Friday, April 30, 2010

New Cycle

AF arrived today.  She's a day late.  I had a 29-day cycle this time, which gave me some hope, though short lived.  Even though I thought about POAS, I resisted, considering my experience with POAS.  Why waste the money on a HPT test, right?

I knew this cycle was a bust.  I was experiencing some pretty bad headaches last couple of days.  At first I thought I was coming down with something.  Then I realized it was most probably PMS.

In a way, I was hoping (again) that this last cycle would have been our "miracle month", you know the one you actually conceive while taking a break from treatments.  I think all of us go through this, hoping for a miracle during our "break".  Though deep down, we all know that we are never truly on a break from TTC.

So I'm onto a new cycle, but not much going on this month either. Still waiting to hear back from the clinic on the results of the Karotype testing.   Hopefully I will hear back in a couple of weeks.

What Do You Do All Day?

I went to a happy hour gathering yesterday because my friend Ro, who also happens to be an ex-colleague of mine, is leaving her job (the company I used to work at before I left due to the stress).  In a way, it was nice to see some former colleagues that I have not seen in over a year.

It was fun to see how everyone is doing, and how I am so not missing the workload of my high-stress job.  In a way, I miss working and miss hanging out with people I worked with.  It's weird how we were able to just pick up on conversations, but also feel like I have missed out on a chunk of people's lives since I have been gone.  Also found out that one of the guys that was on my team is going to be a father in October.  I'm happy for him though, really.  I thought I would feel a pang of jealousy when I heard about it, but I surprised myself when I didn't.

I left my job in January of 2009.  So, I knew going into this gathering that I was going to get a lot of "So, what have you been up to?" questions.  "Not too much" was my response.  Some ask if I've been looking for a job or just taking time off, and I was honest and replied mostly enjoying my time off, and that I did some traveling.

I left my job because of the stress, and I am convinced it was affecting my fertility and TTC efforts.  I had tried my first round of IVF overseas in March 2009 after I left, and when that didn't work, we just took some time off TTC fertility treatments (honestly, do we ever quit trying, even if we are officially "not trying") until my last IVF last March.

But I didn't plan so much for the "What do you do all day?" question.  Ugh.... how do you answer that?  That I spend time writing my IF blog?  That I read IF related blogs all day?  That I am spending thousand of dollars trying to get knocked up instead of working and making money?  That I am running around town to my RE's clinic for ultrasound and so someone can stick a needle in my arm to draw blood?  That I am shooting up hormones in my body so I can produce lots of eggs and feel bloated?  That I am NOT looking for a job because I am still hoping to have normal quality eggs so we can spend another crap load of money on trying to have a baby?  Yeah, that would go really well.

"Not much" was my answer, and that was about it.  Couldn't really expand much on that, and it didn't sound too convincing either I'm sure.

In the end, my overall response was, "No I'm not seriously looking yet, but we'll see how long that lasts".  That's the truth.  It will all depend on the results of our Karotype testing.  We should hear in a couple of weeks.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

National Infertility Awareness Week

Since I was gone on my little trip, I almost missed this!
Spread the word!  Only a couple of days left!

I'm Back

I'm back.... just got home on Tuesday night from a few days of being out of town.  I'm still trying to catch up on laundry, mail and the usual craziness from coming home from a trip.

These last few days were busy, which included an out-of-state trip for a birthday for an 8-year old nephew, his first communion, his 6 month-old sister's baptism, and my Babe's birthday.  It was of course filled with craziness with all the relatives meeting up for all the festivities.  

My Babe's a kid magnet.  He is the favorite uncle of all the nieces and nephews, and especially the 8 and 5-year old nephews and the 3-year old niece that were there this weekend.  The 6-month old is still too young to know any better, but I'm sure she too will absolutely love my Babe.  All weekend, it was all about "Uncle Babe".  They kids wanted to do everything him, sit next to him at dinner, play games with him, etc.  

It was really sweet to see him spend time with the kids on the Wi.i, giving them airplane rides and playing catch.  Yet at the same time, I was feeling envious.  Here, all these kids get to enjoy spending time doing fun kid related things with my Babe, and we have no kids of our own.  He should be doing these things with our own kids!  My Babe would make such a wonderful dad.  He has so much patience with them.  In the past I used to think that it was good practice for us to hang out with other people's kids.  Now I know that we are so ready for our own.

