Thursday, January 31, 2008


I've been tagged by Maria.

The rules to the game:

1) Link to the person that tagged you.
2) Post the rules on your blog.
3) Share six non-important things/habits/quirks about yourself.
4) Tag at least three people at the end of your post and link to their blogs.
5) Let each person know they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.
6) Let the fun begin!

Those of you who know me well (hi, Mom), likely know most of these things, but maybe I'll come up with at least one you don't.

1. I've never broken a bone (knocking fiercely on wood right now).

2. I make pro/con lists for ALL big decisions. Can't help it-I'm that anal and need to see things in print to process them (hence, my blog). I don't know if that was an innate or learned behavior, but it is now thoroughly ingrained.

3. For 10+ years of my life I was a gymnast (which makes number 1 above a little more surprising). It started as fun when I was a little kid and turned into competition. Once I hit my teen years, I considered quitting at least once a year. It was a HUGE part of my life and I started to feel as if it was robbing me of a childhood (silly in hindsight-this was just the angst of a teenager coming out). Of course I made a pro/con list and ended up continuing every time until I was 16 (I think) when I finally quit for good. Sometimes I miss it. Sometimes I dream about it. Sometimes I spend hours thinking of my old teammates, coaches, etc. And then I go months or years a time without thinking about it at all. I think it's weird that my husband and all of my current friends didn't know me during this part of my life because it was and is such a huge part of who I am today. I often define my life in terms of "during gymnastics" and "after gymnastics."

4. When I was 7, we moved from Chicago to Denver. I don't remember this being a traumatic move. In fact, I remember it being very exciting. But for some reason, there are very few memories I actually remember before the move outside of looking at pictures from our time in Chicago. Because of this, my life is somewhat defined by "after we moved to Denver."

5. When I was a kid, I had absolutely NO idea what I wanted to be when I grew up. I'm not even sure how I used to answer that question (maybe a vet because I liked animals? a journalist because I liked to write? a neonatologist because my best friend wanted to be one? I don't think I even knew what that last one meant at the time). To this day, I'm still not sure what I want to be when I grow up. My current career just puts food on the table and a roof over our heads. Every once in awhile I'm convinced I should have a career in music since it is one of the only things I get passionate about. Unfortunately, I have absolutely no talent in that area. If we won Power.ball (as in one of the really LARGE jackpots), I would start a local record label and scout bands to sign just for fun.

6. Anytime anyone starts telling me a joke, I have an irrational fear that I won't understand it and will have to laugh pretending that I understood. This very rarely actually happens, but I always concentrate very hard when someone is telling me a joke because of this.

Some of you have likely already done this at some point, but I'm tagging Io, Jen and Claire.


Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Bad Vibrations

Can someone tell the construction workers across the street to go home for the day? We live in a new construction neighborhood that is only about halfway built out and they are now building a house directly across the street from us. Seriously, how poorly are these houses made that my bed shakes every time they use some type of machinery?

I just hope the vibrations aren't shaking our embryos away from my lining! Paranoid. Who, me?

Also, please see the poll I added to the top of my sidebar and vote on whether I should POAS before the beta on February 10th.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

My Perfect Appointment

Today was the day-I finally got my perfect appointment! We arrived at the clinic and only had to wait about 2 minutes before I was called back to get blood drawn. We then waited another 2 minutes before being called back into the surgery center. I changed into a gown and the acupuncturist came in. She put two needles into each ear, one in each hand (wrist), one on either side of my belly, one in each shin, one on the top of each foot, and one on the top of my head. She then turned on my ipod for me and put one of the ear buds into one of my ears. She left the room for 10 minutes while I listened to my "relaxation" playlist and B sat next to me watching a movie on our laptop. The acupuncturist came back in, twisted the needles in a bit more and left for another 15 minutes.

After the acupuncture, she sat me up in the bed to continue drinking water. A nurse came in and gave me a valium. By that time my bladder was pretty full and it was a relief when the U/S tech came in to check my bladder. Upon confirmation that it was full, I was allowed to go pee into a cup, but that was it. It was a little difficult to stop mid-stream, but I felt better afterwards. The doc came in and confirmed we wanted to transfer 2. The U/S tech then checked my bladder again and said it was still pretty full so I was allowed to go pee into 3/4 of a cup.

Then the embryologist came in and told us we had 3 good embryos to choose from. One was a 6-cell, better than perfect embryo. The other two were both 5-cell that she also referred to as "perfect." She said the 5-cell that they would transfer was what they usually refer to as "perfect," but that the 6-cell was even better and that they were excited because it is rare to see an embryo of that high quality. I was a little confused as to how anything could be better than "perfect," but I'll take it! I asked them if they would take pictures of the embryos for us and they said they would if we wanted to, but they prefer not to expose the embryos to more light than is necessary. Figured I would trust them and forgo the pictures. B got to look at our 2 embryos through the microscope and I was jealous. When I asked him what they looked like he said, "I don't know. Two blobs of circles over circles." Exactly what I was picturing.

The doc had a little trouble getting the catheter through my cervix (no surprise to me). He said it was a bit of a "winding road." I already knew that. I had a little cramping, but it was over in about 10 minutes. The doc said he was very pleased and that my lining looked fine (note he didn't say great, but he didn't say bad either). He agreed with my concern about waiting another week and was in agreement that it was best to go ahead with the transfer this week. Nothing like a little validation (and taking back a little control of your own healthcare). It felt really good. The U/S tech also noted that they didn't see any fluid in the lining anymore, which is good.

The embryologist then asked us what we wanted to do with the third embryo. She said they could discard it or that we could let it grow and refreeze it if it makes it to the blastocyst stage. We chose to refreeze if possible, so we should get a call in a few days letting us know if it made it to freeze and if it has rejoined its 14 siblings in the freezer.

They let me rest for about 15 minutes and then let me use a bedpan to empty my bladder. Not very pleasant, but necessary.

The acupuncturist came back in for round 2. She put one needle in my forehead, two in each ear, one in each hand, one in each thigh, and one in each leg. She came back in after 10 minutes to readjust and left again for another 15 minutes. I continued listening to my relaxation playlist on my ipod through one earphone. She took the needles out and then the nurse came back in and went through my instructions. Continue all meds, strict bedrest for today and tomorrow and then resume normal activity on Thursday (except no aerobic exercise, avoid climbing too many stairs, no caffeine or alcohol, limit sushi intake, and just take it easy, etc.). I have actually taken the rest of this week off of work so I can relax and focus on getting these embryos to stick.

So I am now resting comfortably in my bed. B is downstairs with the dogs and my Mom is sitting with me keeping me company. Our nurse called a couple of minutes ago to let me know the results of the blood work. My estrogen is at 926 (they want it over 300) and my progesterone is at 35.4 (they want it over 20). So everything looks great and we don't have to add any additional meds at this point. Yay!

Thanks to everyone for all the positive comments and well wishes. Let the 2ww begin!

Monday, January 28, 2008

Thaw Report (Updated)

The embryology lab called this morning. Out of the 4 embryos they thawed, 3 of them have survived. We won't know until right before the transfer tomorrow how the 3 embies are doing. Of course now I'm worried about them and if they will grow and divide properly, but at least they survived the thaw.

