Tuesday, April 27, 2010

What Might have Been

Today would have been my due date for the pregnancy I lost in September.

I know it is just a date, and in real life, doesn't mean anything.  But, I can't help but stop and think about what might have been.  What today could have looked like had things gone differently.  I could have been cursing about how uncomfortable I was and hoping that the baby would come any day.  I could have been holding my baby. 

But, life is what life is.  And, I'm not holding my baby.  And, I'm not pregnant.  And, I'm not cycling now or anytime in the future.  I'm waiting.

I am not as sad as I had thought I'd be.  I didn't even cry today.  In fact, I took a vacation day today and spent a wonderful morning with my husband and my dog hiking.  But, I cried on Sunday at Church when the little kids were making their 1st Communion, so you never know.

I'm sad about what could have been.  I feel that I've taken time to experience and mark the loss in a quiet way.  But, I'm thankful for the short time that I was a "mom." I am so glad that I had the opportunity to experience that miracle.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

A Sales Pitch in Adoption

Welcome all from ICLW!  I am so glad that I've decided to participate this month.  I'm connecting with new bloggers, which is great as I try to expand my blog reader to find other prospective adoptive families. I thought that, rather than do a big rehash of where we've been in our journey, I'd talk a little bit about where we are now.

M and I are currently looking into options for adoption.  After a lot of investigation, I believe that we have settled on open domestic adoption.  It excites me that we'll get to have a baby.  We are so fortunate to live in Chicago as there are many resources available.  We've had informational meetings with 4 local agencies.  Additionally, I have a personal connection to an adoptive family for three of the agencies.

So, let me tell you about the last informational session we went to last week.  It was the biggest sales pitch and worst customer service from an adoption agency that I have seen yet.  I have only just dipped my toe into the adoption pool, but I find that I have very strong feelings about what I think is ethical.  This agency pushed that envelope - big time.  I believe that as a prospective adoptive mom, I need to be well informed and educated.  So, like a good girl, I consulted my favorite ALI website and printed a list of the 20 questions to ask when interviewing an adoption agency.  We scheduled a 30 minute informational session during this agencies open house.  I sat down, and after a few minutes of small talk, we started going through my questions.  The social worker was vague.  Vague to the point that M was angrier than I've ever seen him.  As the conversation continued, the social worker continued to evade questions, and was trying to rush us along.  She kept saying that most of these questions would be answered at the informational sessions which are more in depth. She did go on about how successful they were in placing children, but then went on to take credit for the directed placements they helped to facilitate - other agencies excluded those as they didn't feel that they were an accurate description of their placements.

So, after she basically pushed us out the door, I asked what the next steps were (knowing that what I was thinking was that I'm never coming near this place again).  Apparently, there is a session where I can pay $350 and get ALL my questions answered.  And, after that, I should be informed enough to decide if I want to move forward with this agency.  I was horrified.  M was livid.  We both felt that they were preying on us, and, despite the fact that they were a non profit, were only in it for the money.  And, I can't actually figure out what they used the money for since the agency didn't even provide birth mother expenses.  The other agencies we've explored, including the big giant FOR PROFIT adoption law firm were more than happy to answer as many questions as we wanted, as often as we wanted - FOR FREE.

Needless to say, we won't be using them.  We hope to figure out definitively our plan in the next month or so, and sign with an agency later this summer.  That will give us time to get some more funds together, and will also allow for me to survive a super busy time at work.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Life, or Just a Dress Rehersal?

In contemplating the adoption option, M and I have discussed many different scenarios.  One tool that we have been using is to "try on" different outcomes.  We've decided to imagine how our lives would be if we were parenting a toddler, a school-aged child, twins, a biological infant, an adopted infant, and children of different races.  During these try outs, I've tried to imagine myself in different scenarios and picture what I would do, say, act like, feel like if I was living out this situation.  It has really helped us to fine tune our decision making process into what "type" of child we would be comfortable parenting, and has helped us to get used to situations that might be different or uncomfortable.

Another options to contemplate, and one I've been a bit afraid to consider fully, is the "child-free" option.  What would my life be like if we were child free.  I've been thinking about that option a bit lately, and it scares me a bit to realize how easily I could picture the choices I would make and the things I would do.  I think we'd live downtown, rather than the suburbs.  We'd travel - and go to Europe - preferably when an unpronounceable volcano isn't mucking up traffic and air quality.  Maybe we'd save our money for a vacation home (rather than a college fund).  I wonder if we'd make different career choices?  I think I would take more chances and explore the unfamiliar a bit.

Sometimes, it scares me with how exciting and carefree this life feels.  It would be so easy to give up and this child free life sounds kind of fun.  Then, I think further down the road.  When we're 50.  What will life be like then?  When we're 80?  Who is going to invite us for the holidays?  Will we always be the aunt and uncle who don't have anywhere to go?  Who will help me clean my apartment when I'm 82 and cannot see the dirt any longer?  Whose photos will I display on the wall?  Who will I tell my "when I was your age" stories to?  Who will get my scrapbooks and my collected family memories that I've been cherishing?  Whose wedding will I cry at?  Whose baby will I dream of and long to hold?  Who will miss me when I'm gone?

