Saturday, March 26, 2011


Research on Donor Eggs
Yesterday I made an appointment to talk to the DE coordinator at my RE office, along with the Finance coordinator.  The appointment is April 8th.  For me, this is just initial information, not a decision.

WTF Appointment Planning
My WTF appointment with Dr. T is on April 13.  I have questions in my head and I need to start writing them down.  Here are a few... just to get them written down:

  • What happened this time?
  • The embryos were moving into the Morela stage on Day 3 at transfer, given this is there really possibly a problem with the quality of my eggs (embryos)?
  • If we were to do IVF again (using my own eggs), what would we do differently?  How can we get more of my own eggs?

I have questionably had two brief chemical pregnancies (IUI #6 and IVF #2), meaning a positive HPT (not a trigger false positive), then negative HPT and negative Betas...

  • How do we know the problem is not with my uterus, an inability to support implantation/growth?
  • What testing can we do to feel confident the problem is not with my uterus, especially if I decide to use donor eggs $$$?

Second Opinion
While I love Dr. T I do think it's time to get an opinion from someone else.  It doesn't have to be someone local... so I actually have no clue who to schedule a second opinion with...  I've not done much research on this topic.

This is when I wish I had someone to share the burden with, someone to tell me where to go, what to do...  or just to have someone as invested in this as I am to talk through it with.

Business Travel
It's going to be a crazy week, heading out West Monday for a packed schedule of work meetings and "team building" events...  I am NOT looking forward to the socializing with people I barely know as the questions:  Are you married?  Do you have kids?  are always asked (over and over given there will be 50 or so collegues around over the course of the week).  I really had hoped I would be trying to schedule my first ultrasound around my travel schedule...

Any ideas on clever responses (that are also politically correct, given these are business contacts)?  My new response (to those who know my IF struggles) is that I gave this company my best fertile years.  Probably not the best response when talking with casual acquaintances.

Personal Travel
I get home Thursday night and get back on a plane Friday to head to see the family in Florida, for a mini reunion.  I'm looking forward to seeing my family and catching up with a couple of friends.  Then back home Monday afternoon.

My dogs are sitting on either side of me at this moment but I miss them already... I hate leaving them for a week!

Weight Watchers
I decided against the 'extreme' diet due to all of the unknown implications to my TTC efforts.  I really just wanted to see fast results based on my efforts, given I've not seen results from all of my TTC efforts over the last year.  But instead I signed up for Weight Watchers.

Slow & Steady Wins the Race, right?  If it doesn't, then I know my heart will never recover...
(I searched Google Images for a Broken Heart image... my favorite actually came from SIF's blog.) 

Saturday, March 19, 2011

A Small Victory over IF

This morning, less than 24 hours after my confirmed failure of IVF2.0, I decided that I couldn't bare to spend the day on my couch crying and feeling sorry for myself watching reruns on the SoapNetwork (One Tree Hill & Gilmore Girls).  It's a beautiful Spring weekend in North Carolina and I had two different places I should be today, other than my couch.

As afraid as I was that in the presence of people I would fall apart and sob uncontrollably, I listened to the resolve mantra I had been telling myself throughout my 2ww...  I have to start living again.  I can't let infertility win and continue to take everything in its path.

So I made breakfast, showered, took care of the dogs (food, water, dog door - they don't need me for anything else), I got in the car and drove the 160 miles to Raleigh.

I did quite well on the drive over, calling my mom to let her know I was taking a day trip.  I had a few bouts of tears but no real breakdown.

I arrived at the resort (conference center) and immediately found the restroom ( I consumed 64 oz of water on my trip over).  As soon as I walked into the conference room - this was a Choice Mom's Conference, I began to lose my composure.  I quickly excused myself, got myself together and went in again.

I'm so glad I went.  I met Mikki Morrissette (and was so disappointed I didn't think to bring my copy of her book Choosing Single Motherhood for her autograph).  I also was sitting right next to JellyBean Mama but didn't connect who she was until late in the day... and I got to meet the JellyBean herself... as adorable as she looks in her photos (actually MORE adorable).  I had the opportunity to meet and talk with Amy in NC (a blog follower who helped inspire me to overcome my fear and attend the conference) and BunInTheOvenPlease, who is a new blogger and writes eloquently.