Please think positive growing thoughts for our 3 brave embies!

Sidenotes: The PIO shots are pain in the rear (pun intended). I'm having trouble sitting still in my chair at work today. My third electro-acupuncture appointment is scheduled for lunch time today.


The nurse called with results from my blood draw this morning. My progesterone is at 22.4, which is good. They like to see it above 20. No changes to my meds.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

This Struck Me as Funny

I googled "PIO" today and discovered Saint Pio, the patron saint of stress relief and the January blues.

From Wiki.pedia:

In the year 2006, the Catholic Enquiry Office (CEO) in London declared Saint Pio as the patron saint of stress relief and the January blues, following a formula published by Cliff Arnall of Cardiff University's Centre for Lifelong Learning that declared that Monday, January 23, 2006 would be the most depressing day of the year.[31][32] The CEO launched Don't Worry Be Happy Day to counter the effect of this depression and declared St. Pio as the patron saint of this day. Clare Ward, spokesperson of the CEO explained that this decision was based on their belief that Padre Pio's famous spiritual advice "Pray, Hope, and Don't Worry!" would help drive out despair from the minds of people.

I figured Saint Pio would be the patron saint of a pain in the ass.

On a separate note, we got a call from the clinic today with our schedule for Tuesday! Show up at 11:45am, begin drinking water when get to clinic, relax while undergoing acupuncture (no electricity this time), transfer at 1:30pm, relax while undergoing acupuncture again, go home and rest.

A Long, Long Day (and a long post)

Yesterday was a really long day. After our appointment, we stopped on the way home to eat breakfast, pretty much in silence. Afraid to be happy about moving forward, but not sure whether to be upset anymore. In a weird limbo of confusion. I kept thinking the nurse would call back and tell us the doc had changed her mind. When we got home, B started getting ready for the wedding and I decided to skip the ceremony to get some work done. He left for the ceremony and I worked until he got home.

I went upstairs to pull together everything we would need for the first PIO (progesterone in sesame oil) shot this morning. In doing so, I realized I wasn't sure which needle to use for the actual injection. There was one set of needles (already attached to syringes) that were labeled to draw up the oil. You were then supposed to remove that needle and attach a smaller (albeit still very long, large) needle. However, the only separate needles I had didn't match the size listed on our instruction sheet (even though they were labeled to inject PIO). And the only needles I had that were the right size were attached to syringes and meant to mix other medication (from my fresh cycle).

I immediately called the nurse to ask what to do. She told me that I could take the correct size needles off the syringes to use and that when I come in on Monday they can give me new needles. Apparently if I had used the separate needles that were labeled for injecting PIO, it would have been very difficult to get the thick oil out of the needle. Problem solved. I had completely forgotten that they were going to call with the results of the blood draw from the morning until she said they had the results back. My estrogen level was at 4,000! This sounded really high to me as it is approaching the level I had during my fresh cycle and my bout with OHSS (on its way up to a peak of 10,000). The nurse said she had left a message for the RE, but that she was sure he would still let me go through with the transfer.

I don't quite understand why it was so dangerous during my fresh cycle, but they aren't worried this go round? The nurse said it would be a problem if I were taking a trigger shot (HCG) to do a retrieval, but it shouldn't be an issue for just a transfer. What I didn't think about until after we hung up the phone was that HCG is the chemical your body produces when you get pregnant (this is the chemical that pregnancy tests measure). So I still have a nagging feeling I will get a call any minute to tell me the doc wants to cancel the cycle. It will be a miracle if we make it to transfer Tuesday without any additional scares.

Now to the wedding. The wedding was quite a reunion for us. We know the groom from the firm B and I both used to work at (and where we met 9 1/2 years ago) and many of the guests were also old coworkers. It was really fun to see people we hadn't seen in years. However (as the rest of you IF bloggers will relate to), when you are in your 30's and you see people you haven't seen in years, there are inevitably major life changes that you have missed. A marriage, a divorce, a pregnancy, a birth (or 2). The theme of last nights reunion was pregnancy. B warned me on the way there of one pregnancy. He did not, however, warn me of the second one he had just seen at the ceremony. And he didn't know about the third one because they weren't at the ceremony. These were just the people we know. There were at least 3 other very obviously pregnant women at this wedding reception along with a very newborn baby.

Among the questions/comments I got from these women (those who were pregnant and those with kids at home, some women who I know and others who I had just met):

1. Do you have kids? (No.) Enjoy it while you can!

Thanks. Yes, I'm really enjoying the heartache, mood swings, anger, frustration, shots, pills, suppositories and isolation of not having kids. Love it.

2. Did you know S is pregnant again? (No.) Did you know she got divorced? (No.) Huh. Well, she got divorced and now she's pregnant with #2 with her new boyfriend. She's really happy. (Good for her.)

This gem was shared with me by an old coworker who is currently 7 months pregnant with her second (yes, we've been lapped again) while she rubbed her pregnant belly.

3. Are you drinking water? You'd better stop unless you want to get pregnant! Look at all the pregnant women here! It must be in the water, just like it was last time S and I were both pregnant at the same time. (HaHa.)

Spoken by the same woman as number 2 above.

4. Oh, wasn't that weird when S and I were both pregnant and then M got pregnant too? Oh, doesn't M work at the same office as you again now? (Yes.)

Again, spoken by the same woman as number 2 and 3 above (this was my favorite conversation of the night--note sarcasm here). Fun factoid: when M got pregnant at the same time as this woman and S, it was her second child of a second father, neither of whom she married and she no longer speaks to either of the fathers (and one of them was in prison for awhile). Not to mention that everything this woman does screams of white trash. Life is SO fair.

On a positive note, the good thing about letting all of our closer friends know about what we are going through is that no one has to ask "so when are YOU GUYS having kids?" Word has slowly spread from our circle of close friends to our broader circle of friends we don't see too often. All of these people were very respectful and didn't even ask why I was drinking water all night. That was a relief. We did have one little mix up though.

When asked by various people why I wasn't at the ceremony, B had told one person that I was at a doctor's appointment (not sure why he didn't just tell the truth and tell her I was working). Her immediate response was, "on a Saturday? Is everything okay?" This person happens to be good friends with one of the groomsman (who was B's best man in our wedding). She apparently told him about this awkward conversation with B and so P (the groomsman) got concerned and came up to B at the reception to ask him if everything was alright.

Apparently B hadn't told P about our problems, which I found a little strange because he is one of B's closest friends. But he does live in another state and we only see him about once a year and I guess the topic just never came up (P is a single, gay man and so doesn't really ask those types of questions-how refreshing!). Anyway, at the end of the night as we were saying goodbye, P was pretty hammered, gave me a hug and a kiss and then looked at my face, down at my belly and back up at my face again. I'm pretty sure I know exactly what he was thinking and I wish we could have talked. He's always given me good advice and even though he can't relate to this problem, it felt wrong not to talk to him about it. Maybe next time.