I contemplate and think and plan and wonder.  And, I realize, that I've lived the child-free life, and it isn't that exciting.  I shouldn't hold back on living now, and if I really am doing so, then I need to STOP.  And, I believe that child free living isn't for me.  I want it all.

Sunday, April 18, 2010


I was so excited that I didn't have any plans this weekend.  I was looking forward to a weekend of hanging out with M, watching TV, and reading.  Of course, reality was somewhat different.  For a plan-free weekend, I sure felt busy!  But, I was catching up on a lot of the stuff I've wanted to do - blog writing and reading, scrapbooking, knitting, and family time. 

I've been sticking with my "3 changes" so far.  Yesterday, I ran / walked for 30 minutes and did push-ups and crunches, and today I ran / walked for 40 minutes and did push-ups and sit ups.  I've also been logging all my food calories.  I've felt great.  I love the feeling of accomplishing goals that I've set for myself.  It was so nice to be outside too.  The weather was a bit chilly but the sun was shining.  It was actually perfect running weather.

So, now I'm hanging out on the couch again, catching up on work, and enjoying the sunshine. 

Saturday, April 17, 2010

I'm more than just an Infertile woman - the 3 Changes Challenge

I'm not gonna lie, I've been struggling lately.  I often have an "all or nothing" approach to life.  I'm in or I'm out.  That extends to relationships, crafts, my home, work, fitness, infertility and adoption.  In or out.  Lately, I've been half in the infertility world (do I do another cycle?  consider donor eggs), half in the adoption world (which agency? when), half into fitness (must lose weight for another IVF cycle, want to lose weight at a reasonable pace and KEEP IT OFF, who cares I feel crappy, so I want comfort food), and half into making my house more of a home.  In or out.  And, I hate it.  All or nothing doesn't get me very far.  I end up depressed, upset at not meeting my goals, and often, starting over again.  I'm trying to change that and live a more balanced life.

I'm more than just my infertility, and I'm going to start using this space to figure that out too.  In the end, I think it will make me a happier person, and make it so that I'm better able to deal with the curve balls thrown my way.

I've been trying to get into running again.  Back a few years ago, I was into running to the point where I ran the Chicago Marathon in 2006.  I enjoyed running alot.  But, again with the all or nothing, it was Marathon training our couch sitting for me.  I ended up sitting on the couch for quite a bit of time, doing NOTHING, gaining weight, and losing fitness.  I'm back to square one again, and trying to get to a healthy place with diet and fitness.  It is time to do this FOR ME.  Not because I want a baby, but because I want to live my life.

My sister has connected me to all of these wonderful blogs on fitness and crafts and fun stuff.  I've found this blog by Amanda called Run to the Finish.  She is having a 3 Changes Challenge and I am participating!  Basically, she is challenging us to pick three small or large goals that you can change or achieve over the next 30 days that can help you break through a plateau.  Sounds like what I need!  I've decided to focus on diet and exercise and getting over the "all or nothing."  My goals are:

1. Run 4 days a week for at least 10 minutes.  I hope to do more, but this will at least ensure that I can fit it in as scheduled, and that I'm at least doing SOMETHING!  I hope to use this to make running a habit and a lifestyle change.

2. Do 10 push-ups and 10 sit-ups 4 days a week.  Again, with strength training, I'm either doing NOTHING or an hour long workout.  I am hoping to build a habit of strength training.

3. Log my calories into My Daily Plate.  I am always either on or off a diet.  I want to build a habit of monitoring my calories every day, whether I'm eating according to a diet plan or going on a McDonald's binge.  I think it will help me in the long-run to develop some healthy eating habits along the way.

I will still talk about infertility and my adoption journey, but I need to shift my focus a bit.  I'm hoping that my regular supporters stay with me on this journey, and I hope to make some new friends along the way!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Boobs and a Blood Test

Way back during that minute and a half when I was pregnant last fall, I was having horrible pains in my left boob.  I couldn't even lift my arms without pain - the pain that makes you sweat it hurts so badly.  I can't remember if I ever discussed that here.  Anyway, after the m/s, I was still having pain, so my OB/GYN sent me for a mammogram.  The reading shows that I may have some potentially "complex cysts" and I was to have a repeat mammogram in May.  The pain pretty much disappeared - until this past month.  Again, my left breast was hurting.  I at first thought I was having some heart issue, but poking around my breast made me realize that it was actually my breast.  I don't have any lumps, but it hurts when I poke at it and kind of randomly aches.

Last week, I went to my internist for a regular annual check-up.  I am trying to not neglect the rest of my health while dealing with the drama that is infertility.  So, I sat in the exam room and shared the "what's new" of my past year with my 7 months pregnant physician.  Good times.  I also brought up the breast pain, and she wants to send me to a breast surgeon.  Uh, what?  And, apparently, when I was sick back in January, some blood tests came back wonky, so she wanted to repeat those.  The next day she calls me to say that my white blood cell count is slightly elevated and has been slightly elevated for a while.  She wants me to go see a hematologist.  Excuse me?  The hematologist who's office is conveniently located in the Cancer Center.  Not fun.

