Monday, December 28, 2009

Baby Dreams

During the holidays, I was able to spend time with my nieces and newphew and cousin's children.  The 5 of them range in age from 10 days to almost 5 years old.  I love how the older ones personalities are starting to develop.  And, I love the younger ones who are just on the verge of being more verbal.  And, the baby smell of my newborn niece.  As I hugged them and held my niece, I tried to picture what it would be like, what it would feel like if I was holding or hugging my own child.  It is so unimaginable for me.  Will I ever have a 7 pound baby that's mine?  Will I ever be able to look at a child and say, "Oh, she has my eyes"?  Will I ever see my self or my husband or our families reflected back at me in my child?

I think that my IVF treatment in February is my last.  I don't know for sure, but I feel like I've made the decision to move on if it doesn't work.  I can't tell if this is self preservation, or a true decision.  I don't know how I'll feel if my IVF isn't successful, but I'm trying this decision on for size right now.  It is scary, but it feels ok.  I'm hopeful (so hopeful) that things work out, but I'm trying not to get my hopes up. 

I'm starting to prepare my mind for adoption.   I've started reasearching my options, and am starting to figure out how to pay for it (I think that Visa is a fine name for a child, don't you?).  I think I have an agency, and I think I know what route I would take.  I think.  I know I won't be able to jump into that until I feel that I'm "done" with infertility treatments.  And, I plan to schedule a WTF with Dr. B if this doesn't work out as well, just to find out why and what his opinion is on future chances for success.

Friday, December 25, 2009

A Christmas Wish

This Christmas has been better than I anticipated so far.  I've enjoyed having time to spend with my family, holding my new niece for the first time, and having time to relax.  My sisters and brothers and I put on a Christmas skit last night for our extended family - complete with the girls wearing shirts that said "Ho."  It was silly and funny.  This morning, M and I had a quiet morning alone, and will host my Mom and Dad for dinner tonight.  Then, tomorrow we'll have Christmas with just my mom and dad and brothers, sisters, and nieces.

Despite the good times, Christmas lately makes me remember what I don't have.  Seeing my brother and his new baby, my cousins little boys, my nieces and nephew - makes me feel a little set apart. 

I have a wish for next Christmas.  Let me be experiencing the joys of new motherhood.  Or, let me be pregnant.  Or, let me be beginning the adoption or third party reproduction process.  Let me be one step closer to being a mom.

I wish the same to all of you still on this side of the infertility battle.  Thanks for all of the support and the community you've shown me this past year.  A year ago, I was just starting my quest to get pregnant with the help of my RE.  I was alone and lost.  A year later, I've been through the ringer with IF, but I've also found the ALI Community.  I've learned so much from all of you, and I'm thankful to not be alone on this journey.

Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Randoms

1. I met the baby on Saturday.  She's beautiful and I fell instantly in love.  At first, I was worried to be around her and my 4 year old niece (the new niece's sister), thinking that they would make me "miss" not having a baby of my own.  However, that is not the case.  They make me feel better.  I think it is because these two children are in my life and I get to love them as much as I want.  And, they love me back.

2. Work is ABSOLUTELY crazy busy right now.  I don't understand, nor do I approve.  I'm supposed to have some free time to get organized and get a head start on my huge winter / spring project.  That is not to be as I've been sucked into some crazy vortex.  Not cool.

3. Christmas shopping is progressing, but has hit a bit of a standstill.  I haven't even started shopping for my husband yet.  I had planned to head out at lunch a few times this week, but that didn't happen (see number 2).

4. I'm doing really good and having fun with my exercise program.  I've gotten to where I feel like I can run.  I did a hill workout today on the treadmill that about killed me.  It was so hard that it was fun.  And, I'm only five pounds away from my goal that I set with Dr. B.

5. My giant dog is a nut.  He ate a book today while we were at work because we left the armoire open.  Jackass.  It was set aside for my Hawaii trip.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Bittersweet

Today has been a bit of a mixed bag of emotions.  We went to see the Blind Side today, which has a foster / adopt theme.  It was such a sweet story. And, I found myself crying through movie.  Then, my brother and his wife gave birth to their second baby today.  She's an IVF baby as well, and I'm so happy to be an Aunt again, and so happy for my brother and sister-in-law to have an infertility happy ending (times 2 as they also have a IUI 4 yr old), and just happy that the baby is healthy.  Yet, I was crying while hearing the news.  I think they were partly happy tears, and partly tears at what might have been.  And then I had to stop in the hallway of the movie theater as sobs overcame me.  I pulled it together and walked out of the movie theater and went across the street to the grocery store to get something for dinner.  Then, my brother called me.  I was glad to talk to him, but struggled to keep my voice from quivering with my tears.  I feel wrung out a bit.  The baby is beautiful, and I love her already even though I haven't met her yet.  Tomorrow we will go to the hospital to see her, and I'm hoping I can keep it together.  This is a happy time, and it isn't about me. 

After my miscarriage, I made my husband promise me that he would make me a mom one day, one way.  I've been thinking recently about how that might happen.  I believe that I'll be a Mom one day, and I'm trying to stay hopeful that I might be able to give birth to a take home baby that is genetically mine.  However, I also know that the odds of that happening don't necessarily fall in my favor.  I recently learned that my insurance will likely only cover one more cycle, rather than the two I thought I'd still have.  So, my hope has dwindled a bit.

I know it will happen.  I believe I'll have someone to mother one day.  I have hope in that and I'm doing everything possible to make that happen - losing weight, following the the Fertility Diet, saving money so I have an adoption or donor egg fund (after my Hawaii trip, of course), and constantly working to boost myself up.  

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

IVF #3

I spoke with my IVF coordinator today and have the schedule for my third IVF cycle.  Details:

  • I start the pill at the end of December (with the hope of magically skipping my period at the end of January while I'm in Hawaii)
  • Last pill February 7th
  • Baseline ultrasound on February 8th (first day back at work!)
  • If all goes well (given my past experience, I am not holding my breath on that one), I'll start Follistim February 11th.
  • Retrieval will be between February 20th and 25th

It feels weird to have the details down and be on the schedule.  I'm actually excited.  I still plan on calling Dr. B in mid January to clear up some questions and check in with him on where I am with my weight loss, and what his thoughts are on my progress.  I want to have the best shot possible with IVF #3, and if Dr. B recommends I wait and lose more weight, I'd be totally cool with that.  I'm working really hard on that right now, and I think I'll hit my target weight loss by mid January.  I wonder if it would make my chances better if I waited and lost more...?

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

A season of giving


As I have written before, M and I wanted to celebrate this holiday season.  One way we decided to do this was to fulfill the Christmas wishes of a DCFS child.  It felt nice to make the Christmas dreams of a child come true as a way of honoring the memory, albeit privately, of the child we lost.  So, we were given the wish list of a little boy named Keion.  He wanted a skateboard and some GI Joe figures.  We are so clueless when it comes to buying stuff, it was pretty funny, but we managed to pull together 3 GI Joe figures, a skateboard, knee, wrist and elbow pads (safety first!), and a Blackhawks sweatshirt. 

It was fun to do, and I think it is a tradition we will continue.  I hope little Keion enjoys his Christmas.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Ornaments

I don't have a themed Christmas tree.  The ornaments we have are mostly those that have been given to us, that we've bought on vacations, or that have a special meaning.  It's fun to put up the tree and see all those special ornaments and remember the trips and the special occasion.  We also have a personalized ornament for each member of our family (and, yes, I've decided that I'm claiming the word "family" for us.  My collection of two people and a slew of animals and an angel baby might not make a family in most people's minds, but I'm claiming "family" nonetheless).  I have a personalized ornament, so does M, the dog, and each of the 3 cats.  Recently, we added a personalized ornament for the baby we lost.

We went to Things Remembered and bought a personalized ornamanent.  It was a mirrored angel with a 2009 charm.  We had it engraved to say "Our Angel" and the name that we gave the baby.   I like having the ornament for the baby and the acknowledgment that he existed for us.  I also like that because the ornament is a mirror, it kind of disappears into the tree.  It is there if you look for it, but it is hard to see unless you look.
For some reason, I feel weird about admitting that we named the baby that we miscarried.  It isn't something that I talk about publicly, but is more a private thing between my husband and myself.  I think it has helped us cope with the loss a bit.  And, If we have future pregnancies, I wanted to try to separate the baby we lost with the baby we carried.  We decided that the baby was a boy, and named him Allan Michael.  It is not the name we would likely have given had he been born, but it is a family name, honors M's Uncle who recently passed away and on whose birthday our egg transfer occurred.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Sigh...

It just dawned on me that I would have been 19 weeks pregnant tomorrow.  I almost lost it in my office and had a crying breakdown.  I haven't had that happen in quite awhile.

Imagine how my life would be different now if that baby had stuck around. 

