Monday, March 31, 2008


I started yesterday's post intending to write about how I feel that this process has aged me-mentally and physically-and it ended up turning into a completely different, but slightly related post. I've been wondering a lot lately if people notice more lines on my face, less elasticity in my skin, droopier eyes. Do I look more tired than I used to? I sure FEEL like I LOOK more tired. What's that saying about how you are only as old as you feel? Well I feel ancient lately.

This is not the sort of feeling and energy level that I need going into this IVF cycle. Hell, I don't need this feeling at all, and it just makes me feel more tired thinking about what is to come. Must. Muster. Energy. The first definition of "fatigue" on is: weariness from bodily or mental exertion. Huh. Mental Exertion. I guess you could say I've done A LOT of that over the last 7 months or so.

The last couple of days, frustration has set in. It is killing me not knowing what the timing of B's surgery will be. He called to make an appointment with a surgeon that was recommended to us and was told he couldn't get in for a consult until April 24th. So he is going to try to make an appointment with the surgeon his doctor recommended to see if he can get in sooner. Either way, he was hoping he could get in and get the surgery done ASAP so that he would be healed and ready to go in time for the retrieval (April 23rd). I don't know what the chances are of that happening. I'm a little worried about recovery time also. But I don't think he can wait another month.

I think I will call the nurse tomorrow and ask what using frozen sperm will do to our chances. I just need someone to put my mind to rest that this won't require us to push everything back by a month. And I need to know before I start my shots on Thursday.

Today is the last day of the photo journal challenge. It has been fun and challenging. I am almost completely out of ideas of what to post. Since I just finally loaded our wedding pictures to our (sort of) new computer, I thought I'd leave you with some pictures from our wedding day (all courtesy of photojournalist Jeff Poucher). It was a freezing, soggy day in July 2004. The picture with all the chairs set up is so cool, but we ended up having to move the ceremony inside. I'm pretty sure there were at least 2 people who told me that rain on your wedding day is a sign of fertility. Hah, were they wrong!

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Long Term Effects

Do you ever worry about the long term effects of fertility treatments? I'm talking about the physical effects here, not the emotional effects (maybe fodder for a different post). It is something that has been loitering in the back of my mind for months now. I say loitering because I don't want those thoughts there. If I am to keep trying this I can't really worry all the time about what the drugs, the process or the science will do to me or our future children long term. But the thoughts are there just the same.

There are so many unnatural pieces to IVF-all of it really-and I'm not talking about this in a religious sense. We (the women) are given higher levels of hormones than we would normally produce on our own. Our ovaries are first suppressed and then forced to produce more follicles in one month than we might produce over 15-25 months. The lining of the uterus is then built up with hormone supplements to prepare for implantation.

And then there are the antibiotics taken as a preventative measure without any indication of an infection (does anyone ever worry about immunity here?), the autoimmune suppressants, the steroids and the list goes on and on. Not to mention the invasive egg retrieval procedure and countless ultrasounds and blood draws. Can it be healthy to have a camera taking pictures inside you so often? Then there's the question as to what fertilization in a culture medium does long term, whether accomplished "naturally" or through ICSI. What about cryopreservation and thawing?

And yet the doctors don't talk about this much because nothing has really been proven. IVF has been around for quite some time now. The first "test tube" baby was born in 1978 and she will be 30 this year. That is 30 years of possible observations of the effects of IVF on the resulting baby and the hormone-stuffed mother.

I'll admit I haven't taken the time to do much research on what researchers HAVE discovered on the long-term effects. And part of me has no interest in this. I am (sort of) blindly plowing forward just hoping this will work. Willing to take whatever long term risks might be there because I'm more afraid of the long term risks of not having a family and not realizing my dreams. I have a hunch that many women undergoing IVF feel the same way.


Today's photo journal challenge theme is:

I leave you with some photo's taken by B in Washington D.C. about a year ago. I was busy at a conference in a dreary hotel basement while B did some sightseeing in our nation's capital.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

The Yurt

According to wiki.pedia, a yurt is a portable, felt-covered, wood lattice-framed dwelling structure used by nomads in the steppes of Central Asia. It is also used by adventurous, food and wine-loving, fine dining, hikers/skiers/snowshoers in the mountains of Colorado. This particular yurt is at Tennessee Pass near Leadville, Colorado. There is a mile-long trail that must be hiked, cross country skied, or snowshoed (depending on the season) to get to the yurt (and yes, we just call it "the yurt").