On a another note, I was able to meet up with my high school friend on our way home.  She too had struggled with infertility for a few years before having her son who's now 1.  It was really nice to catch up, hang out, and chat, even though it was just for a brief visit.  It's also reassuring to know that she has been, and will continue to pray for us for a baby.

ICLW was a total bust for me this month.  I was hoping to do some catch up while out of town, but my SIL's house did not have wireless connection, and I did not want to surf the IF blogs and leave any "evidence" (No one in my Babe's family knows about our TTC struggles) on her home computer.  

I was surprised to find out that I gained a few new followers this month, so thank you for that.  It's been slow but I hope to change that soon.  I am still over a week behind in catching up on blogs, I'm trying really hard to catch up soon!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Welcome April ICLWers!


Welcome ICLWers!

Sorry this is a couple of days late.  I'm still behind on reading my blogs.   For those new to ICLW, it's a week dedicated to honoring and encouraging commenting on fellow bloggers' blogs.  It's a wonderful time to find new blogs and make new friends.  Make sure to contact Mel to be included in future ICLWs if you are not already part this.

For those visiting for the first time, welcome!

At the last ICLW, I was at a very exciting time in my journey.  I had just completed my egg retrieval for IVF and was waiting for my fertilization report.  Unfortunately, it also turned out to be one of the most difficult times in my journey so far.  I found out that I only had 2 out of 6 mature eggs fertilize, and none made it to transfer.  If you are interested in finding out more, you can read about my journey so far here, my egg retrieval here, my fertilization report here, the fertilization update here, and the embryos update here.

I met with my RE last week, and it sounds like I may have egg quality issues.  This of course is not a surprise for me, since I am 36++ (I will be 37 in August), but we have been trying for 6 years.  At the appointment, I had my blood drawn for Karotype testing.  Now I continue to wait to see if the test comes back normal.

I would love to hear from you if you are visiting for the first time.  Unfortunately, ICLW will probably be a bust for me this month.  I am leaving today to go out of town for a couple of family events and won't be home till Tuesday or Wednesday.  I am not sure how much internet access I will have but will try my best to update and comment.

Have a wonderful week, and an awesome ICLW!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Busy Day

I had a busy day.  Today, Annie from Cradles and Grave, The Elusive Embryo and I met for lunch today.  It was a last minute get together for fellow IF bloggers in the Twin Cities, MN area.   We had a nice time, just chatting, exchanging stories and experiences, and even networked for jobs!  But all in all, it was just a nice feeling to be around people that can relate to each other about the infertility struggle even though our stories and journeys are so different.  Annie even gave us gifts - pomegranate jelly, a symbol of fertility!  Thanks Annie!

I did a quick research on pomegranate.   According to wikipedia, in Judaism, pomegranate is a symbol of righteousness, because it is said to have 613 seeds which corresponds with the 613 commandments of the Torah.  It is also a symbol of fruitfulness.  To the Greeks, pomegranate is a symbol of abundance, fertility and good luck.  In Christianity, the fruit, once broken, it is a symbol of Jesus' suffering and resurrection.  In Hinduism, the fruit symbolizes prosperity and fertility.  In Vietnam, the pomegranate flower is the symbol of summer.  Since the pomegranate has such symbolism to fertility in so many cultures, we must be on to something right?  I'm gonna be stocking up on pomegranate juice too.

K, friend of a friend, emailed me this morning asking if I am part of a Christian infertility support group that was meeting tonight.  I attended this group almost 3 years ago but had stopped attending after a couple of meetings.  It used to meet every Tuesday night and it conflicted with another meeting I had on Tuesday nights, so I stopped going.  However I am still on the mailing list.  K noticed my name and asked if I was going tonight.  I had not planned on going just because I have not been attending for so long.  Plus back then, my Babe was not keen on going, and most people there were couples.  However, since K was going for the first time, and my Tuesday night commitments were taking a hiatus for the summer, I decided at the last minute I would attend too.

I was so glad I did.  I met some new and very fun people.  It was very casual, and it was so easy to just be honest and talk about stuff "normal" people would probably be uncomfortable about.  We had some a lot of laughs, and also some discussions from a bible study on infertility.

