that things were going to go well.

One trip to the bathroom because I thought the pressure I was feeling was the need for a bowel movement, and suddenly my world becomes the worst place a person can exist.

If I had strained to push out a bowel movement that evening, had I not realized that the pressure I was feeling was coming from the front and not the back, I would have expelled one of my girls into the toilet.  So tell me folks, how am I ever going to be able to let my daily bowel movement happen if I'm terrified that I might accidentally squeeze out a fetus instead?  I know, it's not logical, but it seriously almost happened last time!  And if I recall correctly, I'm not allowed to take a stool softener while pregnant.  I'm going to be eating so much fiber it's going to be insane.  I don't want to have to push anything while I'm pregnant.

How am I going to enjoy being pregnant when every single twinge, every single wipe of toilet paper has the question attached to it - is this the moment I discover the beginning of another miscarriage?

Obviously, I want the results of a pregnancy.  And I really want all the happy, smug, pregnant person experiences.  I'm just not convinced that I'm going to be capable of having either.  And until some emotional switch is flipped inside me, the fear is going to make being pregnant a pure hell.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Happy Blogaversary!

I've now been writing this blog for one year!  Yay me!

And I really hate what it's become.  This blog was started to document the experiences of first time parents raising twins.  Instead, it's now a miscarriage and infertility blog.  This is not the story I wanted to be writing, and certainly not the story I wanted to be living.

One year ago, I was marveling at the fact that I had twins in the tummy.  Today, I got my blood drawn, a wand up in my bits to look at my ovaries and I'm expecting 2 injections of medication tonight.  I was supposed to be changing diapers when my blog hit one year old, not figuring out medication dosages.

I'm also finding myself gearing up to be more politically active.  I never wanted to be politically active.  I used to hardly ever watch the news.  But now, the republicans are trying to pass so many laws to restrict what a woman can do with her body, and it's really becoming personal.

The house just passed a bill that says that a hospital can refuse abortion services, even in emergency situations where the mothers life is in danger.  And all of the anti-abortion people are all happy pappy as if women are being all la-de-da about these decisions.

If this bill were in effect, I would be dead today.  If that law that the Georgia representative proposed earlier this year had been in effect, I would either be dead, or me and my doctor would be on death row for double homicide.

How can I not take it personally that an entire political party wants me dead?  I'm the person that they are trying to kill, in several different directions.  I'm not some slut who can't keep her legs closed, I'm a mom desperately trying to bring my children into this world.  If abortion procedures were not available, be it for financial reasons, moral reasons, or there was no doctor in the area who had the skills and knowledge to perform such procedures, I would be dead.

What sin have I committed to make these people want to kill me?

When I have the energy to do anything other than try to create babies, here are the causes I intend to become active in:

  • Doctors must perform any tests requested by a mother who has miscarried after her first miscarriage.  They should not be able to refuse these tests until after the 3rd consecutive miscarriage.
  • Abortion procedures, and doctors skilled in such procedures must be available in all emergency medical facilities.
  • Adoption needs to become a viable option for infertile couples.  The costs associated with it and the procedural turmoil currently make it a very prohibitive option.
  • Any health insurance plan that covers Viagra must also cover infertility treatments.  Treating infertility must be designated as a necessary medical procedure.

I could go on, but I think focusing my energy on those four will spread me quite thin enough.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Battle Wounds

No, you don't get to see the bruises on my stomach, I think I'll keep those private.

But here's from the blood draw 2 days ago -

And here's from my blood draw this morning - 

You gotta be tough to be an IVF Mama!

Hmmm, interesting

On the IVF front, everything is going just as it should.  All of my numbers are coming back good and very similar to what they were during my successful IVF attempt.  Therefore, I don't have a whole lot to report on that front.

Currently doing 2 injections a day, menapur and gonal-f and it looks like I'll be doing that for 2 more days.

Today we counted 11 follicles on each side for a total of 22 that are currently plumping themselves up.  I don't remember how many follicles we had the last time, but I do remember that we retrieved a total of 19 eggs which produced 5 high quality embryos.  So any starting point above 19 is good news to me.

However, I did learn one interesting little tidbit of gossip today.  You know how I've been hating my IVF clinic ever since they merged with another clinic in January?  Yeah, and since I've been bitching, I'm sure there's been some question about why I'm still dealing with them instead of moving on to another clinic.  The reason for that is because even though the clinic sucks, my doctor himself is pretty awesome.  So I consider myself a patient of HIS, not the clinic.

