Saturday, August 31, 2013

Supplements Galore!

Last week Who.le Foo.ds had a 25% off of all their supplements.  I had been researching prenatal vitamins and found that New Chapter and Vitamin Code has the best review (from what I found).  Plus I also had a handful of $8 off coupons for New Chapter, so I took advantage of that too.  With such I great deal, I couldn't help but picked up a whole bunch of them.   Now I have enough prenatal vitamins to last me almost 7 months!  

At first, I wasn't sure if I should pick up that many bottles of prenatals.  What if this transfer doesn't work?  Would I want to have that many prenatals sitting around?  Oh well, I figured if this doesn't work, then we will probably go back and try another round.  Or two.  So 7 months worth is probably fine.

In addition, I also picked up some raw probiotics from Vitamin Code (with $5 off coupon), and some calcium.  I'm currently only taking prenatals and vitamin D, but will add calcium soon.  

What supplements did/are you taking for your FETs/IVFs/pregnancies?  Did anyone take baby aspirin?  

On another note, my period finally arrived today.  Thank goodness!

Friday, August 30, 2013

Green Light

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I had my baseline appointment my former fertility clinic today.  It was interesting to go back to the clinic.  Not much has changed, but as usual the waiting room was busy.  It was hard not to think about the ladies and couples there, trying to imagine what part of their journey they are at.

Was the Indian couple there for their first appointment with the RE?  Is the comfortably dressed couple there for their IVF retrieval or transfer?  Is that poor husband looking very uncomfortable in his surroundings getting ready to deposit his sample?  Is the lady with a toddler there having secondary infertility?

Where is everyone in their journeys?  Just starting out and feeling really hopeful?  Or are they feeling hopeless after many failures or miscarriages?

It's hard not to put myself back in their positions and think about all the hopes that I had at the waiting room.  How many dozens of times I waited there for the staff to call my name, waiting to be probed by the ultrasound wand, to have a nurse stick a needle in me, or to make my next appointment.

I am no longer in their position, but yet also in a way, in a very similar position.  Though I will not be carrying a baby of Babe's and my genetics, we are still hopeful that we will be parents through embryo adoption.

My ultrasound was done by a nurse and an ultrasound tech, both which I did not recognize.  It had been more than 2 years since I was at the clinic last time so that's not surprising.  They were both very professional but lack the warmth of some of the other nurses I've worked with there.  Maybe because I have never worked with either of them before.  Or that I am technically not their patient anymore, but just one using some of their services.

My ultrasound session went fine.  They saw 3 small follicles on my right ovary and 4 small ones on my left.  I didn't really ask what my lining measurement was but the nurse said it was thin and looking good.  Earlier I heard the tech say "A4", so I am assuming my lining was measuring at 4mm but I'm not sure.  I asked if I would be getting a period since I had been spotting for a few weeks now.  She said she didn't know and we would just have to wait and see.

I had my blood work done by "Helga", a tech I didn't care for when I did my last IVF 2 years ago.  To be honest, I didn't think she would still be there because she was rough and her bedside manners iffy.  But it went just fine.

Anyway, Katie the nurse from NEDC called this afternoon and told me everything looks good.  She gave me the green light to start my Es.trace on Monday.

Yay!  We are on our way!

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Donor Order Switch & Calendars

Yesterday, we finally made the decision to switch the order of our donor families.  If you remember, I had posted in the past how our first option, Family A is more like us physically and Family B, we seemed to have more in common and have more of a connection.  You can read more about our donor families here and here.

After discussing this with Babe, Debbie our counselor, and a few other people, we made the decision to switch the order.  I emailed Angie the coordinator at NEDC and she confirmed our changed, marked that in our medical records and informed the embryologist of this.