One of the couples were just starting to consider adoption when I was there last, and now they have a 2-year-old son that was adopted.  They had an earlier adoption that fell through because the birth father wanted custody after the baby had been in their home for 7 days.  It was a devastating time for them.  Another couple there had just started considering adoption when I was there last, and now, they have been "in the books" (waiting to be contacted by a birth mom) for 2 years.  One lady, the last time we met, she had just adopted a baby boy from Ethiopia and 6 weeks after she got home, she found out she was pregnant.  Her baby is not 2 1/2 years old.  The others that were there were mostly women without their husbands.

The group used to meet weekly, but many couples have moved on to either having babies of their own, or have gone on to pursue adoption.  So they decided to split the group up into 2, one focusing on infertility, and the other focusing on adoption.  So now the infertility group only meets once a month.  Who knows, someday I may even attend the adoption group.  Even when the meeting was officially over, people hung around just to chat and get to know each other.  I left the meeting feeling really great, so I am planning on going back next month.


I spent all day Friday and Saturday with a bunch of women.  Over 600 of them actually.  I was at a Christian Women's Conference and it was a wonderful time.  We spent the two days in worship, workshops, prayer time, and just soaking in a presence of other women and receiving a lot of prayer and  encouragement.

The main speaker is a trained therapist and is also gifted in praying for healing.  She focused more on physical and inner/emotional healing, something many women struggle with.  One of the biggest lesson I learned this weekend was on grief.
(image from

What is grief?  We often think of grief as sadness or sorrow.  But grief is not an emotion, it's a complex mix of emotions - sadness, anger, fear, joy, etc. all wrapped up in a ball!  It is a conflicting mass off emotions, sometimes it makes you feel like you are going crazy.  Wow, this was eye opening for me.

When I experienced the loss of my embryos and canceled transfer, I was sad and upset, but it occurred to me I was also angry at how things turned out; all the time, effort and hopes put into that cycle.  All the money we spent, and still no baby, not even a transfer!  I feared that I may never get pregnant (I still think about this).  I had wondered, how does one grief?  I guess I was grieving, and I just didn't know it.

I also learned that grief has to be shared with others, we need to talk about it.  If we keep it all inside, it can overwhelm and take control of our lives.  It's OK to be angry, even angry with God.  We tend to withdraw from others when we are grieving, I know I did.  But in reality we really need to reconnect with others.  This is truly hard to do, especially for me, all I wanted to do was crawl into bed and cry my eyes out.  Maybe we don't want to be around others because we can't control our emotions, and don't want to fall apart in the grocery aisle.  Or we just don't want to talk about it, because it hurts too much.  Or when people ask you how you are doing, you just don't know how to answer, because you really don't know.  You think you are fine, and then realize, no not really.

But we do need to be around others, to be comforted and to share our feelings.  It's not easy to do, and we need to be ready in our own time.  I'm grateful for my friend E who checked up on me during the first few days after my transfer was cancelled.  She dragged me out of the house, to have lunch, to talk, to pray with me, etc.  I think I was pretty reluctant at first because all I wanted to do was be alone, but I'm glad I am blessed to have a friend like her and others that have been around to support and comfort me, and to pray for me.

I'm not really sure if I'm done grieving.  I do feel a lot better now, and can talk about it without crying, but it still saddens me.  I'm not sure how long I will continue to grieve, everyone is different.  But it helps to know that I AM grieving.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Get Together

I found out a little over a week ago that there is another IF blogger that lives in the Minneapolis/St. Paul Twin Cities area.  We started chatting over email and found out that we go to the same clinic (though she is contemplating changing clinics).

I have been wanting to meet up with other IFers, especially IF bloggers.  You know how nice it is to be able to talk to another IFer in real life, someone that can relate to your struggles.  So, Annie from Cradles and Graves and I have decided to meet up for lunch next Tuesday, April 20th.

If you are in the area and would like to meet up, we would love for you to join us.  I know this is last minute, so if you can't make it next week, we may try to meet up another time.  If you are interested, let me know.  You can email me at babyonmind at gmail dot com.

Hope to see you there!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Tick Tock

We met up with Dr. Hopeful for our post-IVF conference yesterday.  Overall it was a good meeting.  There wasn't anything shockingly new that I didn't expect already.  Overall, Dr. Hopeful thinks the reason why this cycle failed was due to egg quality issue.