It was past midnight by the time we got home and I was exhausted. We got up early this morning to do the first PIO shot and it went off without a hitch (this is the shot that goes all the way into the muscle in the upper buttock region). I have to say, B didn't seem nervous at all and just jabbed it in my rear all matter of fact like. He removed the needle and rubbed the spot for a bit and then I laid on a heating pad for about 10 minutes. So far no lump forming, but the muscle is already sore. These are gonna be fun.

Today I'm doing a ton of laundry and trying to clean up the house a bit to get ready for my bedrest this week. That's it for now. If you've made it through this whole post, thanks for sticking around!

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Still Searching for that Perfect Appointment

This morning's appointment was a rollercoaster. We waited for about 20 minutes before they called me back. The tech first did a quick check of my lining and found the thickness to be only about 5.5 (it was 6.5-7.0 on Tuesday--WTF?!). She quickly moved on to the doppler to check blood flow seeing that I was visibly upset. Blood flow turned out to be much better this time (2.02 and 2.23), so apparently the electro-acupuncture did the trick. She then went back to my lining and commented on how she could still see the triple pattern (although it wasn't as clear to me on the screen as it was on Tuesday). She spent what seemed like forever taking more measurements of my lining and they ranged from 5.5 to only 6.0. NOT GOOD.

She had me sit up and said she would have me get dressed to wait for a nurse and I immediately burst into tears. B tried to calm me down, I got dressed and they brought us into a little closet of a consult room to wait for the nurse. The nurse came in and said "let's not get upset yet." Uh, too late.

The nurse seemed confused looking at the U/S pictures, kind of stammered around a bit, and then left the room. Apparently I had stumped her. "Step right up and see the circus freak with the thinning lining! Against all odds! We couldn't accomplish this if we tried!"

She then came back and said that it didn't make sense that the lining had gotten thinner unless I had been bleeding (I haven't). She confirmed I've been taking my Es.trace (I have) and the patches (I have). She also noted that the U/S showed a small sliver of fluid in my lining and that it could just be cervical fluid backing up into the uterus. She said it usually goes away once you start progesterone. She then explained that she wanted to have another tech do another scan because U/S can be subjective and it really didn't make sense that my lining would get thinner, especially since I've had no bleeding. We were then brought back out to the lobby to wait again until the other tech was ready for us.

Back for my second wanding of the hour I went. As the other tech was looking at the screen, she said "your lining is fine and the fluid is really small. They might just want to recheck to make sure you don't have more fluid built up before they do the transfer (or the thaw)." My response to this was "my lining is FINE?!" She said it was measuring between 6.4 and 7.2. So definitely better than the first, but still not really any better than Tuesday and not up to the 8.0 they hope to see.

I was so disappointed. We did everything in our power to try to get the stupid lining to grow. The nurse came back to talk to us again and she said that the doc would likely want us to stay on the estrogen and postpone by a week. I was having none of that. This was exactly what happened last cycle. They postponed me for a week and added Es.trace and my lining only grew by a little. I've already been on Es.trace since Tuesday. Then last cycle, they postponed me for a second week and that's when the cystic cells showed up. I just keep thinking that if we wait it won't get any better and it could get worse and I REALLY don't want to go through another D&C. I explained this to the nurse and she said she would communicate my concerns to the doc later today and I should expect a phone call this afternoon. I then told her we were going to be at a wedding and I wasn't sure I'd be able to answer my phone, but I didn't want to miss the phone call. So she decided to go up to the surgery center and talk to the RE on call in between procedures.

At this point I began to understand why they are sometimes so behind and we have to wait for our appointments. It's patients like me whose bodies decide to be difficult and unpredictable that cause all sorts of problems with their schedule.

Back to the lobby we went. We waited for awhile while she waited for the doc, talked to the doc, and while the doc reviewed my chart. She then called us back in to the little closet of a consult room. She said that the doc noted that my lining only got to about 8.0 with our fresh cycle, so she was okay if we wanted to move forward with the transfer this week. And she wasn't concerned about the fluid. Big sigh of relief. I am supposed to stay on the patches, Es.trace, and baby aspirin, take my last Lu.pron shot tonight (yay!), start the PIO shots tomorrow morning (ick), the progesterone suppositories tomorrow night (gross), and start the antibiotic and the steroid tomorrow night. I should also expect a pre-transfer call from the clinic tomorrow. Not sure if they will call this afternoon with the results of my blood draw this morning to check estrogen level.

I asked the nurse if it made sense to continue with the electro-acupuncture and she said it won't hurt anything, so why not. Plus since the last 2 sessions appeared to have worked, I think I'd like to stick with it (no pun intended). So I go back into the clinic on Monday morning for a progesterone check and I'll see if I can get in for another electro-acupuncture appointment on Monday as well. I also asked the nurse about continuing with the red raspberry leaf tea and she suggested I stop drinking it. Her exact comment was "let's not do anything herbal." I got the feeling she thought I was silly for trying it in the first place. Funny how different these appointments go depending on which nurse (and apparently which U/S tech) you get that day.

Although I don't have an overwhelming good feeling about this having a shot in hell at working, at least we get to make some progress, do something new, get further than we have in the past. That in itself is a battle won. We reasoned that if we got cancelled this cycle, it still counts against one of our 3 FET attempts in the shared risk program (this would be #2 cancelled before transfer). Since we have 18 frozen embies to work with, we don't think we have anything to lose by giving this cycle a shot. Even if it doesn't work, at least we gave it a chance, right? I'm exhausted and it's only 11am.

Friday, January 25, 2008


From Whole Foods:


I thought I had successfully avoided the baby shower at work this morning until I discovered there had been a mix up with the food and the shower was delayed. I am now sitting in my office with the door shut and the lights off while the rest of my department celebrates two doors down the hall. I feel like such a loser.

But at least I'm a loser who is sitting straight up without her legs crossed, drinking red raspberry leaf tea, trying to take deep breaths and think positive thoughts.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Wired Part Deux

2nd round of shock therapy was today. It was pretty similar to yesterday, except I didn't feel quite as much of a "weight" on my back. She let me go an extra 10 minutes today for good measure since this is the last appointment before my next doppler U/S on Saturday. Having really mixed emotions about that appointment. I want it to be over and done with, but I really don't want bad news. I will not be a pleasant person to be around if we get postponed or cancelled this cycle (not that I'm all that pleasant to be around right now anyway).

I think what's adding to my anxiety about Saturday is that we have a wedding to go to (1pm ceremony/7pm reception) and I may have a very hard time being social and happy around other people if this appointment doesn't go well. Why can't I just crawl into a hole in the ground and not come out until I have a baby in my arms?

*Edited to add* Oh, I forgot, she also sat down with me afterwards to talk about other "things" we can do to help the blood flow. The other things included avoiding caffeine (done), drinking lots of water (done), walk around, move around or get some exercise (I'm trying) and avoid sitting with my legs crossed (huh?) or being hunched over. I immediately uncrossed my legs and sat up straighter. She thinks that sitting hunched over or with your legs crossed cuts off blood supply. I guess it makes sense, I just never thought twice about sitting with my legs crossed (which I pretty much do ALL day long at work every day). Oops.*

On a more positive note, Jen got some amazing news today! Yay Jen!!!