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Let the Holidays Begin

Our Thanksgiving ended up being ok after-all.  Husband is doing much better, and we were even able to leave the house today and decorate the outside of our home.  It looks so cute!
As I've mentioned, I'm throwing myself into the holidays this year.  I am working on a digital scrapbook to document every day of my holiday activities and memories this year.  So, I've uploaded the page I made for today.  Despite jumping right in, I still have moments where I stop and remember where I should have been if my pregnancy had remained viable.  I should have been finding out the gender soon.  I should have been shopping for a maternity dress for my holiday party and my brother's wedding.  I should have been feeling movement.  I should have been eagerly anticipating the birth of my new niece in the next week or so - and imagining that our children will grow up together.  I should have been celebrating Christmas as a pregnant woman with the knowledge that next Christmas would have me holding a 7 month old.

These wishes and unfulfilled dreams still cut me deeply.  On the outside I'm fine and even happy.  And truthfully, I'm doing really well.  But, I still remember what should have been and it still hurts.  I have many blessings and things to be thankful for right now.  And, I wish and hope that next Christmas will have me counting different blessings, fulfilled dreams, and being thankful for my ultimate wish coming true.


Wednesday, November 25, 2009

It's a Charlie Brown Thanksgiving

My husband is sick with the flu or some bug or something.  I love him, but he is an AWFUL patient.  He's resting comfortably now, and I'm hoping he's getting better.

I hope I don't get sick.  It doesn't look fun.

So, our Thanksgiving plans have changed.  We will be staying home.  I went to the grocery store this afternoon, and bought some stuff to make a sad little Thanksgiving dinner.  We will be having turkey breast, canned gravy, stove top stuffing, grocery store pumpkin pie, refrigerator rolls, and canned green beans.  Sad little Charlie Brown Thanksgiving.

Monday, November 23, 2009

My Holiday Strategy

Last Christmas was rough.  We had just found out about our infertility diagnosis, and I was dwelling on the thought that M and I would be that couple in the family - the one everyone takes pity on at the holidays because they don't have any family of their own.  A year later, I've been through a roller coaster of a year - two IVF cycles, one miscarriage, and a poor prognosis for success. 

Last year, I tried to skip Christmas or at least gloss over it.  It didn't work.  Christmas still happened, and I felt worse for not making the effort to celebrate.  So, this year, I'm trying a new approach.  I'm going all in with Christmas this year.  My Christmas cards are written out, we hung lights outside, I "adopted" a DCFS child to bestow gifts on - the whole works.  I've even convinced my brother's and sisters to stage a surprise skit for Christmas Eve.  (The girls are going to wear red t-shirts that say "HO" on them, and the boys are going to dress as Gangsta Santas.  We're going to do Christmas Carrol raps).  My brother is getting married January 2nd, and my other brother and sister-in-law will be birthing a baby in the next week or so. 

Despite my sorrows and struggles this past year, there is a lot to celebrate.  And, I'm NOT going to wallow in my childlessness.  I'm going to celebrate Christmas and enjoy the season as much as I can.  I'm realistic in that it will not be easy, and there will be some sad times, but I think (and hope) that I'll get out out of what I put into it.  And, this year, I'm putting in the effort.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Vacation!

I just booked a trip to Hawaii for my anniversary.  I am so excited!  My husband and I are heading to Oahu on January 28th to Oahu.  We are staying at the Turtle Bay Resort on the North Shore for 4 nights.  I've you've ever seen Forgetting Sarah Marshall, the movie was set primarily at the Turtle Bay Resort.  After 4 nights, we are heading to Maui where we will be staying at the Hyatt Regency Maui Resort and Spa for three nights.

I've never been to Hawaii before.  In fact, this is basically my dream vacation.  We didn't get a honeymoon, and haven't traveled very extensively at all.  I am SO beyond excited about this trip.  It is really something to look forward to, and I think I'll have fun with the planning as well. 

My husband used to live in Hawaii years ago when he was in the Army, so I think that Oahu is a special place for him and I'm looking forward to learning something more about him after all these years together.  I also have always had it in my mind that we would start a family after we've had the opportunity to take our dream vacation.  Of course, in my mind we would go to paradise and get pregnant on vacation.  We all know that isn't going to happen!

As far as my IVF plans, I am going to schedule a meet up with Dr. B in mid January.  I hope to start BCPs with my period in January, and start stimming when I return from Hawaii.  I think that the timing will work out ok.  If not, I'll put it off until February / March.  I want to do one cycle in the winter, and, if that's not successful, I'll wait until after Mother's Day (and my miscarried baby's due date).  So, I don't mind waiting a bit.  I also need more time to work on my weight loss plans.  To date, I've lost about 30 pounds since I was pregnant.   I want to lose another 10 to 20 pounds before we try again. 

That's my story.  Welcome all ICLWers!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Show and Tell - Shark Cupcakes

As my "regular" readers will know, my husband has been out of town for 4 weeks (coming home only for short weekend visits).  He was on his way home last Friday night, and his birthday was Monday.  I knew we wouldn't be able to celebrate his birthday together, so I planned a surprise.
I recently purchased the book Hello Cupcake, and decided to make him Shark Cupcakes as a birthday surprise.  So, I cut out of work a bit early and stocked up on supplies.  After dinner, I got started with the Shark Cupcake baking.  I made vanilla cupcakes, and dyed all my frosting - blue, gray, and black, and set out all my goodies.

The sharks were made out of twinkies with little cookies stuck in the side to make fins.  I used mini chocolate chips for the eyes and frosting to make the mouth and teeth.  They were a bit difficult to make - you glue the twinkies on to the cupcakes with frosting and then freeze them for a bit to get them to stick. Then, you dip the sharks into the gray frosting.  My sharks kept falling off into the frosting and I had to fish (HA! No pun intended!) then out and try to repair them. 
 These were fun to make.  I cracked myself up with how absolutely ridiculous they were.  They were a definite time killer and helped me pass the time until my husband got home.


I arranged them all on my glass cake plate.  I also made school of fish cupcakes with little juju fish.  This picture is of my cupcakes with a picture of the cupcakes from the book.  Mine are clearly not as perfect as the ones in the book, but I think they look halfway decent. 
Now, head on over to the Stirrup Queens and see what the rest of the class is showing.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Knife. In. Heart

As I mentioned, I went on a one-day business trip yesterday to Columbus, OH.  My boss and I went to evaluate a company.  We spent the afternoon with the 4 executives.  We were making small talk about how early we had to get up to catch our flight.  My boss brought up the fact that I had to wake up at 3:45 to take care of my dog prior to catching our flight, while she has two sons, but didn't have to take care of them because her husband was home.  To be clear, I didn't bring up the fact that I have animals - my boss did.  I try not to talk about them too much in public because I don't want to be that woman.

Later on in the day, one of the guys said, "When my wife and I were first married, we had a dog.  And, that was almost like our child.  It is amazing how once you have children, the importance of the dog in your life goes way down."

It was like a knife to my heart.  Thanks, jackass.  Way to point out what I'm missing and totally dismiss my life, as it is right now, all with two sentences.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Feeling a little off

Today is two months since my miscarriage.  It is 14 years since I met my husband.  It is 14 years since my Grandpa died.  So, one of those days thinking about the things that happen that shape your life.

My husband is on week 3 of his business trip.  I'm fortunate that he has the opportunity to come home on the weekend, but it isn't enough.  He has only been home long enough to do laundry and leave again.  I just miss him.  I know that I'm lucky compared to some - especially on this Veteran's Day. 

I didn't wake up and workout this morning.  I set 3 alarms and just turned them all off.  I'm not even sure I made a conscious decision to NOT workout.  It was 4 in the morning after all.  With M. gone, I'm not sure how I could take care of the home stuff and workout at any other time than 4am.

I have to travel tomorrow.  I'm flying out to Columbus, OH in the morning and returning in the afternoon.  I am not used to traveling.  And, there is just so much to deal with at home that it stresses me out a bit. 

I just want a hug.  I've had a rough week with the hysteroscopy on Monday, busy work days, and the stress of traveling.   I can't wait for M. to come home on Friday night, even if he is running out the door on Sunday morning.

I could just use a hug.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Procedures

Well, my hyster.oscopy and polyect.omy went off ok today.  I'm home now and recovering fine.  My mom was unable to take me to the appointment because my sister in law, who is 32ish weeks pregnant with plac.enta pre.via, was rushed to the hospital with bleeding.  My parents drove out there at 11 at night to pick up my 4 1/2 year old niece to bring over for the night.  So, my sister came with me to the appointment.

The procedure itself was a breeze.  I was pretty much awake for it, although not making much sense.  I was able to watch on the screen, which was pretty cool.  I saw Dr. B. take out one polyp.  He said there were a few others, but they were small and he couldn't even grab them with the grabber dealio. 