Surprise, surprise.... NOT.

Tick tock, tick tock ..... can you hear the biological clock ticking?

See this earlier post for a recap of this cycle, and some answers I was looking for at this post-IVF conference.

This is what I found out from Dr. Hopeful at our meeting:
  • Dr. Hopeful was surprised that no one had mentioned about my right ovary being in a difficult position.  It is high and posterior (behind) my uterus, or other organ.  It would have required a needle to go through the uterine cavity to access it for egg retrieval.  She thinks the location of the ovary will remain and will not change in the future.
  • It is possible to fix the ovary but it would require surgery to fix or retrieve eggs from it.  Did you know that in the past, laparoscopic surgery was used to retrieve eggs for IVF?  Dr. Hopeful does not recommend surgery to fix this.  She thinks that based on my body's response to the meds, I should be able to produce a decent amount of eggs in the left ovary.  However, this also means that I probably will only have ONE ovary to work with in the future.
  • A day-3 transfer was not considered since my embryos were not at a 7 or 8 cell stage.  If there were, they would have a day-3 transfer.  My embryos arrested at 2-cells and 4-cells stage on day-5.
  • Assisted hatching is only done for day-3 embryo transfers, and are not done for day-5 blastocyst transfers.
  • There were no issues with my Babe's sperm numbers.
  • There were an increased number of vacuoles (fluid or bubbles) in my eggs/embryos, indicating that they may not be healthy (signs of post maturity or degeneration).
  • ICSI could be an option in the future.  However, ICSI does not help a compromised (low quality) egg.  She would rather not do ICSI if there is an egg issue.  Performing ICSI is performing surgery on an egg, so she would rather not do it.
  • It is an option to do half ICSI and half natural fertilization, or all ICSI in the future, assuming egg quality is not a factor.
  • I asked Dr. Hopeful if one year would make that much of a difference in the quality of eggs.  She said no one really knows, but she doubts it.
  • If we did a future cycle (which we will), we will switch our protocol and do an Antagonist protocol, meaning I won't be using any Lu.pron.
  • I asked about additional testing and Dr. Hopeful suggested doing Karotype testing for me to determine if there are any issues with chromosomes.  It will check for 46XX chromosomes, to see if there would be issues with chromosome imbalance in my embryos (not me).  I still have to research more about this.  She will test me first since she suspects the issue is with my eggs.  Karotype testing is not cheap, about $900 a pop!  I will have to find out if our insurance will cover at least part of it.  It will take about a month for the results to come back.
  • According to Dr. Hopeful, there is an 8% chance of chromosomal imbalance.  The other 92% chance is egg quality, i.e. my biological clock is ticking.  If the test comes back and I fall into the 8% chromosome imbalance, then she would suggest donor eggs (my Babe and I have never even discussed DEs yet) since it would mean that our embryos would arrest, fail to implant or we would miscarry.  If we do not have chromosomal imbalance, then it is a matter of finding good quality eggs.  
  • Based on my hormone levels this cycle, it looks like I do not have diminished ovarian reserve, i.e. I still have some eggs to work with.  We just have to find the good ones!
  • Dr. Hopeful wants to try again. My uterus was "perfect".  I responded well to the meds.
  • If I wish, Dr. Hopeful would consult with one of her other RE partners about my case and see if there is something else that she missed, or something different that could be done for the next cycle.
  • I will be scheduling a phone consultation with the IVF lab director to go over the outcome of this cycle.  Hopefully this will give me an idea about what happened to my eggs/embryos.  
Overall, we had a good discussion at this meeting.  I think Dr. Hopeful was impressed with the questions  we had for her, and we had a good hour long discussion.  She took her time and read through my list of typed up questions to make sure we got everything answered (she did that the last time too).

She said when we were ready, we should take the Karotype test, and then come back for another try when the test results were in.  Before we left, Babe and I decided that we would take the test anyway, so I had my blood drawn for the Karotype test before I left the clinic.  Since the results won't come back for a month, it would probably be June before anything else happens.

So now we wait.  Again.

Obviously, we hope the Karotype test come back normal so we can try again.  If not, we will need to have a discussion about donor eggs. I don't think we will do donor eggs, but we have never even considered it or discussed it.  We'll have to at least talk about it.  We'll have to see how things go.

