Friday, February 29, 2008


Chunky. That should be all that I'm going to say, but you know me. Never fear to tread where others might usefully decide it's all too much information. I've seen 'em before, the panicked posts about post FET whitish redish flesh chunks, especially after chemicals. But I didn't have a real chemical, just a maybe early chemical that never even made it to beta day. So I didn't expect the same myself and therefore I'm fairly confident that this is lining chunks and not baby chunks. But still. This isn't terribly normal or pleasant, and makes me wish for good old clots. At least those don't make you go WTF? Am I chumming the freakin' waters now?

Makes you wonder if the FET-built lining is the same as the regular stuff. But I guess lots of people DO have success with FET's so I suppose it works just the same.

IVF. Just a whole lotta fun. Or, a lorra lorra laffs, as Cilla would say (which reference you'll only recognize if you're English and of a certain age). Ahh, my sides ache from all the fun.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Day One

Finally the FET is done.  After stopping meds last Friday I have been waiting and waiting and...nothing.  And I had a deadline of tomorrow by which time I had to call Local Clinic if my period hadn't arrived, so they could do another beta to rule out an ectopic.  Which I knew I wouldn't have, so it would have annoyed me immensely to waste my time and no doubt money on that little errand.

If I can start the bcp tonight, I'll be on them for a grand total of 14 days.  The minimum that LV Clinic wants you on bcp is 10 days, so it was cutting it fine there.  I'd much rather have 14 days than 10 days for some reason.  10 days doesn't seem like it would do anything to control your hormones at all.  But whichever it is - holy crap my next IVF is coming up quickly!  

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Cycle meds and detritus

...or, my own private pharmacy.

There's something of a rite of passage in the IVF blogging community.  The moment when that giant box o'meds arrives for someone's first IVF cycle, and they exclaim in awe at the sheer volume of stuff that they are going to have to figure out and shoot up.  And because it's a momentous occasion, they usually post a shot of all the meds.  I never did that because I didn't start blogging until IVF#3 and was too cheap to buy a digital camera for a couple more cycles.  [And don't tell anyone, but I secretly love those shots, because they remind me of that cycle-just-starting optimism and the almost Christmas Day-like joy and hope of opening up that big box for the first time.]

Well, today was meds delivery day.  And as I usually do while waiting for the FedEx truck, I sorted through all the detritus from prior cycles so I can throw away garbage, and to group together the same size syringes, needles, alcohol pads, leftover meds, etc, to organize everything.  And then decided that I may as well pose everything nicely on the bed for a commemorative photo once the new meds turned up to join their leetle friends.  Just so I can have one of those "wow, look at all my meds" photos too.  Except of course with several cycles worth of leftovers, I hope I win the "mine is bigger than yours" bragging contest.

Yes, I have a shit load of needles and syringes.  I refused delivery of needles and syringes on one cycle and in retrospect should have done it on this cycle too.  Yes, I have two full sharps container waiting to go to the county sharps exchange program.  I will get around to it at some point.  Yes, I have a ton of leftovers - I suppose that's what you get for going to three clinics and doing many different protocols so that a leftover ganirelix is just left languishing in the bottom of the meds box.  One day I hope to actually get pregnant so I can donate the leftovers to a fellow infertile rather than doggedly hanging on to them in the realization that I may just need them another time.  Yes, pretty much every single fertility med I can think of is included there, except I forgot the lupron bottle that was in the fridge so it didn't get included in the family photo.  Oh, and maybe bravelle, which I've never used.  Or the newer ones like endometrin.

Ain't they purty? Though I would be very very happy not to have any of them, so I'm not a very grateful owner, I admit.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008


I've been shopping over the past couple of days - for sperm. I have used the same donor (the third that I have tried) for all my IVFs, mostly because of my little frozen embryo as I had this dream of actually having...gasp...siblings. I was hoping one of the fresh cycles would be successful, and then that the FET would be successful and I wouldn't have children with different baby daddies. But alas, 'twas not to be.

So now it's on to donor #4. It is beyond time to move on, as I should have moved on a long time ago, but my RE's reassured me that the sperm was not the problem, despite people I know in real life saying "are you sure the problem is with you and not the sperm?" Uh, pretty sure, thanks. Crap, old eggs = crap embryos. Studly young college student sperm does not equal crap embryos. At least choosing a donor is so much easier now. For that first one, I trawled through all the banks' online catalogs. I agonized over whether I wanted more of a math nerd or a jock, or whether I needed an all rounder. With musical ability to boot. Whether the donor would be wiling to be known or not. I debated with myself whether it was really so important that the donor should be over 6 feet tall, or whether I could accept someone in the 5'10" - 5'11'' range. I ordered many long profiles and baby photos. I struggled to find some sort of "connection" in what they'd written so that it would be someone I could like in real life, even though the donors are all college kids and therefore much younger than me. I really cared about this genetic material that would form half of my children.

