Friday, August 31, 2007

Yes? No? Now? Later?

The acu was no help in my decision making. At all. And it didn't help that he is so damn gorgeous and lovely and just plain nice that I want to be having his babies instead of the sperm donor's babies. Which makes me tempted to delay the IVF until November just so I can see if I have any chance of corrupting him before then. But it does make it hard to say "hey, EWCM!" when I know that that'll just cause me to blush horribly thinking what use I'd rather be making of my EWCM with him. I am bad, I am bad, I am bad to be thinking such thoughts. Although I do think he's single so it's not like I would really be corrupting him. Just a little. Maybe. I get the impression that he lives this pure buddhist lifestyle and is probably above all those things. Especially with someone who is a tad bit too chunky these days. He'd probably rather be with a skinny yogini or something.

But anyway, he says my pulses are responding well to treatment so he thinks October would be fine. Or November. And I don't think he'd have had any suggestions on the protocol so in the end I didn't ask what he thought about that. He's not all that up on IVF protocols, not being a fertility expert and all.

So I still haven't called to schedule anything and I'm still undecided. I thought I'd be gung-ho to do the next IVF, especially after my freaky good mood following the chemical. I'm even more happy about doing long lupron after mulling it some more. But strangely incapable of taking any action or making any real decision to go forward.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

The differences

I emailed Dr. S. to make sure I understood exactly what the plan was, and there ARE some differences to IVF#4, so I'm slowly coming around.

Here are the differences:

1. It's at a different clinic: Big Clinic as opposed to Old Clinic. The lab is supposed to be top-notch at Big Clinic, and Big Clinic triggers earlier with smaller follicle sizes so as supposedly not to overmature the eggs.
2. I would be doing a 4+2 protocol of 4 follistim + 2 menopur, instead of a 3+3 protocol of 3 follistim + 3 menopur (I'd forgotten that IVF#4 was 3+3).
3. I would not do BCPs the cycle before the IVF. I would just start lupron 7 days after the +OPK in a natural cycle, whereas at Old Clinic I did BCPs and then started the lupron after 2 weeks of pills (I think).
4. I would be doing coculture for embryo quality.
5. I'm a year older (this is not a good difference, obviously).
6. I am no longer sneakily taking DHEA, which I was during IVF#4 albeit at a very low dose. Not sure if this is a good difference or a bad difference, but I tend to think that DHEA was bad for my egg quality, not good as some of the studies suggest.
7. I may use estrogen during the luteal phase, after transfer.

Umm, that's it. I'm going to discuss it with the acu this evening, and mull it some more. I think I probably will go ahead and do it, but maybe have another month off. I still wish I was happier about this, but perhaps that will come once I've decided to go ahead.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Stimulate, rinse, repeat

I had my post-IVF consultation yesterday. It did not leave me feeling happy and looking forward to my next cycle. Instead, it left me feeling frustrated, sad and lonely.

Dr. S. basically said that my embryo quality was excellent, so coculture definitely worked for me and we would do that again. OK, check, all in agreement so far. Then he said that I didn't have enough eggs, so in order to give me a better chance at a pregnancy that sticks, we need more eggs so that we have a greater chance of at least one of them being chromosomally normal. Check again, I would definitely be happy with more eggs. But then it started to go wrong. I asked about the random weird follicle growth of 6mm in one day, and he brushed it off as "it can happen" and "different people measure differently". I asked about doing a mixture of estrogen priming with microdose lupron, and he brushed that off, saying that estrogen priming hadn't worked well for me.

So, out of his ass it seems, he suggested long lupron. Que? Yes indeedy, I am the only poor responder ever in the history of the universe [OK, maybe a slight exaggeration] who has been put on poor responder protocols and then gone backwards to long lupron not once, but twice. My 4th IVF attempt was a long lupron protocol, and I was all excited to try it, thinking that it would fix my suppression problem. And it did, mostly. I had nice even follicle growth. But I had a crap fertilization rate, and although I had one good quality embryo I also had two very poor quality embryos. But he said I'd responded well to long lupron, and he liked the long lupron protocol, and that, seemingly, was that. Or I could try a cycle without suppression in the prior cycle, to which I responded that that didn't work for me. So he said, OK, long lupron. There was no budging the man.

Then I asked about stim dosages, because of the whole "my lead follicle grew 6mm in one day" fiasco, and he said, well, OK, we can reduce your dosage back down to 4 follistim + 2 menopur. Now, just wait a minute laddie, I was thinking. Don't just reduce the dosage because I effing ask a question about whether my dosage was a tad high. I asked him about this, he responded that I got fewer eggs at a higher dosage so it looked like I plateaued on the drugs and may as well go back down. I think he was beginning to get a bit annoyed with me because I started saying stuff like "are you sure you're not just saying that because I asked the question?"

So, not only does he want me to go back to long lupron, he wants me on exactly the same dosage as I was for cycle #4. I'm getting this strange sense of deja vu all over again. Where was the carefully individually tailored protocol? Where was the personal attention? It felt like he was just randomly throwing suggestions at me. You know, let's try this, let's try that.

I am supposed to call the scheduler, but I so don't want to. Not that it's really a question of whether I will cycle again at Big Clinic, I suppose. I promised myself one final try with my own eggs, and I am too lazy to try to find another clinic and go through all that rigmarole again. I am not ready to stop or move on to donor eggs or adoption. Not yet. I need a closure cycle. But I'm just not enthused about any of it right now. So I'm tempted to wait until November to cycle, instead of October. Just because. Although that could very well put me in NY for Thanksgiving, which will be highly annoying.