I'm trying not to freak out, and I have a feeling my doctor is just overly cautious.  In fact, I called my OB/GYN to get his opinion, and he doesn't think I need to schedule the breast surgeon at this time - he's comfortable with me waiting until after my mammogram.  Nevertheless, the first two weeks of May should be interesting as I head to a mammogram on May 6th, the hematologist on May 7th, and a follow-up with my OB/GYN the following week!

Thursday, April 1, 2010


Today is our one year IVF anniversary.  A year ago, M and I had our first shot class and orientation work-up for IVF.  A year ago, I assumed that I'd have resolution by now.  I was hopeful.

I've been noticing that I'm feeling more and more unsettled lately.  I think that all of this stress and ambiguity is affecting me in surprising ways.  I am on edge and feeling burnt out.  I'm a lunatic with unfinished projects.  On occasion, I'll just completely lose it with M because something wasn't done the way I wanted.  I want to control everything and nothing.  I've been having crazy dreams.  The past two days, I've woken up after a crazy dream and have felt "off" for a good portion of the day.  Last night, I had a dream that M was cheating on me with someone named Amanda.  It felt so real.  When I woke up this morning, I honestly couldn't convince myself that it was just a dream.  I had to call M into the room and ask him. 

It is to the point that I am having a hard time living with myself.  I'm making MYSELF crazy.  Poor M.  I'm not sure how he is putting up with me right now.  It can't be fun.

I wish I could say that one year from now things will be much better, but I can't.  One year from now, I could easily be in the same place as I am today.  There are no guarantees that I'll get resolution to our infertility ever - much less in one year's time.

Sunday, March 28, 2010


Yesterday, I had painters scheduled to come to paint one of our bedrooms (incidently, the bedroom that will one day become the baby's room one day.  It's a wreck!).  I hate being at home when workers are in the house, so I escaped to my sisters for the day.  We had a big day planned of shopping, lunch, and crafting.

As always, I had a great time.  It is so wonderful to have someone who is always there for me and always makes me laugh.  We went to the craft stores and stocked up on supplies as well as vegetable seeds, went out for buffalo wings, and walked her loony dog before we settled down and made the cutest (in my opinion) Burlap Spring Wreaths.  So much fun!  Here is some photographic evidence for you...

My sister working on her wreath.

My finished wreath.

S. with both finished wreaths.

Friday, March 26, 2010

On the outside looking in

I work in administration in a hospital.  During the course of my professional life, I often talk about medical procedures involving childbirth, miscarriages, tubal ligations, epidurals, c-sections, etc.  I also often talk about the patients undergoing those procedures.  Additionally, I also work most closely with 3 women who have all had their own children and are currently parenting (although one is the parent of two adopted children, which helps).  Today, at work, I had one of those moments where I felt left out and like I wasn't part of the club.  And, I hated it.  Everyone was laughing about how a woman should know what they are getting into with their second pregnancy and delivery, and how childbirth could be traumatic, and raising children is traumatic because you are lacking sleep and may be feeling that things are different that you expected, etc.  Everyone was laughing and sharing their war stories.  And I...I was politely smiling while flinching on the inside.  I want war stories too.  I want to be part of the club, a member of the secret society, and one of the insiders.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Feeling Peace

I'm so fortunate to live where I live and have so many adoption options to explore.  Last weekend, M and I went to the home of a work acquaintance who had recently adopted a daughter through domestic adoption.  I don't know D. very well, but we had talked last summer when he adopted his daughter.  He is just the nicest guy, and he so kindly invited M and I to his home to meet his baby and hear about his adoption experience.  It was great - and especially great for M to have an adoptive father he could talk to about all of this.  D is a single father, and has an open adoption with the baby's mother.  He had nothing but good things to say about his adoption experience, and it made us feel so hopeful.

Additionally, the husband of a woman I work with is the president of the board of another local adoption agency.  She referred me to this agency, and so far it is at the top of our list.  I like them because they are flexible with what they allow you to do, don't force you to go through a bunch of counseling on your marriage and fertility issues before you are allowed to adopt, and will even give you their blessing to continue to pursue fertility treatments while pursuing adoption.  I like that - my goal is to become a mother - one way or the other.

And, finally, my new sister-in-law used to work at another local adoption agency as an intern.  So, we have that introductory meeting scheduled in the next few weeks. 

I'm starting to feel at peace about this whole adoption process and almost excited that one day, one way, maybe way far into the future, I'll get to be a mom.  I am planning a last ditch IVF cycle this summer, and if that doesn't work, I'm all in for adoption.  Once I turn in our adoption packet (and my big, fat check), I'm even going to start knitting a baby blanket and booties.  For hope.  Because everyone knows a baby can't be born until their knitting is done.