If you are keeping track, going forward we will refer to the donor families as this:
         First Family: Formerly known as Family B
         Second Family: Formerly known as Family A

So, going into our transfer on 9/22, we will thaw and transfer embryos from First Family first.  That means we will start off with the 3 blastocysts from First Family.  If only one or zero blasts survive the thaw, then blastocysts from Second Family (of which we have 5) will be thawed and transferred.  We will mostly likely transfer 2 embryos, but up to 3 if the quality of the third one is not great.

It's good to finally make the decision to switch.  Deep down I've wanted to switch the order for a while.  Now we pray that this works!

Things are going to start picking up medication wise.  I will start adding Es.trace twice a day next week, and then progesterone in oil (PIO) shots starts a few days before the transfer.  To keep all these in order, I created a calendar on Microsoft Word with all the medications, shots and appointments so they are all visible and easier to keep track of.  Also, I added them to my calendar on my iPhone, with reminders so I don't forget (I already forgot to take Lup.ron once, and took it 2 hours later than usual).

Below are a couple of screen shots of both.  They are kinda small and may be hard to see the details, but you get the idea.

FET Calendar created on Microsoft Word

Shots, meds and apointments with reminders on my iCal
(this only shows FET related items)

How do/did you keep track of your meds?

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

"Coming Out" & Happenings

Yesterday, Liz from Wishing On A Snowflake posted that she created a new embryo adoption/donation group on  It is set to a secret status, so only a current member of the group can add another person.  This group is meant for anyone on any step on the embryo adoption/donation journey.  If you are interested and want to be added to the group, please read her post here and email her at

So, I joined this group on  In a way, I am "coming out", sort of.  Because I write this blog anonymously, people don't know who I am, other than my sister and a few friends in real life.  By joining this group, I am revealing my true identity, at least to those in this FB group.  It is a little nerve wrecking but exciting at the same time.  It's nice to meet others going through or have gone through the EA journey.  So if you are on the EA/ED journey, I invite you to join this group.

Today, I also emailed NEDC my Thaw and Transfer Instructions form.  This form indicates how many embryos we wish to transfer.  We have indicated we are willing to transfer 3 at the very most.  NEDC usually only transfers 2 embryos, unless the quality of the third is not great, then they will transfer up to three.

I took my last BCP (birth control pill) tonight.  Thank goodness!  I have been on BCP for 64 days straight.  Hopefully, my period will come soon though I have already been spotting for the last 2-3 weeks.  I have an appointment scheduled for Friday for blood work and an ultrasound to make sure my body is responding properly.

I think the only real side effect I am feeling from Lu.pron is hot flashes.  I'm also a kinda tired, but I'm also feeling under the weather.  I have been fighting an emerging cold for the last few days which started the day before I started Lu.pron shots.  So it's kinda difficult to tell if what I'm feeling is from the cold or the Lu.pron shots.

Only a little over 3 weeks before we hop on the plane to go meet our babies!

Sunday, August 25, 2013


I have been wanting to post this for about a couple of weeks now but had to wait till now to do so.

A few days after my birthday, my sweet friend K and I met for a belated birthday lunch.  She had been an acquaintance a few years back but and then we met again at our Patiently Waiting infertilty support group about 4 years back.   We have been pretty close since then going through our ups and downs of infertility.  She has had 6 miscarriages and was finally 16 weeks pregnant at that time.

K bought me lunch and before we said our good byes, she gave me a birthday card and then gave me a ring that had the words "hope" engraved around it.  At first she thought she would give me the ring as it was something that gave her hope during all those painful years.  Then she had second thoughts about it - with it not being new nor shiny, and it was "used".  So she had decided to skip it.  But then right before she walked out the door, she felt prompted to give it to me anyways.

She said she wanted to give me the ring because she was very hopeful for my transfer in September, and also that she wanted to give me hope that this will work.  She said a lot of really sweet things too, but I don't remember too much because I started bawling!  I think it was something along the lines of how she thought I had been so strong over the many years I have been going through infertility.  That I always had hope and maintained my faith, but had also given her hope during the last few years when she had lost hope herself.  I thought, me?  Really? I didn't think I was strong nor was I that hopeful myself.