Some days, like now, I just wish I wasn't doing this alone. That I had a husband or partner to run all this by, to help me make decisions as to what's the best thing to do to move forward. Although I'm not kidding myself that a husband could very well have pulled the plug on IVF attempts several cycles ago, but at least I'd have a shoulder to cry on. It would also be nice if I could have a minuscule hope that this month's ovulation and next month's ovulation could maybe possibly get me knocked up naturally instead of being completely wasted. And I'd get to have sex every now and then. Sigh.

Monday, August 27, 2007


I'm feeling quite glum today. I'm not sure why. I guess it's partly because I didn't have any social contact with anyone over the weekend, and it brought home just how much I have cut myself off from the world while doing all these fertility treatments. It was too much for my friends to keep up with - is Sarah going out this weekend? Drinking or not drinking? Dieting or not dieting? Too tired to do anything? Too miserable? After a while, I guess there's no point in even asking. And then again, I don't want to ask them to go out. Even though I could drink and stay out late right now, I have lost interest in all that completely. I just want to do "old people" stuff. Well, if I'm being really honest, I'm just bored by everything. All I want to be doing is playing with my kids and every day that that doesn't happen is another day wasted, really.

So I don't quite know what's going on with my life. I have sacrificed everything to the holy grail of getting pregnant and now I'm left with a pale imitation of a humdrum life. In which I sit at home and read, and then go out and punish myself with a long walk or jog to try desperately to lose some of the blubber which I am now surrounded with. All the while mooning over the hot acu who will no doubt never have any interest in me because of said blubber.

Oh well. At least the diet is under control, so maybe I'll have lost some weight by the time I step on the scale on Friday.

I suppose part of my glumness is due to my upcoming WTF consultation with Dr. S. It's tomorrow, and I am all kinds of nervous. Not that I have anything to be nervous about, necessarily, but I want to make sure I don't forget any of my questions, and that I come away with an action plan and a stim protocol that will give me some hope that I might have a better cycle. God, I just want this to work, already.

Friday, August 24, 2007


Hot acu report: he was geekier and bumblier and shyer than expected from his photo. And he had grown his hair into an unflattering length. But I loved him all the more for it. Aaahh! Just my type! I wonder if lust will finally kick my ovaries into gear. I don't know if my twinkling and flirting got through at all, but we had a nice bit of banter so you never know.

And he was checking me out (ahem, medically) and immediately pronounced that my belly was cold so he warmed it up with some moxibustion. I've always thought my belly was too cold but none of the other acus ever picked up on it so it's good that we'll be doing something different.

In diet news, my food finally arrived! The first meal was a bit L.ean Cui.sine-ish but judging by the week's menu it was the least interesting of the meals so I have more hope for the non-pasta meals. I did heave myself onto the scale this morning, even though I said I wouldn't, and was horrified at the number. It's the heaviest I've ever been! I kind of knew it would be, but seeing it confirmed there was not heartening. Still, if I'm lucky I'll be able to stick to this diet and get some of it off before the next cycle. And I've got a bit of extra motivation of feeling horrified at the hot acu seeing me at this size, so maybe that'll help keep me on track so I can shrink a bit and be more appealing. If not, well, I'll just have to have my jaws wired shut or something.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

It's needling me

Well, I did it, I made an appointment with the new acu. Yes, yes, call me lame. I cannot stop. But I realized that I can do one acu appointment with this guy a week AND a yoga class for the same amount of money as I was spending for one appointment with the old acu. So although I had wanted to save money I guess I'll try to cut back somewhere else - at least I am about to change my car insurance policy to one that'll save me $50 a month so that's something. Ooh, and I forgot, I am going to fire the lawn guy, so that's another $70 a month. And I stopped therapy too so there's some savings. Oh, you hadn't realized I was still going to therapy? Well, I was, but not posting about it because we never seemed to make any big breakthroughs or talk about anything very novel. But I do think it helped. However, insurance was only reimbursing me $77.50 and it was costing $175 a session, so that's another cost reduction.

This new guy practices Japanese acupuncture, which is apparently slightly different from Chinese acupuncture, so we'll see if there is any difference in practice. And he's close by my house, does evening appointments, and is HOT, judging by his photo. And close to my age!! Probably gay or married, knowing my luck, but hey, if there's no wedding ring I am planning a bit of eye twinkling and flirting just because I haven't flirted in forever and probably have forgotten how. My first appointment is tonight, so I'll see if it's relaxing at all. If it is, then I'll probably keep going. I'm going to start up yoga again on Saturday morning. AND my food finally arrives today for my new lazy person's diet. I signed up for one where they send you all your meals for an entire week so you don't have to think any more about what to eat. No, it's not nutr.isy.stem. That tastes like cardboard, I have heard. It's a different one, but I'll wait until I see how it's going before revealing which one.

So, there we are. The plan is coming together. Hopefully my ovaries will get their act in gear, too.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

The freakshow that is my life

Two things today: commuting and acupuncture. Yes indeedy, a nice mix. But both of which leave me feeling sort of freak-like at the moment, on top of the dismal IVF failures, so they're almost related.


In my bid to become even more of a tree hugger than I currently am, I have been feeling guilty about driving to work. Sure, I have a Prius, it's only 5 miles each way and I'm only travelling at about 35mph so I'm hardly gunning the engine. But still. Last winter I tried to cycle, which went reasonably well, but it's impossible in the stickiness that is Florida in the summer. And I'm fat and unfit at the moment. I may try to cycle again this winter IF I'm not pregnant. But anyhoo, I live 2 blocks from a bus stop so I figured I really should make more of an effort to take the bus, at least a few days a week. It's supposed to be more environmentally friendly, because after all, the bus is already travelling that route.

So, with my 40mpg average I figure it costs me about 75 cents a day on fuel. Parking is free, and then there's wear and tear on the car which I can't figure out. Let's say it costs $1.50 a day to drive the car in, tops. It takes 12 whole minutes. Ish. Sometimes it's 15 minutes on a bad day.