Wednesday, January 23, 2008


I managed to squeeze in my first shock therapy session this afternoon. It wasn't too bad. It felt pretty similar to the e-stim I had as a kid on my back as part of physical therapy (except with the e-stim I had the controls in front of me and could turn it up or down-fun to test your limits!). The office is in the 2nd story of an old Victorian house only 5 minutes from my office. It's a comfortable and quiet office. C, my acupuncturist, had me lay face down on the table. She put 2 needles in each leg, one in the lower calf, and one in the upper calf. Then she put 2 needles on each side of my lower back. She hooked the wires up to the needles and told me to let her know when I started to feel something. One by one, she turned on the current to each needle and adjusted the strength based on my feedback. The idea is to make the current as strong as possible without causing pain or discomfort.

The sensation at first was that of a muscle twitching and as time went on it felt more like a vibration. Kind of like I was a car on idle. After all the needles were hooked up, C left me to my thoughts for 10 minutes. I tried really hard not to think. When that didn't work, I tried really hard not to think about work. That didn't really work either, so I tried to visualize the blood flowing through my body and specifically to my uterus. But the problem I have with visualization is that I can usually only do it with things I can see or feel. I've certainly never seen blood flowing to my uterus (other than on the U/S screen) and I certainly couldn't feel it. As a kid I was a gymnast and I used to visualize all my routines in my head the night before a meet to calm myself down and get to sleep. So I figured that I should visualize myself actually doing something (don't get the wrong idea here). The best thing I could think of was to visualize myself skiing through knee deep powder as that was the most fun I've had with any physical activity lately (again, don't get the wrong idea here).

So I was busy gliding down a mountain on my imaginary skies when C came back into the room. She asked how I was doing and if any of the sensations had become more faint. She said that the brain sometimes stops sensing the current after awhile, the sensation becomes fainter, and that allows us to increase the current. I did allow her to increase the current to my left leg, but that was it. The right leg still felt pretty strong and my back felt like I had a weight lying across it. The back was the only part that really bothered me after awhile and I'm actually a little sore in my lower back. Makes me wonder if I don't use those muscles enough.

C left me for another 10 minutes and then came back, unhooked me and I was done. All in all, pretty painless and maybe even a little relaxing. When I got back to work, I was sitting in a meeting and I could almost still feel the vibration going through my body. I was trying to think of the right word to describe it and what popped into my head was "wired." Funny considering I was literally wired to electricity just a few minutes before. I had one of those "ah-ha!" moments and finally realized why we use the word "wired" to describe that particular feeling. I'm sure I sound like an idiot, because of course that's what the term refers to-I just never thought of it that way.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Shock Therapy

I spoke with a nurse tonight and they do want me starting Es.trace tonight in addition to trying to get in for 1 or 2 electro-acupuncture appointments before Saturday (to be continued until and through transfer). I'll then go back in early Saturday morning for another doppler (hope the forecast on Saturday looks better than it did today). If the lining looks better on Saturday, we will stay with our original schedule. If not, they may want to keep me on the es.trace for another couple of days and push the transfer back. Sounds eerily similar to my last canceled FET where they kept "postponing" me until the bad cells showed up and I was officially cancelled. I really hope that those bad cells were there all along and that is what kept the es.trace from thickening my lining. I do have a proven history of es.trace helping from my prior medicated IUI cycles.

I also asked the nurse about red raspberry leaf tea (thanks Maria!) and she said it can't hurt as long as it doesn't have any additives in it. I'm guessing that it is the actual leaves and, therefore, wouldn't have anything added, but what do I know. So I'll be looking online to see where I can pick up some of this stuff tomorrow. Tomorrow morning I'll try to find an acupuncturist who does electro-acupuncture and try to make two appointments (for Thursday and Friday if I can get in). From what I understand, electro-acupuncture is just like regular acupuncture except they send an electric current pulsing into the needles. Sounds a little scary to me, but I guess I'll find out. Apparently studies have shown that electro-acupuncture can increase blood flow to the uterus.

On the blood flow issue, a friend of mine who just graduated from nursing school (yay, T!) and is studying for her boards did a little research and came up with the following:

"Pulsatility index is a calculation of arterial blood flow to the uterus, from what I gather it is a reflection of arterial blood pressure. (It is also calculated for other arteries like your renal artery in determining the success of a kidney transplant for example) The reason it is important is because it determines vascular resistance or in other words, it determines how well your uterus (or other organ) is being perfussed with blood. The reason it is not a straight up pressure and it is expressed in numbers like 1, 2, and 3 is because it is a calculation using blood pressure, which I can not find at the moment. Below 3 = less resistance = more perfussion, above 3= more resistance (because your artery is constricted caused by whatever causes high blood pressure, like caffeine) = less perfussion = less chance of implantation = infertility. This is what I've gathered through my research and relating it to what I know."

Please note that the above should not be construed as professional medical advice, but it helped me to better understand what the doppler measures.

Here are some interesting studies that my friend also pulled for me. I haven't read them yet, but they all look very interesting:

See first study here.

See second study here.

See third study here.

I Always Have Issues

Need to make this quick so I can get to work. My lining measured between 6.5 and 7.0 with a triple pattern. They look for the lining to be at least 8.0 and triple pattern is good. So, once again my lining is too thin. I'll have to wait to get a call from a nurse this afternoon after they speak with the doctor, but I'm guessing I get to go back on Es.trace again. Wouldn't be so bad if they let me take it orally, but I guess it doesn't work as quickly that way. Can't wait to start leaking blue again.

The other issue I have is the reading from the doppler (and no they weren't checking the weather inside my uterus). This is the part of the ultrasound where they check blood flow to the uterus. They generally like the reading to be at 3.0 or lower and this measurement shows the pressure in arteries that feed blood to the uterus. Mine measured at 3.22 and 3.1 (on either side of the uterus). This is borderline high and the U/S tech and the nurse both asked if I've had any caffeine lately. I haven't had any caffeine in the last 3 days just like they recommend. I don't drink coffee, I avoided soda and chocolate completely and still it didn't help.

I don't understand exactly why the pressure measurement can effect a pregnancy and the nurse didn't seem to know the answer when I asked her the question. She went off on a tangent about if I had "reverse flow" they definitely would recommend acupuncture, but I don't have that. Guess I'll have to wait and see which nurse calls this afternoon and if SHE knows anything. If anyone has any insight into this, I'd love to hear it.

They also drew blood to check estrogen level, but won't have the results back until this afternoon.

B decided to go with me to the appointment this morning. I think he must be tired of the phone calls where I'm crying while driving to work after an appointment. He kept me calm. At least until I got into my own car and headed to work. I spent the whole drive getting more and more angry and worked up. Oh, remember how I said that EB hadn't made an appearance this cycle and I wasn't feeling as crazy on Lu.pron? Well, scratch that.

I hate this. Why can't I have just ONE appointment where everything goes perfectly! Even if things didn't work out for that cycle, at least I would have fond memories of that one appointment. I could reminisce about that great appointment. "Remember that one perfect appointment? That was awesome!"