Friday, March 19, 2010

The In-Between

Time has really been flying lately.  My husband and I have done a lot of adoption investigating and soul searching about what family planning route to take.  It's been a bit tough lately, but I feel like we're finally on the other side. 

Personally, I want to do another IVF cycle.  Having a miscarriage was HORRIBLE, and I definitely don't want a repeat of that.  But, I would go through that pain over and over and over again if it meant that I would have even a chance of having a baby.  I lost the baby at 7 weeks, 3 days, but for that short amount of time (really, 3 weeks or so), I felt that there was a baby inside of me.  I knew that our child was there.  To me, the pain of losing the baby was worth even that fleeting feeling of being a mom.  I know it doesn't make sense, but to me it is worth it.  We are currently planning on trying IVF once more this summer.  If that doesn't succeed, I think we will likely pack it in and move on to other things.  I plan on meeting with Dr. B in late spring or early summer and putting it all on the line for him then.

I invited myself to my brother's house tomorrow so that I can play with the 5 year old and hold the baby.  I need a baby fix and that will surely do the trick!

Friday, March 5, 2010

Getting my Learn On

I've been cramming in adoption knowledge lately.  I think we've pretty much ruled out international adoption (see previous post about the crazies).  So, we are trying to change our mind set and learn as much as possible about domestic adoption as possible.  Our goal is to have an agency picked out by mid-April some time. 

On Wednesday, M and I partook in a webinar for one of the agencies in our city.  It was super boring and took way longer than it needed too.  But, after getting through that pain, we realized that we learned alot.  They are a really experienced agency, but I did have a "corporate" feeling about them.

I've also been reaching out to other people that I know who have adopted, and that has turned into a wealth of information.  One of the physicians I work with has two adopted daughters, so I asked her what agency she worked with.  It turns out that her husband is the president of the Board of Directors of this agency.  She offered to sit down with us once we have some of our questions answered and talk about the process.  At which point I started to cry.  So, we are going to their informational session this coming Wednesday.  So far, I have a good feeling about this agency.  They seem to want us to become a family, no matter what we need to go through.  In fact, unlike Agency #1, they don't prohibit continuing fertility treatments, getting pregnant on our own, or trying anything else.  I like that.  But, we'll see how we feel after the informational session.

I've also sent away for a bunch of information on foster-adoption from the Dave Thomas Foundation (Thanks, Frau! - by the way, I'd love to e-mail you, but I can't find your e-mail address).

Next week, M and I are meeting with a nurse I work with who recently adopted a daughter last year as a single father.  He actually used Agency #1.  So, M and I are headed to his home next Sunday to talk about the process and meet his daughter.  I think that's so generous of him, and great for M since so much that I've read is geared toward the adoptive mothers.  Also, this guy's daughter is African American and he is white, so I'm curious to learn more about trans-racial adoption. 

Finally, I have the phone number of my father's co-worked who adopted several girls from China.  I plan on calling them and seeing if we can meet with them to talk about their experiences.

People are being so generous.  I am still learning and reaching out and trying to put together a new and expanded community to help through this adoption journey.

I still am not giving up on IVF, though.  I've actually discovered something really basic that could possibly be impacting my cycles.  This sounds stupid and elementary, so I wonder what you all have to say about it.  I have always "spotted" for 2 or 3 days before I started a heavy flow of menstruation.  I never thought anything of it and didn't know it was "bad" until I was asking Dr. Google about spotting when I was pregnant, which is when I discovered that this isn't normal and could be a sign of things being hormonally out of whack.  On top of that, when I've done IVF, I've always started the BCPs with the first sign of blood, so 2 or 3 days before I actually started bleeding.  So, I wonder if that matters?  I hope to meet with Dr. B and discuss it with him before I make any decisions.

This next month or so will be pretty busy, and I like that.  I am ready to make a decision and start this next journey.
And, finally, I want to explore donor eggs.  I've asked M to start thinking about it.  I'm not sure if that is the right decision for us, and I sort of doubt that Dr. B will give me the green light on that right now since he still thinks I could possibly have a baby with my own eggs.  But, I think it is something I should look into.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Angry and Frustrated

Warning - there will be venting.  This isn't pretty folks.

There will be no miracle baby for me.  I got my period this morning.  I knew better than to think that I could get pregnant the old fashioned way. 

I am feeling very frustrated and angry today.  I want to scream and cry and stomp my feet and shout that this isn't fair.  And, it isn't fair.  I should be able to get pregnant like a normal human, but I can't.  Adoption seems so complicated - and unfair as well.  So far, I've discovered (or fear) that several options in adoption may be closed to us because we are too fat, or too crazy, or not religious enough, or too unwilling to move to Kazakhtan for 2 months.  If I ever hear anyone say "just adopt" again, I may pop them.

I feel frantic.  I feel like I NEED to find a solution RIGHT NOW.  I need some positive forward progress.  And, it all feels like too much right now.  The frenzy I feel is not good and makes me wonder if I'll have the strength for this long road ahead.  Google is just as bad when you are considering adoption as when you are frantically searching for the solution to your infertility problems. Sometimes I wonder if we would be better off childless, but then I want to cry.  Is it so much to ask to just be a mom?