I set off yesterday in time to catch the bus, I hoped, only to have it sail past me as I was about to turn the corner to the bus stop. I missed it by literally 10-15 seconds. So I had to sit and wait for the next one, 20 minutes later. Which was a tad late, of course. In the end it took about 45-50 minutes to get into work and cost me $1.25 one way (about to rise to $1.50). At about 5pm, the heavens opened, but I was stuck working late so I felt sure that it would have stopped raining by the time I had to leave. No such luck. And I got stuck at work until 8.45 and of course just missed another bus. My umbrella blew inside out as I was walking along and broke. My shoes got soaked. I got soaked. I had to share the busstop with some teenagers who were going home from a movie. And then the bus itself included various undesirables, including the drunk who staggered on a few stops after me and sat right behind me. Yes, I spent the rest of the trip home absolutely convinced that he was about to vomit on the back of my neck. I got off the bus at my stop and suddenly realized that my lovely safe neighborhood was not quite so safe on the main street at 9.30 at night and that the road home was awfully dark. Another 50 minute commute one way.

I have to say, people, it was not a fun experiment, it cost me double than driving my own car, was a damn sight less comfortable, took a whole lot longer and left me bemused as to how on earth this country is ever going to persuade people to use public transport outside the major cities. It just seems an impossible goal.

Now, if companies didn't offer free parking and it cost $10 a day to park like it did in England when I was working there (well, 10 pounds, and is probably a lot more expensive nowadays), people would take the bus. But now? Now it just made me feel like an eco-freak. Nobody else that I know takes the bus, unless they don't have a car. Which is basically one person. I haven't even dared tell anyone that it was such a fiasco coming home because I know they'll just laugh at me. Not sure why I even try, sometimes.


I tried to stop acupuncture, I really did. I have done it for so long and with different supposedly expert practitioners, that I was ready to be done. But what if? What if it really does help? If this really is going to be my last IVF then I need to throw everything at it. Which means that maybe I should start up acpuncture again with someone new. There's a guy near my house that does it, and I'm considering going to him. He's not a fertility specialist, but at least he's cheap and close by. He could at least help with stress, and might discover something else about me that could be fixed, given that the others never fixed all my issues. But again, I just feel like a freak. Is this a crazy thing to consider? Why can't I stop the madness? I wish I could just not spend money on this stuff, but it's so scary to think that maybe this one thing might help and if I don't do it, will I regret it for the rest of my life? Why can't I just be one of those women that say I gave it a good shot, and give up on it as not something that is working for me. Any comments on acupuncture, good or bad? Would you consider trying a fourth practitioner?

Monday, August 20, 2007

Back to life, back to ree-ah-lity

So. Not pregnant. Another IVF to face before I call it a day with my eggs. OK, OK, I'll be honest, I'm not ruling out further IVFs should I not be able to stop, but the current plan is one more and that is it.

Started the new diet today. But I didn't weigh myself. I'm tired of seeing those numbers, so my current plan is just to weigh myself before going back to NY. And hope that I can get some weight off between now and then. I know what I weighed at egg retrieval, and I know I'm probably a bit up since then. Who needs an actual number?

I spent the weekend reading. I can't seem to watch TV or movies at the moment. My mind drifts and wanders and won't sit still. And nothing that I watch catches my attention or seems worth spending my time on. And while it would probably be healthier to have a good wallow, I'm so freakin' tired of wallowing and failing and being sad. I just want to be normal again. I don't want to have to sit around bemoaning the fact that yet another IVF failed. It does me no good at all. So I read, as it's the only thing pretty much guaranteed to take me away from the world. And I read. And read some more. In fact, I read Harry Potter Book 7 three times this weekend. I kid you not. And Peggy Orenstein's Waiting for Daisy when I wanted a Harry Potter break. And I downed the other bottle of sparkling wine, went to the supermarket, went to the pool store for chlorine, and went off and bought new kitchen cabinet pulls and replaced most of the handles in the kitchen (but not in that order).

Friday, August 17, 2007

Liquor store madness

You win some a-a-and you lose some
And you save nothing for a rainy day

This snippet of a song from Carter USM, a band I'm sure none of you have ever heard of, is going around my head today. It's not just the lyrics, it was the way Fruitbat sang them, dude. Such melancholy, such feeeling.

Trouble is, when am I going to win some?

Stopped at the liquor store yesterday on my way home from work. The two store clerks were all over me like a bad suit. I think it was a quiet day. That, or they knew they had a sucker on their hands who would be buying more than a 4-pack of strong beer. I stood looking at the Champagnes and sparkling wines. The clerks came over to try to help me. I said I didn't really need help, I was quite happy looking. The first clerk made a feeble joke about the Dom Perignon being available if I wanted that, that they had the "fancy-schmancy" stuff all right. Then he repeated "fancy-schmancy" several times. I think he liked the sound of his own voice. He asked if I could tell he had a New York accent from the way he said "fancy-schmancy". I said "uh-huh, yeah, right, I don't want the Dom Perignon, thanks." Then he tried to sell me some Californian sparkling wine. I was pondering it, as after all I'd also picked up the Chambord to mix in (thanks, Serenity, for the tip) so I didn't need the world's best-tasting Champagne to go with it. Then the second clerk recommended the "Voove". "Voove?" said I, with a raised eyebrow, and said in my snootiest English accent "what an interesting pronunciation. I've never heard it pronounced Voove before." What can I say, they were pissing me off already. The first guy started getting defensive. I said "sorry, it's just where I come from everybody knows it as Veuve Clicquot, sorry, verve cleek-oh". The first guy started saying that he couldn't speak French, apart from saying "haw-he-haw" as he practically brayed the stereotypical French utterance. I stared at him. He made a few more guttural attempts at being a Frenchman along the lines of "haw-HAW". I gaped. Then he said "doesn't Voove mean aunt anyway? Isn't it someone's aunt? Isn't there a story about how it got its name?" I pointed out that aunt would be tante, so I wasn't quite sure that Veuve meant that, but didn't know what it was supposed to mean as I wasn't a follower of all things Champagne. [Though I have since remembered that veuve means widow, so he was almost kinda sorta right.] I was starting to want out of there, fast. The Californian sparkling wine was starting to look mighty good, mostly because it was the nearest bottle to hand and I could make my exit quickly.