We've all heard the cliche of the biological clock ticking.  Well it's ticking REALLY LOUDLY for me.  With each tick, it feel like my eggs are getting crappier and crappier.  With less than 4 months to my 37th birthday, it feels like a time bomb!

A Dream

I had a dream this morning.  I don't remember much about it, except that I was pregnant.

I remember thinking "This is so unreal!  I can't believe I am actually pregnant!  Finally.  After all these years".

I wasn't very far along.  I think I was having a little girl, but then again I thought that I was having twins, one of each.  I just can't remember.  All I know was the joy and relief I felt.

This sucks, it's such a teaser!  I wish I remembered more.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Heaven's Roll Call

I learned about a wonderful website called Heaven's Roll Call from our local Christian radio station.   Sue Lueck Carlson who started this ministry uses Christian inspirational poems and Bible verses to help those grieving the loss of a loved one.

I saw this poem a few months back and thought about all my failed IUIs, and my failed IVF a year ago.  Now that I've just experienced my 2nd failed IVF without a transfer and the sadness and grief I felt about my lost embryos, this poem, "You Know the Past" really touched me in a way I cannot express.  Sue has given me permission to share this poem with you.  This gives those of us who have experienced IVF loss, miscarriage or baby loss some comfort and hope.

You Know the Past
It's hard, My Child, to understand
just why our lives don't go as planned,
but I know the future and you know the past.
You know this world's not meant to last.
It's filled with heartache, grief and pain.
The sun may shine, but there's always rain.
Not every seed planted in the ground
will bring forth fruit or can be found.
Just because you can't see it, does it mean it's gone
or has the form changed so it does belong?
It still had a purpose though the world may not care.
All things have a meaning for being there.
Life on earth is like a snap of the wrist.
Though time is short, you do exist,
but up in heaven time exists no more.
The life not seen has been restored.
Remember always you know the past,
but I know the future and that lives do last.
The life you created still lives with me
so trust your heart - one day you'll see.
I love you, Child  Please always know -
Life does exist thought it may not show!

Copyright Sue Lueck Carlson
(Click for original image of poem)

"Life does exist though it may not show!"

If you have experienced any kind of loss or heartache, Heaven's Roll Call will be wonderful comfort for you.  Sue has a library of poems for different situations for your reading pleasure, and you can request these in high quality for printing purposes.  I think she can even customize some of those poems based on gender.  You can also sign up to receive a free poem each month.  

If you have or someone you know have suffered a miscarriage, you will want to read "Tiniest Angel" under the "Loss of a loved one" section.  

If you find Sue's ministry helpful, do share this with others that could use some comfort.

Please note that all poems are copyrighted.  Also Heaven's Roll Call is non-profit, so please consider a donation if you feel led to.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Project IF

"What IF........?"  

That's a question that many of us have asked ourselves many times, and will probably continue to ask.

If you have not heard about Project IF that has just kicked off, go check it out.  Mel over at Stirrup Queens and has put this together.  This project consists of  2 parts, the first is for people to leave a comment stating your biggest "what ifs" are in regard to infertility.  For the 2nd part, blogs and bloggers that participate in Project IF will be eligible to be considered for the winner of the Hope Award for Best Blog at Resolve's 2010 Night of Hope.

Whether or not you plan on being considered for the award, I highly recommend checking out the Project IF page.  It is one of the most touching pages I've read.  Be prepared to read it with a box of tissues.  Leave your own "what ifs", or just read what others have commented.

Reading these comments leave me with mixed emotions.  Some I can totally relate to, and others it's totally heartbreaking to see what pain and suffering we go through to fulfill our dreams of having a child.  All the doubts and uncertainties we face.  The thousands of what ifs that have crossed our minds that we unconsciously think about.

On one hand, I am grateful for some things, like being able to afford treatment (to a certain extent), and having a supportive husband.  On the other hand it's scary to think about how things can still go wrong, or what the final outcome may be.  No matter what happens, we may still have "what ifs" that we will question ourselves.

But in the end, it leaves me feeling not so alone in my journey, knowing that there are others who understand the journey each of us are experiencing.