Apparently, he hasn't been real thrilled with the clinic takeover either.  And I've heard mumblings of that going on behind the scenes.  How he's been really fighting to put policies in place that will help more patients and how it's been a major struggle.  He's the guy who forced the clinic to partner with a hospital so they can now do egg retrievals on fat girls like me.  Before he fought that fight, they just turned people like me away.

Side note - when you are choosing an IVF clinic, look behind the scenes, not just the success rate numbers.  Those success rate numbers can be manipulated in so many ways.  Like simply not treating patients who might have complications of some sort.  If they are never treated, they are never counted in the statistics, therefore you get inflated success rate numbers.  So in your initial consultation, ask how those numbers are calculated.  Does everyone who walks in seeking treatment factor into those numbers?  How are people weeded out before they are counted among those statistics?

Ok, so back to my doctor.  He told me that he is leaving the practice.  Yeah.  "It's not a good fit" as he put it.  Well no shit Sherlock!  I've been watching very closely and you my dear doctor have been trying to treat patients while your new clinic overlords have been trying to make a profit.  Those goals are simply incompatible!

My doctor is finishing up with his patients that are currently in cycle (that's me!) and then he's outta there.

But here's the real rub - I can't follow him.  He's signing a non-compete clause as a part of his exit, so he will be prohibited from opening a new practice and (I think) being hired by another practice in the area.

Sooooooo, if this fresh round fails, I'm stuck with my clinic for 1 pre-paid FET, but with different doctors.  My nurse is staying and she's my primary point of contact, but quite frankly, she's been exhausted and frustrated since the merge as well so I fully expect her to find a job elsewhere at any time too.

So if I don't get knocked up by the end of this month, and I don't get knocked up a month later with an FET, it makes my decision to change clinics real easy.  I've heard some good things about another clinic in the area.  Now that I'm on the cusp of a BMI of 40, I'm eligible to be treated by any clinic in town.  I already know who I'm going to be calling if I find myself in 2012 with no fetus.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Random IVF tips - part 1

I'm about halfway through IVF attempt number I've lost count and most new readers are probably looking for tips from the pros.

So here are my random thoughts and tips on how to survive IVF, what you can expect, etc etc, in no particular order.

1)  The person you're doing this with is VERY important.  If you have a partner who acts childish when things don't go their way, or they get grumpy when you aren't feeling frisky, or what have you, this is going to be far more difficult than it needs to be.

This is going to be a strain.  And if your relationship tends to be a bit rocky, this process is going to exaggerate every flaw in that relationship.  You both need to be in the mindset that your role in life is to provide whatever you are capable of providing for your partner.  You have each others backs.

Look at when you disagree about something, how do you come to a conclusion?  Do you argue until someone wins?  Or do you discuss it until you both naturally come to the same conclusion?  If your relationship is the former, you might be in for some problems.  But if you generally tend towards the latter, things are pretty strong between you.

Why is this so important?  Because logistically this process is a pain in the butt.  Physically, you become the grouchy tired version of yourself.  Emotionally, you go a lot of different directions.  For once in her life, the woman needs to tend to her own needs first.  This is not the norm for many of us and your partner may feel like you're being selfish, or a princess, or whatever.  If your partner is unable to sacrifice their needs in favor of your needs for this time period without making you feel like crap for doing so, you are going to get yourself completely stressed out, stress leads to failure, so there you go.

2)  Spread the pain.

Put your partner in charge of all medications.  This is the person you will be trusting to raise your child, so trust them to take care of the medications.  The men can only be a part of the baby making process so much, so put as much as physically possible in their hands.

Dealing with medication takes some mental energy, and logistical energy (being in the right place at the right time to administer the meds).  You are already dealing with the physical energy this takes from you, and the logistical energy of being at doctors appointments every 48 hours, so he can deal with the mental energy.

If you sit at home and give yourself an injection while he's out having a beer with this buddies, there's going to be some resentment building up.  So avoid that resentment and make him an active part of the process.  And if he bitches about it, tell him this - if you were able to conceive the natural way, you would have his full undivided attention for the conception of your child.  Yes, you have to put more time and effort in, but it's only fair that you still have his full undivided attention while you conceive your child this way.

