Monday, August 31, 2009

Running out of room

My ovaries are starting to take up too much space in my body. And I have a lot of space.

Again, I forgot what this phase of stims feels like. How much pressure and pain you feel. The bloating. The gas! Oh the gas. Really? Did they have to throw that in the mix?

I now have 15 follicles between 1.0 and 1.8. My E2 was 2600 today - so it went up a bit, but I was prepared. I started the orgalutran yesterday and had it again this morning, and the E2 crashes the day after you add the org into the mix. So again, I'm crossing everything crossable (including my ovaries, at least that's how it feels) that tomorrow is the day my E2 finally decides to take a spike.

I asked today if we were in any danger of cancellation and was told that as long as it keeps going up and doesn't decrease or plateau tomorrow, we should be okay. So again, I'm running with that.

More stims tonight and tomorrow night, and if all goes according to this plan, retrieval would be Friday.

I really really really want to finish stimming tomorrow because otherwise, we have to buy more Gonal F, and that'll be killer. We can swing the org and the menopur etc, but more Gonal F would be a pain because of the way it's sold. Will I stim for an extra day, or two? Should I buy the 300 pen or the 450 (I'm on 225 a day)? I hate this part.

I'll be at the clinic every day this week, so am moving to shorter work days. I just am too uncomfortable to be there all day. And the fatigue! So this is a happy medium - finishing each day at 1:45pm so I can catch the 2:13 train to be home for just after 3. Then straight to the couch.

I feel like I'm being uber whiney and janey complainy lately, but ugh. It's just not a nice overall feeling knowing exactly where in my body my ovaries are.

Of course I'm delighted to even have this chance again, so no more complaining. For today. It's almost time to take my shots and go to bed anyway. :)

Sunday, August 30, 2009

I'll take what I can get

The seemingly never ending estrogen saga continues.

Better results today - from 1389 yesterday to 2154 today. So that's a good thing. I'm holding on to that, playing the glass half full girl. Doing my best to not stress it and to just ride it out.

The clinic was a zoo this morning! I set my alarm for 10 minutes later this morning than yesterday (because in my world, ten minutes most certainly does count) and managed to get there right at 7am when they opened. Too bad the ultrasound and blood technicians weren't so punctual! U/S lady arrived at 7:15 and blood tech lady 7:25. And the waiting room was full to capacity of none too happy people. Boo-urns.

Had one of the more painful ultrasounds of my infertility career today too. She was poking and prodding and twisting like nobody's business! I was wincing and trying to not freak out at her until she finally realized that she was hurting me. She told me in a very matter of fact tone that she was sorry she had to push so hard, but that my left ovary is very high and if we want good pictures, that's what had to happen.

Okay. Breathe through the pain. We want good pictures, yes we surely do.

Too bad I still feel like that cooter cam rod is still pressing in on me, almost 12 hours later. And we get to repeat the fun again tomorrow!

Oh yeah, tomorrow. Can't believe the weekend is gone already. This whole 5 or 6 hours of sleep thing doesn't work well for me. I take my drugs at 10:30 each night and boy, was that decision a mistake! I thought it would work well, since I had a few after work things last week and was sure that I'd be home by 10:30, so chose that time. Nowadays, I would kill to be in bed well before 10:30 rolls around! Ah, the choices we make.

So now I'm home, tired as one can be, with a pain in my ovaries from the rod of doom and sore feet and shoulders from walking the Ex for a few hours today.

Is it 10:30 yet?

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Whut the..

So yeah, that whole me taking cues from the clinic thing? It's still there, but harder than ever to hold on to after today.

E2? 1389. Barely went up by 300 units. Whut the whut? Sigh. It was 3327 at this time last cycle. That's a huge difference.

The people on the weekend (nurses, blood techs, ultrasound techs) are all different, so it's a whole new ball game. They don't know your chart, your veins, your ovaries like the during-the-week people do. But alas, they still convey their messages and today's nurse told me that sometimes this happens and people just shoot up quickly as they go.


So many disappointments along this road, why should I believe that things will be any different this time?

What makes this super hard was that this, of all things, was one element that I wasn't really concerned about. Progesterone? Sure. Being oversuppressed? Yep, worried about that too. But the progesterone we know how to fix and thanks to the baseline, we knew we weren't oversuppressed. I never dreamed I wouldn't respond in the same way as last cycle.

And here we are, on this slow but steady climb. I just don't have a clue as to whether or not we'll get to our final destination or not. It scares the crap outta me.

On the positive side, I did have some follicle growth today and it looks like those numbers closely mirror what I had last cycle. I can't find the little piece of paper that I wrote my numbers on - not smart! Guess I can get them tomorrow and just update all at once.