This time, I went back to the same bank I have been using all along, plugged in the important criteria, pregnancy = yes, blood group = same as mine (haven't done this before, but am trying it just in case it helps immune factors), and then the optional criteria, race, two choices of hair textures and two choices of eye colors. And that was that. The optionals were really just to narrow the field and weren't anywhere near as important as on previous selections - I would have jettisoned any of them in a heartbeat if no-one suitable turned up. I very quickly whittled it down to two top contenders, bought their photos and long profiles et voilà - one was a fugly baby, sorry to say, so his long profile has never even been downloaded from the site. The other is the choice. Done. Donor #4 picked.

Now all I have to do is get the forms for shipping signed by LV Clinic and then fork over the cash.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Hello internets

I am here.  Not pregnant, but here nonetheless.  

First, as many of you will have guessed, because you know me oh so well, there was drinking on Friday.  Despite my protestations of not having time to wallow due to my next cycle being so soon, there was wallowing.  There was a whole bottle of red wine, some decadently fattening food, Leonard Cohen played rather too loudly, and some sobbing.  And then on Saturday morning I went out and bought pretty flowers for the garden and planted.  It was all quite nice and healing really.  And while I did have a coffee yesterday and too much dietary fat, because I couldn't quite break the cycle that quickly, today I am determined to get back to being saintly.

I am in a sort of stunned disbelief that here I am, moving on to another IVF.  Normal people would have stopped the insanity by now and moved on.  But then again, normal people get pregnant through having sex, or if that doesn't work, on IUI numbers 1 through, oh, 4 or 5.  Or at the very, very worse, IVF #1 or 2.  There are no words to describe the surreality of it being me - ME! - that is the barren one.  Isn't this shit supposed to happen to other people, not me?

Well, enough whining.  I have grown to hate whining.  At least infertility has given me that.  Half the time I listen to or read other people whining I think "puh-lease.  This is nothing.  Give me an effing break already."  And the other half I think "holy crap, this is devastating.  How petty MY little worries seem when compared to what this person is going through."  When you think of dead babies, and sick children, and cancer, and loss of loved ones, and war, and famine, and disability, and many other things too numerous to mention, my lot in life is not so insurmountable.  And if I never have a child, at least I can say I gave it my all.

I am moving on with the plans for IVF#7.  Or do I call it #8 because the FET counts as a cycle?  Seven seems a more palatable number somehow, so we'll stick with that for now.  I've booked my hotel, my flight and a rental car.  Today I will pay the cycle fee to LV clinic and order the meds.  And then I'll be set.  Somehow I have to fit two cycles into the next month, which is freaking me out a tad, but oh well.  I'm tempted to ask if I can just start the BCP now and not bleed at all from this last go-around, but I'm not sure if they'll let me do that.  

Friday, February 22, 2008


Beta is negative. Stop all meds.

The RE was nice on the phone though. He said he wished that he wasn't having to give me the same news yet again, and wished he could say my beta was as nice as my progesterone level. He said I could come in to talk about options if I wanted (presumably about DE) but wished me luck when I said I'd already got a cycle planned elsewhere.

My life sucks sometimes, it really does. But then, there's a part of me that feels bad for writing that because I do have many good things about my life so I should focus on them. At least I have the resources to try again.

Blood is drawn

I like the nice blood draw lady at my local RE's even-more-local-to-me satellite office. There are only two blood draw ladies that work there, and the main one, Debbie, is just lovely. She really cares about me, I feel, and we always have a lovely chat about how things are going with me, and what my plans are next and all that shit. And more importantly, she doesn't try to bullshit me like some of the other nurses when I walk in on 15DPO and say that I know it didn't work. She also said she'd seen it work for women after many many cycles, and she'd never tell anyone to just give up and stop trying. She thinks perseverance is key, if you CAN keep going, as many people can't.