My sister took me home to my mom's so I could rest for a while.  My niece was there, and is just so adorable.  We had lunch, and she told us her secrets.  Later, she was telling me about one of her dreams about little princesses and knights and fairy godmothers.  I asked he who I was in her dream, and she said I was the mommy of the little princesses.  When I was getting ready to leave, she said that it made her sad because I reminded her of her mommy.  Broke my heart a little bit - so cute.

So, I'm fine.  I have a killer headache and some cramps.  And, I'm annoyed that I'll potentially have bleeding for 2 to 3 weeks.  I'm probably going to bed early tonight and hope to be back on my game tomorrow.  I've kind of gone on a food bender the past two days, so I need to get back on track.  In my defense, today I don't care.  I am eating what is easy to put together.

My sister-in-law is doing ok.  They released her from the hospital and they are heading home.  She isn't on bedrest yet -although for her own sake, I wish the doctor would do so.  She isn't good at "taking it easy."

Thanks for all your support everyone!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Procedure Tomorrow

I am scheduled for my hysteroscopy tomorrow at 10 a.m. with Dr. B.  My mom is taking me.  It should be fun for her to be the random 60 year old in the waiting room.  I love that there will be a handful of people who will look at her and think, "Really?"  My husband is still out of town after breezing back in for 2 nights.  This is going on three weeks now.  I miss him when he isn't here.  A ton.  I'm not used to him being away, but I totally understand that I am lucky compared to others.  The good news is he is earning tons of overtime.  As I've mentioned, we're planning a vacation.  I think we've settled on Hawaii.  That is my dream vacation, and for my husband, it will be returning home.  He is an Army vet, and was stationed in Hawaii for 3 years before we met.  I love that we'll be able to afford the trip and still stock up our savings account.

In other news, I managed to lock myself out of the house today.  My brother-in-law had to get a giant ladder, put it in my neighbor's yard, climb up to my window, remove the screen, boost up the window - which wasn't locked, and do a roll into my bedroom.  Thankfully, my dog bed was right there to give him a soft landing.  Of course, my non-watch dog didn't bother to get up off the couch.  As a bonus, my dad lectured me on how easy it would be for someone to break in to my house.  I'm still thinking it wouldn't be easy - I think people would be noticed dragging ladders or boosting each other up to get into my bedroom window.  Plus, how would they know if wasn't locked?

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Pregnant Women Everywhere

My employee finally fessed up to her pregnancy yesterday.  I took it pretty well.  I've been rehearsing my response for weeks now, so I had time to prepare.  I did call her on the fact that I suspected back in August, and she wasn't really hiding anything by wearing maternity pants and sporting a giant baby bump.  She's due March 8th and is having a boy.  That hurt a bit, because we call the baby we miscarried a boy - even though we don't know for sure.

I did have a hard moment today when I was doing something for work with my boss.  We were discussing staff salaries and if anyone had unpaid medical leave.  She pointed out that last fiscal year, this employee was on maternity leave.  It hit me that she would have maternity leave two fiscal year's in a row.  I think I've been lapped twice, and that truly sucks.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Monday Rambling on Moving Forward

I was at the grocery store today and they had two carts full of baby Halloween costumes on sale for $1.99 each.  I went back twice and almost bought one.  Why do I torture myself?  If I was still pregnant, I'd have a 6 month old next Halloween, who, no doubt, would make an adorable bumble bee.  And, wouldn't that be precious if I had been able to dress the baby as a bumble bee and the dog as a bumble bee?  But, it's not to be.  If I'm lucky enough to get pregnant (and STAY pregnant) in February-ish, I'll still be pregnant in October. 

In other news, I have my hysteroscopy tentatively scheduled for Monday.  Dr. B. wanted to do it on Friday, but I'm out of town.  It is kind of screwed up for scheduling purposes.  I have to call on Monday morning at 8am and find out what time my procedure is scheduled for that day.  I guess they don't know what time to have me come in until they find out what their egg retrieval schedule is for Monday.  Additionally, I have a full day of meetings scheduled for Monday, and will have to reschedule everything.  But, I can't reschedule the candidate I have coming in for an interview.  So, I'll go in to work for a bit (I work at the hospital) and then hopefully walk across the street late morning for my procedure.  To complicate things further, my mom needs to be my ride.  My husband has taken several days off for my medical stuff, and he is likely to still be out of town on Monday (bummer).  Mom's plan is to drive in to work with me, hang out in the cafeteria reading a book and wait for me to call her with my procedure time.  Very inconvenient.  But, I don't know what my choices are at this point.

Anyone have experience with hysteroscopies?  What can I expect?

I wonder if I can convince Dr. B. to schedule it for Monday early afternoon?  That might make my scheduling stuff go much easier.... 

Thanks to everyone for the great vacation ideas.  I am trying to come up with several different options for vacations at different price points so we can make a decision.  I'd love to head to the tropics to a nice all inclusive resort.  I also want to explore heading to SF or San Diego.  It will be cheaper, but not warm in late January when I want to go.  But, that might be ok.

Finally, I hate having my period, cramps, and bleeding like it's going out of style.  I'm just sayin'...

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Hello, visitor

Aunt Flo just arrived.  I did a little happy dance.  I've never been so happy to start my period, and am SO ready to move forward!

My husband has been away on a business trip for a week, and is home for 30 hours before departing for another week on business.  I was so happy to see him home, but will really miss him again.  On the other hand, he's earning mucho overtime.  We are dreaming of a nice vacation before starting my next IVF cycle in February-ish.  Where should we go???

Friday, October 30, 2009

Aunt Flo, where are you?

It has been 7 weeks since I had my miscarriage.  I was only pregnant for 7w3d.  I can't believe how fast the time had gone.  I'm in such a better place mentally than I was even a few weeks ago, and am moving forward.  One thing that is stopping me from moving forward is that I haven't gotten my period yet since the miscarriage.    Dr. B. said that I'd likely get my period 4 to 6 weeks after the miscarriage.  However, I bled for about 5 weeks after the miscarriage.  Is this normal?  Anyone who has been there before have any ideas?  I don't chart, so I'm not sure where things are, but I'm pretty sure I ovulated.  And, I've been having massive mood swings the past 2 days.  But, I've also been working my butt off all week painting my house, and have been without my husband (he's been on a business trip) so I'm tired in general.  That could lend to the crankiness.

I am not waiting to start an IVF cycle, so I'm not really in a rush, I just want to close the door on the medical aspects of the miscarriage and move forward.  Plus, I want to schedule my hysteroscopy, and I can't do that until I get my period.  UGH  So frustrated.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

A post about pizza

I used to eat pizza.  A lot.  Like 3 times a week sometimes.  It was a problem, really and truly.  Maybe an addiction (please don't mind the crazies I'm sharing here!) The last time I had pizza was September 10th, the day before my miscarriage.  Somehow in my mind these two things - pizza and being pregnant / losing my baby - are linked.  I can't even bear the thought of eating pizza right now because I remember that the last time I ate it I was pregnant, and the next day I miscarried.  I have never gone this long without eating pizza.  It's so weird because I don't even want it any more.  The thought of eating it sounds good for a minute but then I remember.

I used to eat pizza for celebrations or when I was too tired to cook.  It's weird to have my favorite food tied in my mind with something that was so heartbreaking.  I think that at this point, I'd like to hold off on eating it until I have a true reason to celebrate - when I bring home a baby.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Motivation

At my WTF appointment, Dr. B. kindly suggested that if I lost some weight I might have better results with my next IVF cycle.  I've jumped all over this and am funneling all my energies into losing weight.  In my magical thinking world, this is a guarantee of success.  Whatever works.  


  • I've joined Weight Watchers Online and have been obsessively counting points
  • I've started exercising 6 days a week.  Monday through Friday I wake up most days (unless I have to be at work at a weird time) at 4 a.m. and am on my treadmill doing a couch to 5 k program or lifting weights at 4:15 a.m.  It's a bit crazy.  I'm still half asleep for the first 10 minutes of my workouts.
  • I've done 3 1/2 hours of cardio this past week and 1 1/2 hours of lifting weights.  
  • I also walk my dog about 3 to 5 hours a week.  I don't "count" that as working out since he usually operated in "slow" mode.
  • I've read The Fertility Diet, and am incorporating these suggestions into my plan, although the milk thing still has me confused.
I've never been more motivated to be successful.  Truthfully, I'm a bit obsessive about it.  Since I joined Weight Watchers one week after my miscarriage, I've lost 15 pounds.  I've lost 10 pound since I last met with Dr. B and he gave me this suggestion. 