First store clerk was by now in his stride. He seemed to think he'd been incredibly funny with the French noises and launched into a tale of how people keep telling him he should do stand-up but they didn't realize how difficult stand-up comedy was to do. I made a polite comment or two, thinking that he would definitely bomb if I were in the audience and he tried to make me laugh. Then he starts telling me he is a cartoonist and had quite a successful cartoon on the internet for a while, but he ran out of material because there was only one character. And you know what the cartoon was called? Of course, OF FUCKING COURSE, it was The Angry Fetus. It was all about a fetus who likes kicking his mom to make her pay for doing yoga. And other such things. The guy started miming being an angry fetus and kicking. And then jabbing with his elbows. He was getting into his stride, laughing at how hysterically funny he was being, telling me it was quite a hit with the ladies. I grabbed two bottles of the Californian sparkling and stomped off to the counter to make him work the till and stop talking.

I ask you. The Angry Fetus. Can an infertile ever fucking not be reminded of these things? Especially on the day she finds out she won't have a fetus, angry or otherwise, because her embryos are now dead. D-e-a-d. Dead. No more. Deceased. Not to be. At the cost of a nice car, gone up in smoke.

So I drank a whole bottle of sparkling vino last night. The Chambord was nice, though I have to admit, I prefer creme de cassis as a mixer. The booze did not make me feel any better. It didn't feel like an anti-celebration. Just a bit squalid because the first few glasses were just downed in anger. And I promise I didn't intend to scarf the whole bottle. It just kind of happened. There I was trimming the cork so it would fit back in the half-full bottle that I would save for today, when I realized that actually far from being half-full there was only one glass left in the bottle. Oops! I couldn't put it back in the fridge with just one glass full in there, could I? Next time I shall go for the mojitos. Maybe that'll work better.

Needless to say, I'm a tad hungover this morning. And filled with a nice healthy dose of self-loathing and self-pity, which always come along with a hangover. And a smidgen of anger at this ridiculous situation. So at least the booze helped to free up some feelings, after all.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Officially official

Yes, the eagle-eyed among you had noticed that I'd already marked my FF chart with a "B-" indication, but that was just me guessing, well, knowing, what the result was going to be. And wanting to stop FF from giving me that stupid "Congratulations! You are pregnant!" message. So I marked stuff on my chart that I didn't really know to be accurate. But of course, deep down, I did know. And not so deep down. The boobs don't lie, and the boobs have been deflated, non-veiny and so not pregnant for a few days. I think the boobs always know.

The follow-up beta was negative.

I am still surprisingly OK. I am not quite sure why. I am sure a lot of it is just shocked numbness, and that the floodgates will open once I hit the booze this weekend, but a lot of it is also that I know failure. I seem to do TTC failure quite well. So it's not as if failure is surprising to me. And, what I never thought would happen, is that I'm actually optimistic in a weird way. Big Clinic got me two good quality embryos out of two. I got a chemical. I had some HCG that registered on beta day, which is further than I've got before. I think we are on the right track, so that is giving me hope.

As for the future, well, I am all about moving on as quickly as possible. I have decided that there will be (at least) one more IVF. I don't think I can stop now. We almost got there, and I feel that I have to give Big Clinic two shots at this - it seems fair, as I gave my old clinic four shots at getting it right. Hopefully Big Clinic now has lots of data on how I react to their protocols, and next time we can do it even better. My current plan therefore is to do one more fresh IVF, then use up the lone frozen embryo that I have at my local clinic and then call it a day on my own eggs. And figure out what to do with the rest of my life - whether that involves child-free living or adoption or whatever. So, ever one for taking the bull by the horns, I asked the nurse who called with the beta results to transfer me to Dr. S.'s secretary so I could make the appointment for my post-IVF consult. Or my WTF consult as I like to think of it, following on from the tradition from another of those sites many of us met at. My appointment is for the 28th of this month and I hope to cycle again in October. Or November. Depending on how the schedule pans out. I will do coculture again, so that adds another wrinkle into the scheduling plans as it takes a cycle to get the biopsy done.

I have also signed up for one of those diet programs where they ship you all your food so you don't have to think about what to eat. I hope I will like it. It'd be nice to lose 10lbs or so before punishing my ovaries again. I have signed up to have the maximum medical flex savings account allowed by my company, which will part pay for the next IVF. And, errr, what else? Nothing really, except that I'm trying to plan what ridiculously expensive, indulgent treat I will allow myself this weekend. It will involve expensive alcohol at some point. I'm kind of in the mood for Champagne - as kind of an anti-celebration. I never seem to get to the point where Champagne would be warranted, so why the fuck not use it to drown my sorrows? Maybe with some fresh strawberries and whipped cream. And something else delicious to eat.

Thanks for the support, everyone, but it was not meant to be. This time.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007


Hey, I had a pretty good prediction of the beta level there. The answer is in, and it's...


They want me to stay on progesterone and go back in 2 days. Fuck. Limbo. I know it's hopeless but I'll be a good girl and do what they tell me to. It's not going to be viable but I guess we all have to go through the motions.

On the bright side, at least it's an official chemical and not an imaginary chemical like I had last time with some positive HPTs and a completely negative beta. So it is further than I've got before.