In addition to all of these amazing women, the room was full of maybe 30 amazing Choice Mom's, Tryers and Thinkers.

There was a representative from California Cryobank, a Financial Planner, an Psychologist (specializing in single motherhood, infertility) and a local RE.

The discussion and networking was therapeutic.  Even the drive was therapeutic.

I'm so thankful that today I WON, instead of infertility.  Infertility would have kept me on the couch indulging self pity.  Instead I took charge, kept my plans, continued to live, made new friends/connections and feel satisfied.

New Score:
Infertility 8 cycles vs. BB 1 day (and counting)

Friday, March 18, 2011

IVF2.0 - It's Over

I wrote this post in my head Tuesday night as I was awake in tears for hours, convinced this cycle had failed.  I had been peeing on extra sensitive sticks (claims to read 10ml HCG) since Friday, all negative.

Suddenly Wednesday afternoon, just before walking out the door for acupuncture, there was a second line!!!  OMG!  I was thrilled!  It was a faint yet clearly distinctive second line (believe me, I know what no line looks like, this was a line).  Just to be sure, I took the stick to acupuncture and A confirmed she saw it too!  She said my pulse felt different (as it does with a pregnancy).

But Thursday's FMU resulted in a negative (I tried to convince myself I saw something, but I really didn't).  I peed on FIVE sticks Thursday, all negative.  Today, Friday, my FMU also was negative. So Wednesday's positive HPT was either a momentary chemical pregnancy or a defective pee stick.

I went in for my blood draw and then I went straight to the grocery store to buy a couple of bottles of wine... because I knew the answer.

So my nurse emailed me (not sure how I feel about beta results via email) to confirm the beta was negative.  Dr. T is booking appointments into mid-April so my WTF appointment wont be for a month...  I asked the nurse to connect me with someone who could begin to educate me on the donor egg process and costs... I really don't know much about this option but I have a feeling it might be my only option with a chance...

For the last week I've been planning what I will do if this cycle fails... (I guess that's my way of coping with the 2ww after -now- 8 failures)  My plan is to start taking care of me.  I'm significantly overweight and TTC has only made me gain more weight.  I'm going to get on an aggressive weight loss program (that has worked for me in the past) for the next two months, knowing I will not cycle again for at least 2 months.  It's an extreme way to drop weight but at this time, I need something extreme that actually ends with results... I'm tired of doing things that don't work, such as 8 ART cycles.

Definition of Insanity:  Doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results

To my local SMC friends... it's doubtful I'll end up going to the Choice Mom conference in Raleigh tomorrow.  I expect I would be a blubbering mess.  And unfortunately I also have a bridal shower for such a sweet friend I was invited to tomorrow, but I'm afraid I'd be quite the downer, frequently excusing myself to TRY to gain my composure.

So what will I do this weekend?  I really don't know... perhaps take the dogs for a walk, or to the dog park if I'm feeling really brave.  Otherwise, I'll just allow myself to grieve, again.

Thursday, March 10, 2011


This is what Hope looks like to me.  

My remaining two embabies did not survive to freeze.

My original fear when the doctor recommended putting these four back was the possibility of multiples... that fear has now been replaced with... what if none of them stick???  

I am doing my best to stay optimistic and continue to hold on to hope.  I have no reason to believe one (or more) will not stick.  It's only 4dp3dt... I still have a long way to go in this 2ww!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

IVF 2.0 - Transfer

I'm officially knocked up!

It was a great weekend with 7 of my sorority sisters at my place on Saturday for our annual Spring overnight gathering.  The transfer was always in the back of my head but it was a great time, lots of laughs and distraction.

This morning two of the girls dropped me off at the RE office.  My acupuncturist, A, met me there for Before & After treatments.

At the end of my Before treatment, Dr. T came in and gave me an update on my 6 embabies.  Four were really healthy 8-cells beginning to move into the morula stage.  She said they looked better today than any of the others from IVF1.0 on day 3.  The other two were 6-cell and still growing.

I am very happy Dr. T came in to do my transfer because I knew she would be the doctor I trusted the most to help me decide how many to transfer.  She knows me, my history, my case, everything.  She advised I transfer the 4 strongest ones.  I said "Four, really"? At that moment I wasn't so worried about my IVF failing as I was about what if my IVF is too successful?  