The first photo I posted for the PJC on March 1st was taken from the yurt. My parents got us a gift certificate and we used it for our anniversary in July last year. It was a particularly soggy day, but still beautiful and the food was delicious. We hope to go back sometime-treatment and schedules permitting. Here is an article that gives you more insight into what the evening is like at the yurt.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Ultrasound Update & Meds

B's ultrasound today confirmed a small hernia. Tiny. Phew. Now we wait for the doctor to confirm and to see what a specialist has to say. We still think surgery is likely, but we'll have to wait and see.

In other news, I got my meds today. Here are all of my medications along with supplies. Looks fun, huh? I bet you're jealous.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Surprise Ultrasound

We have an ultrasound scheduled at 3pm tomorrow. Why, you ask? We haven't even started this cycle yet. Did I mistake some harmless spotting for AF last week and just found out that I'm the "P" word? Umm, no.

Actually, the ultrasound is for B. After all of the ultrasounds I've had over the past 2 years, we just figured it was his turn. But really, we think he has a hernia. Yes, a hernia, that most likely would require surgery. So we wait for the results of the ultrasound and for his doctor to call and then refer him to a specialist. And in the meantime, we are left to wonder how this little glitch in our plans will affect this cycle. It all depends on if B needs surgery and the timing of it all.

So of the million things racing through my head now, here are just a couple: If he has the surgery before my retrieval, will he be healed enough to "perform?" Will the surgery itself impair his ability to donate because they accidentally cut a tube (this is one of the risks of the surgery)? If he waits to have the surgery, will he be in pain for the next month? If we have him donate a sample ahead of time and have them freeze it, will this compromise our chance of success? Will we have to postpone another cycle and wait another month?

The problem with all of these questions is that they can't even be discussed until we have confirmation of the diagnosis and an idea of timing. And I am to start Lu.pron next Thursday which means I need my meds ordered NOW. So I guess I'll be getting my meds regardless of whether or not we move forward with this cycle. We will do what is best for B's health first of course. I just can't help but worry that this is going to derail our cycle before we even get started.

Not that this is my only worry. I am a bit worried about this new protocol. I confirmed that the 75u of F is 1/2 the dosage they started me on last time. I hope it is the right dosage for me. I am paranoid that my lining will not cooperate. Just because it was good during the last fresh cycle doesn't mean it will be good the next time. I mean, something has to go wrong, right?

One other item of information that is making me worry came to my attention today. Apparently, while I was off work last week (actually on vacation this time), my boss's boss asked where I was and how much time off I've been taking. I guess I wasn't flying as low under the radar as I thought. Knowing that he has noticed, well, it makes me really nervous. I am debating whether I should have a conversation with him and let him know what is going on. I haven't been abusing any policies or anything like that, but it still just makes me nervous for some reason.

I know, I'm being negative tonight, but I can't help it. Sorry for being such a downer.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Fun With Calendars

I received my calendar today. Yea! Here is the tentative schedule:

April 3: Start 10 units Lu.pron and Dexa.methasone daily
April 7: Last BCP
April 10: Expect AF
April 11: Ultrasound (U/S) & bloodwork (BW)
April 12: Continue Lu.pron and Dex. Calendar says to stay on 10 units of Lu.pron, while my last fresh protocol reduced it to 5 units. I'll have to ask about the reasoning for that.-Happy half birthday to me and happy anniversary to my brother and SIL!
April 13-15: Start stim meds, 1 vial Men.opur in morning, 75u F in evening. Continue Lu.pron and Dex. From what I remember I think my last fresh cycle started off with 150u of F, but I'll need to check my old calendar when I can find it.-Happy birthday to Scout on the 13th!
April 16: U/S & BW, 1 vial Men.opur in morning, F dosage determined based on results of U/S & BW, continue Lu.pron & Dex.
April 17: Continue same meds as day before.
April 18-22: U/S & BW, Men.opur & F dosage determined based on results of U/S & BW, continue Lu.pron & Dex each day.
April 22: Tentative trigger.
April 24: Tentative egg retrieval.
April 27 or 29: Tentative embryo transfer.

From what I can tell, the only difference in this calendar from the first go round is no decrease to the Lu.pron and starting F at half the dosage(?). Sure hope it does the trick. I am seriously considering buying a huge package of Pow.erAde from Costco when it goes on sale in April, just in case.

One piece of administrative business I wanted to mention. I had to set up the word verification again. I started getting spam. To be specific, one particular message about 10 times in one day. Sorry for the inconvenience, but please don't let it keep you from posting comments. I love em!