I just keep telling myself that tomorrow might be the day that everything spikes - that tomorrow I'll get the news and numbers I want and will breathe a deep and long (if temporary) sigh of relief.

I even went back to my superstitions of cycles past - I re-did my nails in OPI's La Paz-itively Hot. It's a fab bright pink but most importantly, it has the word positive in it. Kinda. Maybe if I can't always be positive, at least my nails will be.

So now it's off to the clinic again tomorrow morning. Yet again my alarm will go off at 5:30, I'll slip into the shower in my semi- conscious state, clean myself, slap on some clothes, and head on down the highway.

Let's just hope Timmy's actually has some decaf ready this time. No, I can't wait five minutes for it while I'm sitting in the drive thru. I gots places to be. A date with a needle and some stirrups.

Please let tomorrow be better.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Taking my cues from the clinic

The one thing I realized today is how much from last cycle I'd totally forgotten.

Yes, it's been a year, almost to the day, since we started our last fresh cycle. And now that we're right back into the swing of things, it's all coming back to me.

All the anxiety of waiting for blood work results. All the second guessing every number that's given to you. All the fear that things aren't where they 're supposed to be, that you're steps away from being cancelled.

I think my brain shut it all out and buried it deep, deep down.

And now it's back, with a vengeance.

Since yesterday's not so stellar E2 results, I've been in quite the funk. Knowing I had to wait until at least 1pm today to know where we stood was pretty much excruciating. I bawled my face off before finally drifting off to sleep last night. Poor Hubs had no idea of what to do or say, I was that despondent.

Stoopid hormones sure as hell don't help.

So back in early this morning for more blood work and ultrasound. We've got some follicle growth, but still not at the same level as last cycle. And that E2? Only 1063. It increased, which is of course important, but last cycle at this time it was over 2300.


I mentioned this to my nurse when she called and she told me to stop comparing things to last cycle, 'cause hey - that one didn't work.

Excellent point, I suppose.

I flat out asked her if they were worried and she said no, that the E2 was increasing as were the follicles and they're growing at a consistent rate, all of which is positive. That it's still early and there's lots of time to go still. That it's quality and not quantity that counts.

Since I've been through a cancelled cycle before and KNOW what it's like for them to be worried, I think I'm finally ready to take my cues from them.

And so today, I'm trying to chill out, recover from the stress of yesterday, and just hope that tomorrow, things look infinitely better.

Can't wait to get up at 5:30 tomorrow morning! And Sunday too! Lucky, lucky me.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Gettin' dicey

Have I mentioned how much of a freaking anxiety roller coaster this entire process is? 'Cause ya, it really sucks. Going in every day, holding your breath while they do the ultrasound, hoping there's lots to measure, then waiting, waiting, waiting to get that phone call with the blood work results.

Well, I just got today's call, and I'm not happy.

My E2 today is 737. In my last cycle on day 6, it was 1236. That's a pretty significant difference.

I realize it can pop up at any time, but I'm starting to feel really nervous. I'm remembering what it felt like to have a cycle cancelled (my E2 on my cancelled cycle day 6 was 616), and I really truly can't handle that right now.

I know I'm getting ahead of myself and deep down I'm hoping that all will be fine at tomorrow's update, that I will have caught up somehow, but my happy, secure blanket of tracking along with last cycle has been ripped away from me.

And I liked my blanket.

I need that blanket.

My LH is still fine so no need to start the orgalutran today. Anything that saves me $116 a day can't be a bad thing. But still...I'm so worried. So very, very worried.

So once again, have I mentioned lately that I hate this process?

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

The first stim check in

It's amazing how much you can forget in a year.


I couldn't remember for the life of me what to expect this morning. Thank goodness I kept a spreadsheet for each IVF to track progress and see what's what!

So blindly in to the clinic I trundled this morning for my day 4 check up. Blood work, ultrasound, chat with the nurse. Rinse, lather, and repeat on days 6, 8 and so on.

Blood work? Check. Too bad I have a massive bruise now in the crook of my arm. I look like a druggie. Pfft - good thing they can't see my belly. It's way worse.

Ultrasound? Check. I love my u/s technician. I usually get the same one all the time - yep, the pregnant one. But I'll forgive her - she had to go through ART to get pregnant as well, so I can deal. It was pretty quick this morning which of course scared the crap outta me. Quick means not much to measure which means not much happening which means not enough meds.

In my twisted world, anyway.