I'm not sure what the right answer will be for us.  Right now, I want someone to tell me what it is so that I can take a deep breath.  And, I'm really hoping that some calm and clarity settle in soon and that at least some of this frenzy is related to the fact that I do have my period.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Healing and contemplating the adoption option

I've been pretty ok since my big disappointment last week.  Surprisingly, I"m not sad just disappointed.  I'm still living in the faith that I will be a mom one day, one way.  My husband and I spent some time this weekend reconnecting and contemplating our options.  I've jumped right back on the Weight Watchers and exercise bandwagon.  I think I just need Dr. B to call me every couple of months and tell me to lose weight in his calming and non-judgemental way.  I swear, nothing gets me on program like someone telling me that I need to lose weight in order to have a baby!  

We've been seriously contemplating the adoption option.  Seriously to the point where I think that might be our next step.  I've been researching programs and agencies and starting to make a financial plan to make it happen.  My family has been awesome.  I have two brothers and a sister (and a mom and dad).  My siblings are all married as well.  I didn't want to have to retell my story to all 8 of them, so I talked to my Mom, Dad, and sister and sent a mass e-mail to the rest of the gang telling them what happened and asking them to think about and open their hearts to the possibility that their niece or nephew may be adopted and of a different race than they are.  Each of them sent me a wonderfully supportive e-mail.  They all expressed that they would love our child no matter what.  I cried (and my Mom cried because, naturally, they all hit "reply all" when they responded!). 

Additionally, my Mom and Dad have given us a wonderful gift.  Mom has said that if we adopt she would volunteer to provide childcare for the first year.  The savings in the alone would help us pay for half of the adoption.  This is pretty amazing for her to do.  I would never ask or expect that my Mom babysit - she has her own life.  But, if she did this for us, it would make the adoption option so much more feasible.

So, now I'm obsessed with researching adoption.  This weekend, my husband and I plan on making a financial plan to be able to afford the cash layout needed for adoption and hopefully we'll schedule an informational meeting with an agency or two.

I am struggling a bit with feeling at lose ends and not having anything to look forward to.  I was like this after my first failed IVF last summer.  So, I'm working on coming up with some personal goals to help myself move forward - books to read, knitting challenges, home projects, etc.  It helps me mentally to have goals and a way to mark the time.

I'll keep you posted.  I haven't ruled out pursuing IVF again.  I'm not sure if we'll do that this summer, or if we will go full steam ahead on adoption and "reserve" IVF for an attempt at a second child.  We shall see.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Day 8 - Busted Cycle

I went for monitoring this morning, and things did not work out as we had planned.  Although my estrogen rose to 923,  and I only had 4 follicles (21, 18, 14, 12).  The nurse wanted me to come back tomorrow and then talk to one of the nurse about possible canceling if the response wasn't any better.  I asked to talk to my doctor at that point.  He wasn't in the clinic, but in his academic office.  Dr. B called me back within 2 minutes.  We talked about my response this cycle, and said he didn't know why it was so lousy - actual word usage.  We discussed that I only had this last insurance paid cycle, and I didn't want to "waste" it.  Therefore, he thought is best to scrap the cycle. 

Dr. B and I talked a bit about future plans. I asked him his opinion on me waiting three months or so and working on losing weight in the mean time.  He thought that was a good idea.  I said to him that right now I know that I want to use the insurance-paid cycles that I have, and that I could physically and emotionally keep going through IVF until it worked, but at some point, when it becomes my own money, I need to figure out where to throw it.  He agreed with me and said that I have other options.  He said that you could also consider adoption.  I can't tell you how much it touched me that he said that.  To me, that was him acknowledging that I am choosing to work with his clinic and validating my option of adoption.  I also said to him that he had always been very honest with me and that I'm sure he would tell me if he didn't think this would work.  He responded that he thought it could work, and that I shouldn't give up hope, but that it was just a matter of figuring out the right protocol and time. 

After talking to my husband and a few hours, I paged Dr. B.  I don't think that is the normal protocol in contacting your doctor through the clinic, but he's been so nice about it before.  He called me back in about 5 minutes. I asked him if I would ovulate on my own, and he said that I wouldn't.  So, we talked about options and agreed that I could trigger tonight and try to get pregnant through the Baby Dance method.  I'm not holding out much hope that this will work, especially with a combo of crappy eggs and crappy sperms, but why not.  Of course, Dr. B had to caution that 4 eggs could equal 4 babies.  To which I responded, "Really?  Do we really think that will happen?"  Of course, he said no.  So, hubby is buying a bottle of wine or two and we're going to "be romantic" a bit this weekend.