Monday, January 21, 2008


Lori over at Weebles Wobblog has organized a ColoBlogger group and our first meeting is Saturday, February 16th. See this post for more info. You will also find the ColoBlogger icon on my sidebar. You can click on this icon to send an email to Lori for more details and to join in the fun.

One more sleep until the dreaded lining check tomorrow. Didn't sleep very well last night and not expecting to sleep very well tonight. Will update after the appointment when I can.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

On the Lighter Side

Since I'm starting to bore and annoy myself with all of this IF and IVF stuff (okay, "starting" is an understatement), I thought I'd write about something different today.

Last night we joined some friends at this Denver landmark. Although I'm a recent sushi convert in the last couple of years, I absolutely love it and this restaurant is the best place to get it in Denver. I stuffed myself happy. One of the topics that came up during our dinner conversation was naked sushi, whereby pieces of raw fish are served directly off the body of a naked woman (see more unsubstantiated details here). This topic generated all sorts of great conversation including the desired temperature of the fish being affected by body heat, whether or not you are supposed to talk to the naked girl with the raw fish on her body (for example, "is it cold in here?"), whether the girl is face up or face down (I was told she is face up of course).

I also had many questions in my head and more that have popped up ever since because I can't stop thinking about this phenomenon. For example, what is the interview process for this job? Do you send in pictures of yourself? Do you have to smell nice, or not have a smell at all? Are you allowed to use lotion? Do you have to wax frequently? What is the pay like? Is there a locker to store your clothes? Are there bouncers or bodyguards to come to your rescue if one of the patrons gets too touchy (uses their fingers instead of chopsticks to pick up the fish, or starts poking you with their chopsticks)? What is the age requirement for the job? Is there an age requirement to eat the sushi off of the girl? And the list goes on and on.

Although I have absolutely NO desire to eat sushi off of a naked woman, I can't help being fascinated by the idea. In fact, I have to make sure I never go to a place that does this because I would probably just STARE all night long and that could be considered inappropriate.

On another topic, I went shopping yesterday for an outfit to wear to a wedding next weekend. B got me a Nordstroms gift certificate for Christmas and this was the perfect opportunity to use it. One of the best tips a girl can get from her mother is how to shop efficiently. This girl learned from her mother to use the Nordstroms personal shopping service, which happens to be free of charge (they work on commission, but I've never felt pressured to spend more than I want). You make an appointment ahead of time and tell your personal shopper what you are looking for. You show up at said appointment time and a variety of items are already waiting for you in a large, comfortable dressing room. You proceed to try on outfits while your personal shopper gives you her opinion and you tell her your opinion. She then runs all over the store grabbing different sizes or finding new items for you (including running upstairs to petites or downstairs to shoes!) while you sit in the dressing room, sipping your water.

In about an hour, we found the perfect wedding outfit that not only will be versatile to wear again for different occasions, but somehow manages to make my 5'1" frame look tall! If I had attempted this shopping excursion on my own, it would have taken all day and I'm sure I would have ended up with something inferior. I would post a picture of the outfit, but of course, it is being altered. But I was able to bring the jacket home with me because it required no alterations (major miracle). Here's a picture of the jacket, which I just love (and really the picture doesn't do it justice, it looks so much better on me than on the hanger, if I do say so myself!):

Saturday, January 19, 2008

The Dichotomy of a Pressure Point

For some reason, when one of my coworkers announced her pregnancy, I decided to tell her about our IF treatments. It wasn't so much that I wanted to let her know how lucky she is (at least not consciously), but rather that I was trying to find some common ground with her. She is an easy person to talk to and she told me she had a friend who was successful on their 5th attempt at IVF. Yes, another friend of a friend who it has worked for.

This was back in November-ish (can't remember exactly when, but it has been awhile). Friday I found myself blissfully free of meetings at work and actually spent most of the day in my office for a change. Around 4pm, this coworker came into my office and shut the door and said in a whisper, "So it's been awhile since we've talked. Do you have any news? Are you pregnant yet?" I was taken aback and wasn't really sure how to respond to this question.

I guess for awhile there I forgot that telling people actually means they are EXPECTING this to work. Not just eventually, but NOW. And this is where SO much of the pressure comes from. I can't say I blame them. Before I knew anything about IVF and IF, I certainly thought this was going to be a sure thing. Hey, if trying naturally doesn't work, we can try IUI's and then if THAT doesn't work, there's always IVF. Because of course IVF will work. And of course, if for some outlandish reason IVF doesn't work, we can always adopt right? Except that's not how it works. It is NOT that easy and it is NOT a sure thing.

How do we get this impression? Is it because the media makes IVF and adoption look so easy? Is it because our parents told us we could have anything we want if we worked hard enough? Is it because for the most part, this has been true up until this point in our lives? Is it because there are so many people that IVF DOES work for? They are all over the message boards and in the blogosphere and so are the successful adoption stories. Except that there are also those in our virtual world that have been through all of it and came out on the other side with nothing to show for it other than matching piles of debt and bitterness. Those who have "chosen" to live childfree lives or are still dealing with the harsh realities of IF treatments and adoption nightmares.

In any other Lu.pron cycle, I would likely have blown up at this coworker and told her what an insensitive, thoughtless, idiot she is for asking me that question. I would have offered to give her daily updates of my E2 levels and lining measurements. I would have asked if she wanted to see the red welts on my belly from the patches or the tiny red dots and small bruises surrounding my belly button from the shots. Would she like to come over to my house and witness the small pharmacy taking up a spare bathroom counter? I would have thrown all of that in her face in anger, melted down and ran out of the building crying hysterically. Or at least, I would have imagined doing all of those things in my head, held my tongue, smiled and said something like "Oh, not yet. I have a meeting to get to!"

But the weird thing is, none of these thoughts went through my head. I have no idea why, but the rage I've experienced during past Lu.pron cycles simply isn't present this go round (which is maybe why I was so paranoid that the Lu.pron wasn't working). I simply thought, "huh, this is a little awkward," and then I realized how much she was really hoping for good news. And I thought about how sweet that was of her. She wanted to know that I was happily entrenched in pregnancy land before she gave birth and left for her maternity leave. She offered to let me use all of her pregnancy books and maternity clothes, and countless other baby items. She had her hopes up for me and wanted good news going into her weekend.

And I let her down. Someone I only casually know, who barely knows me, and I've still managed to let her down. Once I realized this and before I could think better of it, I started updating her on my progress. Trying to sound upbeat and optimistic. Telling her about the D&C and how we are starting fresh and about this FET. Before I knew it, she knew the expected date of my transfer AND my beta date. So now, not only do all of you, dear readers, know all of these dates and have your hopes pinned on this cycle right along with me, but now one of my coworkers does too. And she's pregnant and emotional and now I've upset the pregnant lady. I just can't seem to keep my mouth shut and now the pressure is really on.

At the end of our conversation, she said that now she was depressed that I didn't have better news. And I left work thinking about how, yet again, I have mixed emotions. I am touched and flattered by her kindness in being disappointed for me. And I also feel guilty for letting yet another person down. Obviously I know that it was nothing I did, nothing I had control over. But there it is.