I think it is generally a positive thing to be so focused.  It makes me feel like I am doing something to give myself some chance at success.  It makes me feel a bit more in control, although I know I'm not in control.  On the other hand, the very first thing I think of every single day is the baby I lost.  I'm not sure if I would think about that anyway, or if it is more in the forefront of my mind because the alarm is going off at 4 a.m. so I can workout to help improve my chances of a take home baby. Also, I might need to work on resetting expectations once I start my IVF cycle in January / February.  Right now it is helpful to think that all this work is making a huge difference and will guarantee success.  When I start cycling, I'll need to get a dose of reality.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Classic Infertile Experience

I had the classic infertile experience today.  Somehow I ended up talking to this girl at work about my infertility.  She hadn't heard any of my story before, so I ended up telling her a bit about the infertility experiences and the miscarriage as well as our thoughts that we might consider adoption if our next two IVF cycles aren't successful. 

She responded with a bunch of God stuff and then she said it.  She said we'd be good parents no matter if our child was natural or adopted.  Then she said, "If you adopt, you'll probably get pregnant right away, just like Charlotte in Sex and the City!"

Ok, really, there are a few things wrong with this.  First of all, I object to the word "natural."  Natural or adopted is just a bit offensive.  Then, she really had to go with the once you adopt you'll get pregnant line.  How is it that people think this statement is helpful or supportive?  It's just offensive to me and minimizes all the pain of IVF and infertility and reduces getting pregnant to "magic" (which it kind of is.  But wishing it hard enough, unfortunately, doesn't make it happen).  And, it minimizes the decision to adopt.  If I do decide to adopt, I hope I am at a point where I've put my dreams of getting pregnant and delivering a baby to rest.  I hope that I'm not adopting so that I'll get pregnant.


I replied to her that the adopt to get pregnant is an urban legend and that in my world things are a bit more complicated.  She didn't say anything back.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

What could have been

My RE's office is part of a larger group practice.  The clinic itself is to the right of the elevator banks and has it's own waiting room.  However, to the left of the elevators is the OB/GYN and MFM clinic, the laboratory, and the large waiting room for ultrasounds.  The procedure for monitoring appointments is to check in with RE, and then go to the large waiting room to wait for your blood test and ultrasound.

They open at 7am for monitoring appointments.  At that hour of the day, it's easy to avoid the fertiles.  But, it gets pretty busy.


I work across the street from the clinic, which makes it really convenient.  On Monday, I had to get a blood test, and I decided to go at my lunch break to avoid the early morning crowds.  So, I checked in and found a spot in the waiting room.  It was pretty crowded.  I sat there for a few minutes and tuned in to the conversation around me.  Someone was asking how big their baby was.  Someone asked how far along the pregnant lady next to me was.  She said she was 13 weeks.  I glanced over at her, and saw her looking at a ream of ultrasound pictures.

She was 13 weeks and had a stack of ultrasound pictures - great quality ultrasound pictures - of her 13 week fetus.

I would have been 13 weeks the next day, and the lady sitting next to me was looking at her ultrasound pictures.

That could have been me, and it hit me like a ton of bricks.  I almost cried right there in the crowded waiting room full of fertiles. 

I thought, "I don't want to be here."  And, then I thought, "You don't need to be."  So, I got up and relocated myself to the side of the waiting room by the rheumatology clinic.  Self preservation at its finest. 

It might be silly, but I was proud of myself for taking care of myself and knowing what I needed to do in a situation to feel better. 

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Welcome - ICLW

Welcome from ICLW!  I am looking forward to meeting new people going in the ALI community, and getting to know your stories.  I thought I'd start off ICLW with an intro post.

I was a bit ambivalent about wanting to have a child until I hit 30.  I think that once my father-in-law died, I realized that I wanted a baby above anything else.  We started trying shortly thereafter.  Being a "Type A" personality, I immeditely bought a OPK, and started having se.x on a schedule.  As you can imagine, we hated the scheduled aspect of things, so we decided to "just relax" and "let it happen."  It didn't.

I wasn't too concerned at this time as I thought we were just not hitting the timing right.  I made excuses.  Meanwhile, last November, my husband headed to his GP for a regular check-up and was diagnosed with varicocelle.  He pushed them to ask what that meant for having a family, and the next thing he knew he was in the andrology lab finding out that he had a MFI diagnosis. 

I met with my RE, Dr. B for the first time in February.  We were sent right to the top of the fertility treatment chain - IVF with ICSI.  Way to go overachiever!

Our first cycle started in April, and ended up with a retrieval on May 31st.  The cycle was threatened to be cancelled a few times.  I wish they would have done so, since the retrieval netted 0 embryos.  Did I mention that May 31st was my birthday?

IVF # 2 started in July and ended with a retrieval in August.  Things went better this time.  We ended up with 2 embryos and a BFP!

Unfortunately, I miscarried my baby on September 11th at 7w3d.  Throughout my short pregnancy, I had several occasions of severe bleeding.  At the D&C, they weren't able to get any tissue, so there is no way to know for certain what went wrong.  Dr. B is theorizing that it was chromosomal. He has plans for a new protocol (antagonist without estrogen priming) for my next cycle.  It would be nice if that would give me better results.

I am currently grieving my loss and coping with my new reality.  It's harder than I thought sometimes.  I am working on losing weight and getting in shape now before starting my next IVF cycle in January / February.  I am hoping that the time away will help me get my head together to tackle another IVF cycle.  I'm hoping that losing weight will improve my fertilization results, and will give me a better chance of getting a take home baby. 

So, that's where I am now.  I have the best husband in the world.  And, the best family. And the best pets. They help me get by and make me feel whole. 

Friday, October 16, 2009

What are you hiding???

"Dear Employee -
    I'm not sure what you think you're hiding with your over sized sweaters, slouchy posture, and strategic arm placement, but I'm on to you.  The Canada Dry Ginger Ale I saw you swigging in August was a clue.  So was the change in eating habits, clothing, and multiple doctor's appointments.  However, the biggest clue is the GIANT BABY BUMP that you're sporting.  Do you think I'm blind?
   I'm hoping you fess up soon.  It's kind of killing me.


Sincerely,
Your Manager"

Seriously, I suspected back in early August that my employee was pregnant.  She is now obviously visibly pregnant, and hasn't said a word.  By my counting she is at least 12 weeks.  This is her second child.  I don't get it.  I can't believe she really thinks I don't know.  She sits right outside my office and I have to look at her every single day.  My husband wants to know why it bothers me so much, and I think it is because I am so afraid that she is due at the same time I am.  She is a daily reminder of what I lost and it kills me.  It really does. 

Every day I brace myself for how I'll react when she tells me the news.  I hope I don't flinch.  I hope I can come up with some nice words to say.  I think I might even go with something along the lines of "I was wondering when you were going to tell me."  I hope she's due in March or May and not April.  I don't know if I am strong enough to watch that every day.  I'm not jealous of her baby - I just want my own.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Insurance Resolution

A bit ago I posted about a potential opportunity to switch to my husband's insurance and have 4 more IVF cycles covered.  I inquired with his insurance company, and learned the following:

"Under Illinois Law, we cover 4 oocyte retrievals in a lifetime.  This means that when a patient comes to us, we will hold the first claim and ask the provider for additional information - how many prior retrievals has she had in her lifetime.  We count those towards her 4 total, regardless of how they were paid for."

So, the dream is over.  Two more IVF cycles for me before we have to make some really hard decisions and open our wallets for our baby making adventures.  I hope it doesn't come to that.


Wednesday, October 14, 2009

A bevy of blog awards

All the cool kids are showing their blog awards lately.  I've had 2 awards bestowed on me recently, so here goes!




Thank you to Jenny for the blog award!  Rules
1. You can only use one word!
2. Pass this along to 6 of your favorite bloggers.
3. Alert them that you have given them this award!
4. Have Fun!

The Survey

1. Where is your cell phone? Charging
2. Your hair? brown
3. Your mother? wonderful
4. Your father? protector
5. Your favorite food? steak
6. Your dream last night? none
7. Your favorite drink? pinot
8. Your dream/goal? mommy
9. What room are you in? living
10. Your hobby? knitting
11. Your fear? failure
12. Where do you want to be in 6 years? suburbs
13. Where were you last night? home
14. Something that you aren’t? pregnant
15. Muffins? cranberry-orange
16. Wish list item? baby
17. Where did you grow up? next-door
18. Last thing you did? secret
19. What are you wearing? sweats
20. Your TV? sony
21. Your pets? many
22. Friends? Family
23. Your life? waiting
24. Your mood? unstable
25. Missing someone? Allan
26. Vehicle? Nissan
27. Something you’re not wearing? shoes
28. Your favorite store? Target
29. Your favorite color? Pink
30. When was the last time you laughed? Today
31. Last time you cried? Today
32. Your best friend? Sarah
33. One place that I go to over and over? mom's
34. One person who e-mails me regularly? Sarah
35. Favorite place to eat? Houlihan's

I am awarding this blog award to: (I hope I don't duplicate anyone, but I can't remember who posted what award.  Like I said, everyone is doing it!)