I think I'm also going to really think about my options and what I need to do next.  I'm going to make a new game plan for losing weight.  I may sign up for a running race at the end of May as a goal to work towards.  I may also reach out to a co-worker of my Dad's who has adopted three daughters from China.  I think that in the next 3 months or so, M and I will need to figure out if we want to start down the path towards adoption now, and then possibly try IVF in a few years for a second child, or if we want to close one door before opening another. I'm not sure.  We are at the point where we may age out of some international adoption programs for my husband.  Additionally, I am approaching 34, and we all know what happens then with female fertility.  A lot to think about coming up.

I'm sad.  Really sad.  My husband is sad too - probably more so than I've seen him after one of these disappointments.  I think I will pull my baby loss necklace out of storage again and remember the life that once lived inside of me.  I think I might also book a mini getaway over Mother's Day weekend.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Day 6 - the freak out

I'm on day 6 of stims and I feel like I'm not getting anywhere.  My E2 was 625 and I have two follicles on my right at 15 and 19 and "some" less than 10 on my left and right.  This feels like I'll never get there.  They reminded me that I need 3 at 16 or greater for retrieval and that I might lose the 19. 

I am on a different protocol this time, so I can't really compare to last cycle.  However, last cycle at 8 days my E2 was at 904 and I had a handful between 10 and 13 and I think a few bigger ones.  I guess I'm just having that "last chance IVF" freak out where I'm concerned something will go wrong and the cycle will be a bust.  Hopefully not, but if it is going to bust, I'd like to NOT go to retrieval so that I can live to fight another day.

The nurse says that Dr. B. doesn't want to change anything and that I should come in again on Friday morning for another u/s and b/w.  I'm holding myself back from calling him directly.  If I lose the 19 I might.  I'm just in that uncomfortable waiting place and I hate it. 

Monday, February 15, 2010

Random observation on IVF #3

I started Ganirelix today.  My husband and I had the day off today.  We went downtown for my ultrasound and blood work, and then planned on going shopping, catching a movie, and getting groceries.  My nurse called me at about 10:30 to give me the results of my monitoring.  My estridiol is about 332.  I have several follicles under 10 on my left and right ovaries.  Additionally, on my right ovary, I have one at 16 and one at 13.  So, she told me to take my Ganirelix as soon as possible.  I was 45 minutes away at the time in Macy's.  It's a good thing I wasn't working because I was able to finish up my shopping and get home by noon inject myself.  I asked my nurse how I was progressing, and she said that I'm a little bit slow, but we'll see.  Hopefully this cycle isn't a bust.  I can't remember how big the lead follicle usually needs to get before you trigger.  I also don't have any experience with Ganrilex. 

Also, the injection sucked.  It felt like the needle was pretty thick.  I had a hard time sticking it in my thigh, and it felt like it stuck on the way out.  Nothing like Follistim which slides in like butter.  The Ganirelix has a warning, "do not take if you are pregnant or plan on becoming pregnant."  WTF???  I thought that was funny.  It also warns that it may cause headaches.  Since I've had a headache almost daily, I'm really excited about the prospect of that.  Good times.  Oh well, it will all be worth it if I end up with a baby one day.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

And were off!

I started stims on Thursday.  So far, so good.  It was a little strange giving myself my injection on Thursday.  It's been so long since I've had to do that, that both my husband and I felt a mixture of happiness and sadness about it.  But, I'm happy to have the chance again to have a baby, and am hopeful that the third time is the charm.

So far, I don't have any symptoms, but I did get to skip the Lupron this time as I'm on an antagonist protocol.  I've heard that Ganirelix can be a bit of a bitch, so we'll see.  I don't know if I'm imagining it or not, but I feel some twinges in my ovary region.  So, I'm hopeful that means that my ovaries are starting to ramp up.  I'm working on giving them some positive reinforcement.

I am trying to occupy myself during this cycle by focusing on taking some control of the rest of my life.  I've recently read a book called The Happiness Project and I loved it.  I'm inspired to take a more active role in what I do and surround myself with.  So, I'm working on organizing my house, I'm planning on clearing out my closet this weekend and getting rid or putting away all the clothes that don't fit or that I don't like.  I'm getting a haircut today and a new style.  I'm experimenting in the kitchen.  I'm studying for a professional certification exam.  I'm disconnecting from work on the weekend.  And, finally, I'm working on doing random acts of kindness for my husband.  All of this is helping me to feel like I'm making some progress in my life and in my goals, and distracting me from the BIG GOAL that I'm struggling to achieve.

I'm also super excited to be cycling during the Olympics.  Talk about a distraction!  I love it and really enjoy watching all the sports and the human interest stories.  It would have been ideal if the Olympics were during my 2 week wait, but not so much.

And finally, I just want to thank everyone who reads my blog for all the support.  It is amazing to be a part of this community and have a group of people out there who check in on me during this process and provide such wonderful support for me in all my ramblings.  I can't imagine going through IVF and the infertility struggle without a support group.  Thank you all for giving me such wonderful support!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Cautiously Optimistic or Self Preservingly Negative?