Friday, January 18, 2008

I Get By With a Little Help From My Friends

I received an email from a friend IRL this morning that I thought I should share with all of my IF blogger friends because it reflects EXACTLY how I feel.

"FYI – the gals that post on your blog – I love them! What fabulous women they are and so supportive. It is so interesting (as I am sure you have figured out) how people are not shy when posting on the internet – you get such “real” responses. They say things that I think. Love ‘em, absolutely love ‘em!"

Thanks for all of your support ladies!

Not much else going on around here today. I upped my Viv.elle patches to 2 this morning. Btw, does anyone else ever have trouble getting these stupid patches off? They are so darn sticky sometimes it feels like I'm pulling my skin off with the patch. Eew.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Quick Suppression Update

Blood results all came back exactly where they wanted them. I'm suppressed!

The Baby Showers

As I think I've mentioned before, two women in my department at work are pregnant. On Monday an invitation came out inviting the whole department to a joint baby shower. It just so happened that the shower was scheduled on the morning I was originally supposed to go in for my U/S. Now that the U/S has been moved up to the 22nd, I'm stuck in a weird place. I know I can't handle going to this shower. Watching them open gifts, talk about nurseries, pregnancy symptoms, how big they are getting, and on and on and on. I can just see myself sitting through the shower with a smile pasted to my face and then retreating to my office and having to shut my office door for the rest of the day and try to stop the tears. But I obviously can't show up to work and NOT attend the shower (which will be in a conference room 2 doors down from my office).

It is not their fault that I have this problem. I should be a strong enough person to be happy for them. I shouldn't be this selfish. But I'm not strong enough and I am selfish. So there, I've said it. At this time, I'm already planning to claim I have a doctor's appointment (even if I don't) and will just come into work late that day. I can't believe that this is what it has come to. This is who I've become. Sad, but true.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Comments & Ramblings

First of all, thanks everyone for all of the positive thoughts. It is so great to know so many people understand and have my back (so to speak).

I wanted to mention that I've changed the settings for comments and my blog will no longer accept anonymous comments. In addition to one not-so-well-meaning comment, I have also gotten some friendly anonymous comments and it has driven me crazy trying to figure out who these people are. If I get positive thoughts from someone, I want to have the opportunity to thank them for the thought and to return the favor in some way, shape or form. If someone out there decides to leave a nasty comment, they will now at least need the courage to have a name linked to their comment and won't be able to hide behind an anonymous comment.

For my friends and family who might be anonymous posters, please just create an id/register so that you can comment and I will know who you are.

On a different note, the pups (Scout and Molly) both came down with kennel cough last week. Molly (the pointer/hound puppy) had it a little worse and kept us up most nights last week with some lovely vomiting. Scout (the adult mini schnauzer) got it a little later and since we were prepared, she got her medicine sooner. One of the hardest parts about the dogs having kennel cough is that they can't go to daycare. Yes, our dogs usually go to daycare 2-3 days per week. They are spoiled. But really, we are spoiled because it means we can come home from work and actually relax. No listening to them bark like crazy, run around the house like crazy crashing into things, and wanting to go inside/outside/inside/outside every 2 seconds. Which is what the last week and a half has been like. The cough doesn't actually affect their energy level or appetite, but we're not supposed to exercise them as it can exacerbate the cough. Irony of ironies. When we first realized this meant no day care for 3 weeks, B's first comment to me was "what should we do with the extra money?!"

We had our hard wood floors resurfaced on Friday and had planned to just kennel the dogs for the weekend and head up to the mountains. Because of the kennel cough, we couldn't kennel the dogs and ended up taking them with us. They were actually pretty good all things considered except they didn't cooperate in the sleep department.

On Saturday, I went skiing with J & L at Vail and rediscovered my love of skiing. I hadn't gone in a couple of years. We stopped buying passes a couple of years ago because I expected to be pregnant any minute and would never risk a pregnancy by indulging in an unnecessary hobby (and certainly not after all we have been through). We got busy with cycling and work, a new house and the dogs, and next thing I knew it had been a couple of years. Anyway, with 11 inches of new powder, we spent an hour getting to the back bowls at Vail (via catwalk--my arms and shoulders are still sore!), skied the deepest powder I've ever seen for about two hours, and then made our way back to the base. I've never skied powder like that in my life! It was over my knees and was such a strange sensation. If you lean back a little more than usual, you just sort of float through the snow like it is a cloud. But if you lean forward a little too much--face plant! So much fun, but a lot of hard work. I wish I could go back soon, but with monitoring appointments now and busy weekends, not much chance of that happening in the near future.

Hopefully this FET will work and I'll be whining about not being able to ski for a good 9 months!

Monday, January 14, 2008

Nurse Rachel is My Friend

Today I talked to Nurse Rachel (Jennifer doesn't work on Mondays). She agreed with the nurse I spoke with on Saturday with respect to the estrogen level not being reliable because I had already started the patches. She wasn't sure why Jennifer had requested an estrogen level and said that, if it were her, she would have requested a progesterone level and LH to test for impending ovulation. But she did say maybe Jennifer was thinking of something that she wasn't, so she would make sure to talk to her when she was back in the office (tomorrow).

We talked about how we could get comfortable that I am properly suppressed. She suggested that since I'm coming in for a blood draw on Wednesday, we should add a progesterone and LH to the order. She said they could squeeze that in without the business office knowing so that I wouldn't have to pay extra out of pocket. The clinic requires payment for the cycle up front and for FET's it only covers one blood draw and one ultrasound at certain times in the cycle. This is why I had to pay for the blood draw last week separately.

Nurse Rachel also agreed to move my U/S date up from the 25th to the 22nd. I will still need to go in on the 25th for a blood draw and possibly another U/S, but the U/S may not be necessary depending on what they see on the 22nd. She is going to check with the business office to make sure I won't have to pay extra for the U/S being earlier or for having 2 if we end up doing one on the 25th as well.

She also assured me that having a heavy period did NOT indicate that the Lu.pron wasn't working. In fact, after reading my chart (imagine that!), she thought that it was likely just a sign of my body being back to cleaning itself out more effectively and it could be that it was triggered by the D&C. She also said that if that is the case, she thinks this is a really good sign that my lining might me much better this cycle. We also discussed the irregularity they saw on the U/S for my last FET when it was cancelled. She said it was possible that the irregularity itself was preventing my lining from getting thick enough. She said those types of irregularities (in her experience) are not related to hormone levels. So now that they've cleaned me out, the hormones they have me on should be able to do their job without the irregularity getting in the way. She just had a way of explaining things that made sense. She was logical.

Not only did she answer my questions, but she gave me my hope back.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

A Stupid Conversation

I still have no idea what is going on. I waited all day Friday for the results of the blood work and finally gave in and called the clinic at 4:15. They are supposed to return calls through 4:30pm on weekdays. I left a message at 4:15 and no one called back. So I called again Saturday morning and was told a nurse would call me back.