She apologized that the ring was not new but hoped I would find hope in having it.  Oh my, I was so moved!  Not only did I not care that it is not new, but the fact that it was hers makes it even more special.  I am so grateful for this.  I have always wanted to get a little something for myself as a reminder to remain hopeful during my procedures, but never did.  This, I will treasure.  I have decided to wear this ring together with my engagement and wedding bands.  They fit like they were meant to be together anyway.

I had to wait to post about this is because K had not shared with the rest of our infertility support group that she is pregnant.  I wanted to wait till she had a chance to share this news with the others before posting here as some of the members of the group read this blog.  She is hopeful but also understandably nervous that about her pregnancy.  Please keep K in your prayers that her pregnancy will be healthy and she will finally be blessed with a healthy baby after so many losses.

"HOPE" engraved all around the ring.

Fits almost perfectly with my engagement ring and wedding band.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Hello, Lupron!

Hello, Lu.pron, my old friend!

We finally meet again, after 3 2 long years.  I guess it is time to rekindle our friendship.  Please be kind to me this time around.  I hope you will keep your headaches, dizziness, and hot flashes to yourself.  Fortunately, I only have to maintain our friendship for less than 3 weeks, and only to once a day.

If it makes you feel any better, you will be happy to know that you have always been my "favorite" shot to give myself.  You are simple, quick, least painful, and have the smallest needles.

Still, I hope we will never have to be friends again after this.  I hope you understand.  No hard feelings.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

PUPO In One Month!

Exactly ONE MONTH!!

Unless things change, or my body does not respond to medications as it is supposed to, I will be PUPO (pregnant until proven otherwise) in a month!

A few people have asked me how I'm feeling, if I'm getting excited for our transfer.  To be honest, not excited like woo-hoo-I'm gonna-be-pregnant-this-time kind of excited.  But more of yes, I'm finally making some progress.  I feel cautiously optimistic - hopeful, but also trying to be realistic as I know it might not work.  It feels a lot like me going through my previous IVF cycles.

It has been a long waiting game for me.  My last procedure was IVF 3 years ago.  Then the long wait to see what our next step was and then our long adoption process.  Then embryo adoption came along.  We had to wait a few months for our initial appointment in May, and another 4 months for our transfer.  Lots of waiting.  But then suddenly, it's like OMG, I only have a month left!

What else do I need to do before the trip? I already have our flights, hotel and car rental booked.  I still have to totally give up coffee, though I have been cutting down to only one a day, if even.  And I switched over to decaf a couple of weeks ago.  I also need to eat my fill of sushi before my transfer.  What else?

I have been cramping and spotting for a couple of weeks from being on BCPs for over 2 months straight.  The last few days it has been more like a light period.  It is annoying and I can't wait to be done with BCPs.  Though I know that it is common to have spotting or breakthrough bleeding while on BCPs, I checked with Katie, the IVF nurse at NEDC to make sure that it was nothing to be concerned about.  She said it is fine and would only be a concern if I spotted while on Es.trace.

A few people have asked me to check with NEDC to about additional costs relating to donor costs (usually shipping of embryos to the NEDC).  I did check and was told we will be informed of additional donor costs 2 weeks prior to our transfer.  The NEDC accounting office was going through audits and would have not the time right now to let me know what the costs would be.  I am OK with waiting.

Fo this FET, I will be monitored locally at the clinic where I had my previous IVFs done.  I have my ultrasound and bloodwork appointments scheduled.  I sent in my orders from NEDC to the clinic, and my previous RE will countersign all requests.  The results from my appointments will be faxed over to NEDC so it can plan my care in case medications need to be adjusted.

All in all, I think I'm pretty ready.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

August 2013 ICLW

Hello ICLWers!

If you have not been following my blog, this next month will be an exciting time for me.  In exactly a month, I will be in Knoxville getting ready for our FET (frozen embryo transfer) of our adopted embryos.