During IVF #2, I was easily in the cautiously optimistic camp.  I sought out statistics and used them to comfort myself with their soothing numbers and message.  I would tell my self that the success rate of my clinic was, on average, above 50%.  Therefore, it was likely that my IVF would be successful.  Once I got pregnant, I comforted myself by saying that the chances that I would carry the baby to term were very high.  Chances were that things would work out ok.  After I saw the heartbeat, I comforted myself with the statistics that said that once you saw the heartbeat the chances of miscarriage dropped way down.

I was clearly walking in the sunshine with a "half-full" glass.  And, we all know how that worked out.

So, as I embark on IVF #3 tomorrow, I am trying to decide which camp to belong to this time.  I know that no matter what I tell myself, my body is going to do what it wants.  I know, that if I should get pregnant, not feeling the joy of it won't keep miscarriage away.  Not sharing my happy new won't keep miscarriage away.  Not knitting baby clothes, buying a few baby items, thinking of life as a mom, and celebrating the secret joy of having a life inside of me won't keep me from feeling the pain if that life should slip away.  Life is short and pregnancy can be fleeting.  If I'm lucky enough to get pregnant again, I don't want to waste what little time I might have being afraid.  I want to celebrate while I can because I'd take the pain of miscarriage again just for the hope and opportunity to have a baby, even if I am never able to have one.  It's worth it to me.

On the other hand, statistics may not be so comforting to me this time.  I am trying a new protocol.  Which, hopefully will improve my crappy fertilization rates.  But, it might not.  Dr. B has told me that my odds of miscarriage could be 50% or higher.  Of course, this is a guess as we don't really know why I miscarried.

How do I balance this need to celebrate and be hopeful with this need to protect myself should I not get pregnant or should I miscarry?  I need a game plan to keep it together.

Monday, February 8, 2010

IVF #3

My morning started off with a bit of excitement.  I am still adjusting to the time change after vacation, and I had an early start this morning because I wanted to get to to doctor close to 7 a.m.  I had been forgetting to take my prenatal vitamins at night while on vacation.  I found them in my makeup bag this morning, so I popped one.  Well, about 45 minutes later I started to feel nauseous.  About 30 seconds later I was throwing up.  Happy Monday!

All is clear on my ultrasound..  That's the first time I've gotten the go-ahead on my ovaries at my baseline ultrasound.  Yeah!  The plan is that on Thursday I start with 225 of Follistim and I go back for my next ultrasound and blood work on Monday.  So, this is going to happen.

I'm trying to balance the hope with the fear right now.  I really want this to work, but I'm starting to get to the point where I want to know if it will work or not so I can move on. 

I also put away my baby loss necklace.  I think that I needed to close that chapter, at least for awhile, so that I can focus on the possibilities of lucky number 3.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

That was fun...

We are back in Chicago after our amazing and wonderful (and needed) trip to Hawaii.  We had the BEST time.  The first four days were spent on the North Shore of Oahu.  I loved seeing where my husband used to live back when he was in the Army - very cool to learn more about that part of his life.  Our resort in Oahu was great and we had amazing views of the ocean.  I loved just sitting out by the pool and watching and listening to the surf.  We went kayaking and saw green sea turtles while we were there.  Very fun.

We then moved to Maui, which is just gorgeous.  It is amazing how different the two islands look to me.  Again, the resort was gorgeous.  While in Maui we did a couple really cool things.  We went bike riding down the volcano - Haleakala - which was super scary but fun.  And, we went on a whale watching cruise and saw a ton of humpback whales.  That was so amazing, I can't even describe how cool that was.  We also spent plenty of time relaxing by the pool / ocean and enjoying sitting in a hammock and feeling the sun on our faces.

We both feel rested and relaxed and hopeful after our trip.  I even bought something for my future child - a little t-shirt that says "Little Turtle" in hawaiian.  I washed in and am putting it away for when I birth or adopt a baby.

We are now trying to get ourselves adjusted to the time change and get ready to jump into Monday and a new IVF cycle.  I have a baseline ultrasound tomorrow morning.  We needed this vacation so badly and enjoyed it so much, that I feel like I can handle what comes next.

Here are a few pictures of our trip to Hawaii.  Enjoy!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010


I am officially on vacation.  I'm at home today so that I can clean my house, do laundry, pack, take my dog and one of my cats to be boarded, and get my nails done.  The car comes for us tomorrow at 7am, and our flight leaves from O'Hare Airport at 10a.m.  I'll be in Hawaii tomorrow afternoon.

I am beyond excited about this trip.  I've wanted to go to Hawaii for 15 years - since I met my husband shortly after his Army stint in Hawaii.  In college, where I was a dietetics major (I am not in that field now), we ran a student restaurant, and all the students had to plan and serve a "theme" meal to paying customers.  My meal was a Hawaiian Luau.  I think that in speech class, I gave a speech about the Hawaiian Islands.  I've been thinking about this trip for years, and it has always been my dream vacation.

We'll be staying at Turtle Bay Resort for four nights, and the Hyatt Regency in Maui for 3 nights.  Our plans are to enjoy the islands, see the sun, kayak, snorkel, go see the volcano in Maui, and overall relax and reconnect.  And disconnect.  I'm hoping to stay off the internet, stay away from my e-mails, and step away from my "normal" life somewhat.  I need this trip, and I need to step away for a bit.