So that's that. My blood is at the lab. The phone call will come some time after lunch. And then it is on to frantic planning for LV, presumably, unless a miracle occurs. A couple of the hotels I was considering are already booked up so I feel like I need to get on with it quickly.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

No testing today

Thank you all for your kind words, but I know there's no hope for this cycle. I really felt pregnant up to Tuesday. And then Tuesday afternoon it started sliding away from me. And yesterday, during the day, I felt completely and utterly normal. Now, that could all be psychosomatic, I know, but I believe that I know what is going on. No more dizziness, no more fatigue, no more heartburn. No more anything. Something happened on Tuesday I think, and no more baby. Don't worry, I'm still jabbing 1.5" needles into my arse every day, and will continue until tomorrow when I get the beta result. I'm not doing anything rash. I just no longer feel that it's doing anything other than prolonging the inevitable. I'm not going to test again before the beta, though, as it just seems like a waste of money.

I was having a bit of a freak out yesterday, and at one point decided that I must stop TTC'ing now, this second, and absolutely not go and cycle in Las Vegas. Because, what's the point? Clearly my eggs are crap. And it will never work. And it's a whole lot of money just to blow up my vajayjay for nothing. But a work buddy talked me around. Strange, really, as she's also always the one telling me to be careful what I wish for and how babies are such hard work. But she knows that I'll regret it if I don't try it.

Part of my freakout was about money. You see, I want to remodel my house if I get pregnant, seeing as there's no actual bathtub in the house, and I have to go outside to use the laundry room. I always thought this would be a pain if I had a kid. Not to mention that I don't have a private bathroom so it'd be very nice to add one on to the house for many reasons. So I was freaking out about spending $20k+ on two cycles in Vegas, and then house remodeling money, and then quitting my job to go to acupuncture school + daycare. It cannot all be done. And with the housing market the way it is, I was worrying that I'd never be able to sell my house to move somewhere smaller and cheaper, and therefore couldn't free up the equity in it to help pay for everything. But, giving it some serious thought, I don't have to remodel the house. A baby can be bathed in the sink, and yes, it's a pain to go outside to do laundry in the rain, but a baby monitor would extend to the laundry room so it wouldn't be impossible to deal with. Babies can also go to in-home daycare which is cheaper than daycare centers. I also have to convince myself not to worry about what may never happen - if TTC'ing doesn't work, then financially going back to school is a lot easier to deal with. I can save like a crazy person between now and giving up work so that I have more of a cushion to work with when going to school. And I looked into a home equity line of credit, and my mortgage provider lets you just pay interest only for the first 10 years so I can easily do that too. Plus, student loans have to be available somewhere. I have also been putting money into a "new car" fund as mine's getting on a bit, but that can go into the college fund too - I'm sure the car will last a while longer and I can finance a newer one when I start work again.

So I'm throwing some of my energy into really delving into the budget and paring way back. I already fired the cleaning people. Yes, I had cut them down to once every 4 weeks but was still clinging on to that little luxury. Next to go is the yard guy. Then there's switching the alarm monitoring service, figuring out cost cutting with my email service, and I'm sure many other things. And every single budget cut is going straight into my savings account so I don't have a chance to get used to having extra money and therefore don't try to spend it. I may as well start living like a student now, and then it won't be such a shock when I actually do it.

At least doing something constructive stops me dwelling on things. But really I have no time to dwell anyway, not if I'm going to cycle in LV as quickly as I have planned.

And lest you think I'm handling all this wonderfully well, I managed to break down and cry in front of my boss yesterday over some stupid work matter, so that was classy. Now he thinks I'm a lunatic, I'm sure.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Bye Bye Baby


Well, I went out and bought other tests, just for you guys. Fat lot of good it did me though, because the line is gone. Gone, gone, gone. Bye bye my precious baby.


Tuesday, February 19, 2008


More torture.  When I got home from work yesterday, the test I did in the morning had faded so much it was very obviously fainter than the previous day's test.  So I despaired again, until I realized that the horizontal line had faded right along with the test line, so I tried to tell myself it was a dye issue.  And I was somewhat successful in that.  I also repeated Gabby's comments to myself like a mantra (thanks Gabby!) that I could be going from a beta of 10 to 15 or something like that, and still be OK.  And those betas are pretty damn hard for tests to pick up so I shouldn't be surprised if it's hard to see any difference in color.

I just wish I was one of those blissfully ignorant women who see a line and are immediately planning the nursery.  But of course infertility has ruined all that for me.  For all of us, really. And besides, those blissfully ignorant women are usually testing after their periods are already late, so they get nice thick dark lines to start out.  I should stop comparing myself and wishing that I was somebody else.  This is who I am, fragile, battered and on many occasions, hopeless.   But beta day is Friday, so I will know by then.  This particular torture will be over, and it will be on to other tortures.