We talked about the number and she said (not direct quotes but context of discussion) based on my past attempts that this is the best way I can contribute to my success.  And in the off chance I would get pregnant with multiples, there is always the real possibility only one would make it to term.  That's my goal, one healthy baby making it to term.  I would still be thrilled with two (that's just not my goal)!!  There was a lot more to the discussion but those were some of the key points I recall from my valium haze.

Had any other doctor at the practice have told me to transfer four, I don't think I would have done it... but I trust Dr. T.  The other two will continue to grow in the lab and we will see if they make it to freeze (I'd LOVE it if they did).

I do think I'm going to be a bit closed mouthed about the number I transferred, outside of the blog world.  I expect people who don't get it (dealing with infertility) to pass judgment.  I don't want to have to justify my decision on this, I just don't.  I shouldn't have to.

So A drove me home after treatment (talk about a full-service acupuncturist).  Several of the girls were still here, finishing cleaning up and waiting on me to make sure I get settled (and didn't move).  I got settled on the couch and we all just hung out and talked some more.  Then one by one they left.  Except for D.

D decided she was going to hang out longer and wait on me, making sure my butt didn't get up.  This is not only sweet, but D had been out of town all week.  She had just gotten in on Friday night and turned around and came for our girls night mid-day Saturday.  So now, she's giving up her Sunday to take care of me... D has a husband and 3 kids (8, 7 and 5) at home, laundry to be done, homework to be finished, but she's hanging with me.

AND, D's husband and kids picked up a late lunch and came over to hang out too!  The kids cuddled up on the couch with me and we watched Ella Enchanted.  Then they played upstairs and with the dogs. Finally I sent them home around 5pm.

I've got the greatest friends!

Friday, March 4, 2011

IVF 2.0 - Fertilization Report (Updated)

Of my 8 eggs, 7 were mature and ICSI'd.  6 fertilized normally.

I have 6 growing embabies!!!  Please send as much positive energy to those embabies as you can for healthy growth!

Transfer is Sunday... I'll get a call later with the time (will update this post)

In the meantime, I took yesterday through Monday off of work.  Tomorrow 8 of my sorority sisters are coming over for our annual Spring Gathering.  They will all stay overnight, so I'll end up leaving them at the house when I go for transfer, to lock up when they leave.  I love my girls!  It's going to be a GREAT weekend!!

Transfer is set for 10:30am on Sunday.  Dr. T is coming in to do my transfer (based on the way the nurse said this to me, sounds like Dr. T was not scheduled to be in on Sunday).

My acupuncturist, A is coming with me for before and after treatments.  YEA!!!

Grow embabies, GROW!!!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

IVF 2.0 - Retrieval

I've got 8 eggs!!!

I was tweeting before and after the retrieval, literally while in my gown, footies and hair cap with the IV still in my left arm.  Maybe I was tweeting (after I texted "8 eggs" to my mom) because I needed to share my excitement and I was on my own, except for the nurses and anesthesiologist.  One of my Tweeps, BarrenKaren, joked about my 8 eggs and called me Octo-Mom.

I'm very pleased to have my 8 eggs.  They were using ICSI today to fertilize them, I'll be waiting by the phone tomorrow to get the fertilization report.

Everything went smoothly.  No doubt it helped that I'd been through it before and knew what to expect.  I've had no discomfort at all, from the moment they woke me in recovery.  Actually, the only discomfort I've had is my throat...  it's been dry and sore since shortly after I woke in recovery.  I asked if they had intubated me and they had not.  They said the drugs could be causing the throat soreness.  I'm not complaining.

I'm feeling good.  I'm feeling positive.  The 68 shots over 12 days resulted in 8 eggs, I pray they are all mature and healthy and they all fertilize and grow!  I pray one of them sticks and results in my healthy child come November!

Both IVF cycles, while waiting between the trigger and the retrieval, my worry was premature ovulation.  It's very rare but it happens.  Again, I was blessed and did not experience this problem.

I just have to say that my friend Ang, a fellow Tweep who also blogs at A Few Minor Details, we have been cycle buddies for both of our IVFs.  And both of hers have resulted in premature ovulation!  I'm devastated, frustrated and furious for her!  How could her doctor let this happen not once but TWICE?   Stop by and send her as much positive energy as you can... she's got one embryo growing toward transfer.  Let this be THE ONE!!!