It is getting harder and harder to find interesting pictures to post. Only 5 more days after today. Today's photo journal theme is:

Here are some pictures of the dogs playing. Molly has about a 35 pound advantage on Scout. You might think this means Scout has courage. Some might call it stupidity. Funny thing is, she totally beats up on Molly and Molly is pretty gentle with her.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Bear Encounters

For three years after we were married, we took one big trip per year. In 2004, we honeymooned in Maui. In 2005, we traveled to London, Edinburgh and Cambridge (this one to visit friends). In 2006, we took a trip to Italy and visited Rome, Florence and Venice. In our minds, the Italy trip was to be our last big trip for awhile because we just KNEW I would be pregnant any day. We love discovering new places and getting away from work for chunks of time (no matter how short), so it was hard to know we wouldn't be traveling for awhile. And as time went by, it got harder and harder because the reward for our sacrifice seemed further and further out of reach.

For my fellow bloggers, tell me what you have given up, no matter how big or small, to deal with IF treatments. What do you miss the most?

By the time summer of 2007 came around with no success, we were tired of putting off vacations for the "what ifs." Last September we were just gearing up for our first IVF cycle. We knew we couldn't go far from home because I was staring Lu.pron and it was the first time we were dealing with injections. But with the Rockies in our backyard, we thought we'd take a road trip through the mountains to places we'd never been before. We did a kind of loop, starting from Morrison (where we live), stopping in Buena Vista, Crested Butte, and Aspen along the way.

For today's photo(s), I'm posting some of the photos we took in Aspen. There are problems with bears throughout Colorado because of human encroachment on natural bear lands and because people just can't seem to keep trash (food) where it belongs. For some reason, Aspen seems to have more issues with bears than other mountain towns. While we were in Aspen, we discovered that the pedestrian mall was roped off with police tape because a momma bear and her two cubs were loitering on the mall. They took up residence in one of the trees, napped, and came down looking for food every once in awhile.

The authorities did not want to harm the bears, but they also didn't want people to get hurt. Their approach was to rope off a large enough area to give the bears their space and hope that they wandered off to safer ground in the middle of the night. Every once in awhile, one of the bears would wander a little too close to the perimeter of the police tape and they would shoot off a bean bag gun. The bean bags are meant to startle the bear, but not hurt them. Those guns sure are loud and they do the trick.

For two days these bears lived on the pedestrian mall in Aspen while people gawked at them and took pictures-B and I included. It was a little freaky to think about how close we were to these creatures in their "natural" habitat. Not in a zoo, from a safe distance with barriers.

Monday, March 24, 2008

The Calendar (Almost)

I was supposed to get my IVF calendar today, but Jen (our nurse) was out with the flu. Ick. Hopefully she'll be back tomorrow. I did speak with one of the other nurses and she wrote out a tentative schedule that had me starting Lu.pron April 3rd with retrieval on April 21st. This seems shorter than my first fresh cycle. She did say that it might be pushed back for a week because Dr. S has been doing this when there is a risk of hyper stimulation. Whatever it takes, in my opinion. If Jen is back tomorrow, she should call with the "final" tentative schedule, which of course can always change as it depends on how my body responds to coming off BCP and going on the stim meds.

I have to go to my OB for a pap and annual (April 2nd) since my last one was in March of last year. I was told that while I'm there, I should also have them check my thyroid (insurance pays if it is ordered by the OB). Plus, B and I have to have our communicable disease testing redone prior to the retrieval.

I'll keep everyone posted when I get my full calendar. And now that the practical stuff is out of the way, I thought I'd mention that I found it very depressing to add a new tag "IVF #2" to this post. Never thought it would come to this.

For today's tune, I chose a flashback to my teen years. You might need to turn your volume down for it (although it is likely too late by the time you are reading this).

Now for something cheery. The photos below are of some awesome tulips that my mom brought over last week.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Photo Journal Catch Up (Baby Pix Included)

The last time I posted a photo was last Tuesday, so I have some catching up to do. Last Wednesday's photo journal theme was:

This is my favorite picture of my niece from this weekend and I think it fits last Wednesday's theme pretty well:

For Thursday, here is a picture of our view of the NCAA round 1 games from the very last row in the whole arena:

For Friday, here is a picture from our family dogsledding trip near Brecken.ridge 2 years ago. It was a trip we took for my dad's birthday. I was a little wary about the whole mushing thing because I was under the impression that it was cruel to make the dogs pull you on a sled. Little did I know how much these dogs truly enjoy what they do. They LOVE running and pulling a sled through the trails. Every time we would stop, they would be yipping and yapping and rearing to go. It was a blast.

For Saturday, here is another tourney pic from Round 2. This one is a little closer up as I was able to zoom in a bit. Keep in mind these pictures (the tourney pics) were taken from my black.berry so the quality isn't that great.