I had to laugh when she said she could do my u/s with her eyes closed, that's how well she knows my insides now. In another universe I'd think that was creepy as hell. But in the here and now, I think it's awesome.

Chat with the nurse? Denied. She wasn't there. So I got my results straight from Dr. H instead! That was certainly a nice surprise.

In a nutshell, he said that everything looked perfect for where we should be right now, nice and quiet. I instantly felt my stress over not enough to measure melt away. He said we'd need to wait for the blood work and that we hope things are moving as they should. I crossed my fingers, said thanks, and left the office.

Just got my call and the numbers seem to be good. Estrogen's at 550 so that's a start, and there's no change to my meds so they must be satisfied. I'll take my cues from them - seems logical to me. And my estrogen's a wee bit higher than it was on my last cycle day 4, so that's always good news to me.

Bottom line - slow and steady wins the race. So far, so good. And now we wait for day 6.

Needle days one through three

So yes, I started stabbing myself Saturday night. Apologies for the absence, but it's been a busy few days. The weekend saw me celebrating my 36th birthday (yes, pretty much all weekend long - I'm spoiled like that) then yesterday I had the most debilitating headache all day I could barely put a sentence together.

Coming off caffeine sucks. Especially when you can't take Advil. Boo.

All in all, the shots are going well. Gonal F I'm very used to, so that was a no brainer. Anything in a pen is super easy to work with anyway. The menopur, on the other hand, gave me a bit of trouble on Saturday night as I tried to mix it, hopped up on sushi and cake.

For whatever reason, the needle wouldn't draw back the diluent properly. Just wouldn't. Tried over and over again until finally we made it work. Hubs had left the house at this point to drive his niece home, so it was me, my SIL and a good friend trying to figure all this crap out. Good times.

As I said, we finally got it working, and my first jabs were only two minutes late. Not too shabby.

But yes, the Menopur burns like a mofo.

That's right, I said it.

And that needle isn't short, either.

Never a dull moment.

Sunday's shots were much easier to mix and took a lot less time, thankfully. But I still felt the full burn.

Yesterday I returned to work after my busy but fun filled weekend and tried to get back into the grind. My large decaf two milk one and a half sweetener just didn't cut it, and I spent the remainder of the day both hunting down Tylenol from my office mates (finally found some) and subsequently trying to recover from said headache. A wee nap on the train home seemed to help a bit - as did a half caf latte from Starbucks. I figured a bit of caffeine won't kill me at this point, and in fact will make me feel better. So I went with it.

Last night Hubs and I went to my sister's place to babysit her kids while she and her hubby went out for dinner and to a movie to celebrate their anniversary. Yet again, it was both wonderful and heartbreaking for me to witness just how good Hubs is with kids. They totally love him and fall for his goofiness all the time. How I so desperately want to be able to see him interact that way with a child of our own...sigh...

We finally got home just after 10pm. Just enough time for a quick email check then it was off to bed. Had to catch the early train to the clinic in the morning, and bed was singing its siren song.

It was good.

Friday, August 21, 2009

And it was good

Quick post today, but wanted to give the important update.

All is well! Better antral follicle count this time - 12 on the right, 15 on the left. Estrogen 259, LH 2 and progesterone 3.4. Estrogen's a bit over what it should be but I always 'ride high' after coming off birth control, so no one was too worried.

Came home early from work today to go to the doctor - I have an ear infection. Awesome. Why not add antibiotics to the drug cocktail? Sigh. Oh well, hopefully I'll be feeling better soon now that they're on board.

Picked up my drugs, left a few hundred dollars behind, and now everything's set and ready to go for tomorrow night.

Think of me around 10:30 pm tomorrow - my very first Menopur shot. I've heard it's delightful. Can't flipping wait for the burning and the anticipated toonie sized welt.

But hey, it all means progress, so welt me up!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Tomorrow is B Day...dun dun duuuuuuunnn

Yep, B Day. That's not short for birthday - nope, that's Sunday, not tomorrow.

No, B Day is baseline day. The make or break day for all fresh IVF cycles.

That oh so important ultrasound and blood work that tells all. Says yay or nay to next steps.

I have PCOS so I have lots and lots of follicles. I'm hoping that they don't number more than 40 for my antral follicle count, 'cause then they might be a bit reticent to start. Last cycle my AFC was 38. Yeah. So here's hoping we at least stick with that or less.

I'm not necessarily worried about any cysts because I've been on the danged Marvelon for two months now and that generally gets rid of any pesky buggers. And I think my estrogen level should be just fine.

But I haven't gotten good ole AF yet since my last bcp on Saturday, and that, too, gives me a bit of cause for concern. Hopefully my lining isn't too thick and everything's still okay to go.