And, when I come back, we jump into IVF number 3.  My baseline ultrasound will be the Monday I return.  I'm hopeful about this cycle - which scares me.  I've always had it in my head that we would have children after we were able to go to Hawaii.  I'm so hopeful that this comes true.  As my husband says, through science or finance, we will have our family one day soon.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Finally Better!

After two weeks of being sick, I woke up this morning and finally felt a bit better.  I have only worked one full day this year, and have just been down for the count with some nasty virus.  I hit rock bottom on Thursday afternoon.  I was in so much pain.  My throat hurt so badly.  I was just miserable.  I went back to the doctor, and they told me that I could take much more pain medication than I had been taking.  I think that made the difference.  I was able to get past the pain and get some sleep which allowed me to finally start feeling better.  I can't tell you how good that feels!

I am planning on going to work tomorrow (weird!).  I don't even remember what that is like.  Today, I need to get myself together.  I'm a wreck.  My first mission is to get my nails done.  They look terrible!  So, I am determined to find a place to get a manicure today!  I also need to deal with my eyebrows.  Ugh!  I think I also need to replace some makeup after the illness, so that should be fun.  I need to keep myself from doing too much so that I don't relapse.

On the IVF front, I need to call my nurse on Monday and get her to order my medications.  I'll start my IVF cycle in February after my (much needed) vacation.  I am hopeful that maybe this will be successful.  If it is, I could end up with a baby by my husband's 40th birthday in November.  I can't imagine a better gift.  I'm trying not to get my hopes up too much, but I need to live in the light a little bit in order to have the courage to take this chance again.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

One step forward, 5 steps back

I may have spoken too soon in my last post.  I knit on my sweater for a few hours on Sunday, but then realized that I put one of the sleeves on upside down.  So, I have to now unknit the sweater.  Err!!!  Oh well, I'd rather it be right and I'm glad I caught it now.  That would have been tragic if I hadn't noticed the mistake until much later.  I still have sweater love.

And, despite my energy on Sunday,  I'm still sick and feeling worse.  I went to the doctor yesterday and was diagnosed with having a virus.  They gave me some inhalers and cough medicine and sent me on my way.  This morning, I woke up with pink eye.  So, I'm heading back to the doctor.

I go to Hawaii in just over 2 weeks, so needless to say I'm totally freaked out that my husband will get sick.  So far, he's ok.  Hopefully that stays.

My boss is awesome.  She's letting me flex my time and work partial days or work from home to let me get better (and probably to protect the health of the rest of the staff as well.)

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Fun with Yarn

I've been sick for the past 5 days.  I'm still under the weather a bit, but I finally found the idea medicine cocktail today and felt like I was miraculously cured.  It was AMAZING the difference I felt in such a short amount of time.  All of a sudden, I was overwhelmed with energy - I could breathe and talk again, I felt like getting up off the couch, I wanted to go outside, I wanted to do everything.  It felt so good to feel better.

So, after my husband talked me out of doing anything crazy, and after my failed attempt to get a manicure (I need it so bad too, but who would think that the salon would be closed on Sunday?), I decided to get crazy and dig out some knitting projects that have been languishing for a year plus.  It was so much fun to dig out the sweater I've been making for over a year, and see how close I am to being finished.  I sat on the couch and knit for about an hour.  I forgot how enjoyable it is to knit.  Now I'm re-enthused to dig into my knitting projects again.  What fun!

Monday, January 4, 2010

Back to Reality

The past week or so have been so busy, and so full of "events."  I'm happy to get back to reality tomorrow.  In addition to my new niece who was born mid December, my little brother just got married on Saturday.  It is crazy to think that me and my 3 siblings are all married - and even crazier that my little brother (ok, he's 27, so I guess not that little) is married.  As my sister and I were joking, he is forever 12 or 17 in our minds.  I feel like I should be tricking him into getting things from my bedroom and other errands rather than wishing him well on his wedding day!  He was pretty cute at the wedding too - he cried when he saw his wife walking up the aisle.  Neither my sister nor I were in the wedding, which seemed kind of weird.  But, it was ok to just be a guest too.  However, our husband's were in the wedding.  He had 7 groomsmen, and they were all pretty nice guys.  We had a fun time at the reception.

M. and I took a vacation day today and just spent time getting our house back in order and relaxing.  Tomorrow we are back at work and back in to real life again.  Thankfully, we are only 24 days away from our trip to Hawaii (not that I'm counting!).

In TTC news, I just started my period, and the pill.  I feel like shit, which is always fun.  I go for my ultrasound February 8th (I'm delaying IVF until after my trip, and also attempting to skip my next period lest I get it while on the beach. Poor planning on my part!) 

I need to get back on my weight loss program, which I've found myself struggling with recently with the holidays.  I've started to ease myself back into it today, and will be jumping right in tomorrow!