After 10 years of trying including multiple rounds of Clo.mid, IUI's, a few surgeries and 4 rounds of IVFs, plus turning 40 this month, we are now hoping to grow our family via embryo adoption.  We are adopting our embryos from The National Embryo Donation Center (NEDC) in Knoxville, TN.  Our transfer date is currently scheduled for Sunday 9/22.  I will start up on my "loopy" Lu.pron shots on Friday and and stop BCP (birth control pills) on 8/27.  So my protocol will officially start on Friday, and then we are off!

Hope you stick around and follow me on this journey.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Birthday Giveaway Winners

We have winners for my 40th Birthday Giveaway!!

At midnight, we found our who the winners are.  They were chosen in the most non-scientific, random way.  I asked Babe to pick one number between 1 to 17 (I had 17 comments).  He picked 13.  Then I had him pick another number, again between 1 and 17, and he picked 6.

So, the winners for my 40th Birthday Giveaway are:

         Tracey from Our Journey to Adopt


         Life Happens 

Congrats ladies!  Please email me at babyonmind at gmail dot com with your contact information.  I can either mail the Ama.zon gift card to you, or email you an electronic version.

Thanks everyone for participating and helping me celebrate my 40th Birthday!  It's really great to receive so many fun and encouraging comments.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

About My Embryos

Thanks everyone for all the birthday wishes.  I had a low key but pretty nice birthday.  To celebrate, Babe and I went out to dinner at a fancy restaurant that provided complimentary wine and dessert.  He kept telling me he didn't know what to do for my big 40th, nor what to get me for a birthday gift.  In the end he ended up getting me what I wanted exactly, a Kin.dle Paper.white.  And I was just about ready to order it myself from Ama.zon!  Not only that, that stealthy hubby of mine managed to throw a SURPRISE birthday party with the family at the park near my house the day after my birthday.  Sneaky little bugger!  In the end, I had a pretty awesome 40th birthday.  Don't forget to sign up for my birthday giveaway if you have not already done so.  Tomorrow, Sunday is the last day to sign up.

Last Friday, I emailed Carol, the embryologist at NEDC and found a few more things about the embryos we adopted.

Carol was able to tell us the quality of our embryos when they were cryopreserved.  However, that does not mean that they will be the same quality when thawed and culture to transfer.  The embryos will be re-graded after the thaw.   We will be presented with pictures and their new grades at the time of transfer.

This was Carol's explanation of the embryos to me:
  • For blastocysts (which is what we adopted), the embryos are normally graded with a number and two letters.   
  • The number is how expanded the embryo was at the time of cryopreservation and really does not have anything to do with the quality.  Excellent embryos can be anywhere from 2-6, with a fully expanded embryo being a 5, and a hatched embryo being a 6.  
  • The first letter is the intercell mass which becomes the baby, and excellent quality are A & B, and then the letter goes down from there (C, D, etc.)
  • The second letter is the trophectoderm which becomes the placenta and again A & B are excellent quality.
  • From our first donor, the five embryos are graded at 3AA, 3AA, 3AA, 6AA and 4AA (all excellent quality embryos according to the embryologist).  The embryos are frozen in three vials - 2 vials with 2 embryos each, and one vial with one embryo.
  • From our second donor, all three embryos are graded at 4AA (again all excellent quality embryos according to the embryologist).  The embryos are frozen individually, one embryo per straw.
Because our embryos are all at the blastocyst stage, we will not need to do assisted hatching, which would have cost us an additional $525.  Also, all our embryos are already at NEDC so we do not need to pay any additional cost for shipping.  Yay!

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Happy Birthday to Me!

Happy Birthday to me!!

Today I turn 40.  I updated my age from 39 to 40 in the "About Me" section of this blog.  It hurt a little to do so!

Today my sister visited our hometown that I spent the first 8 years of my life.  My sister took a picture of our old house and said she remembered the day my mom and dad brought me home from the hospital after I was born.  Pretty sweet.