Ask him to be at as many doctors appointments as possible.  Unless he'll get fired or something, it's only fair that he have to work his schedule around these damned appointments the same as you do.  And this way, you have two sets of ears to hear the information that the doctors toss at you.  Don't worry, a lot of men sit in as their wives are getting wanded, yours won't be the first.

Another reason for this - IVF doesn't always work.  And if it doesn't, you are going to second guess everything and wonder if you did something wrong.  If he has some responsibility in it, he will have some of those thoughts and guilts too and you'll better be there for each other for the difficult process of mourning the failed cycle.

**PS**  One thing I forgot to mention here.  Men tend to feel that their job is to protect us, to make things better for us.  Keep in mind that while he's inflicting the pain of a needle on you, or he's watching you wince while a doctor is poking and prodding you, he is feeling a major discomfort as well.  And really, I'd say that the discomfort is about equal.  Yours may be physical, but he's standing by, completely helpless to help you.  That's what our men have nightmares about, so do be sensitive to the fact that he's going through that.  You'll have enough discomfort to hold over his head during the pregnancy, don't hold the discomfort of IVF over his head too or he's going to start feeling like no one gives a shit about how hard this is for him.

3)  Ice for some injections, not worth it for others.

For lupron, I don't bother with ice.  The ice is more annoying than the needle.

For menapur, I do ice up first.  For some reason, that shit stings and bruises.  We've got a flat, flexible ice pack with a nice fabric cover.  When hubby starts prepping the meds, I put that on my stomach and zip my pants over it to hold it there.

4)  Sometimes you bleed a little from the injections.  Not much.  Just letting you know so you don't panic.

5)  Buy gonal-f only as needed.  That shit's expensive and a lot of fertility pharmacies automatically overnight their medications.  So if you can, buy half of what you need up front, then buy the other half later in the process.  You might find that you can get away with buying a little bit less than you were originally prescribed, but you can't return it once you have it.

Actually, do what you can to buy stuff as needed.  I've had 3 cycles now that have been cancelled before I got into the major medication stage.  Some of those meds aren't even used for my protocols anymore so I'm never going to need them.  Some of those leftovers are usable and I'm using them, but seriously, put off buying meds until you have to if you have a pharmacy that overnights stuff.  If getting the meds is a 3 week process due to insurance or whatever, disregard that advice.

6)  Run everything through insurance, even if they say they aren't paying a penny of it.  Sometimes, they randomly cover one or two medications, like the antibiotics.  You never know what those are going to be, and odds are it won't help a whole lot, but hey, 20 bucks is still 20 bucks.

7)  Cranky, tired, and stressed.  You're not imagining it.  You're not being a selfish princess.  You are being chemically programmed to feel that way.  So it's likely that you will feel stressed out, even though you can't figure out what is going on in life that should be stressing you out.  Don't feel guilty about this, just give in and be cranky.

8)  Sex might go out the window.  You're going to have enough people up in your bits every day that you might feel like sex is just another invasion of your body.  Hubby will better understand why you don't feel like it if he goes to the ultrasound appointments with you.

9)  Do IVF during Halloween season.  You can buy massive amounts of candy and no one will blink an eye.

I'll write more of this when I'm further along in the process.  Sound off in the comments!  What should every woman know as they start IVF?

Had a friend come by

I know, that sounds like nothing to blog about, but for me, that's actually newsworthy.  Why?  Cuz in real life, I really don't have any friends.  I'm such a loner, such a homebody, when it occurs to me to call someone up to do something, I look at my flimsy list of contacts and realize that I simply don't have anyone to call.

So who is this mystery person I'm referring to?  Well, we met several years ago when we did a theater production together.  This is the same theater production where I met the person who became my best friend for a few years, PR.  So this other friend (KM for future reference) is actually a mutual friend of mine and PR's, though she was more PR's friend than mine.

Just a reminder of who PR is, because it's about to become relevant, this is what happened, (written when I was in WTF mode and heartbroken) and this has been my lingering reaction to the things that bitch said ever since.

So I'm going to break this story off into two topics -

1)  KM's little girl and this infertiles reaction to having a little girl around and
2)  KM confirms, yet again, that I'm not insane.

Ok, so topic 1)

KM brought her toddler over to do some clay stuff.  She asked me to make some bowls so that we could preserve the little girls handprints in some functional, handmade pottery.