And I mustn't forget that after last cycle I promised myself that I wouldn't use HPTs, that I'd wait until beta.  And then I decided that if the faint tests I have are the only evidence of a chemical pregnancy, then I'd rather see them and mourn my pregnancy than be in ignorance.  I don't know if that makes sense to anyone other than me, but I've had two documented chemicals and two other cycles where the HPTs also gave me faint positives that had already faded by beta time.  And as my clinic doesn't give a beta value below 5, I got negative betas and no indication of anything.  So were those two also chemical pregnancies or test malfunctions? I'll never know, of course, but if at the end of this process I never end up with a child, at least I can look back on potentially 4 chemical pregnancies and think of my plucky little embryos that tried hard.

OK, on to the tests.  Sorry I didn't explain them before.  These are +/- tests.  The control line is on the right, and the test is on the left.  If positive, it should show a nice "+" and if negative it should show a "-".  So the horizontal line is always there, and we're looking for a vertical line bisecting it to form the plus sign.   And I've taken the little test strips out of the cartridges because a) they dry quicker that way and b) they are easier to photograph.

The good news is that I'm getting identifiable lines quicker.  On Sunday it really didn't appear in the form of a line until about an hour after I peed on it - prior to that it was more a fuzzy accumulation of dye clustered around the place where the line would be.  Yesterday, I had an identifiable line within about 3 minutes.  Today it was within about 3 seconds.   So that's all good.  I just wish I had a nice dark line so that I could reassure myself.  I know, I know, always wanting what I can't have!

This is test 1 (Sunday, or 5dp5dt) at the top vs. test 3 (today, or 7dp5dt) at the bottom.  I think today's is darker!


Monday, February 18, 2008


Just the same, really.  No darker test. In some lights yesterday's test looks marginally darker, in other lights today's test looks marginally darker. Back to despair.

The top test is yesterday's. the bottom one is today's.  This is probably the best shot that could be argued to show today's as darker, but it's really a marginal call.


Oh well.  Onwards, ever onwards.  I'll test again tomorrow, and beta is on Friday so I'll know for certain one way or another by the end of the week.

Sunday, February 17, 2008


Thank you, thank you, for keeping hope alive for me.  I think it started to wear off on me yesterday afternoon.

I had to nap yesterday because I was sleepy, and the boobs started to have the merest lightest little pains (that you'd absolutely ignore if you weren't obsessed).  So that was enough to rekindle the flame of hope a little.

Then overnight the boob pain increased, I had a few weird pains in my ovary region as I rolled over in bed, and I had the most vivid intense dream.  About a magical bus ride.  In my old college town.  Well, starting in my old college town but going up into the hills nearby.  And going through a town full of cheese displays (to which I said, ahh, this must be Wensleydale), and a decorated tunnel, and snow and bubbling streams, and a town full of hiking stores with all their backpacks displayed on the sidewalks, and a kitschy 50's style Elvis memorial, and lots of lovely houses that I thought I could live in once I move back there, and a lake with whipped up waves because of the wind (but even in the dream I remarked to myself how the waves didn't look real but looked like a pathetic special effect from Godzilla), and then a town with trees full of blinking lights which were V-shaped and may have been mechanical fake cicadas.  All for a fare of only 75p.  Sadly no sex, so there was no happy ending OMG-I-must-be-pregnant type of finish, although by the time we saw the twinkly lighted trees I was flirting with a nice Indian guy who was also on the bus.  Except he burned my finger accidentally with his cigarette. Perhaps it could have turned good if loud people hadn't gone past my window at 6.49am and woken me up.  Sigh.

Anyway, that's enough to keep me going with a little bit of hope for another few hours.  Bizarre dreams have to be a sign, right?

And if I'm owning up to things, I should say that I went out and bought HPTs yesterday, and tested this morning.  Of course it is negative, but that's not actually bumming me out as 10dpo is pretty damn early.  And if I squint and hold it justso under the light of a thousand suns, I can imagine where a line could possibly be.  So there's a part of me that thinks just maybe that is good enough for 10dpo and could possibly lead to something actually visible tomorrow.  No, you're not getting a photo, because it would be pure lily white and you'd all think I was nuts. Because of course after that dream I posted about none of you have already spotted the depths of my insanity, so therefore I must maintain the illusion.

ETA: OK, maybe a photo, as it dried a little darker once I took the case apart.  This is from 1.5 hrs after being peed on, so it's way outside the time limit.