After an hour, a nurse who I've never worked with before called me back. She obviously hadn't read my chart and had no idea what I was calling about. Here's how the conversation went:

Nurse: What can we help you with today?
Me: I'm calling to get results from my blood work as no one has called me back.
Nurse: when did you get blood drawn?
Me: Thursday afternoon.
Nurse: Oh, here it is. Your estrogen level was at 2xx (something over 200--I can't remember the exact number).
Me: So....(long pause)...what does that mean?
Nurse: Why did they check your estrogen level?
Me: (in head thinking why didn't you read my chart before you called me back?) I called on Thursday morning because of a heavy period and I've always had very light periods when on Lu.pron coming off of BCP. I was concerned that I'm not properly suppressed for my FET.
Nurse: Well that is what the Lu.pron is for.
Me: Uhh, I know that. But my body has responded very differently this time than it did the last 2 times. I'm just concerned it isn't working.
Nurse: Well when we use Lu.pron for an FET cycle, it suppresses you.
Me: Yes, I know. But, as I said, my body is responding differently than the last two times.
Nurse: Well everyone's body reacts differently to these medications and your body won't always react the same each time.
Me: Okay, so does that mean I AM suppressed?
Nurse: When did you start the Viv.elle patches?
Me: Thursday morning, as per my calendar (which is right in the front of my chart, you idiot).
Nurse: Well we have no way of knowing whether or not you are suppressed because we can't tell if your estrogen level is natural or from the patches that you started the morning before you got your blood drawn.
Me: I don't understand. Jennifer told me to come in for a blood draw to check for suppression. She has my calendar. Why would she do that if she knew I had already started the patches based on my calendar?
Nurse: The patch you used Thursday morning has skewed the blood results, so we don't really know. But you are on Lu.pron, so you should be suppressed.
Me: (Good God woman! What is wrong with you?!!) So, I took off work 3 hours early and spent $135 for a blood draw for nothing?
Nurse: You should be suppressed. That's what the Lu.pron is for. We don't usually do blood work this early in an FET cycle. We would normally just check your estrogen next week (on the 16th) to make sure it is over 200--no wait--over 100. Then we do a lining check on the 25th. That is all we do for FET cycles.
Me: (trying to calm myself and find a solution) So, do you think I should be checking for surge just to be safe?
Nurse: You shouldn't surge on Lu.pron.
Me. (Oh....My.....GOD!!!!!) I know that, but I'm obviously concerned it isn't working. If for some reason it ISN'T working and I ovulate through, won't the cycle be cancelled?
Nurse: Yes, but we wouldn't know if you ovulated through.
Me: That's why I was wondering if I should be checking for surge. You know what, this isn't helping. I'll just wait until Jennifer is back in the office and speak with her.

I have no idea what any of this means. Should I be testing for a surge to make sure I don't actually ovulate? Should I be concerned that they look for your estrogen level to be above 100 a week from now and mine is already over 200? Yet again, my confidence in this process, and my clinic, has been shaken. Aren't these guys supposed to be the best in the country? If everyone responds differently to medications, why do they have such a strict policy for very little monitoring in an FET? I now have this nagging feeling that we're not going to get to transfer on the 29th.

I feel so let down. I really had all my hopes up for this cycle since everything should be perfect and "ready to go" after the D&C and for some reason, I expected everything to go perfectly. I keep thinking that if we don't at least get to transfer this cycle, the D&C will have been wasted. So I will keep doing my shots, even though I don't know if they're actually doing anything. And hopefully I will get some reassurance from Jennifer this week that everything is going as it should be.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Suppression Depression

So my post earlier this week on AF may have come back to bite me in the ass. The past two cycles I was on Lu.pron (overlapped with BCP), I had VERY light periods. I was told this was normal. For some reason, this week AF has been VERY heavy. Major cramping, heavy flow (TMI, sorry). I convinced myself that the Lu.pron wasn't working and I'm not suppressed. So I called the clinic on Thursday in a panic and nurse Jennifer agreed to let me come in for a blood draw to check estrogen level. She didn't seem to be too concerned, but she also didn't say that having heavy flow on Lu.pron was normal.

She did, however, tell me to check the lot number on the Lu.pron vial because there was one lot that they were suspicious something is wrong with it. She didn't elaborate on the something because it seemed unlikely this was the case. You see I'm using my leftover vial from my fresh cycle in September. The cycle where the bloodwork and U/S PROVED I was suppressed, which helped me to respond fabulously well (too well) to the stim meds. The nurse promised me that Lu.pron is good for a whole year after the vial is opened. I did check the vial, and it is one number off from the possible "bad" lot.

After hanging up the phone with the nurse, I think of a couple of things that start to bother me (this is what usually occurs after hanging up the phone with the nurse). First of all, if they knew that there was a Lu.pron lot that might be bad, shouldn't they make sure to call all of their patients that are currently taking Lu.pron? Also, she never even mentioned what it would mean to my cycle if for some reason I am NOT suppressed like I should be. Does this mean that we would just convert this to more of a natural FET, with just patches and PIO and that I'll need to start checking for a surge? Or would they want to cancel YET ANOTHER CYCLE? Why, oh, why do I think of these things after we hang up the phone? And why do they not think to tell me these things in the first place?

So now I'm waiting for the results of the bloodwork, which I should get this afternoon. Not sure if I should be nervous or worried or if it is no big deal?

As a side note, Mama Wannabe mentioned the new digs at CCRM here. I was pretty impressed with the new building and it looks like they have the entire 2 story building. It is new and fancy with multiple waiting areas, nice chairs, fancy cabinets. The works. As I sat in the fancy new blood draw chair, which was surprisingly uncomfortable, I thought of the new chairs at my dentist's office. They are massage chairs and pretty comfortable. Sitting in the massage chair at the dentist, staring up at the new flat screen tv hanging on the ceiling certainly made for a more pleasant experience. I'm convinced that the chair and the tv are the reasons I had no cavities. Maybe if CCRM had more comfortable blood draw chairs, I would get better results from my blood work?

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

At-Bat Songs

Some friends of ours through work like to play a game where people get to pick an "at-bat" song. This is our version of the at-bat songs that professional baseball players pick to have playing over the loud speakers to motivate them as they are going up to bat. Except our version was to motivate us to work through a day as corporate tax geeks. This idea and one of Mel's previous posts made me curious what my fellow bloggers would pick as their at-bat songs in general or for specific at-bat songs for certain situations. I'll start us off. Please join in the fun (there's a lot so feel free to pick and choose).

1. Song when receiving and opening that huge box of medication: Me & You Vs the World (Space)
2. Song for Lu.pron: Heimdalsgate Like a Promethean Curse (Of Montreal)
3. Song when preparing for an injection: Bandages (Hot Hot Heat)
4. Song when going in for a wanding: You Don't Treat Me No Good (Sonia Dada)
5. Song when getting blood drawn: Hit Me With Your Best Shot (Pat Benatar)
6. Song for day of ER: Chocolate (Snow Patrol)
7. Song for day of transfer: Run (Snow Patrol)
8. Song for 2ww: Crazy (Barenaked Ladies)
9. Song for receiving results of beta: Please, Please, Please Let Me Get What I Want (The Smiths)
10. Picking yourself up off the floor when recovering from a negative beta or cancelled cycle: Everything's Not Lost (Coldplay)
11. Celebrating a positive beta: Goodbye Sadness (Tristeza) (Astrud Gilberto)
12. Waiting between first positive beta and first ultrasound: Somewhere Over the Rainbow (What a Wonderful World) (Israel Kamakawiwo Ole)

P.S. Sorry about the overload.