I had no idea what to expect having a little girl in my studio.  I've got some sharp tools in there so I didn't know if my studio would just be this death trap (I've never had to childproof so I simply don't know what to look for!).  I didn't know if she would be running around energetic with no focus like my nephew often does, wailing because she's at a strangers house, or if she'd be doing the terrible twos thing and give me a moment of being glad I'm not a parent yet, or what.

She was so sweet!  She's certainly more interested in her own little world than paying attention to me, and that worked out pretty well.  We were able to set her up to play with some clay while we stepped outside the door for some adult chatting.  And she was rather content to play on her own, and only called out to show mama something every 5 minutes or so.  I really did not expect that much happy quiet from a toddler at all.

When we were painting her hands and putting them in the bowls, she was so patient.  She actually sat through 12 bowls of this process without pitching any fits, or smearing the paint all over, or anything else you might expect a toddler to do.

And I actually did normal "adult around baby" things.  I asked if she wanted up and she was agreeable so I picked her up for a bit.  And when I put her down, she grabbed my finger to drag me somewhere to show me something.  I can still feel that little hand wrapped around my finger, holding tight.

I normally don't allow myself to do anything around a child that might leave a tactile memory like that because, well, we've talked about this before guys.  *sigh*  Smelling the brownies.

Ok, topic 2)

I was really kind of nervous about this friend coming by because as far as I knew, she was still a friend of PR and I want to be the bigger person and not say anything about someone I now hate to someone who is still friends with her because that puts the friend in a horrible position and potentially invites the drama to start all over again in my life.

Not a problem!  PR burned through that friendship a whole lot faster than she burned through mine!

Ya know how when someone does something really horrible to you, but you have no closure on the subject, so you spend a whole lot of time screaming at that person in your head?  Like you practice an argument so that if you ever run into them, you'll have really honed in on what you would say?  I've been doing that every damned day for the last year!  Even though she is completely out of my life, she's still been dominating it because I haven't had that closure so my brain keeps working on it.

I'm not going to go into details because it's all gossipy, and you don't know these people so you don't care anyway, but every question I've had in my head, all of that lingering doubt about my side of the drama, KM put it to rest.  It wasn't me.  I don't suck.  She really was batshit crazy.

And today, my emotional self has finally accepted what my intellectual self has been saying all along - PR isn't worth the air it would take to tell her off.  For the first time in a year, I finally actually feel like that drama is over.

BTW - KM is the person who told me last year about how lupron sucks.  I was really feeling shitty with the stuff, she identified what was making me feel like shit, and made me feel a ton better simply because she confirmed that I wasn't imagining it, I really did feel like shit.  So KM seems to be the person who just randomly shows up in my life to put my mind at ease about things and to confirm that I'm not completely nuts.

I'm hoping KM will be around more often.  We're both bitches in the same way, or curmudgeons as she puts it.  We're both pretty darned content with our own company, because when we find other friends, they end up sucking for one reason or another.  And as content as I usually am being by myself, it sure would be nice to have someone to call on the rare occasion that I do feel like having coffee with someone other than the hubs.  And both our men are more social than we are, and geeks, so maybe they'll enjoy each others company as well.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

I went all explody

Blame it on the ho-o-o-o-o-ormones, blame it on the ho-o-o-o-o-ormones.

My brother stopped by the deliver the rocking chair that they no longer use and that we're hoping I'll have use for some day.  We put it in the nursery and he kind of plopped in it to relax for a moment.  Then he reacted kind of put out when I asked if we could chill out in the living room because I'm rather uncomfortable hanging out in the nursery.

I've been bottling up emotions relating to my brother for a long time.  For the history, read this post.  I haven't really brought it up to him in the past because it's seemed rather pointless to do so.  It's not an insult he can take back.  Kind of like if a wife asks her husband if she's getting fat and he hesitates for a moment.  No matter how much he says she looks wonderful and that she's not fat at all, the wife will always remember that moment of hesitation and it can't be undone.

And if I weren't reminded of the insult every month that I'm not pregnant.....ok, maybe it's not an insult so much as it is that he gave me a very tangible reason to fear that no one will ever choose me to be parent when my future as a parent may very well be dependent on someone choosing me one day.  Maybe if I weren't constantly reminded of that, I would have forgotten the insult a long time ago.  But I relive it every day.  And since he caused me so much hurt, I naturally keep the source of pain at arms length and as a result, I've kept my brother at arms length.