So yeah, just one more hurdle, but an important one, all things considered. It's make or break time! Here's hoping it's all make and no break.

In other good news of the day, I managed to squeeze a further $300 worth of drug coverage out of my benefits plan. I have a $9,000 lifetime max that is now fully maxed for this lifetime. I thought I had about $20 worth of room but nope! $300! So that was a nice surprise for the day. Especially since adding the Menopur added another big chunk of change to the overall cost of the cycle.

So I'll take my $300 good days whenever and wherever I can find them!

But for now I'm exhausted. Ears are still bugging me - think I'll finally suck it up and see a doctor tomorrow - and I need to get up super early to catch the train in for the baseline.

At least I'm tired. Fatigue will hopefully trump anxiety tonight and get me the sweet sleep I need.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Will that be debit or credit?

Paid our cycle fees today. Yep, that's good fun. Here, take this chunk of plastic and just charge it. Watch that debt load increase instead of decrease.


One of the things that really burns my cookies about infertility is the cost. And I'm not talking about physical, emotional, mental or other costs. While they do certainly exist, they're bills that are much much easier to pay than the financial one we're saddled with.

My fertility drug coverage expired with our last cycle. That's right - a $9,000 lifetime max, gone.


Hope you enjoyed it while it lasted.

So now, everything, with the exception of estrace, is out of pocket.

And these pockets are looking mighty empty these days.

Adding Menopur to the mix really shook things up. All of the sudden, we needed to come up with an additional $750 - and that's if I only stim for 10 days and the doc doesn't want to increase my dosage at any time. I have no flippin clue what we'll do if we need to add more of the expensive stuff at the end - but at this stage of the game we're just going for it. We'll figure out how to make it work somehow.


I think I really took my coverage for granted with past cycles. I needed the meds? I went to Shoppers and picked them up. Who cared how much it cost? It was covered. Now, I have no coverage and all the extra stress that comes with trying to find the cash to pay for it all. Just what we IVF gals need - more stress!

Double sigh.

But for now I can rest knowing the cycle fee is paid, the consents are signed, the Gonal F's in my fridge, and I now know how to mix Menopur (which is very onerous and cumbersome - can't wait!). Another wild and exciting Monday, wouldn't you say?

Sunday, August 16, 2009

It is finished!


Ding dong, the Marvelon is done! I couldn't be more excited. Truly.

Tonight at bedtime (which is coming soon, thankfully) will be the first time in a very long, overdue time that I haven't had to pop that little white pill into my quite unwilling mouth.

It is good. It is very, very good.

I'm looking forward to getting back to feeling like me. To not sweating like a mofo at night. To having a better night's sleep.

Then again - what if I don't snap out of it? At least I had the Marvelon to blame if I was feeling particularly bitchy/crusty/emotional. Now - I have no crutch!


Maybe this was all ill planned.

Nah. I couldn't imagine life on these bad boys full time. I truly don't know how other women do it. Well, I guess they don't react to it like I do, that's how they do it. I'm just thankful that I don't have to experiment with guess this month's new Marvelon side effect any longer.

Now it's on to the good stuff - the stims!

Generally I'm fine with that stuff, so bring it on, I say!

I'm in the clinic again tomorrow to pay them all kinds of money, hand in our signed consents, and ask my last few questions before we officially get rolling.

Then, it's all about waiting for that elusive day 1. Fingers crossed that it comes as planned in the next few days. I'm back for blood work and ultrasound on Friday morning, and if all goes well there, Saturday is go time.

But I'm getting ahead of myself.

Hey, look at me! It's almost bedtime, and no Marvelon!


Friday, August 14, 2009

Scratching the surface

Yep, that's what this morning was all about. Roughing up the surface of my uterus.

Nothing says 'yay, it's Friday morning!' like a speculum and a wire brush.

This was my third endometrial biopsy, and, fortunately, the best of the bunch.

The first was eons ago to check the quality of my lining. My doctor had to go back in twice and pinch out a section of the lining to send it for pathology. Twice. With pinchers. It hurt like a mofo. I puked afterwards, and ended up heading home for the day.

So you can imagine my delight when they said they wanted me to do it again for my FET (frozen embryo transfer) cycle. Apparently the new thinking is that by roughing up the surface of the uterine lining, you cause inflammation which means more blood heads to the uterus.

This is a good thing.

And by scraping it up, you create an uneven surface that is supposedly more receptive to catching and holding onto the embryo once it's dumped there.

This, too, is a good thing.