Since it's my birthday, I decided to google some images related to 40th birthdays.  Thought I'd share some of my favorite ones.

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And my absolute FAVORITE!!...................
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If you haven't signed up for my 40th birthday giveaway, please do so soon.  It ends on Sunday.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Protocol and Meds Are Here

This morning, I received my FET protocol from Katie, our nurse at NEDC.  This was a nice surprise as Katie had told me earlier that I wouldn't be getting my protocol until after the 15th.  Looks like I will start Lu.pron on 8/23 and will continue on BCPs until 8/27.   I'll be putting together a calender together to make sure I get all the medications and shots all in one place.  Maybe I'll share it later.

A couple of hours later, the UPS guy dropped off my medication.  I'm quite familiar with most of the medication, except for the progesterone in oil (PIO).  They include PIO, Lu.pron kit, Es.trace, Va.lium, a whole bunch of syringes and needles, and a sharps container.

Here's the progesterone in cottonseed oil.  There are actually 4 bottles of this.  This is a new one for me.  I'm a little nervous about the PIO, to be honest.  Heard it's a real pain in the butt.  Literally.

This is the first time I have used a Lu.pron KIT.  I was surprised to open the box to see the Lu.pron bottle, syringes and alcohol pads all included.  I love this kit.  Though I can't really say that I love "Loopy Lu.pron".  I'm pretty sure I will have side effects again from this.  We'll see.

Looks like I'm ready to go.  Just need to make the appointments at the local fertility clinic for when I need to get my ultrasounds and blood draws.

Also, if you haven't already, sign up for my 40th birthday giveaway.  Make sure to leave a positive comment about turning 40.

Monday, August 5, 2013

Meds, Acupunture & Photos!

Wow, this week started off busy!

This morning I put in my order for my meds.  Lu.pron, Es.trace, Progesterone in oil, and Va.lium.  A total of about $355.

Found out Lu.pron is not covered by my insurance, so I am paying $129 for it.  Es.trace, even with insurance comes up to $195 for 60 pills.  Kinda crazy!  That's more than $3 per pill.  Without insurance it would have come up to $243.  Unlike my previous IVF cycles, we have crappy insurance this time.  Still, I am grateful I do not need stimulation drugs like Follis.tim or Meno.pur which would cost thousands.  I should get my meds on Wednesday.  Won't get my FET protocol until 8/15.

I went for my acupuncture session today.  It was kind of weird going back after so long, but also nice.  The last time I was there was for my last IVF cycle almost exactly 3 years ago.  Back then she was pregnant with her second child.  Now, he is almost 3 years old.  Also, she bought out her partner, so she is running the business all by herself which is great because she really didn't need her partner.  She specializes in infertility and has had many success stories.  After my session, I asked her for some recommendations.  She said:
  1. Avoid dairy as it can cause congestion in the body.  Especially if you drink coffee (which I currently still do), avoid using creamer (which I also love!), as it is especially bad.  Ok, ok, time to give them all up totally.
  2. Eat more raspberries as they are great for building up the endometrial lining.
  3. Use a warm/hot pad on the lower abdomen/pelvic area 2 - 3 times a week to stimulate blood flow to the uterus.
Fortunately, I do no need to take any Chinese herbs this time.  I did it for my last IVF cycle to help increase the quality of my eggs but since we are doing a FET (frozen embryo transfer) this time, no need for that.

When I got home, I received an email from Debbie, our fertility counselor for NEDC.  I had a discussion with her earlier today because we are considering switching around our order of donors.  Because the second donor family had be so upfront about sharing information and photos about their family, we felt we had more information about them than the first family.  After discussing this with Debbie, she suggested seeing if the first donor family would be willing to share some family photos.  The email from Debbie included 3 photos of our first donor family.  Oh my, they are a gorgeous family.  And the twin boys are so stinking cute.

Now that I have seen pictures from both donor families, I feel pretty good about both of them.  I feel like I am already in love with both families.  I still have not decided if we will switch the order or keep it the same, but for now, I love being able to put faces to names.  We have up to 2 weeks before our transfer to decide.