Whether you are dealing with infertility yourself, or have a loved one that is, please check out Project IF.  Here's comment left by a mom, who though not dealing with infertility herself, has been impacted by this.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

The Dos and The Don'ts of Support (from RESOLVE)

I came across this article from RESOLVE about how to support a friend or loved one that is dealing with infertility.  If you have never visited RESOLVE, go check them out as they have a ton of resources.  I also posted about Infertility Etiquette in February.

How Can I Help? The Dos And The Don'ts Of Support

By Diane Clapp, BSN, RN and Merle Bombardieri, LICSW

Coping with Infertility can be extremely difficult for the family and friends of the couple going through infertility. As with any crisis it is difficult to know what to say. Because infertility is such a sensitive topic it is important to understand what you can and cannot say.

Let's start with what doesn't help, because the more you continue to say the wrong thing inadvertently, the deeper the rift will be between you and the couple. There is a universal list of No-No's that most infertile couples agree on. The following do's and don'ts should help you support the individual or couple who is struggling with infertility.

Don't Try to minimize the problem by saying, "Don't worry. At least you have each other and don't have cancer."

Do Listen to what the couple has to say about their experience and express empathy for their difficulties.

Don't Tell a couple who has had a miscarriage that it wasn't meant to be or that you know that they will be pregnant again soon and it will work the next time.

Do Realize that the couple has just lost a specific potential child who will never come again, no matter how wonderful the next pregnancy may be. Acknowledge how sad they must feel. Use the words "loss and sorrow"; don't be afraid to use the words that probably describe how the couple must feel.

Don't Give medical advice or doctor referrals without being asked or hearing the couple say they are looking for new information or referrals.

Do Tell the couple know that you'll be happy to listen to any details they want to share with you and that you would like to offer support during any procedures by a phone call or by offering to go with them to a medical appointment.

Don't Assume that new medical breakthroughs you read about in the paper will solve the couple's problems. The breakthrough announced by the news media may be irrelevant and if it is relevant, chances are the couple has seen the article and their medical team is knowledgeable about it.

Do Ask the couple if there are any books or articles that you could read to understand what they are going through medically.

Don't Expect the couple to act happy about attending baby showers, christenings and other family events that feature pregnant women and new babies.

Do Give them plenty of opportunity to decide whether to attend an event or whether to come late or leave early. They will not feel the need to avoid babies forever, but less contact right now may be a necessary part of their healing process.

Don't Start a discussion about infertility without paying attention to timing and to the couple's openness.

Do Choose a time when the couple's privacy is assured and ask the couple if they would like to talk. Couples experiencing infertility often feel out of control. Your letting them choose whether and when to talk about it gives them back some control.

Don't Assume that it is fine if you talk to your son's wife or your daughter's husband about their situation.

Do Respect the privacy needs of each individual and do not assume that they both want to talk about it with you.

Don't Offer unsolicited stories about others who have been successful at treatment or adoption. DO Tell them if they are ever interested you could put them in touch with a couple willing to talk about their infertility experience or adoption process. Let them decide whether they want to pursue that information. As a parent, family member, or friend, you want to make it better for the couple, to take away the pain. But probably the greatest gift you can give your loved one or friend is to be a listener, a sounding board. Instead of erasing the pain, you can diminish it by your caring. One of the hardest questions to ask someone is, "How can I help you?" It is such a difficult question because you should be prepared for their answer and not the answer that you think they will say or should say. To ask that question and to trust the response that you hear is a powerful step in your efforts to help the couple struggling with this kind of crisis.

Article taken from

Feel free repost this article on your blog or share it with others, but please make sure you link it to the original RESOLVE page.

A Night of Ups and Downs

I was at a church event Tuesday night when a gal came up to me asking how I was doing as she heard that I had gone through some procedures lately.  You see, when I had my egg retrieval, I had to miss a weekend retreat at my church.  Someone, not sure who, had told my group that I had to miss the retreat because I was going through a medical procedure because I have been having a hard time conceiving.  That annoyed me because there are only a few people that know about our TTC issues, and I expected them to keep it confidential.  Oh well, it was too late.  I'm not sure how much details people know, but the cat's out of the bag.

Anyway, Gal #1 said she was sorry about what I was going through.  She has a 1 1/2 year old daughter, but she had gone through a miscarriage once, and she knew how devastating it is.  She gave me a big hug and said she would continue to pray for me and she said she knew I would make a wonderful mother.  Bless her heart!