Yeah, time number two they didn't have to take anything out - they just wanted to rumble with it a bit. And rumble they did. Sweet jeebus, it was like a white hot poker had been carefully threaded through my cervix. The pain was thankfully short lived - but intense as all get out. Five minutes later I was fine, and I went about my day.

And now, as we prepare for IVF#3, here we are again at the endometrial biopsy. Wasn't looking forward to it, but wasn't dreading it either. Just one more uncomfortable procedure to be done with along this path they call in vitro.

Well, guess the third time really is the charm, because it didn't hurt this time!


Didn't hurt.

The worst part was inserting and removing the speculum. Can I just say, I really hate that part? They can't and therefore won't use any kind of lube, and so if you're already rather dry down there, it's like sticking your tongue on a metal pole in the dead of winter. Skin sticks.

And that's some rather tender skin, yo!


But it was done before I knew it and I barely felt a thing. Big relief. Big. Huge!

So now tonight I take my second to last Marvelon and look forward to sleeping in.

Keep it rough in there, will ya? Embie don't want no soft place to land!!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Sooooo tired!

Yep, I'm going to complain again for a bit.

Blame the Marvelon...I know I do. Stupid stuff.


I've been knocked off my feet by this silly drug. I know I've already railed about all the ways it has affected me, but man, I think I forgot fatigue!

I just can't seem to get enough sleep. I fall asleep fast, I stay asleep, but I wake up in the morning just exhausted and drag my carcass through the day, ready to pass out at any moment. I can't make it either to or from work on the GO train without napping. Even with really good reading material!

Sure, thanks to the drugs and the hormones I wake up drenched, having soaked the sheets overnight. It's gross. Really gross. But by and large I get the sleep I need.

But hey, there are only three more nights of the stupid stuff, so surely I can hang on long enough to survive this.

Can't WAIT to get up at the crack of dawn on Saturday to set up our garage sale. Whose idea was this anyway? Certainly not mine. Oh well, right now I think of money in terms of how much Menopur it will buy us, so hopefully we rake in some dough at the sale. Every $75 is another day's supply!!! Fun. So fun.

So yeah, there's my little snippy update for the day. Have to be up tomorrow to catch the early train thanks to an early meeting, then same on Friday 'cause I have that delightful endometrial biopsy at 8am. What a way to start the day!

But for now it's off to bed for this cranky pants. I definitely need as much sleep as I can possibly muster.

I promise I'm not always this snarky, really. In just over three days, I'll be able to prove it to you!

I hope... :)

Monday, August 10, 2009

Marvelon, how I hate thee.

Let me count the ways.

I am so sick and tired of being on this stupid birth control pill. I hate it - and it hates me.

Big time.

It hates me by flooding the skin on my face and decolletage with nice bright red acne.

It hates me by making me a raving lunatic with snapping jaws and crustiness galore.

It hates me by flipping my stomach and making me want to puke through most of the work day.

It hates me by messing with my sense of balance - one second I'm fine, the next I'm dizzy as a mofo. And it takes a long time to recover.

It hates me by combining with these weather systems to take a bass drum to my head. I'm popping Advil like it's candy.

And it hates me by turning me into a giant mushball while Hubs and I are watching Intervention. Seriously - the insanely alcoholic chick actually makes it through rehab and reclaims her life, and I just.start.bawling. Huge tears. Just so happy for those kids to have their mom back.

Sob, sob, sob.

And the entire time, through all of this, I KNOW it's unreasonable. I KNOW it's not me, it's the stoopid flipping drug. But I have to take the danged thing to get this whole IVF train out of the station.

I'm counting the days until I'm done.

Six more pills.


Including tonight.

Only a few hours from now, and I'll be down to five.

Can we just fast forward to Saturday night, circa 11:30pm?

That would make me very happy. Marvelon be damned!!!

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Ah, a day at the spaaahhhhh

What a great day today will be. First, slept in nice and late which to me, is really what Sundays are for. Just hanging around now listening to the soothing strains of the background music of The Weather Network (don't ask - Hubs likes his Weather Network) and deciding what I want for breakfast.

Then in a few hours, my sister in law and I will pack our bags, hop in the car, and head downtown to Elmwood. Forget Disney - Elmwood is truly one of the happiest places on earth.

When my FET failed in March, my fantastic friends got together and purchased me a sizable gift card to Elmwood. They're amazing, it was so kind of them. And I'm so happy to finally be able to use it!

I've had the card burning a hole into my wallet for months, always trying to figure out when to take the best advantage of it. With all the other IUI's and cycling we've been doing, I found that my options were cut seriously short...I was in the 2ww and shouldn't be in the warm water of their hot tub, etc - and who wants to go there and miss out on that! Not me.