I did not acquit myself well at the RE's

I did an Equate when I got home from work yesterday. It was a stark white negative. A Big Fat Fucking Negative, in fact. This morning I did another Equate and a CVS test, the last two tests in my stash. Negative again on the Equate. A faint faint line on the CVS. Seeing as Equate is really the only test that has never steered me wrong with evaporation lines or other weird pseudo-positives, I tend to trust it.

I really think it's over. I think the embryo tried hard to implant and made it for a couple of days, and then failed.

I guess at least I got further than I have done previously, which is something to be grateful for.

So, anyway, I went for the beta this morning. I will know the results sometime this afternoon. My guess is that it may be something like 8. Or 12. I just hope that it's not in that limbo where they make me keep taking the progesterone and go back for a repeat beta when I know that'll be completely pointless and will just prolong the agony.

I was actually doing OK at the office, until I went back to the reception desk to pay. There in front of me was a perfect looking couple, in perfectly tailored clothes with perfectly expensive accessories. As I walked up they were inquiring if their daughter's photo was still on the baby board. The receptionist said she was. The husband sauntered back past me with his travel mug of coffee in hand and was all "oh look honey, here she is!" Then they started animatedly discussing the current success and waving their ultrasound picture around, and asking the receptionist to call one of the nurses out from her office so she too could look at the picture. At this point I knew I was falling apart and stepped back around the corner out of sight and started to sob. The nurse came up, rushed straight past me and started oohing and aahing over the fucking ultrasound. The wife was saying things like "we hope it's a boy this time". At least, that's what I could hear from the inside of my overlarge handbag as I stuck my head in rummaging for a tissue and trying to hide my face. Well, I'd have got my whole body in there if it would have fit. If only it was a teleportation handbag that could have whisked me away someplace, anyplace, else. They took forever over paying, and then finally left. I sobbed some more, then managed to compose myself enough to walk up to reception and get out a strangled "at least it works for some people" while handing over the credit card. Of course the receptionist was duty bound to say "it will work" in a soothing, concerned voice and "they tried many many times, and they did what you're doing now" which I took to mean they too had gone to another clinic. But I don't really know. I just wanted out of there. And frankly, most people I've met who've had multiple IVF failures are a damn sight more sensitive to the feelings of others in the RE's office than those two were, so not sure how well I believed the receptionist. I rushed out, tissue in hand, and sobbed in the car some more.

And now I'm at work, trying somehow to concentrate, and knowing that I'm going to fail miserably. How on earth do I get it together to do IVF#6? How on earth did this become my life?

Monday, August 13, 2007

A line is a line is a line, of course?

Wow, I've never had so many comments. Thank you all.

But, I don't think I have good news today.

I did a couple of tests yesterday evening. I got lines but they were not darker than the morning's lines. No worries, I thought, I'm just not one of those women whose lines are darker in the evening, I must need more concentrated pee. I also had some brown spotting yesterday which again I thought, hey, it's normal, no problems.

So, this morning's concentrated pee was eagerly anticipated. OK, well, not eagerly, but you know what I mean.

The digital test said Not Pregnant. There are lines on the other tests but they are, I would say, fainter than yesterday's lines. I think my plucky little embryo tried very hard to implant but sadly didn't quite make it. I think we're looking at a chemical at best.

I know, I know, it's not over until the beta. But my cautious optimism is now cautious pessimism and I'm just glad that I didn't start buying maternity clothes or anything like that yesterday in a fit of bravado.


Sunday, August 12, 2007

Not the eloquent post I've been planning for years

When you've been trying to conceive for a while, you have this image in your mind of how it's going to be when you get that positive HPT. I imagined whooping and general celebrating, of immediately phoning my aunt. Of being sure. And happy. You know, how I would have been before infertility robbed me of my innocence in all matters HPT and pregnancy related.

Instead, yesterday I was fairly sure it didn't work, as you know. I mean, I didn't tell you that I did get a faint faint evaporation line type thing. After a few hours. That nobody without super-TTC-exacto-xray vision would ever be able to see. So it wasn't worth mentioning really. I'd planned an afternoon of chick flicks and ice cream with Stephanie, my local multiple-IVFer buddy. We have a support group of 2. And sometimes 3 when her husband comes too. Unfortunately, we've had far too many occasions where we need to get the support group out to commiserate for someone's bad news. Yesterday was supposed to be helping to cheer up Stephanie, who was supposed to have had an FET transfer this week but instead found out that all 4 frozen embryos didn't make it through the thaw. It's going to take them a year to save up again for another shot at IVF. Effing miserable bad luck and I am heartbroken for them.

And I started off being fairly good at commiserating, I think. Maybe. Except Stepanie looked at my super faint evaporation line thing and pronounced that she too could see something. See, she too has super-TTC-exacto-xray vision. Even though we needed the light of a thousand suns to see the damn thing. So she wanted me to pee on a stick while she was there. And I didn't want to. And she said she'd got her best results in the afternoons so I might as well give it a shot. And I didn't want to. Eventually she wore me down. Well, OK, it didn't take that much work, but I did wait until we'd seen one movie and were part way through another.

So I went to pee on a stick. And then refused to look at it because I was quietly confident of the result. So she went into the bathroom at the 10-minute mark, and came back to the living room saying that she couldn't quite believe she was carrying someone else's used peestick. But she saw a line. And I have to be honest, so did I.

And then my stomach dropped to roughly the level of my knees. And my brain went on strike. And all the ice cream I'd just eaten during the first chick flick started to make its prescence known in my stomach. And I couldn't quite comprehend what might be happening.

Stephanie wanted me to take a digital test. It was the only other type of test I had in the house. But I'd just pee'd. It was the afternoon. I was VERY confident that, even if I could squeeze a few drops out, it would be very negative. Stephanie threatened, er sorry, offered to push my stomach in to force my bladder to work. I reluctantly went back to the bathroom and managed to squeeze out a few drops.

The digitial said the p-word.

Oh my!