Eileen
Jason and Amber
Just me, Dawn
Little Bit O Seoul
Murgdan
Unconventional Journey






Blog awards are fun and a cool way to get to know a bit more about each other.  I'm not used to them though, and feel a wee bit like I'm forwarding a chain e-mail!

Next time - a new blog award!

Friday, October 9, 2009

Thoughts on time

It's been 4 weeks since we lost our baby.  I've been un-pregnant longer than I knew I was pregnant.  I feel better than I did 4 weeks ago.  The first few days were terrible, but I'm doing much better now.  I still cry every day, only now its just a little bit rather than huge racking sobs like the first week or so.  I still listen to my wallowing music all the time.  For some reason it makes me feel better to reconnect with what I had and what I lost by listening to that music.

I'm caught in a space between hope and fear.  I am working really hard to get in shape and lose weight.  I've lost all my pregnancy weight and IVF weight, and I'm working on the regular old food weight now. I think that the ability to focus on this project is distracting me from the fear of IVF failure and the sadness at losing the baby.  I'll take what I can get.  I'm starting to feel more like myself, and that is making me happy.  At the same time, I would give anything to have been able to keep my pregnancy.

I feel like a different person since the pregnancy.  It feels like it changed me so much.  Which must seem silly since it was here and gone so fast.

In other news, I am fortunate to have IVF coverage through my insurance.  I have 2 more cycles on my insurance.  Well, I just found out today that my husband's insurance covers 6 IVF cycles in a life time.  They even would cover the costs of a donor cycle (which is insane!).  I have to go through the details, but there is a good chance that I'd be able to get 4 more IVF cycles.  Including a potential donor egg cycle if it turns out that my eggs are truly crap.  I have until Thursday to figure the whole thing out.  This potential gives me so much relief, but I'm trying not to get my hopes up.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Thank you

I dropped off a note to my RE today to say thank you.  Here's what it said:

I wanted to write to you to thank you for the care that you specifically, as well as the other physicians and staff in the clinic, have provided to me. My journey to try and have a baby has been bumpy, and I truly hate the fact that it involves a whole team of physicians and nurses. However, I do appreciate that you are straightforward and honest, while also being considerate of the toll this whole process takes on your patients (I imagine a bunch of hormonal women make for an emotionally fragile patient population). I appreciate that you treat me like a person, take the time to answer all my questions, explain things to me countless times, and that you acknowledge that I have choices in my path toward motherhood.


As I find myself on a break in my IVF journey, I wanted to stop and thank you for the kindness and compassion that has been shown to me so far. Infertility sucks, and I hate that I have to go through all of this, but I feel better knowing that I have a great team of physicians and nurses to help me navigate this path.

I had hoped to be writing him a note to thank him for my beautiful baby, and maybe one day I will have that opportunity.  But, I just felt compelled to stop now and thank him now so that he knows that even if I don't get my "take home baby" after all this crap, what he does is important and helps people.  And gives me some hope.  I want him to know that.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Ups and Downs

I had a pretty good weekend.  Last night, M and I were watching Law and Order: SVU, and I made a joke about something and we both started laughing out loud.  Then, I stopped.  I remembered that I lost my baby, and I stopped.  I feel guilty almost for being happy, even though I feel I am forever changed from having been pregnant and miscarried.  I had a hard time sleeping last night.

Sundays are hard.  I don't have many obligations typically on Sundays other than to get my shit together for the next week, clean my house, and do errands and chores.  I'm usually busy, but there is a fair amount of unstructured activity.  It's hard. 

It's been 3 weeks and 2 days since I miscarried.  I miscarried at 7w3d, which means I only knew I was pregnant for 3w3d before I lost the baby.  This week we'll tip towards having been not pregnant longer than I was pregnant.  It was such a short time, but I still feel the loss so acutely.

I am going to take some time today to plan some goals for myself for this week.  I've thrown myself into diet and exercise, so that should help.  But, I need a project to do after work.  I find myself drawn to the internet to (1) read blogs about people who have experienced pregnancy loss and are now pregnant, (2) to enter search terms into Pubmed to try and do my own research on my future IVF protocol, (3) Googling my doctor's name with the hope of finding stories about how he created miracles from crap.  I'm trying to research this to death as if something I find will make all the difference.  This isn't a normal problem.  I can't fix it by knowing the facts.  I can do everything right; my doctor can do everything right; and we can still not end up with a baby out of all this heart ache.  So, I need a project.  Maybe a few of them. I need something to dive into and lose myself in.  I'm open to suggestions. 

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Infertility - the Musical

As I was playing with my new iPhone (a gift from M after the miscarriage) and trying to download material from iTunes, I ran accross the soundtrack for Infertility Musical: the musical that's hard to conceive, and I downloaded it.  It is funny in a completely inappropriate way, while also getting the whole infertility thing.  I listened to half of it this morning during my treadmill workout.  From Googling it, it appears that it was Off Broadway back in 2004-2005.  I'd recommend it if you're looking to find the light-hearted side of all this bullsh.it.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Follow-up to the Follow-up

I had my WTF appointment with Dr. B today.  M and I took the day off of work.  Our plan was to go to the appointment at 11:30, have lunch, then see a movie.  We arrived for our appointment and were told that it wasn't on his schedule and had been canceled.  I freaked out.  However, the receptionist told us that it was ok as he did have time to see us.

We waited about 15 minutes, then Dr. B came to take us back to the consultation room.  I like him.  He is kind and compassionate but also straight-forward.  He isn't going to cheer you on by saying he "has a good feeling" but he will say, honestly, that you shouldn't give up hope.  He will also say, if appropriate, that he doesn't think this will work. I think that M. would like it if he did more cheer leading, but I appreciate the candor and honesty.  Here's the rundown on the WTF meeting:

  • There was no tissue from the D&C, therefore he is only speculating that my miscarriage, and all the freaking bleeding, was a symptom of poor embryo quality.
  • We talked about future risk.  He said that he doesn't really know.  That in a "normal" pregnancy, risk of recurrence is about 15%.  However, in my situation, since I've had such crappy egg quality and fertilization, it could be as high as 50%.  That sucks, thank you very much.
  • Prior HSGs have show evidence of a uterine polyp.  Apparently, some of my ultrasounds have shown that as well (who knew).  Therefore, he wanted to schedule me for a hysteroscopy to check it out and remove anything that is there.  I'll do that after I start my period.
  • He recommended antiphospholipid antibody testing, and another blood test as well.  I appreciated that I didn't have to push for these tests.
  • I asked Dr. B if there was anything I could do to improve my chances of success.  He said that there is some evidence that losing weight could help with both IVF success rates as well as incidence of miscarriage.  He recommended trying to lose 10% of my current weight.  I have been reading this as well, and I do think he was sugar coating a bit on this one.  We agreed that I would take some time off before my next cycle to try and focus on losing weight.  I think this is also good as it will give me an opportunity to get my head together a bit more.
  • We talked about what we could do differently from a medication perspective to increase my chance in my next cycle.  He wants to try an Antagonist protocol with the hope that that will increase my eggs retrieved and # of mature eggs.  I've read mixed reviews so far on Ganirelix protocols, but some of the literature does seem to suggest that it might be helpful, and will certainly be easier to manage.  If anyone has experience with this, I'd love to know.

M is feeling a bit down after this appointment, but I'm feeling a bit more positive.  I have a plan now.  I don't need to second guess things.  I have some things that I can do to proactively move forward, as well as a new protocol lined up for when we start.

I've done my homework, and I know that the chance of miscarriage is still pretty high for us.  That are odds aren't great that we'll get a "take home baby".  I never want to go through a miscarriage again.  Ever.  But, I'm not willing to not try for a baby just to prevent miscarriage.

In other news, I'm still bleeding.  It stopped for a few days, then started up again.  I've been bleeding for almost 3 weeks since the m/c.  And, really, off and on for 9 weeks since the pregnancy.  I'm ready for it to stop.

We didn't end up going to the movie.  Our heads were exploding, so we came home.  M. is sleeping on the couch with the big puppy as we speak.  They're spooning, so it's pretty cute.






Sunday, September 27, 2009

The space in between

I feel at loose ends.  I'm no longer pregnant, and no longer trying to get pregnant.  During the short time that I was pregnant, I imagined this fall, and how far along I'd be every week.  I'd imagine and plan out the things I would be doing: shopping for maternity clothes, clearing out the soon-to-be baby's room, etc.  I'd imagine how I'd look and feel and what I'd be doing as a pregnant woman.

I'm no longer pregnant, and what I imagined isn't true.  I am also not trying to get pregnant for the time being.  I feel confused and out of sorts.  I'm just me right now, and I don't remember what that's like.  I'm not sure what to do with myself right now, and it's harder than I thought it would be.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Show and Tell



This is my first time participating in Show and Tell, so hopefully I don't screw it up!