So I finally decided that there was no better time than just before my next IVF to head down, enjoy their hot tub, salt water pool, yummy teas and fluffy robes. Oh yeah - and the massage. Can't wait!

The timing it interesting, though. It's been exactly nine months since I was last at Elmwood...I also went for a massage, facial and lunch courtesy of same sister and law that's coming with me today on November 9. I was pregnant at the time from IVF number two but knew it was not going to end well. 12 hours after my massage my miscarriage started. So it's kind of a weird association with the place. I'm looking forward to replacing that memory, those thoughts, with new ones today.

Hopefully we'll be able to avoid the crazy thunderstorms they're forecasting (thanks, Weather Network) and will get home before they start. Then I can be all de-stressed and safely snuggled into my couch (and my husband) to watch Big Brother and True Blood. Who knew I'd ever look forward to Sundays?

Off to forage for breakfast now. And less than a week of Evilon to go!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

A comment about comments

Eeps! Trouble in comment land. Apparently the blog template was cutting off those silly words that you have to add in to authenticate your comments, so people weren't able to leave any. Bummer!

I've since fixed the problem by removing that step, so hopefully there will be no further issues.

Thanks to my fellow blogger for pointing it out!

We now return to our daily scheduled programming.


Wednesday, August 5, 2009

A post about nothing

Today's post, a la Seinfeld, is really about nothing. It was a day, and now it is over.

I did get to see my friend's new baby and she's adorable - all pink and cute and sweet - so that was lovely.

But the rest of the day was true full moon fashion - crazy people, screaming and crying fits, you name it. And no, neither Hubs nor I were involved in the crying. I might have done a wee bit of the screaming - but at least it wasn't at him.

So now I will head upstairs, take my Evilon pill which will bring me one day closer to no more Evilon, and bid adieu to this craptastic day.

Here's hoping things improve tomorrow.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Ever notice...

...just how many visibly pregnant women there are out there?


Don't know if today was just an abnormality or what, but boy oh boy, I'm surrounded!

Doesn't help that I work in a building with a massive OB/GYN practice. Bellies everywhere. Strollers on the elevator every second trip.

In some ways it's helped de-sensitize me to the entire thing. But on bad days, it's like the universe is hauling off to give me a good swift kick to the ovaries.

Not cool.

Thankfully today is not a bad day because I totally could have had a breakdown if it was. Everywhere I turned, mine eyes immediately found a baby bump. Finally on my way home I just gave in to my book and refused to look up.

Of course it wasn't to end there. A friend (another gal with fertility issues) and I went to the new Kitchen Stuff Plus store near us and boom - first thing we see, a very pregnant woman. In a bright orange shirt, no less. How were we NOT supposed to see her? Hahahaha.

Funny how strangers do it, but not friends - thank goodness! I have three close friends who are pregnant right now and I have absolutely no issues whatsoever seeing them, talking to them, nothing. So happy for all of them. And we're going to visit another friend's week old newborn tomorrow - can't wait!

Friends yes - strangers no.

Sounds like words to live by across the board!

Have I mentioned how happy I am that there are only 11 more days of Marvelon? Hate the stuff. Makes me cranky. ;)

Monday, August 3, 2009

A quickie

Forgot to mention this in other posts.

I'd love to link to other blogs but always hesitate to just do so out of the blue without permission due to the subject matter. If you'd like to be on my blog list I'd love to have you - feel free to email me ( or leave a comment with your addy. :)

And while we're on the topic, comments in general are always welcome.

I allowed myself to wonder...

Hubs and I both had today off for the Civic holiday weekend and since it was nice and we had no plans, we decided to take some time for ourselves, find a beach somewhere, and try to suck all the summer out of the weekend that we could.

A little googling later and we were off to Musselman's Lake, just north of Stouffville. We found a resort type place that had a beach you could buy day passes for, so off we trundled.

Seeing as we Ontarians are only now actually experiencing the heat you'd expect from summer, the place was freakin packed.

And kids - there were kids everywhere.

Now, on the vast majority of days, I'm actually quite okay with seeing little kids running around. Today was thankfully no exception, and I enjoyed kicking back on my blanket with my book and my Coke Zero, occasionally pulling my head away to laugh at the little guy who, at 2, was destined to become the next Casanova.

I also giggled out loud with the 8 month old that was being dipped in and out of the surprisingly chilly lake water. She was totally loving it.

Hubs and I chatted briefly with her mother and father as they happened to be standing in close proximity to us. As we spoke, I couldn't help but notice how much the little girl resembled bits and pieces of each parent - amazing what you can discern in a very short period of time.