Finally, if you have not heard, I am having a giveaway in honor of my 40th birthday on Thursday!  Go leave me a comment here for a chance to win one of two $20 Amazon gift cards.

40th Birthday Giveaway!!


Yup, I'm turning 40 this week!  I'll be 40 on Thursday, August 8th!
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Really.  It's actually here.  The dreaded big 4-0.

I used to love birthdays, but if you live or have lived in the infertility world, you know what it's like to dread another birthday.  I looked at my past birthday related posts from last year and 2010 (I didn't blog in 2011), they were all pretty depressing and mostly about how I am getting so close to 40.  Well, 40 is finally here.  I was really hoping that I would be a mommy by 40.  At the very least, I would be pregnant by now.  But as we all know, I am neither.

But, I'm hoping that this year, the year I turn 40, will be different!  This is the year things will turn around.  This will be the year I get pregnant and be a mommy.

I will look at turning 40 as entering a new era, of the best decade of my life!

So, in honor of me turning 40, I'm having a Birthday Giveaway!

I'm giving away $40 in Amazon gift cards.  Two lucky winners will win a $20 Amazon gift card each.

To enter this giveaway, you just have to leave me a POSITIVE comment here about what's great about turning 40 or being in my 40's.  I would love to hear about pregnancy (first time or subsequent) in your 40s, parenting in your 40s, beauty tips, healthy living, eating right, love/sex tips (keep it clean!), etc.  Pretty much anything positive and great about turning 40!   I'd love to hear all your comments!  Please keep it positive though, I need your support in looking forward to turning 40!

One entry per person please.  Only comments in this post will count as an entry.  The giveaway will end on at 11:59 pm CDT on Sunday, August 11th.  If you are commenting anonymously, please leave me an email where you can be contacted.  Two winners will be randomly chosen by Babe (i.e. DH, my dear hubby).

Come help me celebrate my 40th birthday!

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Trip Booked

Last night, I booked our trip to Knoxville for our 9/22 transfer!
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I ended up booking a vacation package through Travel.ocity.  For our direct flight from Minneapolis/St. Paul, 4 nights of hotel and car rental for the entire trip, it cost me a little less that $1,100.  This is actually pretty good.  For our last trip, we booked through Orb.itz (best deal then) and paid around $1,000 for airfare with one-stop, 2 nights hotel and car rental.  The really nice difference about this trip is now there is a direct flight to Knoxville which not only is cheaper, but will save us about 3 hours of transit time each way.

Depending on how my body responds to the medication, there is a chance that our transfer may be delayed a day or 2, or cancelled all together.  Because of this, we are staying an extra day, leaving 2 days after our transfer (NEDC requires us to stay at least one day before traveling).  We also chose a different hotel that allowed free cancellation/change without a significant increase in price.  If we had to change our dates, we would still have to pay a cancellation fee of $200 for our airline tickets, but at least we won't have to worry about paying a fee for the hotel or car rental.

Thanks to Shannon from Room For More for introducing me to where you can get coupons, promo code and cash back for just about anything you purchase online.  Just for my Travel.ocity booking and going through Ebates, I will receive a $23 cash back.

So glad this booking is done!  Now I can concentrate on other things.  Like ordering medication and trying to remember how to shoot myself (with meds, of course!)

On another note, thanks to those that commented on my last post about adding adopted kids to our family tree.  I agree that it is important to show both adoptive and donor families, although at this point, I am not sure how the donor families will feel about that.  Also, I looked into adding adopted families on the family tree, and currently, does not have the feature to do so.  Looks like people have been requesting this feature on the website since 2009.  I guess I may have to wait a little longer, or may have to find another genealogy website that has that feature.  I'll cross that road when I get there.

Finally, I am so happy to share the news that Malia, another embryo adoption mama from NEDC has given birth to a beautiful baby girl.  Go congratulate her!