So I lost all track of the movie, dragged Stephanie to Wal-mart against her better judgement and we went on an HPT-buying spree. I called my bestest blogger pal Cali on the way. I was in complete disbelief and still couldn't get my brain around the idea. And then we went to CVS , and bought more. We went home, I pee'd in a cup and dipped a couple more tests. The Equate was negative. The Accuclear was not negative.

So this morning I woke up at 4am because I was hot and my back hurt and I figured I may as well do the pee tests. I dipped four of them. The digital said "not pregnant". Oh, I thought. Not so good then. But the other three all came up with second lines. Within 10 minutes. An Equate, an Accuclear and a Fact Plus. Here's the prettiest one:


Oh, OK, if you insist, here are all this morning's positives:


Ummm, it might have worked, people. It might just have worked. They're a bit faint but that's not really surprising as yesterday's test was negative. Hopefully tomorrow will be better, and hopefully I'll get a positive digital again. But I'm cautiously optimistic for now. Which for a bitter infertile is as close to celebrating as I'm going to get.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

It was I that chopped down the cherry tree

11 dpo. I cannot tell a lie. I have tested. It was, quel surprise, negative. I know, I know, it's too early to be depressed. I don't even usually start testing until 12dpo for that very reason. It could still turn positive.

But still. Apart from my right boob hurting there is nothing going on with me. Nada. Zip. Zilch. I like to think that I would feel something. And, yup, I know, plenty of women have no symptoms whatsoever. And why the right boob, I wonder? Why not both together? Is it trying to tell me something? Kind of like a semaphore signal? Right boob = negative, left boob = positive, both together = twins?

I'm not even all that down. I feel kind of numb about the approaching blood test. Fatalistic. Resigned. I just don't know how I'm going to react if it's another negative. But I don't think shock or surprise is going to be one of my feelings. I'll probably just stare at the wall and cry quietly at the pointlessness of wasting so much of my life on this pursuit.

I just didn't expect that this would be my life. I didn't expect I would have to stare down childlessness like this. I didn't expect I'd get to the point of never having children. Well, none of us do, do we? We don't usually have an inkling at the age of 5 that we're going to suffer from infertility at some point. If I'd have known, I'd have started trying a lot earlier.

Oh well, tomorrow's another day, I know. Another day nearer to the end of this particular wait.

Friday, August 10, 2007


I am getting worried. Very worried. I am worried that this IVF did not work. That yet another one will have failed and I'll have to face the big decision of what to do next. Well, it's not that big of a decision at all really. I know I want to cycle one more time. The problem is I'm seriously freaked out about going to NY again. People at work are going to be very suspicious of me going up there for another jaunt. I'm just not sure I can swing the time. It's going to be hard to arrange. Not to mention all sorts of expensive and difficult.

AND I have to go on a serious diet if this IVF failed. I have been bad again. I daren't weigh myself as I'm sure I'm above my previous all time high. I had been hoping I could just maybe not gain weight during the first trimester, then after the birth somehow breastfeed for like 15 years and lose the weight that way. But if it doesn't work then I need to have my jaws wired shut or something. A few of the girls at work are trying that liquid only "lose 21 p.oun-ds in 21 d.ays" diet. I might have to jump on the bandwagon just to get some of the pudge off. Not looking forward to that.

Oh well. I went for my progesterone test this morning at the local RE's. Big clinic does 'em on 10DPO and 12DPO and 14DPO (that last one along with the beta). But they don't tell you the results, which is fine by me. Unless of course they call up in a panic and tell me to start shooting up 4mg of PIO an hour or something. Which I doubt they'll do, so it's all a bit academic really.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Hey, when did dryers get expensive?

So I started looking at new dryers online, and to my horror they are expensive as well. When did that happen? I thought they'd be like $300 at most. But no. I'm looking for one with a moisture sensor as those are supposedly the most energy efficient, and they seem to start at about $700. Yikes! Looks like I'll be repairing the motor on mine rather than replacing. Unless my searching turns up a cheapy with a moisture sensor.

More rambling nonsense

9DPO. Got a bit crampy last night and again today. Which could quite easily be dehydration as I've been neglecting my water intake in favor of this deeelicious cappucino that they've put in our new coffee machine at work. I think I'm addicted. Don't worry, I'm hitting the "decaf" button. Otherwise no exciting symptoms. Not that cramping is necessarily exciting, as I've had plenty of it on prior IVF cycles and those didn't exactly turn out well.

Had a guy over to the house to look at the defunct dishwasher and clothes dryer. Of course, they need expensive parts. Of course. I am waiting for a call with the estimates. The dishwasher needs a new control board and the dryer needs a new motor. Except the dryer is working now once the guy spun the motor free. Apparently there's a "dead spot". Technical term, that. He said it could fail the next time I use it, or could work for another 2 years. Depending on the cost of the motor it might be worth buying a new dryer so I can get a more energy efficient one. It's about 10 years old so it's probably using more energy than necessary. But hopefully this one will work now for a bit so I can put off that expense. The dishwasher will just have to be patched up though. Those are expensive to replace! Well, expensive if I get a stainless steel one to match the other stainless steel appliances in the kitchen. Which I have to do really, otherwise it'd look really odd and put potential buyers off the house. Not that I'm thinking of selling any time soon, but you've always got to have these things in mind.

And I bid on that faucet on ebay, and then found it even cheaper as there was an auction with no reserve. But it's seeing some fairly heavy bidding action and has 6 days left. So I'm hoping that my gamble pays off that the one with no reserve ends up higher than the other one. Heh, I'm going to get an expensive tap! I'm actually quite giddy with excitement because I think it'll look really good in the kitchen. But a new tap, sorry, faucet, is definitely needed - when the drain was slow and gurgling I didn't hear the dripping underneath the sink, and didn't realize exactly how much water was leaking. It's a LOT. It needs to be replaced ASAP.