Anyway, I digress.  There's a logistical situation that we need to work out.  He keeps a gun in his home for protection.  He is Mr. Safety Guy and has done everything that a responsible gun owner should do to keep it safe.  However, I have already lost 2 children to a one in a million chance occurrence.  And I've never been comfortable being in a house that has both a gun and a hyper little boy.  So if I'm pregnant 3 weeks from now, well I've made the parental decision that I do not want my children on the premises of a firearm.  So I bring this up to him.  And as we try to figure out some logistics that would make me comfortable, I try to soften the tension by saying that I realize my fear may be irrational and that when I'm pregnant, I intend to go into full Pregnancy Princess mode and I'm probably going to be irrationally cautious all over the place.

So he asks me, quite seriously, that if I'm this terrified, should I even be a parent in the first place.

Aaaaaaaaaand Boom goes the dynamite.

Once again, someone is passing judgement on me on whether or not I should even be a parent.  The source of my hot button on that particular issue is fucking pushing that button, AGAIN.

Cue the crying.  Verbal diarrhea and snotty tears spew throughout the room in a "do you have any clue as to how angry I've been with you for the last 5 years??" meltdown.

We're about 2 hours into it when it dawns on me, hey, I'm not supposed to allow myself to have any stress right now.  Insert a big ole fail whale here.

I'm now dehydrated, my eyes are puffy and hurt, I have a headache, K won't be home for another 2 hours or so, and I would have to assume that my prolactin levels are currently through the roof.

All I managed to accomplish was to make both of us miserable when there's nothing that can be done to fix what it is that hurts.

But at the end of the conversation, I did tell him that little comments like "you don't understand because you don't have children", he needs to stop saying that.  When he says shit like that, no matter what he's actually saying, what an infertile hears is "You're not valid because you can't breed."  So maybe that was accomplished.

K just received the following 2 text messages from me.

1)  *brother* delivered rocking chair.  Conversation lead him to ask if I think I should even have children at all.  6 years of pent up emotions exploded all over, for about 2 hours.

2)  Bring chocolate.

Aren't I the nice wife for warning him about what he's going to be walking into when he gets home from work?

PS - This is how K responds to the directive "bring chocolate"

Whatever else may suck in my life, I married real good.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Things I learned today

Interesting day overall.

Started my morning with my suppression check.  They took me back to the first little room and asked me to step on the scale.  I said no.  I would not be weighing in today.  I have it in writing that I will not be weighed again during this cycle and that the medical director has cleared me to move forward since I weighed in at the baseline appointment.  A confused technician gave me one of those "oookaaaay"s and we moved on to the removing of the pants portion of the appointment.

My doctor comes in and is all sorts of chipper.  Congratulates me on the weight loss and yay we're moving forward.  Now, while he's a little douchy on the weight subject, overall, he's a good doctor.  So I ask if it's possible to see that he be the attending doctor during egg retrieval and transfer and he immediately says it's not gonna happen.  Then I get a whole litany of explanation about how it would throw everything into chaos if the doctors did a favor for one patient rather than following the schedule blah blah blah.  He's likely going to be the doctor on call for the transfer, but, ugh.  If this IVF and subsequent prepaid FET don't work, I'm never going back to this clinic again.  Now that my weight is down, my options are open for shopping around.

But the good news is that things are looking good and we're moving forward.  I'm going to need to order more gonal-f before this is all over though.

On a different subject - I talked to my health insurance about my acupuncture.  Now my understanding all along has been that I have no coverage.  So I've been paying out of pocket and submitted paperwork to get reimbursed through my FSA.  Well apparently, my acupuncture guy is in network with my health insurance.  He was supposed to be charging through the insurance and they would cover part of it and reimburse me for the other part through the FSA.  So now the health insurance people are going to talk to him and try to get the mess figured out.  It looks like I might be getting a big refund check from somewhere, somehow.... I dunno.  I told the health insurance person that I don't want to deal with it right now because I'm supposed to be keeping my stress level down and I already had a panic attack last night about money.  The two of them need to figure out what the hell we're supposed to be doing, how much money I'm owed back, how I'm going to get it, and what I'm supposed to do to pay for my treatments moving forward, but I'm not doing any of that legwork.  Just figure it out and report back to me.