Today's photo theme is:

This photo is another from our honeymoon in July 2004. It was taken at Garden of the Gods (not to be confused with the Garden of the Gods in Colorado Springs) on the small island of Lanai. We took a ferry over from Maui and spent the day driving around in a rented jeep (which you can see in the picture) and just taking in the sights.

Back to adding tunes tomorrow. Now, I really must do some laundry and catch up on my blog reading.

Catching Up

It has been a number of days since my BFN post and I have been through a wide range of emotions. Floating from hope to sorrow, to wistfulness, to anger and frustration and back again. On Wednesday evening, my brother, SIL and 4-month old niece, Katie arrived. Between Katie trying to adjust to new surroundings and people, and the dogs trying to satisfy their curiosity about this new creature in the house, it was a bit of a chaotic night. After my parents left for the evening, I spent a little time alone with Katie in the guest bedroom entertaining her while her parents were busy doing other things. I came back into the family room and promptly began to cry. I can't even articulate what I was feeling, it just came out of nowhere.

On Thursday, B and I enjoyed a day full of college basketball at the center along with my dad, brother, friend and his dad. Although every single game was pretty much a blow-out, we had fun just being together and making fun of our ridiculously horrible seats. We were in the corner of the arena in the very last row. Backs against the wall. Actually, the view was still pretty good, but it was funny to think that almost every one of the other 20,000 fans were closer to the floor than we were. It was great to have a whole day without having to think about babies, pregnancy, infertility and another failed cycle (other than one conversation with a family friend where I promptly changed the subject when assvice began to spew out, and having to walk past a very pregnant woman sitting in our section about 10 times throughout the day). And of course, the very poignant reminder of another failed cycle that is AF. She showed up Thursday morning with some lovely cramps, requiring me to call the nurse to report CD1.

On Friday, we just all sat around watching the games on tv, eating, and taking turns trying to entertain Katie who still was not very happy being away from home and off her normal schedule. She cried off and on pretty much all day. I think she was trying to remind me that this having a baby thing isn't all sunshine and rainbows. Or maybe she was just crying in my place because it is more acceptable for a 4-month old to cry for no reason.

I have been reflecting off and on over this weekend how this BFN feels different than the last one. I went back and read my post from last time and then read my post from this week and I'm amazed at the difference in tone. I'm sure that the doctor's explanation, plan and optimism has a lot to do with this, but I also wonder if part of this comes from experience. The last cycle was the first cycle that we actually made it to a transfer. It was the first chance we actually had for this IVF thing to work. And when it didn't, it felt like it never would. This time, I was kind of expecting it to fail because of something Dr. S said to me at the transfer. It isn't that he said anything directly about our chances not being good, but he made a comment that indicated he was already thinking about next time. I figured this meant there would probably be a next time and so some part of me was already moving on to that. Trying to get used to the idea of going back to another fresh cycle.

To be honest, I haven't fully wrapped my head around the idea of this next cycle. We are completely back to square one, having given all of our 18 frozen embryos the best chance we could and failing miserably. It is amazing to me that we started out with so many, only took two shots to go through all of them and nothing stuck. After our fresh transfer was cancelled last September, so many people (including the staff at CCRM) tried to console me by reminding me of those 18 freezer buns just waiting for the right conditions. They had me convinced it would work. At least one of those 18 would be our first child. Somehow it just didn't work.

My first fresh cycle last September was absolutely miserable. There were many reasons for this. I was new to IVF and anxious about giving myself shots for the first time. I was extremely moody and emotional from the medications. I had just been promoted at work and was trying to adjust to my boss (the best boss ever) leaving and having to get used to a very different style in my new boss. I was dealing with 27 follicles bouncing around in my ovaries. By the time we got to retrieval, I was so bloated and uncomfortable I had taken to walking as slowly as my 83 year old grandma with her walker and wearing the loosest pants I could find to work every day. We knew going into retrieval that the transfer wasn't going to happen. My E2 level was at a dangerous 10,000. I was so miserable that I wasn't even upset at the fact that all the embryos would be frozen for later attempts at FET's.

To give you a little background here, the retrieval itself went smoothly. I felt pretty good in recovery and that's where the fun ended. On the way home I got nauseous and hung on just until I stepped into the house and ran to the toilet. I then napped on and off in bed the rest of the day. The day after retrieval I was sore and still pretty nauseous and tried to keep drinking my gator.ade, but it was hard. At that point, I had been drinking nothing but gator.ade for a week and was so sick of it, it wouldn't have sounded good even if I wasn't nauseous. By Saturday (two days after the retrieval), I was absolutely miserable. I couldn't drink, I couldn't eat, I couldn't poop and I was dry heaving. I called the nurse and was told to come in the next morning so they could check for fluid in my abdomen.