Then later, Gal #2 (she has 2 kids) came up to me and said she heard that I went through a procedure.  She asked me how I was feeling, and if it worked.  I said nope, it didn't.  She said she was sorry, and she could relate.  She had a miscarriage at 9 weeks, and her baby would have been due right around now.  I said I was sorry for her loss, and that I couldn't even fathom what she had experienced.  I actually felt bad because I was starting to get annoyed at having to talk about my failed procedures, but then she told me about how her baby would have been due.  

Then, she went on and asked if I had considered adoption.  Oh I so knew where this was going!  One of her friends had tried for years without success, adopted and then had gotten pregnant.  And then she told me of another couple that did the same thing.  So I told her, yes, I had considered adoption but no, we are not ready for that.  Then she kept going on about how she hears stories of people who had gotten pregnant after they adopted.  

At that point, I was really annoyed and felt like I needed to set her straight.  I told her, you know, it's true that some people do get pregnant after they adopt, but it is not the norm.  Statistically, it is very RARE that it ever happens, and most people don't.  I actually said please don't be offended but it is really not helpful to say such a thing to a person that has a hard time getting pregnant.  Most people that can't get pregnant has most probably considered adoption at one time or another.  The last thing we want to do is to give anyone a false impression that adopting will help you get pregnant.  That is WRONG and absolutely the worst reason why someone should consider adoption.  If fact, I told her, it is one the most annoying things anyone can say to an infertile, next to "just relax", and "you're still young".  It's a big no-no!

I think Gal #2 felt bad after that, and admitted that she didn't think it would come out that way, and she only wanted to give people some hope.  I understand how people want to say things that could possibly make us feel hopeful, but I had to express my thoughts.  I felt like an IF Nazi, but I don't care.  Sometimes people don't realize how hurtful and unhelpful some words can be.  I just couldn't keep quiet about that!

Then later in the evening, Gal #3 (she's in her 50's, so maybe not a "gal") and she told me the story of how she got married in her late 30's, got pregnant with her first at 39, and then suffered 8 (yes 8!) miscarriages and ectopic pregnancies before conceiving her second son at 42, and with only one tube.  Even then, they thought her baby had died because her numbers kept going down.  She was scheduled for a D&C but she demanded an ultrasound.  They saw her baby bouncing around in the uterus and had a perfect heartbeat.  He is now 12.  They call him the "Miracle Child".  Don't give up hope, Gal #3 reminded me, and she too has promised to continue to keep me in her prayers.

Tuesday night was a night of ups and downs, but in the end I felt really good about it.  I felt like I stood up for something important, and I was blest by 2 ladies that shared their stories of hope and their love for me.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Back To The RE.... Finally!

After my IVF transfer was canceled, I tried to schedule a post-IVF conference with Dr. Hopeful, but she was on vacation until April 5th and the earliest available appointment to see her would be May 5th.  But the receptionist said she would leave a message with Dr. Hopeful to see if she could squeeze in an appointment sooner.

I finally called the clinic today.  I figured I'd wait a couple of days for Dr. Hopeful to catch up from being on vacation.  When I called the receptionist said Dr. Hopeful had been busy with procedures since she's been back and she's probably still haven't had a chance to catch up on her messages. Okay...... so I figured I'd give her another day or so and call back.  Less than half an hour later, the clinic calls back with a few options to squeeze in to see Dr. Hopeful.  It pays to call and get on their case!

So now we are set for a post-IVF conference with her next week on Tuesday, April 13th.

Now, my goal is to set out a list of questions to ask Dr. Hopeful when I see her next week.  Here's a high level summary of my last IVF cycle:
  • I was on BCPs for 24 days, then on Lu.pron for 12 days before starting stims.
  • I stimmed on Meno.pur and Follis.tim for 13 days
  • At day of trigger, I had 10 mature follicles, another 9 or 10 that would potentially be matured at retrieval.  Lining was excellent at 15 mm.
  • At egg retrieval, found out that the right ovary was at a "difficult location", and eventually we were not able to retrieve any eggs from that right ovary.
  • 8 eggs were retrieved from the left ovary, 6 were mature.
  • At 2 days post retrieval, only 1 egg fertilized.
  • At 3 days post retrieval, another egg fertilized.  But the first embryo was only at 3-cell.
  • At 4 days post retrieval, 1st embryo was only at 4-cell, and 2nd embryo had stayed at 2-cell.
  • Embryo transfer was canceled since all embryos had arrested.