Saturday, February 16, 2008


The despair is setting in, right on time.  Yesterday I was crampy.  I thought this was a great sign, and was very very hopeful that it was working.

Today I feel like a fool for thinking that.  Mostly because my boobs aren't doing anything different, and you know, the boobs never lie.  Why oh why do I do this to myself every single time at 9DPO or thereabouts?


Thursday, February 14, 2008

Positivity vs. Realism

Thank you for embryo-cheering and general stickety-stick vibes. Keep 'em coming, because they are sorely needed!

Quite strangely, I had my "chart review" yesterday with LV Clinic. Yes, I decided to sign up with them even though they may well be selling me the latest and greatest advertising fad. But they are saying that this new stim protocol could very well help me, and my old RE's tell me that different stim protocols don't have that much of an effect. So if LV Clinic is right, it could work, and if my old RE's are right, then the different stim protocol at least won't hurt anything. So I paid a fully-refundable deposit to secure my place in the March/April cycle, and they called while I was snoozing post-transfer on Tuesday to book a time to go over the medication protocol.

It is quite surreal trying to remain positive and think about my lovely little blastocyst, and you know, I really am hopeful that this time it could finally work. And yet having a consultation with an RE's office about the next cycle should this one not work. But I am a realist, and I do know that even a great-looking stat of 40% success means that more women fail than succeed. Oh, and LV Clinic knows all about the FET by the way, and have been super sweet and nice about wishing me luck and hoping that I don't need to go out to LV to cycle there. And we've arranged everything so I don't have to pay the cycle fee and sign up for real until after the beta for this cycle. But, they are realists too, so haven't questioned why I am signing up now. So, if it doesn't work I would be going straight on BCP on cycle day 1, and then starting lupron on March 7th. Which is not very far away at all really. Seems odd to just swing straight into a cycle, but why not? I am hoping that the fact that my hormones have been controlled since before Christmas might work in my favor, as if androgens are an issue of mine, then maybe this will have helped to limit them all through development of whatever eggs I am going to pop in March/April.

Anyway, that's what's up with me. Mostly I am feeling good and positive, but I am already hating people IRL who are telling me that I've got to remain positive when I even so much as hint that it might not work. So basically they're saying that my past failures are due to a lack of positive thinking and that anything less than full-on pollyanna-ish stars-in-my-eyes buying maternity clothes already super positive thinking is going to mean that this one won't work either. Well, bullshit to that. I think the fact that I'm still trying after all this time shows that I am a positive and hopeful person, and I bet each of those "friends" of mine would have given up long ago. I sincerely hope that I can prove them wrong this time so they can see that acknowledging that "it might not work" is not the absolutely worst thing I could say or do. And I sincerely hope that I can use the LV Clinic money for something much more rewarding and fun than yet another IVF cycle.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

I had a transfer today!!

OMG, you guys, I had a transfer today!  I was unbelievably freakin' nervous because they never called to update me, so I had to try to convince myself that no news was good news.  It was hard, I tell ya.

But the lovely Stephanie drove me to the clinic, calming me down on the way and making me laugh.  It's good to have friends. :)  In fact, she's currently making me lunch so I'd better go soon.

The embryo survived though, people!  It looked beautiful, even if I do say so myself, and was a grade 3BB.  As it was a grade 3BB on freezing too, it didn't gain anything by being thawed early but obviously managed to catch up whatever grade it lost due to cell damage.

OK, off to eat, and then for a valium induced snooze!

Monday, February 11, 2008

Thaw day

Well, I didn't get my appointment time yesterday. They were supposed to leave a message on their patient voicemail system, and nada. So I made a couple of frantic phone calls saying that I need to schedule things, not to mention that I'm relying on a friend for a ride to the clinic and she needs to arrange her work schedule. And would they please effing call me back already.

I finally got a call back just now. At first the nurse seemed a bit incredulous that I hadn't got a message. And then later admitted that I was the third person today who's called saying they didn't get their instructions. Um, yeah. So clearly they need to fix the damn voicemail system then. Anyway, they want me there at 9.30am tomorrow, so I'm guessing that's for a 10.45 or 11am transfer time.

I asked when exactly they are starting the thaw, and she didn't know. But I'm assuming it's going to be some time this afternoon. I am all sorts of nervous, and my stomach is tied up in knots. I feel foolish that I have allowed myself to get hopeful and excited when this could so easily end in nothing today or tomorrow. But I suppose I have to try to keep the faith somehow.