That Sunday they did an ultrasound and found some fluid, but nothing to be overly concerned about. I was really dehydrated because I hadn't had much to drink since the day of the retrieval (Thursday). I think it took three different people to finally get an IV in because I was so dehydrated. Pretty much every spot on each hand and inner elbow was poked and prodded to no avail before they finally got an IV threaded into a very uncomfortable spot in my arm. One hand was still bruised from the IV from the retrieval. I was bruised for weeks. They gave me fluids, through the IV (I can't remember how much) and were confused as to why I was still so nauseous, in pain and miserable.

At that point, the doc became concerned that there was something else going on (appendicitis?) and sent me to the emergency room to get a CT scan. The scan came back normal and they decided that the pain was likely from being so constipated, so guess what that meant? I got to experience my first enema. And then my second. With my husband and my mom witnessing the humiliation. The funny thing was. I really didn't care at the time. I was just so miserable that I would have done anything to feel better.

I went back to the doctor's office the next morning to see one of the doctors. They gave me more fluids and were still confused as to why I was still nauseous. The doctor that was working that day suggested that maybe we switch the dexa.methazone to be taken vaginally instead of orally. He said that sometimes that lessons the side effects and that it could be the culprit of my nausea. That day I managed to eat a couple of pieces of toast with peanut butter and the next day I felt noticeably better. I don't know if switching the dex to a supp made the difference or if the nausea had just run its course, but I was finally on the mend.

All in all, I ended up missing 5 days of work and another couple thousand dollars went to hospital bills. It was not a pleasant experience. It was the opposite of pleasant. I get nauseous just thinking about it and I consoled myself for weeks that I would likely never have to go through it again-we would get at least one, if not two kids out of those 18 freezer buns.

And now I have to do it all over. The birth control pills, three shots a day, daily blood draws and vaginal ultrasounds, anxiety and moodiness. All while trying to be productive at work and pretend that life is going on as normal. Each shot, pill, blood draw and ultrasound in and of itself isn't bad, but the all-consuming enormity of the process wears on you and slowly drains you of energy to focus on anything else. It's like carrying around a 5 pound sack of flour in a backpack. For awhile, you barely notice it, it is just a part of you. But after awhile, you become more and more aware of it and the longer you carry it around, the heavier it gets. You begin to plan your schedule around it and look for places to rest for a bit. Something as simple as sitting down must be approached differently because it gets in the way. People begin to notice something different about you.

I have to believe that this time will be different. My protocol will certainly be different given my over-response to the stim meds last time. Dr. S thinks I was going for some kind of record for the most number of follicles produced at one time. This time, the plan is to start with a lower dose of stim meds. And even if I respond slowly, they will not increase the dosage at first. I don't know all the details at this point, but that will come in time. I just have to trust Dr. S and hope that I get through the retrieval with minimal disruption to my physical comfort like most women seem to manage. And I hope, hope, hope that we get to transfer fresh embryos, on a 5 day transfer, with high quality blasts. This just HAS to work.

I have been very remiss in keeping up with my fellow bloggers this week. I promise I will catch up on my reading and commenting soon. You have all been so kind and supportive with your comments and I really appreciate it. I also need to catch up on my photo journal posts, so I'll try to get to that later tonight. Hope everyone is having a good weekend.

Friday, March 21, 2008


I've been MIA for the past couple of days due to company and NCAA tournament. I will probably continue the radio silence until Sunday when our company leaves. Hope everyone is doing okay.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

BFN and Hope, You Bitch

Unfortunately this is NOT a picture of what I wish I COULD have. Because, well, it is what I DID have with dinner and what I'm HAVING a second glass of right now. The doc snuck in an HCG test with my blood work today and it was a BFN. My E2 and P4 had tanked to 123 and 4. Apparently because implantation did not occur, my ovaries (the corpus luteum) knew to stop producing estrogen and progesterone on their own. AF has been held at bay simply because of hormone supplements I've been on. So the patches have been removed, I won't take any more pro.metrium and she should arrive in the next couple of days. The doc was hoping that if there was a small amount of HCG in my system (indicating implantation), and my E2 and P4 were low, we could add additional supplement and try to salvage the pregnancy.