This is me changing the subject again.

Dear Abby is a douche.  Her column today was the responses to the question put to mothers "if you had to do it over again, would you?"  Yeah.  She posted all sorts of letters about how rewarding parenting is, and of course the comments are people going off about how wonderful it is to raise children.

I made a comment.  It's already gotten a thumbs down from someone.  Do me a favor and give me a few thumbs up ok?  I'm AlexR and the article is here.  ***Ugh, yahoo has been screwing up the comments for Dear Abby all week.  Apparently my comment and about 50 others disappeared.  Who knows, they might be back when you read this***

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Nothing good happens before 11am

For those of you who don't know me, I have the luxury of being able to sleep until 11am most days.

Today was not one of those days.

I got up at 9am because today is medication delivery day.  And since they need a signature and I need to refrigerate some stuff, I had to be awake all day to hear them knock.

And for those of you who don't know my cats, one of them can be a real jerk.  Some days he decides that the litterbox just isn't for him, only the carpet will do.

Today was not one of those days.  Today, he chose to pee on the pad that we have just outside the box.  You know, the plastic mat that's put down to catch all the stray litter.

Well ok, if you're gonna be a jerk and miss the box, peeing on the plastic mat is probably my second choice.  So I get up and grab some paper towels and a plastic bag and soak up a bunch of pee.  I put the urine soaked paper towels into the plastic bag and fold the mat in half and pick it up so I can rinse it off in the big laundry room sink.

Guess who grossly underestimated the amount of urine hiding in that mat?  Guess who learned that she had grossly underestimated the amount of urine in the mat by realizing that there was a stream of it leaking out behind her as she walked through the entire carpeted living room?  And guess who's mother with the most sensitive nose on the planet will be coming by in 2 hours to work on some video stuff?

My cat didn't pee all over the carpet, oh no, he set it up to make sure that I would do it for him.

Oh yeah, I know, you are so jealous of my life right now.

Sunday, October 2, 2011


I generally don't like tea.  To me, it just tastes like dirty water.  I've really tried to like tea.  Others seem to love the ritual of tea oh so very much and consider it their daily treat.  But for me, dirty hot water.

But there is a lot of talk of the various beneficial teas out there in fertility and pregnancy land.  Now, obviously, as an IVF patient, I'm a big fan of science and western medicine.  However, I do think that herbal assistance is something worth investigating.

Here's why.  Up until very recently in human history, a family's survival was dependent on having children.  In agricultural society, you needed so many people to work on the farm in order to produce enough food to sustain the inhabitants.

Also up until recently, a woman's worth was measured by how many children she could produce within her lifetime.  Look at all of the women in history who were basically tossed aside due to fertility problems (I'm looking at you Tudor England!).

So throughout the history of the human race, fertility was right up there with food and shelter on the requirements for living scale.  And throughout most of human history, modern western medicine was not available.  So it stands to reason that the generations before us did a whole lot of study on natural supplements that would increase fertility and pregnancy survival rates.

Does this mean we should throw out modern medicine and go back to the knowledge of the ancients?  Well no, of course not.  But much of modern medicine has its foundation in those supplements.  Heck, even aspirin was discovered because some people would chew on the bark of a certain tree for pain relief.  Some guy named Bayer noticed this, and figured out how to extract the potent ingredient and amplify it's pain relieving properties, and thus invented Aspirin.

So I do think that teas and other supplements can have a beneficial effect and can be a good thing to add to your regimen.  Which brings me back to my original problem - I don't like tea.

One of my colleagues on makes and sells tea and I brought this problem to him.  The fertility teas are generally a raspberry leaf tea so I asked if he could make some for me, but add flavor to it.  He really went above and beyond in customer service.  He created a tea for me with extra cranberry and raspberry flavoring (I prefer fruity over herbal) and sent me a sample within 24 hours along with an ingredient list so I could run it by my doctor and make sure that he added only beneficial supplements and nothing potentially harmful.  Once I tried it, he made up a batch large enough for 50 servings.  So I will be drinking tea during this IVF attempt because every little bit helps!

If you'd like a source of tea, I really recommend you head over to Dreamweavershop on Artfire.  He has just about every tea imaginable and if you don't find what you want, hit the "Contact Artisan" button and ask for what you want.  Both the customer service and the product are top notch.