Oh, the joys of living in an older house. Always something going wrong to keep me on my toes. Which is pretty damn nice to fixate on during the two week wait. I'm actually glad I'm working on getting this stuff fixed now!

ETA: Oooh, looky, posting this one fixed the format back. Finally!

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Rambling nonsense

So I figure I'm just going to have to keep posting rambling nonsense in the hope that eventually all the weird format Blackberry posts fall off the page, and the format of the blog goes back to normal. I tried to fix it yesterday by tinkering, but I failed miserably.

So, rambling nonsense. Well, today is 8DPO, and to pass the time I am looking at kitchen taps. I had the plumber out yesterday who fixed my kitchen drain (yay!) and then told me I need a new tap because the old one is leaking and he couldn't fix it. Apparently the leak is up inside the tap body where he can't get at it. And of course I have fallen in love with a ridiculously expensive tap. [OK, more weirdness, in draft that word "tap" is a nice little blue underlined link but when I publish the post it just looks like a regular word. But you can click on it, promise.] Everybody tells me that I would be ridiculous to spend that kind of money on a tap, but you know, once you've blown twenty grand on a chance at pregnancy that's not all that great anyway, spending money takes on this surreal quality. My friend A. tells me that she's seen "an array" of faucets that resemble the particular one that I like and they'd be just as good for a lot less money. So I guess I will have to hunt one down, but all the ones I've seen, while "resembling" don't look as good to me.

And I've finally figured out what to do about my patio, not that you knew that it's something I've been mulling ever since I moved in to my house (I have a skanky rotting deck that Has. To. Go.), but still. The right design finally came to me this morning. Not that I shall be lining up for a patio redo until I know whether I'll be doing another IVF this year, but it's nice to have it mentally sorted out. I have many things around the house mentally done, it's just the execution I'm a bit slow on.

In va-jay-jay news, well, there is none. So, move along. Nothing to see here. No symptoms to report, no implantation cramping or spotting or anything of that nature. Whole lotta nothin'.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Waiting, worrying

The worry is starting to seep into the chink in my armor. Right on time, 7 days after egg retrieval, 7 to go before beta.

I hope hope hope that this worked. I am trying to stay positive, I really am. But then. All I'm used to is failure and it's hard to imagine that THIS really will be the time it works. It's almost unimaginable. I keep telling myself that this time I had coculture, and TWO good embryos whereas before I've only ever had ONE good embryo at transfer (at best) even if I had more also-rans along for the ride.

This is going to be a long week, folks. If only they could put me into a coma for the next week so I don't have to wait so long.

Sunday, August 05, 2007

Home alone (with the world's whiniest cat)

It may have been a rash move, but I decided to fly home yesterday, the day after my transfer. I had it all figured out, somewhat. My flight was at 2.55pm, and I'd booked the blue van that does airport transfers, except the latest pickup time they gave me was between 11.25 and 11.40am. I've never EVER set off for the airport that early. But no matter. I decided to pack as much as I could before going to the transfer, stay in my bed on Friday night, and then Saturday morning slowly finish off the packing while resting a lot. I figured I could have a nice lunch in the aiport and just spend a lot of time sitting down and it'd still be OK.

And it went pretty well, to start with. I'd stay on my feet for 10 minutes, get dressed, pack, whatever, and then lie down for 50 minutes. Apart from right at the end, when I was only able to lie down for half an hour. I did a quick double-check around the room, headed down to check out at 11.15. Checked out, all was lovely. Turned around to look for somewhere to sit and wait for the blue van, and there it was, stopping on the other side of the street, early. I walked outside with my case as the blue van did a u-turn in the street, handed the driver my case and sat down, smugly congratulating myself for not having to stand up for very long. The drive was a bit bouncy, but the seat was soft, and I was the last one to be picked up. And there was no traffic, and LaGuardia is pretty close to the part of NY that Big Clinic is located in, meaning that I was soon checking in for the flight a full 3 hours before it was due to take off. I have never done that before! I'm usually the one running to the gate after checking in late so it was quite an odd feeling. I asked the check-in guy if the most restaurants were before or after security, he said before, so I went to find them. I found myself some seating nearby, took my last antibiotic and proceeded to sit and wait for an hour to tick by so I could eat post-antibiotic. And then something in my brain clicked and I realized that I'd left my keys and checkbook in the room safe in the hotel. I'm sure I must have looked fairly comical smacking my forehead and rushing off to find a taxi rank.

As I was walking to the taxi rank I called the hotel, and explained my predicament, thinking that maybe to save me taxi fare they could mail the stuff to me, and thinking that I could always use my spare keys that I'd given my friends for feeding my kitty. The front desk guy said he'd put me through to the housekeeping manager, who said she'd put me through to the housekeeper, who kept asking me if I wanted the vase for flowers back or the water filter jug I left in the fridge. No, no, I kept saying, I don't want the water filter jug back, I left stuff in the room safe. Keys and a checkbook! The housekeeping manager came back on and said the housekeeper couldn't understand me. I repeated myself. She understood and went "oh!". Then said they could mail the stuff back, but it'd have to be COD. I decided it was pointless trying to wait for my keys to be mailed to me, when potentially they might mail me a Brita jug instead, so I decided there was obviously a reason why I was at the airport three hours ahead of time and said I was coming back.

One hour, a trip to the ATM and $60 on taxis later, I was back at the airport strolling into quite a nice restaurant and STILL having time for a leisurely lunch. Bizarre. And will I have learned my expensive mistake to always check the room safe before checking out? Only time will tell.