This is a picture of me and my "lap-dog" Ryno.  Ryno is an English Mastiff that we adopted when he was 8 months old from Friends of Rescued Mastiffs.  He was supposed to be my husband's dog, but he turned out to be a giant mama's boy!  When he sits on you like he is in this picture, you really can't breathe.  He weighs approximately 185 pounds, but is really such a sweetie.  He likes to snuggle, and get belly rubs, and lay on the couch.  He is a true couch potato, often refusing to go outside because he doesn't want to get up.  His is completely NOT a guard dog, and wants nothing more than to love everyone to death.
In this recovery period after my miscarriage, Ryno is one of the things that can bring me joy on a daily basis.  I just love him!

Now, go check out what the rest of the class is showing!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Always in my heart

Yesterday was a rough day and a good day. I started my morning by having myself a good cry while listening to sad songs. High on my playlist right now are "Tears in Heaven" by Eric Clapton, and this song called, "Glory Baby," by Watermark. It's a Christian song - which is normally not my taste, and it is a bit sappy, but the lyrics are all about miscarriage. I know it sounds like torture, but I listen to these songs and sob.

I received the Baby Loss memorial necklace that I bought in the mail yesterday. I love it and think it's beautiful (see picture). I bought it on etsy from "Peace of Mind's" etsy shop . The text in the ad says,

"This necklace was designed to be a special keepsake for mothers who have lost their little ones. The dotted heart charm reminded me of a tiny baby who will always be in their mother's heart. The pearl represents the mother's new angel."

I love it. I bought a 30 inch chain and am wearing it on that so it hangs right down by my heart. The seller packaged really nicely with a note saying that she hoped it brought comfort to the mother. Of course I cried.

The rest of the day was spent with extended family celebrating my mom's 60th birthday. I received lots of love and support from them as they've all heard my news. However, it's hard for me to talk about it without crying. I did have one moment where I had to leave the room. My sister-in-law is about 22 weeks pregnant. My uncle was talking to her about her pregnancy and how she felt in the early months. They had a large discussion of morning sickness. I felt like chiming in, until I remembered that I'm not part of that club anymore. Then, I started sobbing as the conversation reminded me of everything that I've lost. I had to leave the room. I'm happy for them, and I'm not jealous, but it still hurts.

I feel a little better and like I might be moving toward healing. I don't feel so much like I live in a horror movie like I did a week ago.

Friday, September 18, 2009

One week

One week ago, I woke up feeling good. Feeling full of energy, happiness, and life.

One week ago I was pregnant.

One week ago, I lost my baby.

I'm struggling right now. I didn't cry Friday or Saturday. I think I was too numb, and in too much physical shock to cry. Ever since Sunday, I've been crying. I sit in my office at work and cry. I cry myself to sleep. I went to bed last night feeling at peace, woke up the same way, and said to my husband that maybe I wouldn't cry today. 1 minute ago I just broke down and sobbed.

I miss my baby. I want him back.

I am scared for the future. How do you get the courage and hope needed to try this again?

I'm trying to move forward little by little. I've made my WTF appointment for 10/1. I made an appointment for the psychologist in the RE's office for next Wednesday. I am trying to focus on getting myself healthy. I've lost almost 10 pounds so far, and I'm planning on joining Weight Watchers on Sunday. I'm reading The Fertility Diet, and will try to incorporate some of those strategies into my plan. I've been walking my dog, trying to engage my mind, and making plans for the fall. My husband, my family, friends, and my boss have been incredibly wonderful and supportive. I am leaning on them quite heavily.

I still feel a bit of peace today. I know that time is healing. I know my baby is in Heaven right now. I know I have an Angel Baby, and that gives me comfort. I also know that God will bless me one day by allowing me to be a mommy. And, I know that my husband has promised to make that happen one way or the other.

I still miss my baby though, and probably always will.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Back to work tomorrow

I've been laying low at home since Friday, but tomorrow I head back to work. I'm kind of both dreading it and glad to be going. I'm hoping it's really busy with unimportant work to keep my mind occupied.

I'm dreading it because I can hardly bear for my husband to be out of the room for 5 minutes, and now I'll have to be away from him for 9 whole hours. I'm dreading it because the last time I got dressed for work, my baby was still alive. And, a few short hours later, he died. I'm dreading it because I can't make myself do anything and now I have to put on a good and brave face at work.

Thankfully, the people I work with are being super cool. It's funny, I didn't want to tell anyone I was pregnant because I didn't want to have to tell them that I miscarried. I wouldn't let my mom tell anyone either. Now that I miscarried, my mom told my home family, the lady at the grocery store, her friends, everyone. And, I'm the same way. Everyone at work, who I didn't want to know I was pregnant, all know I miscarried. At the same time I don't want to talk about it, I want to talk about it with everyone.

I made an appointment with my RE for a WTF consultation. I have a list of questions for him, and I hope to make some decisions on when to try again and what plan to put into place. I'm moving forward, barely and with a heavy heart.

I spent my whole morning crying. I'm hopeful that I can pull it together tomorrow.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Oh, here's the grief

The grief train has hit me like a ton of bricks today. I sat on the couch this morning sobbing hysterically. My dog, instead of being comforting, started barking at me. Awesome. My husband and I sat there together and held each other while we cried for our baby. That's how it's been off and on all day today.

We've been trying to figure out how to memorialize this pregnancy. I've purchased myself a pendant I found out etsy to remember a lost pregnancy and a super long chain so I can wear it close to my heart. I think I'm going to make a collage or something to keep in a private place with the few mementos that we have - the embryo picture prior to transfer and the picture from our 6 1/2 week ultrasound. I'm not sure what my husband is going to do.

I feel like I'm living in a horror show. Everything is such bullshit, and I don't care about anything. I so want to have a baby and I'm so afraid that I won't, but I need the hope right now. I was just at my parents for dinner, and my dad went on for 15 minutes about adoption. That almost killed me right now. I still see my baby, like I last saw him on the ultrasound on Friday morning.

I can't make any decisions right now. I can barely function today. I was proud of myself for showering. I'm taking off Monday and Tuesday for sure. Tomorrow I'm going to spend with my mom, and I'm hoping that's not a mistake.

I'm sure this is a very rambling post.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

7 weeks 3 days - miscarriage

I'm empty and barren. Yesterday was very traumatic, but this morning, I can't even cry. I'm sad, but just feel - empty.

As I was getting ready for work yesterday, I started to feel cramps. I had to lay down while blow drying my hair. I went to the bathroom - and again, a huge flow of bright red blood. I finished getting dressed, and we decided that my husband would drive me to the clinic - which is near my office - and I'd go in and call when I was done.

They did an ultrasound, and there was my baby, heart beating away. He looked so much bigger than when I saw him on Tuesday. The doctor thought he saw a blood vessel nearby that was bleeding, and I was sent home. They told me that this was strange that it was so separate from the pregnancy, and that it sometimes happens, and that there was a good chance things would still be fine.

I didn't get very far as I started to feel light headed, so they put me in another room to lay down, they called my husband and had him come over, and they fed me some juice.

We went home, and things started to get dicey. Every 15 minutes I was bleeding through a thick pad, going to the bathroom, passing a clot, and then needed help to get to the couch. I called the doctor back, and he had me come back in. They weren't sure what they were going to do with me.

We drove back to the hospital. As we were trying to walk from the car, I almost passed out a couple of times. We had to stop and sit down. I finally got to the clinic and they took me back. My doctor didn't start with an ultrasound for some reason. I think he said that everything looked so good this morning, that they were looking for the source of bleeding.

He started off by putting pressure on my cervix - not fun. The bleeding didn't stop. My doctor was discussing admitting me at this point. I heard him discussing my case with the other attendings in the hallway. Two attendings came back in and did a doppler to look for sources of bleeding. They found a few, but then they also discovered that the baby was no longer there. That perfect little baby I saw this morning was gone.

They scheduled me for a D&C right there in the office. I'm empty.

My special little secret is gone. I'm not as devastated as I thought I'd be, but I am mourning all the hope I had for this baby. I'm trying to figure out how to move forward, and think that I need to take a break. I'm sure in the next weeks I'll make some decisions. I'll try IVF again as my insurance will pay for two more cycles.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Awesome parents

My mom and dad are just the best. They've been so excited about this pregnancy, and I have be squashing them left and right. My mom wants to tell the whole family, and I keep telling her I want to wait - which she doesn't get. She's exuberant, and I'm nervous and low key. My dad wants to have a toast with sparkling grape juice, and I say no.

After all the drama regarding my womb lately, we've all been through the ringer. Yesterday, when I got home from work, I found a note from mom to me in the dog's cookie jar. (She lets the beast out every day, and we pass messages and books through the cookie jar.) Enclosed was US magazine, a starbucks gift card, and a gift card to a chic-chic salon for a pedicure. I love it! A gift of pampering for me after all the stress.