The Stars and Planets Have Aligned

Ladies and Gentlemen. For the first time ever, AF has decided to appear on the EXACT day that the clinic predicted! Yes, that's right. Step right up and witness a miracle!

So, we're on schedule so far. I drop the Lu.pron from 10 units to 5 tomorrow and start the Viv.elle patches (estrogen) and baby aspirin. Each step in this process is a small victory.

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Greeting Cards

Yesterday I found myself in front of that section of the greeting cards that infertiles hate. The baby section. Not to mention I was in the store where all the babies congregate (Target). B and I were picking out a new baby card for some friends of ours and it wasn't bad at all because we were actually happy for these friends. *I should edit that to add that B is always happy for whichever friend or family member gets pregnant. I, on the other hand, move quickly between happy, envious, angry, sad, and back again.

I picked up one card and was shocked to see these words "We're Expecting!" I had no idea they made cards for people to announce a pregnancy. I guess it makes sense because most normal people get to announce a pregnancy in some fashion to the family and friends with nothing but excitement and maybe a little nervousness. This is something that being infertile robs you of. Even when you do achieve that blessed state of pregnancy, you're always waiting for the other shoe to drop. Waiting to be told it was a mistake, just kidding, waiting for something to go wrong. After all, nothing has been easy in this process, so why should that change?

I admit that I don't know this from experience, but rather from my fellow bloggers who have actually been there. But I can understand how this happens. Because even when a cycle seems to be going as smooth as can be, you are still wondering what will go wrong next. I just can't imagine finally getting pregnant and being willing to jinx it all by sending out an announcement. On paper! Superstitious much?

Here is an update on the peace lily, the flower is actually starting to open:

Friday, January 4, 2008

Are You a Child of the 80's?

Just had to try this (thanks Amy):

You Are 80% A Child of the 80s

Not only did you experience the 80s... you are practically an expert.
You should be totally stoked!

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Isn't it Ironic?

Want to hear something ironic?

In our last two cycles, I kept all the drugs on the kitchen counter and shot up right there most nights and in the master bath in the mornings (during the stim days). It was out there, in the middle of everything, a constant reminder of what is always on my mind anyway.

This cycle I decided to try something different. I was tired of the clutter in the kitchen and the master bath and thought I'd make better use of the empty rooms upstairs that are perfect for our future children. We bought this house with the thought of these children in mind. The two rooms are a mockery of our naive absolute belief in how quickly this would happen. They share a Jack and Jill bathroom (each with their own separate sink area). I dumped out by box o'drugs on one of the counters last night and organized everything.

I left the most immediate supplies on the counter top (Lu.pron vials, needles, gauze pads, alcohol wipes, band aids, Sharps container, and print out of calendar) and hid everything else away in the drawers in order of expected timing of use. The next round of drugs (viv.elle patches and baby aspirin) are in the top drawer, followed closely by the next round (PIO and needles for mixing plus shooting, prog suppositories, medrol, tetracycline) in the drawer below. The bottom drawer holds the relics of this journey that were familiar friends so long ago (OPK's, fertility monitor and pee sticks).

Yes. I am completely anal.

I somehow feel better that it is all hidden away, but within easy reach, so all I have to deal with on a daily basis is what is on the counter. Much more manageable.

And it seems fitting that I will be doing the only thing that is in my control (administering my medication) in the very room our kids will share one day.

And by the way, in case you were wondering, if the suspense was killing you...yes, I did take that first shot last night. And the second one tonight. We're on our way.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Pep Talk

Time for a pep talk. I have exactly 40 minutes until my first Lu.pron shot for this FET. I don't want to do it. Any of it. The shots, the appointments, the waiting, the anxiety. I've had a nagging feeling lately that this is pointless. That we don't have a chance in hell in making it to a transfer, not to mention a positive end result. Why should this time be any different than the last? Nothing different in my protocol. Nothing different in the timing. Nothing. Different.

It is at this point in the conversation I've been having with myself that I have to interrupt and remind myself that this time is different. I had a D&C. My lining should be shiny, cushy, squeaky clean. It should be a lush, fertile paradise that will welcome and embrace an embie or two. And this is where Miss pessimistic chimes in again. Will our embies even survive the thaw? If they do survive the thaw, will they grow enough to warrant a transfer?

Lately I have found myself in a really weird place. I've been jealous of people who have had BFN's after an IVF or FET cycle. Certainly nothing to be jealous of. Where the real jealousy stems from is that these people had the luxury of a 2ww. And while I wouldn't wish a 2ww on my worst enemy (I remember those horrible 2 weeks from our many IUI cycles and many natural cycles before that), there is always room for hope in those 2 weeks. No matter how much Miss Pessimistic stuck around during those cycles, I was always able to push her aside for minutes, hours, even days at a time and let myself daydream of being pregnant. Buying maternity clothes. Decorating a nursery. Celebrating the amazing news with our friends and family. And bringing home a happy, healthy baby. I haven't allowed myself to indulge in these thoughts for a long time and I miss it.

It is this hope that I've been mourning since our fresh cycle turned into a freeze all last September. The hope I almost had back when we started our first FET, just to lose it again in the crushing defeat of another cancelled cycle and the prospect of surgery.

Well it is a new year and time for a new attitude. Miss Pessimistic wants me to wallow in the thought that at this time last year, we were making the decision to go see an RE. The thought that seeing an RE would change everything, would provide answers and solutions to all of our unexplained problems. I've learned enough in the last year to realize how naive that thought was and how naive I was to think it. Or maybe I just hoped that would be the case.

So there it is again, the hope is just under the surface fighting its way past Miss Pessimistic. You see hope hope gives a person energy. Energy to take blow after blow of set-backs and disappointments.

I know I've said in previous posts that I don't necessarily believe in the power of positive thinking, that this all just comes down to luck, and I still believe that. But the thing is, if I didn't think that this COULD work, we wouldn't be going down this road. So I obviously think it COULD work. There are multitudes of babies and full grown people out there at this point that prove it DOES work. The open question is whether it WILL work for US. So while I'm not going to be positive about this because I think it will become a self-fulfilling prophecy, I will try to stay positive about this because it is a new year and time for a change. Time to be my own cheerleader and get my ass in gear. Time to believe that this WILL work this time. Time to go kick this cycle off with my first shot. (cue cheesy music from St. Elmo's Fire here)

*Edited to Add* Okay, it is days later and I just realized that the song I had running in my head was NOT the music from St. Elmo's Fire, but rather the music from Chariots of Fire! Oops. Of course I always picture the scene in National Lampoons Vacation when they're all racing to the entrance of Wally World instead of Chariots of Fire.