Which of course, got my brain to wondering. If this IVF finally works, what will our child look like? Will s/he have Hubs' red hair, my blue eyes, his lips and my nose? Will s/he be a raging extrovert like me, or more introspective and private like my husband? Will s/he be able to sing like me? Love video games like their father?


I rarely let my brain wander in this direction - it's just too dangerous, ya know? If I don't think about it, I can't remember it when I get yet another BFN or something else goes wrong. And there's protection there. And some days, protection is key.

I'm kinda glad today wasn't one of them.

So bring on the red haired, blue eyed baby, will ya?

Sunday, August 2, 2009

If only I didn't feel the need...

I've always known that I wanted to have children. It was never a question for me, just something I knew I wanted, viscerally, with every fibre of my being.

I find that every once in a while along this infertility journey, I envision my life going forward as permanently child free and I think, all things considered, it ain't all bad. We can sleep in when we want to, childcare is generally moot to us (with the exception of Hubs' daughter when she's with us), we can go away at a moment's notice should we want to, and we're left with more money in our pockets - IVF costs etc notwithstanding.

Which of course makes me question how badly I really want a child of our own, if I'm somehow able to wrap my brain around this as a potentially positive scenario going forward.

But a step back to evaluate the situation tells me that reacting this way is simply my mind's defense mechanisms kicking in. My brain trying to tell my heart that if it never happens for us, we'll be okay, and there will still be good things to look forward to in our child free lives.

This afternoon Hubs and I were at a family bbq held in honour of my cousin and her fiance. They're getting married in Vegas a month from tomorrow, and this was their informal shower.

My cousin and I are relatively close. We're surprisingly similar human beings in the smallest and weirdest of ways. We're less than a month apart in age and while we didn't get to spend too much time together as children, as adults we have a great relationship and she's just plain good people.

Where we differ, however, is on our opinion on children. I want them, she doesn't.

I've known this for years, but Hubs asked the general question this afternoon and heard her response for the first time. And as she outlined her (and her finance's) reasoning for staying child free, I found myself feeling deeply envious of her position.

She doesn't want children. Plain and simple. While I can't relate to her thoughts on the matter, I can, of course, respect them. And be totally jealous that she's able to get what she wants as far as children are concerned.

Sometimes I wish Hubs and I felt this way, that we'd chosen to be child free as opposed to being forced into it by nature. But alas, here we are, ready to try again, hoping that this time will finally be our chance to get what we want.

Either way, I'm happy for both of them, and hope they have a wonderful wedding. We're unfortunately not able to attend for multiple reasons, the main ones being the fact that Hubs is in school full time and can't take the time off, we need the money for IVF, and, oh yeah...their wedding day could very well be our retrieval day.

Cousin and I both think that's kinda cool.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Turing over the soil - an introduction

It's almost ironic that I've chosen a gardening theme for this, my IVF blog. I love flowers, but I hate the act of gardening. Just doesn't do it for me. Guess my uterus happens to feel the same way.

Since this is my first post for this blog, I thought it might be a good idea to give a little bit of background on who I am, what we're dealing with, and what we've already been through to get to this point. I've you're a reader of mine other blog or know me from elsewhere, please bear with me...this is likely quite familiar stuff to you.

In a nutshell, here's the detes. I'm 35 years old, and will turn 36 on my second day of stims for this next cycle. I'm married to a wonderful man that makes me happy in every way I never thought possible. On June 10th, we celebrated our third wedding anniversary. On June 11, we mourned on what would have been the due date for the little one we miscarried after our second IVF. That made for an interesting few days.

Hubsie and I have been together for almost five years, and there was no doubt in my mind that I wanted to have a child (I've stopped saying children - one single child would be more than enough) with him. He's already a father and a wonderful one at that. His daughter turned 12 last weekend, and watching him with her has done nothing to quell my visceral need to procreate with this man.

I've always had out of whack cycles, and since I was about 14, were you to ask me what my greatest fear was, I'd have replied that I was scared I'd never be able to have children.

How prophetic.

Knowing my issues and knowing that Hubs and I were going to be in it for the long haul, we pulled the proverbial goalie a very short time after we started dating. As a result, we've been trying to conceive for almost five years.

I have PCOS, polycystic ovary syndrome, and I don't ovulate. Period. Plain and simple. Hard to conceive when you don't pump out any eggs.