My parents are just the best.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Can you feel my heart beat?

Umm... I can't feel it, but I sure saw that suckers heart beat this afternoon. Thank God! I am so relieved. We are still in the "cautiously optimistic" stage according to my RE. I am 7 weeks today, and the embryo is measuring 6 weeks 4 days. However, I transferred a 2 day old, 4 cell embryo and a 3 day, 5 cell embryo. Once we reminded the RE about these statistics, he said that we are pretty much in the normal range. He didn't see any signs of bleeding, and things looked ok. I go back to the RE next Tuesday, and probably at least one more time before graduation.

I am feeling so much more optimistic today. What a relief. Thank you everyone for all of your support after my trauma. It really kept me going.

Now, planning on eating pizza and camping out on my couch.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

6w5d pregnant and spent the morning in the E.R.

I've been trying to keep a low profile lately with this pregnancy. I've just been so nervous to believe too hard that it was real.

Last week Sunday, I had a bit of spotting and bleeding and completely freaked out. I called in sick on Monday and went to the RE to get an ultrasound. I was certain my baby was gone. However, the ultrasound looked good, and the doctor was quite reassuring. So, I let myself hope again. My next ultrasound is scheduled for Tuesday - and we were hoping to see a heart beat.

This morning, I woke up feeling wet. I ran to the bathroom and completely bloodied the toilet. Went back the bedroom and saw that the bed was completely bloodied. I put a pad on, and soaked through that in 20 minutes. My house looked like a crime scene. I made a somewhat frantic call to the on-call doctor. She advised that with all the bleeding, I needed to get to the ER. I ended up soaking through two more pads by the time I got to the ER. Then - time stood still. It took forever in the treatment room to be seen - but I totally get that we weren't life threatening. Anyway, after 2 hours, I got up to go to the bathroom. I had bled through another hospital strength pad. As I was "going" I felt this huge thing whooshing out of me. I had passed a golf-ball sized clot. I went back to my room, and told my husband that I was certain the baby was gone. A few minutes later they did an ultrasound. To my surprise, the bleeding had stopped and they were able to see the baby on the ultrasound. After an Rh shot (?), I was discharged.

Apparently, I had a subchorionic hematoma. The bleeding completely stopped after I passed the clot. Now, we just sit and wait some more. I have another ultrasound on Tuesday. We will be 7 weeks on Tuesday, and should be far enough along that a heart beat is detectable on ultrasound.

At this point, I have some hope, but am not that optimistic. I'm just trying to stay calm and relax and let myself be pampered. My family is awesome. My husband is waiting on me hand and foot. My mom came over and cleaned up my house while I was in the ER, and my dad took my dog for a long walk as well. Totally helpful.

So, now we wait.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

3rd Beta

My third beta was 148. Thank goodness it continues to double. Next step - OB ultrasound on 9/1. In the meantime, I went shopping for a whole bunch of healthy food, and am learning all the "rules" of being pregnant. So, far I feel good. A bit tired, a bit nauseous, a bit dizzy at times, but pretty good.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Thankful Thursday

I feel that I have so much to be thankful for today, yet I'm not yet at a place where I can be excited about my pregnancy. I guess I really am pregnant. My insurance company sent me a whole bunch of information on pregnancy yesterday. They sure are quick! Wish they were as quick reimbursing me for medical expenses I submit to them, but I digress.

I think this is slowly sinking in. I hope to be able to feel more of the joy of this experience each day. Tomorrow I go back for another beta. I'm hoping for 116! I need to see a heart beat to feel like this could actually happen. Until then, I hope and wait every day that this could work. I know that seeing a heart beat is no guarantee of delivering a healthy baby, but it sure would be more reassuring than a blood test!

Today, I am thankful for:

1. My husband who bought me my first pregnancy gift yesterday. He gave me What to Expect when you're Expecting (and a chocolate bar). I don't have any pregnancy books, so I was very happy to have this resource (and the chocolate).

2. Vacation in 2 weeks! We're headed to Boston, Bar Harbor, and Niagara Falls. Can't wait!

3. A chance at being a mom. A week ago, I thought my chances were next to nothing. Today, I'm actually pregnant.

Thank you, internet, for all of the support you have shown me these past weeks. I'm still so thankful for all of you!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Doubling Beta!!


My beta today was 58! Up from 22.9 on Monday. Can I be happy now?

Back on Friday for my next one.


Monday, August 17, 2009

Oh My God!

I'm literally in shock. My nurse just called me ten minutes ago and said,

"Congratulations!"

My beta was 22.9. They wanted it to be over 20. I go back Wednesday.

The bleeding has stopped.

I'm totally freaked out. I don't know what to do. Is this real? Will it work? I'm obsessively googling to try and find out what a Beta of 22.9 on 10 days post 3 day transfer means, but I can't find anything.

I want to throw up. I want to cry. Right now, I am pregnant.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

9dp3dt

My optimism is fading fast. I'm still spotting - alternating between a barely anything spotting, and a heavier bleed. I'm convinced we'll get a BFN tomorrow.

I've been having a hard time sleeping lately too as my worries keep waking me up. I'm not thinking that we realistically have a very good chance of bringing home a baby after IVF. Assuming that I'm right and this is a BFN, we would have gone through 2 IVF cycles and only achieved 2 embryos - and not really great ones at that. So, I'll have a consultation with my doctor and figure out what our chances are. I'm also considering taking a break until January and trying to lose some weight and get in better shape. But, I also have to consider if we should continue down this path or do something else?

I think all the time about how to build our family. If IVF doesn't work, what do we do? Do we give up, or try to build a family in other ways? Can we afford adoption? Should we consider foster care? International adoption vs. domestic? How would my family react to an interracial adoption? What about donor eggs/ sperm? How can we afford any of this? Are we too old / too fat / too crazy to adopt?

I worry all the time. I can't sleep. I have crazy dreams. I worry about Christmas, and dealing with the birth of my new niece or nephew at that time, and again thinking that one day, M and I will be the old Aunt and Uncle that have no family and no where to go for .

I wish for and hope for and desperately WANT good news tomorrow, but I don't think that will happen. Beta in the morning. What a great way to start the week.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

6dp3dt - and Thankful Thursday

Today I started spotting. A tiny bit so far. I'm completely freaked and absolutely certain that this didn't work, while trying to convince myself that this is implantation bleeding. Dr. Google says that it could be anything and there is nothing to do about it. Could it be my period? How soon would I get it, and would Progesterone prevent it? Anyone? I think I'll call the IVF nurse tomorrow to see.

In an effort to try to turn my mood around, here is another installment of Thankful Thursday:

1. My mom pulled weeds in my backyard today while she was taking my dog out for his afternoon constitutional. Gotta love that!

2. Soon, I go on vacation. Some blissful time away from all the madness of work and IVF sounds so fabulous!

3. My sister is fabulous and always good for a laugh. I need it on days like today.

4. Only 4 more sleeps until I have my beta and end this horrible waiting.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

5dp3dt

As you can tell from the title, I'm 5 days post 3 day transfer. I'm doing the obsessive symptom evaluating - however I know that each symptom can be attributed to the progesterone. It is so bizarre to think of what can be going on in my body right now.

I'm trying to live in gratitude every day for having this chance and opportunity to become a mother. I've spent some time praying and talking to my embryos telling them how much they are wanted, providing encouragement, and letting them know that as long as they do their best, we'll be happy. We'll love them, the mere possibility of a baby, despite what happens.

I am alternating planning for pregnancy with making a contingency plan for a BFN. I find out my results on Monday, and I am not looking forward to getting that news at work. However, I don't want to POAS. I don't think I can take the disappointment. I have a lunch planned with my good friend on Monday to hopefully celebrate but also perhaps have consolation.

Friday, August 7, 2009

A little pregnant

I am home safe after the transfer of 2 little embryos. One 5 cell and 1 4 cell. A little behind the curve, but hanging on nonetheless. One of those is a day 2 embryo, so it hasn't had as much time to catch up.

There is still one little 2 cell embryo hanging out in the lab. So, we'll see what happens with that.

I'm happy and content right now. We've done all we could and it's out of our hands now.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Thankful Thursdays

I've noticed several other bloggers taking time on a regular basis to reflect on what they're grateful for. In this big suck of infertility, there is much to complain about, and I do that quite a lot. So, I thought I'd steal the gratitude idea with the hope at looking at the bright side on a regular basis.

Therefore, I am thankful for:

1. The three little embryos that resulted from this IVF cycle. I'm especially thankful for the fact that my two little eggs that could matured overnight and fertilized successfully. Even if the embryos stop developing before the transfer, I'm thankful for their existence now.

2. My "fur family" of three lovely cats and one lovey and giant dog. There's nothing like the love of a pet. Although, it does leave something to be desired when the cat jumps on my stomach 3 hours after egg retrieval, nor when the dog (who weighs 180 pounds) lays on me. But, it is love!