To be honest, loyal readers, I've been hiding something from you. I started testing at home on Sunday. I wanted to make sure the trigger shot was fully out of my system so that I could test the morning before beta (Friday) and be comfortable with the result. But once I started, I couldn't stop. I tested Sunday morning, Monday morning and this morning. For some reason, after the stark whiteness of the stick this morning, I was convinced this cycle hadn't worked. I dragged myself to the clinic for blood draw this morning thinking "what's the point?" I got to work and had a mini break down. I cried for a bit, pulled myself together and went on with my day (with the help of some encouraging words from Melanie). And then I got the call.

The nurse called to give me the results and to give me Dr. S's cell phone number. Yes, his cell phone number. To call him. Tonight. While he's on spring break vacation with his kids. Did I mention he's on vacation? With his kids?

So we talked for a bit tonight and I actually feel a whole lot better now than I did this morning. Even though this morning, that bitch hope was still hanging on for dear life in the background. Even though she has now been banished to the closet until next time (although I can see the bright beams of sunshine pulsing behind the closet door). Because what I got out of the conversation with Dr. S is that next time, we will get things right. We will NOT hyper stimulate, we will have a great lining, and we will make it to transfer with a positive outcome.

I only hope he hasn't given me unreasonable expectations.

My lining with my last fresh cycle looked good (as good as it finally looked with this past FET). But because it only got to 8, which really is the minimum thickness they like to see (8-12), the lining is still in the running for being the culprit here. The other culprit is simply the freezing and thawing process. While FET's can work, Dr. S said frozen/thawed embryos are never as good as fresh. He does feel that we have proven that we make good quality embryos since we were able to thaw some that then grew to blast. So whether the problem this time was my lining, or using frozen/thawed embryos, or a combination of both, Dr. S feels a fresh cycle will do the trick for us if we pull back on the stim meds and start slower.

Dr. S said he feels very frustrated for us, that we've done everything right and he would not be encouraging us to move forward with another fresh cycle if he didn't truly believe it would work. He wants us to get pregnant and he is convinced we can and we will. He is determined to make this work for us.

And even though all of our testing expired back in March, he won't make us redo any of the testing because he is now convinced that we make good embryos and I respond well (too well) to the medications. So that is good news. The only exception might be the communicable disease testing. I think this must be required in order to freeze embryos.

So, the good news is:
1. We make good embryos
2. We think my lining can do what it's supposed to
3. We don't have to redo all of the tests
4. We can start a fresh cycle off of this period if we want to
5. I can drink wine again for a little while, stop taking the patches and supps, and get back on my elliptical
6. We have an excellent doctor who is very invested in getting us pregnant
7. I was told that I will speak with my assigned nurse (Jennifer) every visit (except Mondays when she is off) this time to avoid conflicting information (which happened constantly). This makes me feel good. I love Jen.
8. I now have time to digest this recent loss before our company arrives (more below).

The bad news is:
1. I'm not pregnant.

Yet. Damn, Sage would be so proud. Look at me looking at the positives, along with the negatives.

Tomorrow is Friday for us. My brother, SIL and 4-month old niece come into town to stay with us until Sunday. We will be going to the NCAA tournament Thursday and Saturday. On Friday, my parents and my grandma will come over to the house to hang out. My beta was supposed to be Friday. I had all kinds of nightmarish visions of getting a BFN with my family at my house. While this could have been a good scenario (celebration or support if needed), I was just anxious about dealing with that kind of news around people. Last time I wanted to be around no one other than B. No one. Even though they are my family. I was worried about wanting to lock myself in our bedroom alone for hours on Friday.

On Saturday, we are going to visit G&K to meet their infant twins (although technically, B and I did meet them briefly when they were in the NICU). I was also worried that with a fresh, raw, open wound of a new BFN, I would be in tears the whole day Saturday and would maybe not be up to this visit. I still don't know how I will feel by then. But at least there is a chance now that I will be okay with the visit and even enjoy it. Tonight I feel strong. I feel good and hopeful. But I am fresh off a great conversation with my RE and two glasses of really good wine.

So I need to apologize in advance to my family and G&K. I'm sorry if I break down at random times over the next few days. I'm sorry if I'm not a ball of sunshine to be around. I will try, really. But I can't make any promises. Please know that if a break down does occur, it has nothing to do with you or your babies. It is just my sadness bubbling back up to the surface. Because it is still there. Raw and searing as ever. It is just balanced by hope at the moment. And I hope I can maintain that balance.

Monday, March 17, 2008

I Feel a Little Special (not in the short bus way)

Not much to report here. Just trying to get through this week with my head screwed on tight.