Some questions that I will be asking Dr. Hopeful when I see her next:
  1. What could have caused the right ovary to be in a "difficult location"?  Why was it never mentioned to me before? (I was able to retrieve eggs from both ovaries from my previous IVF a year ago).
  2. What would have cause the the low fertilization rate, only 2 in a total of 6 have fertilized?  Would 1 year make that much of a difference in the quality of my eggs? (My previous IVF, I had 8 out of 12 fertilized)
  3. What could have caused the embryos to have arrested before day 5 transfer (only at 2 and 4 cell stage)?
  4. Why wasn't a day-3 or day-4 transfer considered since I only had 2 eggs that fertilized?
  5. Should ICSI have been considered? (I think this was not considered since we did not have any issues with my Babe's sperm)
  6. Would you recommend any additional testing?
  7. What would you recommend for the next cycle?  Would you be changing anything with the protocol?
I'm hoping to get some answers as to what happened to this cycle.  And what would be different in the next.

So, what else would you ask the RE if you were me?

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Easter and Misc Thoughts

I've been a bad blogger.  I haven't really commented much, nor have I written much.  My last post was last Friday, and it's been 4 days since my last post.

Lots have crossed my mind, but I've just not been motivated to post.  I'll get better about this, I promise.
(image from images/man_laptop.jpg)

So here's a summary of the last few days.
  • My Babe and I went to Easter Service at our church.  We were lucky enough to sit with my dear friend E and her family.  My 2 1/2 -year-old goddaughter L spent half of the service in my arms and on my lap during the service.  It was bittersweet.  I love the fact that I get to be around my goddaughter and her 9-month old brother, to hang out and hold them.  For them to be excited to see me and want to hang out with me.  Yet at the same time I wonder if I would ever hold my own babies in my lap someday.
  • We spent Easter lunch at my in-laws.  I made grilled leg of lamb and it was a hit.  My 2 nieces, 9 and 5 year olds are so funny and cute.  My SIL and her hubby have done a wonderful job raising 2 very well behaved and smart kids.  I often wonder if my Babe and I will be make great parents like them, and if we will have a chance to teach our kids and pass on our values and traditions.
  • I am not worried about if we will become parents.  I do worry if we will ever have children that look like us, our own biological children.  Maybe this sounds selfish to some, but I would love to have children that I can say yup, he's got his daddy's long legs or musical talents, or she's got her mommy's eyes.  Is that too much to wish for?
  • After my transfer was cancelled, I went found out using an IVF due date calculator that if the transfer was not cancelled, and if I had a BFP, my baby (if singleton) would have been due on December 9th, 2010.  Looks like 2010 will not be the year for a baby for us.
I'm sorry if this and the last few posts seem such downers.  I'm just expressing my thoughts, thoughts that are true and which I don't want to forget.  I think it's important to honor that.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Good Friday

Today is Good Friday.

Today would have been my Beta, if my transfer wasn't canceled.

Today could have been a Great Friday.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

April Fool

Thank you for all the wonderful comments regarding grieving and loss of my embryos.  It helps to reaffirm that it is OK for me to grieve my canceled transfer, and for my embryos.  Thanks also for the wonderful suggestions on coping.  I'm planning on scheduling a massage and maybe some retail therapy.

AF showed up today, she's just starting.  I'm actually surprised, I wasn't expecting her until tomorrow or later.  I took my last dose of Endome.trin on Tuesday night, and the doc said to expect her 3-5 days later.  I guess she just can't wait.  April Fool's on me I guess.  I should have known when 3 zits showed up on my face last night.

I went back to my class at the Y tonight.  It was nice to get back to working out after stopping when I started my stims.  It looks like I will be able to continue working out as we won't be starting any treatment any time soon.

Tomorrow, my Babe has the day off for Good Friday.  We are going on a short road trip for the day.  We are driving 3 1/2 hours to Fargo, N.D to visit my Babe's brother for a few hours.  Then we come home.  My babe has been working a lot of hours lately and has been really stressed out.  It will be a nice break for us to get away.