We started off at Mt Sinai hospital's fertility clinic 'cause it was super close to work and they were supposed to be great. Well, after many cancelled cycles due to cysts, three failed IUI's (including one that I would never have gone ahead with had I been told what my estrogen levels were) and too many soul crushing encounters with staff, I decided a change had to be made. I got a copy of my chart and hightailed it over to Hannam Fertility Clinic, where I've been blissfully happy ever since.

Once at Hannam, everything changed. They listened. Worked with us. I could actually reach a nurse if I had questions. And for the first time in a long time, we were hopeful that we might actually have success.

We'd planned one more IUI but after a long conversation decided to move towards IVF. All of the sudden we were moving money around like we had it, going to education sessions, learning about new injections, and I spent an inordinate amount of time with my feet in stirrups.

That was last July.

We started off with the long protocol, and Lupron was not my friend. I was oversuppressed, and my estrogen never made it over 2000, even after 9 days of stims (I was the one who pushed to keep going). That, as they say, was the end of that.

August saw me start the birth control pill so we could try cycling again. No Lupron this time - antagonist cycle for us all the way. Stims started around August 30, retrieval was September 18 and transfer was September 23. We ended up with 15 eggs retrieved, 14 were mature, 10 fertilized with ICSI and by day 5 seven remained. We transferred two, froze the other five, and crossed everything crossable.

Seven days after transfer I couldn't take it anymore. I did a home pregnancy test and sure enough, that elusive, though faint, second line showed up. I was over the moon.

The next morning I started spotting. Just a bit of brown, but it was there. At a friend's urging, I contacted the clinic. They had me come over for bloodwork right away, and sure enough, my progesterone was only eight. It should have been well over 50, but nope. Not me. Not only was I not absorbing the synthetic progesterone they gave me, but I wasn't producing any of my own either. I was in trouble.

They did a beta at the same time and it was 7. Sigh. Just 7. Pregnant, but not. We switched to progesterone in oil injections - fun! - and things looked like they were improving. My progesterone shot up to 74 the next day, and my beta started doubling, slowly but surely.

The first ultrasound rolled around and not good, not good at all. Bean measuring behind, and although there was a heartbeat, it wasn't strong enough. Come back in a week.

Week later, no growth at all, but the heartbeat increased. At this point there was no doubt it was going to end, but it was all a matter of when. And waiting. Because as long as there's a heartbeat of any kind, no one will do a D&C. If we wanted this to be over with, I'd have to go to an abortion clinic.

Needless to say, I chose to wait. I'm vehemently pro choice, but I could not have walked in there and surrounded myself with women who were terminating pregnancies by choice when I was desperate to hold on to mine.

Another week went by, and just before I was to head in for my weekly ultrasound, my body took care of things on its own. I ended up in hospital, but tried to find some small comfort in the fact that my body could figure out what needed to be done.

I went home, rested, cried, and two days later had to go back to work.

That was November of last year, and we decided to take the rest of the winter off to recuperate, chill, and mourn.

Enter 2009. With five kidsicles on ice, a FET (frozen embryo transfer) was the next logical step for us. After much discussion, we elected to go with three embryos to increase our already reduced chances. I was so hopeful, so optimistic, which is somewhat unusual for me. I'm really a hope for the best, prepare for the worst kinda gal, but as far as the FET was concerned I was sure it was going to work. Three embies, PIO (progesterone in oil) shots right from the beginning - the stage was surely set for us this time.

But alas, 'twas once again not to be.

The FET failed, and I had a very difficult time wrapping my brain around yet another failure, despite the fact that failure was pretty much all I'd ever known. You'd think we'd be used to it by now...but nope.


Not so much.

What we wanted more than anything was the ability to do another fresh cycle but had a hard time figuring out how it could possibly be in the cards. While we tried to figure it out, we tried one cycle on our own with femara, then did two more IUI's, both with femara, 'cause hey - you never know, right?

Well yeah, we knew. And they didn't work either.

So here we are. Almost five years, five failed IUI's, once cancelled IVF, one successful IVF that ended in miscarriage, and one failed FET. Thousands of dollars in drugs, procedures and pregnancy tests, and gallons of tears all shed as we've pursued our dream.

The dream which has yet to come true.

This blog is to help me as we head into and through IVF number three. I'm both super hopeful and mega paranoid. I think that this time, it has to work. All of the big questions seem to have been answers, so this should be it. Should.

'Cause if it's not, it might be the end of the road for us. There's only so much money - and we're already well past what was 'reasonable'. And there's only so much I can mentally take before I have to tell myself enough is enough.

I can't even begin to tell you how much I'm hoping that day never comes.

Please, please, please let this work.

Thanks for joining us on our journey. May this finally be the time that all of our efforts finally bear fruit.

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