I got a phone call from a nurse today asking me to come in to get blood drawn tomorrow. For some reason, Dr. S wants to check my E2 and P4 levels again. He actually called the office while on vacation to ask them to call me to come in. I'm not sure exactly what he is thinking, but I feel like I'm finally getting some good specialized attention (getting our money's worth). Not that they have been slacking or anything, but sometimes it does feel like you're on a bit of a conveyor line at a bigger clinic like CCRM. Or maybe Dr. S is just frustrated that I'm not pregnant yet. Maybe I've stumped him. Regardless, I'll take the special attention.

Today's tune is by a band we saw at R.ed Ro.cks last summer. They were opening for another band and I was surprised at how many songs I already knew. They put on a really good live show and I promptly purchased a lot of their music the next week.

If you believe the weather forecasters here in Denver, we were supposed to get 10-16 inches of snow in our neck of the woods between last night and today. There was about 3 inches on grassy surfaces when I left for work this morning and the roads were just a little slushy. Here's what I came home to tonight.

Wish my job had as much accountability as a meteorologist.

Sunday, March 16, 2008


I've been feeling a little emotional lately (lately?), so I just wanted to take a little time to express my appreciation for all the support I've been getting both from my loyal readers in blogland and from my friends and family IRL. I really do feel lucky to have such a steady support system. All of your comments, emails, and phone calls bring me comfort and hope. It doesn't matter if you know EXACTLY what I'm going through, or if you haven't a clue in the world what to say to me. The gestures still mean a lot.

My mom basically stopped her life for us last week to help out while I was on bed rest. I know she thinks she didn't do much, but just keeping me company was exactly what I needed. My friend T took time out of her busy schedule and her brand new job to come over and just hang for a couple of hours Thursday night. And my friend R took the afternoon off of work Friday to not only bring me lunch and hang for the afternoon, but she also made us a kick ass chicken enchilada casserole that I enjoyed a little too much both Friday night and last night.

You guys rock!

Today's photo journal theme is:

This picture is of a sculpture outside of the Dal.i Universe in London. It is actually a sculpture of a headless woman, but there is something definitively masculine about it.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Spring Fever

I'm ready for winter to be over. It was one of those sunny, blue sky mornings where it looks a lot warmer outside than it actually is. I'm ready for this tree to have lots of leaves on it.

Friday, March 14, 2008

The Rest of Bed Rest

Today is the last day of bed rest. I will be officially free from my bed around 3pm this afternoon. I am ready for a change of scenery. Both this time and last time I thought I would have trouble sleeping at night after lying in bed all day long. But quite the opposite has happened-I sleep like the dead and have trouble waking up in the morning. It must be the progesterone.

Other than the sleepiness, the only other side effect I've had from the progesterone is facial flushing from time to time. I first noticed it Tuesday afternoon. The skin on my face got really hot and flushed. I felt like my head was a light bulb. It happened again Wednesday morning, but when they took my vitals prior to the transfer, my temperature was normal. Yesterday afternoon, the nurse called to let me know that all my blood work from Wednesday looked great. My E2 was 462 (should be higher than 300) and my P4 was 10.6 (should be higher than 6). I was pretty relieved because I was worried if my P4 was too low, they would want me to add a PIO shot to the supps. The nurse also confirmed that the facial flushing was likely a side effect of the prom.etrium.

Today's tune is one that I associate with sleep and dreams. I used to listen to this album on my walkman (yes, a walkman) in college while napping in the student union in between classes (if I was lucky enough to score one of the big leather couches).

Back to the bed rest theme and speaking of beds, I can't tell you how many doggie beds we bought for Scout over the years. She looked so incredibly cute curled up in one of those little dog beds like a little doggie donut. The problem was, the second we would leave her alone with the bed, she would shred it to pieces. Not just chew on it a little, but actually destroy it like it was the ENEMY. We finally learned our lesson and stopped buying her doggie beds. So she decided to move on to the couch cushions. We took a picture of the aftermath of one of these destruction sessions. She was just lying there calmly among the innards of the cushion as if to say "my work here is done."

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Symptom Survey

My fellow IVF'rs know the drill for the 2ww. You have symptoms, imaginary or not. You listen to your body with such intensity that you start imagining twinges, pings, small cramps, anything to convince yourself there's something going on in there. You constantly check for spotting. These obsessive thoughts are constant for the first couple of days after transfer if you are on bed rest, even though you know it's probably too soon for any real symptoms. What else is there to do?

So here is my question for those who have been through this with a POSITIVE pregnancy test on the other end. Did you have any signs whatsoever-implantation bleeding/spotting, cramps, or other signs that would generally NOT be attributed to progesterone support? If so, which day did the signs occur in relation to your transfer (and please specify if you had a day 3 or day 5 transfer).