ETA: 5.40pm. How late do embryologists work if they get to the office at 7.30-8am? No call yet, so is no news good news, or did they just forget me? Again. I suspect the latter.

Sunday, February 10, 2008


OK, don't worry, you can come out of hiding now.  The happy mood has evaporated.  Well, I no longer hate the world, because of course I'm not on lupron any more.  But the extra estrogen has been fully metabolized so now I am back to normal and no more weird super cheeriness is going on.  Damn it.  They should bottle that stuff as a pick-me-up, they really should.

And of course I am starting to stress about the embryo not making it through the thaw.  I read of women thawing 4, 5 or even 6 to get one or two to transfer.  And I think of my one solitary little embryo and quail in fear for it.  I mean, most of the time I am thinking about it in a very binary fashion.  To me, it doesn't matter if the average thaw rate is 70% or 80% or 90%, because with only one to play with I'm either going to get 100% or 0%.  On/off.  Yes/no.  1/0.  I tell myself that if the embryo is good quality, it will make it.  And if it is bad quality, it isn't going to make it but wouldn't have resulted in a pregnancy anyway.  However, as usual, my heart and my head are not really coming to terms with this information in the same way.

It's not like I didn't go into this cycle with my eyes wide open.  I have known all along that there's a big chance of it not surviving.  I have tried to plan for it.  My head is being all very logical about the whole thing.  But I can't help myself getting excited and hopeful that if it does survive, this could be my best chance in a long time.  And because I have allowed myself to get excited and hopeful, the fall is going to be harder I think.  Which reminds me, I must get some alcohol in for Tuesday just so I can be ready.

Anyway, today I find out my appointment time for Tuesday, tomorrow afternoon is the big thaw, so it's the first opportunity for that dreaded call from the embryologist, closely followed by Tuesday morning when they take a look at it again.  I can feel the butterflies in my stomach start up already.

Friday, February 08, 2008

Happy happy joy joy

Dang, I have been in a good mood the last few days.

And I'm pretty certain that it's entirely due to the end of lupron and the extra estrogen I've been on. No wonder women were so unhappy when that study showed that hormone replacement therapy was dangerous. In fact, if it wasn't, I think I'd be urging everyone I know in peri menopause and later to get on some estrogen patches on the double. Or, should I say, on the quadruple, seeing as it's four patches a day that clearly does it for me.

ETA: Do you think we sweat more with more estrogen? It should be the other way around, right? I mean, hot flashes are cured by estrogen. But the last few days I have been thinking that my lovely natural deodorant that I recommended wasn't working for me any longer. I'll admit it, I was stanking by the end of the day. And now today, which has been pretty stressful and you would therefore think stinky, I'm still smelling sweet at 6pm. Well, if not sweet then at least I'm not Stinky McStinkypants. Or maybe it's the the lurve pheromones or something given off when your estrogen is high. Hmmm.

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Happy fake ovulation day to me!

Break out the streamers and the party hats!!

No more lupron! 34 days of 10 units of pure "I hate the world" serum, and I am finally done. I did my last shot this morning and I am feeling pretty happy about that. I think that the four estrogen patches currently plastered all over my belly are also helping to overcome the hate-iness so I'm in quite a good mood today.

The bad news is that I start PIO tonight, and then have to do it twice a day for the next 4 days, but oh well, it's not as if my butt isn't well padded enough to deal with it.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Fone fun

Hehehe, I guess Local Clinic has realized just how complicated they made my instructions, as two different nurses have called me today asking if I have any questions about the instructions and whether they're clear or not. I have, I think, surprised them by just saying "yup, I'm fine, no questions - I'm a very good note taker, thanks". They seem somewhat incredulous that I can write out a long complicated list of which drug to take when without batting an eyelid, but I think they have forgotten the super fatness of my file and the fact that this is my seventh go-around at this sort of thing. You'd think they'd put a notation in the file telling them that if THEY have any questions, they should ask ME because I've probably been doing this stuff longer than they have.

I also had my "pre-op" call at which they asked all the usual pre-egg retrieval questions regarding anesthesia, my highest educational achievement, how I like to learn, whether I had any special religious or cultural needs, etc. I kid you not. I pointed out that whether or not I have a degree really has no bearing on a frozen embryo transfer, as they won't actually be doing any surgery on me. And nor should it have any bearing on the amount of anesthetic I receive or anything else to do with an actual egg retrieval. Which I. Am. Not. Doing. So it is just a complete waste of my time to ask me such questions.