I had to unload all my medications on the belt to get through security, and the woman behind me in line was taking a good nose at all the boxes labeled follistim and menopur and the like. Nice. Nothing like having your life on display. But they let me through. The flight was fine, and minimally bumpy, I didn't have to wait for a taxi home, and then I arrived. To the whiniest cat in the world and a note from my friend saying that the automatic kitty litter thing didn't seem to be working. And a strange knocking sound coming from the air conditioning unit and a blocked sink. Now, OK, the blocked sink was my fault - it's been as slow as molasses for a very long time and I really meant to call a plumber before going away, but still. I went to look at the kitty litter. It was overflowing with poop, pee and litter. I think my friends just kept adding new litter on top rather than trying to figure out how to actually work it, and overloaded the motor. The comb thing that automatically scoops stuff was stuck at the wrong end of the unit, the waste receptacle lid wasn't attached properly and it was generally a bit of a disaster. The cat had also pooped on the floor in disgust at the conditions, and I can't say I blamed her. So I set to cleaning up, all the while kitty was whining pitifully.

Roughly translated I think my welcome home went something like "where've you been? you've been gone forever. i was alooone. those idiots didn't keep things clean for me. and they didn't feed me the nice tinned food you promised me. and i was alooone. did you hear me? i said i was alooone. bitch. i'm never talking to you again. but if you stroke me i might forgive you but only if you stroke me now now now and stop messing around with other stuff. and by the way, i was boooored. mmmmm, your legs feel good to brush up against. why aren't you giving me all your attention rightthisminute? don't you realize i was alooone?"

So I paid the cat some attention, lay down for a nanosecond, decided to call for some Chinese take out, went out, picked up far too much bad food, came back, ate it, then flopped into bed. With the cat still whining. Surprisingly, she let me sleep most of the night without too much whiny nonsense, and then promptly decided at dawn that it was a perfect time to get me up and out of bed so she could go explore the back yard. Except I didn't want to spring out of bed, so we had a mental tug-of-war until 11am with bouts of her whining, then coming back to bed resignedly for a few minutes to let me nap, then standing on my chest headbutting me in the face to wake me up again. Hey ho. It's good to be home, I guess.

Friday, August 03, 2007

Happy tears of joy

Happy tears of joy

They both made it!  And not only that, they were both "very nice" 8-celled embryos. Coculture saved the day!  While Big Clinic does not give a grade at transfer, Dr. Sarah thinks that judging by the photo they are a grade 1 and 2, using my old clinic's scale.

SO relieved and happy!

More nervous

Not much to say so far today. I am so freakin' nervous, I am ready to jump out of my skin. I've never had so few embryos and am so worried that they won't make it to transfer. Big Clinic doesn't give out embryo information until you get there, and they don't want me there until 3pm. Thank god for valium, as it's only due to some leftover prescription from the last IVF (I didn't get any from Big Clinic) that I have any confidence in being somewhat relaxed to welcome the embryos home. I hope.


Thursday, August 02, 2007

Nervous, nervous, nervous

That's all I'm going to say today. I'm worried about my embryos, and hoping they're dividing properly and are of good quality.

I'm pretty nervous that they're going to be crap, or worse, dead, and I'll be deeply depressed very very soon.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

I just couldn't let it lie

I started stressing about the progesterone dosage. Yes, even though I said I wouldn't. So I emailed Dr. S. thinking that he probably wouldn't respond until tomorrow but he'd probably tell me to stay on 0.5cc and that'd be fine. Just so long as he was making the decision based on a full knowledge of my history, of course.

But he emailed straight back and said I may as well take the full 1cc dose. So that reassures me a bit.

I just hope my little embryos are doing OK. Please pull through, little ones, please work for me, embryo #'s 15 and 16.

The big phone call

Hmmm, well, I got the fertilization report. It's not exactly stellar news. Of the 7 retrieved, 4 were mature and only 2 fertilized normally.

Here's my progression:

14 retrieved, 10 mature, 7 fertilized / 50% fertilization rate, or 70% of mature eggs
5 retrieved, 4 mature, 4 fertilized / 80% fertilization rate or 100% of mature eggs
9 retrieved, 7 mature, 3 fertilized / 33% fertilization rate, or 42% of mature eggs
7 retrieved, 4 mature, 2 fertilized / 28% fertilization rate, or 50% of mature eggs

Seems to be getting worse as I get older. My guess is that IF I have to do another cycle, Dr. S. will want me to go back to the microdose lupron protocol, as he kind of wanted me to do this time. But, while I had my best cycle on it, which is what he was going off, I also had my worst cycle on it (the one where I was cancelled). So I'm not sure what I think of doing that. I guess I'll have to sit down and have a long discussion with him.

I know, I know, at this point some of you will be telling me to think positively. And I am, sort of. I know women who only had 2 who ended up pregnant. I know it can work with low numbers. I'm well aware of that. I am not moping, I'm really not. Just a bit deflated again. I guess 11.5's really can't catch up after trigger.

OK, well, moving on to other things. Alacrity asked what happened to my plans of not finding out my estrogen levels. Well, I did stick to that, sort of. I never asked a nurse for my estrogen level on the day the blood was drawn. But I did see the previous level on the screen when I went for my ultrasounds, yet I promise I haven't stressed out about them. Much.

And I wanted to post on my PIO conundrum. You see, I have always had sucky progesterone levels, and the only time I had a good blood test I was doing 1cc progesterone shots in the morning (about 1.5 hours before the blood draw) and suppositories in the evening. So I'm sure the bloodwork was off, because of all the newly injected progesterone still circulating in my bloodstream. Depending on estrogen levels, however, Big Clinic gives a dosage of 0.5cc or 1cc only. I was initially worried about that, and thought I would demand 1cc at least, no matter what. But I have since decided that I will take whatever dosage they set for me. If it is too low, my bloodwork will reveal that, and they can up the dose. And a lower dose will be better for me. And they need to have accurate feedback on my cycle. So I have to trust that they know what they are doing. And lo and behold, my instructions are to take 0.5cc only. So I'm going to do just that and hope for the best.