The reason I ask is not that I have any type of symptoms (imaginary or otherwise). In fact, I feel completely normal (except for the slight bruises I have from where certain needles were placed by a not-so-competent acupuncturist-see previous post). Too normal.

Today's song is one that always makes me happy.

Here are some Rocky Mountain wildflowers to go along with the happiness.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Transfer Update

I'm back at home lounging in bed comfortably. Out of the 9 embies that were still growing on Monday (Day 3), 4 had arrested this morning and 2 were still growing, but poor quality. This left 3 remaining, 2 blasts and 1 early blast/morula. Dr. S recommended transferring all 3, so that is what we did. He said that transferring 3 is standard for FET's. Funny thing-he never mentioned that at our last FET and seemed fine with transferring 2. It is a little scary, but he said the triplet rate with FET's is only about 2%. We told him if we had triplets, he would have to put the third kid through college. Harvard, preferably.

The transfer itself went somewhat smoothly, except that one embryo got stuck in the tube and they had to reinsert the catheter and try again. Dr. S said that will be the kid that gets lost in Kmart. I have to say, even with all his strangeness, I like Dr. S the more I see him. He checked in on me frequently afterwards to make sure I was doing okay and we had a pretty in depth discussion about my lining issues and what he thinks the best plan of action would be if this FET doesn't work. He also assured me that there is no sign of poor egg quality just because 11 of the 14 that were thawed didn't make it through to blast. In fact, he says this is perfectly normal odds for 2pn frozen embryos and that the fact that we had 3 make it to blast (plus 2 not-so-good blasts) shows that we can make good embryos. No need to start worrying about that or thinking about donor eggs or donor embryos or anything like that. So that's a relief.

The one annoyance today was the acupuncturist, T. It was a different woman than last time and she was not as comforting or personable. The first thing she asked for was cash. Oh, and cash or check only, no credit cards. I told her we had paid with a credit card the last time and she said "no, we don't take credit cards." I said, "okay, except we DID pay with a credit card last time." Apparently the woman we had last time, C (which was the same person I went to for the electro-acupuncture sessions) accepts credit cards, but she's the only one. I said "huh, someone probably should have mentioned that to us before." She said that it says it in the brochure they hand out. Who reads those things in that much detail? And who carries around $225 in cash these days? Maybe we should carry a checkbook around with us, but we don't. So B had to go run to an ATM to get cash. Not the best way to start off the experience.

Then as T was getting me set up for the needles, she saw my navel ring and asked "have you ever been pregnant with that ring in? I hear you have to take them out eventually." Really? Jeez, maybe I don't want to be pregnant after all-heaven forbid I have to remove my JEWELRY! What a stupid thing to say to me.

I also had a slight argument with her about listening to my ipod with my earbuds. Yes, I know the needles go into the ears, but C was able to make it work. T said she didn't understand how that was possible, unless (here comes the big revelation), you just use ONE earbud! Uh, yeah, that works. I think she was offended that I preferred to listen to my pre-made relaxation playlist over her stock yoga music. Oh well.

All in all, I'm back home safe with my 3 embies inside me hopefully making themselves nice and comfortable.

Nervous Nelly

The nerves really kicked in last night. I started worrying about how our embies are doing. This is the first opportunity we've had to see if they will grow past Day 2. I know we are lucky to have 14 to work with, but I still can't help but worry. Apparently that is just my nature (or so B tells me).

We've been here once before, heading into a transfer. In fact only 6 weeks ago. I'm taking comfort in the fact that we are trying something new, so I have hope the outcome will be different. But there is that tiny voice in my head that worries that the day will come when there is nothing new to try. It is a thought that I keep trying to push far, far away.

This cycle has been exhausting. Every cycle has been a roller coaster of hope and disappointment, but it seems like each roller coaster has higher peaks and valleys than the previous one. I've never been afraid of heights. I actually like them. So I'd rather keep the peaks and avoid the valleys. At least when the valleys are so far down that I can't feel the sun.

And because this is my 100th post, wouldn't it be great if today was the turning point?

Today's tune is one of hope.

In keeping with today's tune, here is a picture to match.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Tune & Pic-That's It

Really not much to say tonight. Just waiting for the big day tomorrow.

You might recognize today's tune from Lib.erty Mu.tual commercials.

I'll leave you with some pictures of Molly. I don't want to neglect her after posting so many pictures of Scout. The first one is a picture we just recently added to our black and white photo wall of fame (photos of our doggies-current and past). All of the photos here are in black and white because we were trying to pick which one to add to the wall. I'm too lazy to go find the color versions, but Molly is mostly black and white anyway (with some tan accents). She is about a year old and we adopted her from a shelter last June. We think she is a pointer/coonhound mix.