At least this nurse laughed along with me at the ridiculousness of the questions, and said that they are required to ask them to keep up with the certification for their ambulatory surgery center, which apparently is what their IVF retrieval/transfer suite is rated as. I have had prior nurses take umbrage at me questioning why precisely they need to know what languages I speak other than English, as surely the point of the question is if I speak another language without also knowing English so that following directions would be difficult. Not whether I am competent at ordering lunch in Paris. I think if I have to go through this again I will throw Swahili in the mix, and ask for a Festivus rite to be performed over my uterus before we transfer any embryos back in there. You never know, that might be just the magic that is needed.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

The ever moving transfer date

Well, well, well, my transfer date got moved AGAIN.

We started with Feb. 5th, then went to Feb. 7th, then the 14th and now...drumroll...the 12th. My estrogen was 207 today so they're ramping me up to 4 patches at once starting tonight and off we go. I do lupron up to Thursday morning, then on Thursday evening I start PIO and drop the patches back down to two at once. And I shall finally be done with the lupron! Hoorah. I have to do PIO twice a day up to transfer, and then switch to one PIO and one Crinone after transfer. Oh, and I start medrol and tetracycline on Thursday too. Then transfer on Tuesday.

And other more complicated instructions. In fact, I have several post-it notes filled with complicated notes, which are all compounded by switching lupron over from night time shots to morning shots, and by me only being on two patches right now instead of three as they thought. But instructions are boring, so blah blah blah to them.

Oh, and the other thing they told me today is that they're going to thaw the embryo on Monday night, to give it a bit of extra time to recover before the transfer time on Tuesday. So, internets, I have a favor to ask. Please could you beam lots of "survive the thaw" thoughts down to Florida on my behalf?


9.6mm was today's lining measurement. Not spectacular, but not bad at all really, especially as I haven't ramped up with the estrogen patches yet - I expect it'll get thicker as I do that. And thankfully better than last week. So, I'm hoping we will stick with the plan of Saturday being fake ovulation day, and the transfer on the 14th. But of course, I'll have to wait to hear from the nurse on my estrogen level and all that jazz.

Monday, February 04, 2008

Lupron public service announcement

So, having been a bit scientific and measured just how much is left in my old lupron bottle, I can tell you all that it is indeed overfilled by about 0.5ml. If you're reeeally really good with the needle, that means you can get 33 doses of 0.1ml or 10 units. But only if you're really good as that last 0.1ml was a bugger to get out, and sometimes during the last 10 days or so I was trying to only give myself a dose of 9.5 units or so in the hopes that the bottle would last, so I may have slightly underdosed on a few days. It'd be safer to count on 4 extra doses.

But anyway, now that I have a shiny new bottle I have switched over because, why not? Why not have shiny and new as opposed to old and dreggy? And, not that I'm counting or anything, but today is my 31st day on lupron. A whole frickin' month of pretty much hating the world. Ahh, the joys of infertility.

I have my ultrasound and bloodwork in the morning, so I'm hoping for good things and NO MORE DELAYS! Please, oh please!

Saturday, February 02, 2008

Chewing the cud

I really shouldn't be loitering over my breakfast, posting, but here I am.  I have been ruminating on bitterness, anxiety and similar things.  I had a very disturbed night last night because I was dreaming anxiety dreams about work.  Well, technically it wasn't about work per se - I was on a spaceship and there were alarms going off and we'd crash landed, but we had to evacuate to safety.  But after a few go-arounds of forcing myself to wake up, going back to sleep and dreaming the same damn dream, it hit me that it was really about work.  I won't go into it here, but there's all sorts of crazy going on at work.  Mostly I just try to keep my head down but you can't help being sucked into the maelstrom of intrigue and speculation every now and then. 

Where was I?  Oh yes, in the moments when I was awake last night, trying not to dream the same dream again, I was ruminating over the FET/IVF anxiety and bitterness.  Specifically with the anxiety of trying to force Local Clinic to do the beta a day earlier than usual.  They do betas 12 days after transfer, which is utterly and ridiculously late.  I mean, it's not so bad with a 3 day transfer but it's just inhumane with a 5 day transfer.  And now with the transfer delay it is putting me in a squicky situation with regards to signing up for a fresh cycle at LV Clinic because the day I need to sign up on is now the day before my beta.  I mean, it doesn't really matter, as by 16DPO an HPT should damn well better be right, but I'd like to know for definite.  And I guess I could just postpone a month, but I get so worried about my declining egg quality that another month going by just seems like such a huge event that I don't want to even contemplate it.  Oh well, it's probably all academic, as the embryo probably won't survive the thaw and then I'll know the cycle outcome 12 days earlier.