3. That my dad somewhat awkwardly called to congratulate me on my 3 embryos. That's a weird conversation, but sweet.

4. That my transfer is on a Friday. Kinda three day weekend!

5. Only 5 weeks until vacation!

6. All the support I've received from the ALI community. XOXOXO

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Fertility Report

I actually have a fertility report! It's not great, but it's a hell of a lot better than last time.

Now, to the nitty-gritty.

I had 3 mature eggs out of 8. Of those 3, 1 fertilized normally, 1 didn't fertilize, and 1 fertilized abnormally. (Not sure what that means). They had 2 eggs mature today, and they've ICSI'd those. So, I have 1 embryo(!), 1 maybe embryo that they're watching, and maybe 2 more coming on line.

I'm tentatively scheduled for a transfer on Friday.

Considering that I was expecting the worst, I'm pretty happy with these results. I have 1 embryo.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Post Retrieval

I apologize up front if this doesn't make sense. My head is still foggy, but I wanted to give my post ER report.

I slept terribly last night. I was up half the night with my cold, and just felt miserable. When I checked in to the procedure room, it was pretty obvious to the nurses that I didn't feel good. I just have to say, they took such good care of me.

First step, was to get and IV and vitals. My blood pressure was 168/98, my heart rate was up, and my oxygen saturation was low. They got the IV started to give me fluids, turned on a mellow CD, and shut the lights off so I could rest. Nice.

The fellow stopped in to introduce herself and give me the report on my stimulation cycle. I was disappointed to find out that I only had 8 mature follicles, and could only expect 66% of the follicles to produce eggs.

They got me all settled in the procedure room for the retrieval and made me all cozy with a nice warm blanket. Then, they started the drugs - versed and fentanyl. Unfortunately, they weren't that effective. Thank goodness for my personal hand-holder. Anyway, there were 6 people in the room, the nurse who kept calling me "lovie" who was in charge of my sedation, the other nurse who was helping out Nurse Lovie and was responsible for holding my hand, the attending, the fellow, a resident, and 1 or 2 other nurses. A party. The fellow started the retrieval, and I felt the pain. At several points I was moaning, and squeezing the hand, and writhing around. They tried to give me more meds, but my blood pressure was dropping so that was it. I felt like I was wide awake. I don't recommend this at all. It wasn't horribly painful, but definitely uncomfortable. I'd say a 7 on a 10 pt pain scale.

The attending recommended that I watch on the screen, which was a good idea. A nice distraction from what was going on. I think the fellow did the retrieval on the right side, and the attending worked the left because my left ovary hides behind my uterus and is harder to get to. They kept taking breaks to let me rest. At one point, the attending said they had one more to go and asked if he should go for it, or if they should stop. I said go for it.

They ended up with 8 eggs, for which I was happy. I"m holding my breath for the fertility report tomorrow. (I did give my eggs a pep talk last night).

So, I just woke up from my nap, and am planning on diving into a lovely novel in a few minutes. I was given the "all-clear" to take some cold medicine, so I'm feeling a bit better.

Sorry for the rambling nature of this post. Wish me luck!

Monday, August 3, 2009

Really?

Just chiming in the night before my retrieval to say that I have a cold. I'm afraid to take anything until after the procedure. I'm not happy about that at all. My husband has one too, but we've both agreed that I'm the one deserving of the sympathy here.

Thanks for all the support for LFCA!

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Retrieval #2 coming up

I spent my weekend waking up before 6am to drive to the fertility clinic for an ultrasound and blood test. On both Saturday and Sunday. Not my ideal way to spend a weekend. But, finally, I'm nearing the end of this journey. I'm scheduled for my retrieval on Tuesday. I am planning on taking Wednesday off from work as well. I don't want a repeat of the crying in my office thing that I had last time, and I think I'd be too nervous otherwise. So, this is looking like it will be a short work week for me. At least that's a good thing.

I was looking over my blog posts from IVF #1. It's amazing how positive and optimistic I was. It's actually laughable. I was worried about having enough embryos to freeze for a frozen cycle. Can you imagine? Now, I'm just focusing on the goal of having this cycle produce 1 embryo. Getting to transfer will be a bonus.

I'm ok with my cynicism. That's more my nature anyway. I'm not usually little miss sunshine. Here's hoping I'm pleasantly surprised this week!

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Day 8 - Let the whining begin

Today will be my 8th day of stims. I am really feeling beaten up at this point. I don't remember feeling so terrible, but then again, maybe I was excited to be progressing. I am exhausted, I feel sore all over, and I'm bloated and uncomfortable. Someone please tell me that I'm not alone in having these symptoms. I'm starting to freak out a bit. My sister recently had 5th Disease. She had really bad joint pain as her main symptom. I hear it's contagious and that if you get it while pregnant, it could be fatal for the fetus. I wasn't around her when she had it, but I don't know how long she was contagious. Dr. Google says that joint pain and muscle aches (which I have) could be a side effect of Follistim.

At my last u/s I had 5 follicles between 10 and 13, and my E2 was 904. I'm trying not to compare to last cycle, but it's hard. Then again, last cycle I had a big fat cyst and that could have messed up my numbers. I'm hoping for a retrieval between August 1st (unlikely) and August 6th.

If this cycle doesn't end successfully, I think I'll need a break. IVF feels just so hard on my body and my mind.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

A question of support

I have been a pretty crappy ICLWer this cycle. My laptop was attached by some virus and was completely fried. My husband finally fixed it today. So, I've been trying to keep up on my comments, but I didn't keep track of how many I was posting, so I'm not sure how much catch-up I need to do.

The reason I signed up for ICLW is that I so appreciate the support that I get from the IF community. It helps to make this bearable.

IRL, I've been pretty open about our If struggles and journey. The reason we've decided to be open is that I don't want to "lie" by omission to my family and friends, and I thought I'd need the support. What I've discovered is that I don't always get what I need. My mom is very supportive, but it feels like the rest of my family and friends are afraid to ask me about it, so they ignore it. All I want is for them to occasionally ask how I'm doing.

Additionally, my SIL is currently pregnant after IVF with ICSI. You'd think that she'd ask, but she doesn't. She's in her own little happy pregnant world and isn't thinking about me at all.

I guess I'm a little bitter. And, to be honest, maybe a bit emotional. I'm heading into the last week of stims and I'm dreading it a bit. I just know that I'm going to get increasingly more uncomfortable.

Ok, off to ICLW comment!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Oh so stimulating

I'm shocked and amazed to find out that after a "normal" interval of Lupron, I'm ready to start stims. Amazing to me after last cycle when I wouldn't reach baseline. Tonight I shot up with 225 of Follistim, and we're looking at retrieval sometime between August 1st and August 6th.

I'm currently enjoying my evening watching an encore of my Chicago White Sox and Mark Buehrle pitch a perfect game. Amazing! It's exciting to watch even though I know the outcome.

A good night...

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Getting to know you. Getting to know all about you.

Welcome ICLW ers! This will be an interesting ICLW for me as my computer is broken. Completely fried by a virus I received while reading entertainment news on MSN. Bummer. It is currently in triage while we try to restore it's functionality. So, I'll be ICLWing on my work computer during my break. I'll do my best to keep up with the commenting!

For those of you new to my blog (WELCOME!), I thought I'd start the week by sharing some getting to know you facts about me. Some relevant facts, and some just for fun. So, here goes!

1. My husband and I are dealing with male-factor infertility. Therefore, we jumped right to the top of the heap with IVF with ICSI.

2. Our first attempt at IVF was a big fat failure with 0 (zero, nada, nilch) eggs fertilized.

3. We are about to embark on IVF # 2, assuming that the cysts I've been battling go away and STAY AWAY!!!

4. I am currently shooting up with my friend Lupron. Last night, I gave myself a shot in my thigh, and must have hit the wrong spot as blood started streaming down my leg and I have a huge bruise.

5. Lupron make me SO tired. I'm sure I'm not the only one.

6. I love my husband to death. We've been married for 10 1/2 years and have been through our set of ups and downs but he's still my best friend and biggest supporter.

7. Like a good infertile, I have surrounded myself with animals instead of children. I have a English Mastiff dog, and 3 cats. It's a zoo - filled with animal fur.

8. I love to do crafty stuff, but some of my joy for that has waned during this infertility craze. It's hard to make scrapbooks, and knit and sew when I always planned on doing those things to share a bit of myself with my future children.

9. I need a vacation so bad right now. But, I'm having a hard time justifying the cost. The vacation may just win.

10. My husband and I decided that we need something to focus on, so we're going to try to learn Spanish. Got my audio tapes all ready!


That's the highlights for now. I'd love to learn about you too. So, post a comment with the most interesting fact about you and where you're dying to go on vacation. Looking forward to getting to know everyone during ICLW!