Bitterness is something else I was ruminating on.  When I first went through this infertility nonsense, with the failed IVF and everything, I got bitter.  It was a white hot, sharp bitterness that seared my very soul every time I saw a baby or a pregnant woman, or heard of someone getting pregnant.  I hated it.  I am not naturally a bitter person or a pessimist (not that I'm naturally an optimist either, but that's probably a separate post).  I worked diligently at facing these bitter thoughts, of examining what was underneath them, at "getting over it".  And you know what?  I did.  I did "get over it".  I reached that mythical place of acceptance - not acceptance that it was never going to happen, you understand, but acceptance that this was my lot in life and that I would be strong enough to power through until I got what I wanted.  I was not a little smug in my secret heart of hearts.  I was evolved, I was healthy, I was the perfect Oprah vision of an infertile.

And then.  There were more IVF failures, the hepatitis C scare, more failures and chemical pregnancies.  And the growing realization that it probably never will happen.  That I'll probably never get what I want, even though I worked really hard at it.  And the bitterness slowly seeped back in.  But this time it is a smoldering, deep bitterness.  A bitterness at the very core of my soul.  A bitterness that pervades every moment of my life, every cell of my body.  A bitterness that is what's left from the burning embers of my hopes and dreams.  It's a different bitterness than I had before - this time I'm genuinely happy for other people if they get pregnant.  God, I wouldn't want them to go through this.  I'm happy that they are spared this particular brand of hell.  I don't even mind seeing babies or pregnant women so much, as they seem so far removed from me that it doesn't register as much as it used to.  I suppose I'm learning how to be a childless person, how to be the maiden aunt.  I look at childless people a lot more these days.  I notice them, I try to gauge if they carry a constant sadness around with them or if they are happy with their lot in life.  But the bitterness is there, and it's all about me, about me not getting what I wanted, about being denied, about being thwarted and stunted.  Oh, and I'm angry right along with the bitterness, I'm angry that my life has sunk to this, this desperate chase to have a child.  The money I have spent, the hours of anguish that I have wasted, the evenings I have stayed in nurturing my ovaries while my friends have gone out for cocktails and fun, the idiocy of McDonald's-eating meth-smoking* lazy ass morons getting to procreate while I sit in my organic, toxic free home waiting for a child to enlighten with trips to Europe, and reading of books, and gentle sweet accepting love.

I do try to accept that life is fundamentally unfair.  That I have plenty of good things that other people don't, and that just because I have been denied this one thing does not make my life crap.  But it's not shifting the bitterness or the anger.  I don't know if I even want to shift the bitterness, to be honest.  I'm trying to use it to propel my life in another direction, to view it as the defining time that will shape the second half of my life into something else.  Something better.  Something more tolerant and understanding of other peoples frailties and difficulties, and yes, their lazy ass moronic ways.  Something that can be about helping other people, and not just about a career and a nice house and exotic vacations and pretty children who go to the right college.  But damn, it is a painful transition to go through.

*Do you smoke meth?  Or do something else like snort it?  I am ignorant.

Friday, February 01, 2008

Le lupron est arrivée, part 2

I arrived home yesterday to a giant FedEx box with my lupron refill. Phew. Thank the lawd and all that. Though why they had to put it in a giant box, I'm not sure, as a small box would have done the trick just as well.

Two estrogen patches at a time seem to be doing the trick as far as holding my lining together. Phew. Thank the lawd and all that. It's now down to barely spotting, so that's reassuring. It's still annoying that I have to wait, but oh well, there's nothing I can do about it. Hopefully the next lining check will show plushy triple-layered goodness, ready and waiting for that perfectly thawed embryo.

So, things seem to be finally settling down on the FET front. However, also waiting for me when I got home was a bill from my old insurance company for my HSG. Which they billed me because, well, my policy was cancelled back in September and I had the HSG on January 2nd. Not unreasonable on their part, I think. But here's the kicker - I paid in full for the HSG as a "self-pay" patient because I know my insurance (new, old or otherwise) wouldn't pay for it. The hospital must have dug out my old insurance information from when I had my laparoscopy in 2005 and billed the insurance company. On top of me paying in full and all the paperwork being marked as "self-pay". Arseholes. So now a fight will no doubt ensue.