Thursday, April 30, 2009

My Guilt, My Mother

Welcome new follower!

I have a love/annoyance/guilt relationship with my mother.

I love her and can't imagine the world without her, but sometimes....I struggle to like her. Certainly I don't claim to be perfect. I admit I am a work in progress. But my flaws and my Mom's flaws don't really mesh. Hers seem to rub me the wrong way. I get annoyed by her. I get defensive. Then I feel guilty for it.

We live in different states, so mostly we just talk on the phone. She does most of the talking and doesn't ask many questions about me or my life. So I haven't had to lie about this cycle. The topic never comes up.

For years she has been buying baby clothes. Baby girl clothes. My nephew - her only grandchild - is now 21 years old. When he was born, she called to tell me the news of his birth. She told me it was a boy, then she quickly said, "Act happy though, don't tell your sister I am disappointed."

She used to frequently ask me, "Where's my graaaaaandaughter?" That was her hint. She is saving the baby girl clothes in hopes of a future granddaughter.

When it happened 2 years ago, I told her about my first miscarriage. I told her about the u/s and the degrading sac. I spilled my emotions and fears. Her response: "Well I don't know why you would have any problem getting pregnant....nobody in our family ever had a problem getting pregnant." Of course nobody was 40+ at the time either.

After that, I dipped my toe in the IF treatment waters with her and told her when we first went to an IF clinic. I told her we were thinking about using donor eggs. She asked, "Do they have curly redheaded donors?" I am the sole redhead in my family. My Mom really wants a granddaughter, and she wants it to be a redhead.

When we decided to go with embryo donation, I did not tell her. When we flew to the Clinic and received the physical and medical descriptions of the donors, I did not tell her. When we go back to the Clinic for the transfer and the subsequent 3 days of bedrest in a nearby hotel, I plan to tell her we are taking a short vacation.

Is this wrong? Should I tell her? I'm really struggling and feeling guilty about it. If we get lucky (REALLY lucky) and this works out, chances are the baby won't be a redhead. And (gasp) it might even be a boy.

How awful that I may be depending on the failure of this FET as a reason not to tell her? If it fails, then not telling her won't have mattered. We just move on and she'll never know the difference. I won't have to deal with the comments.

Maybe if I tell her, she'll surprise me and just be happy for us. And maybe (more likely) she'll hedge that happiness by saying, "Well [sigh] I guess it won't be a redhead. Can you choose the sex?" Or she'll find something to say that will leave me feeling deflated.

Thinking back over things she has said to me throughout my life, I realize her words make me feel bad and defensive. Even so, I don't think she means to be hurtful, she's just not sensitive to the feelings of others. She simply has her idea of how things "should" be.

Maybe it's our job to just love the people in our lives and accept them as they are. Maybe it's my own flaw that I can't seem to do that. Maybe my hurt feelings and defensiveness is because of me....not her. I'm not sure. I am so envious of people who have wonderful, close relationships with their Mom.

So as our transfer date nears, and with each telephone conversation I have with my Mom, I keep wondering whether I should tell her and just deal with whatever she has to say.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Blessings Unassumed and Staying on Track

Today has been a day of blessings unassumed. Things that just kind of happened, without my expecting them. Things that made me feel quiet and peaceful and happy.

I had lunch with a good friend. She looked great. She's the one whose husband has a brain tumor. She's the only person other than my husband (and all of you, of course!) who know about the FET cycle we are embarking upon. It was great to spend some time with her.

There were 3 adorable little girls at the table next to us at lunch. Maybe 5 or 6 years old. They all looked the same age, too. One with long curly hair. One with long straight hair. One with a short bob. Adorable. They giggled. Their mom smiled. They sipped chocolate milk. I actually felt happy to be sitting by them...rather than the feel of a knife in my gut.

Well, one thing happened today that increased my heartbeat and made my face go flush. It was an email from the IVF coordinator at my Clinic. The last email I sent her was to inquire about exercising. Apparently exercise needs to be approved (I think I read that Lupron can weaken bones, so you don't want to stress them). I got the thumbs-down for jogging, jump rope and anything strenuous.

Now before you start thinking I'm a fitness guru, I assure you I am not. I exercise a little and try to do so regularly. I also try to get the most bang for my buck. Jump rope is a quick way to burn calories. But if I don't exercise at all, I get plump in the rump. I also start to get fidgety.

I thought, hey, we have this recumbent exercise bike in the garage that we could drag inside and make room for. No weight-bearing there! So hubby and I dragged it in. I emailed the coordinator. Her response was: "You cannot use the exercise bike. You can walk, but no speed walking or power walking."

Jeepers. That's pretty tight. I'm kind of going nuts without the exercise and by evening each night I start hopping around the house...literally....which is probably without a doubt on the forbidden exercise list. But I can't contain myself!

Anyway, today I opened my email and there was a new message from the coordinator. The subject line read: Re: Exercise. I thought, now what? walking either?

I opened the message and began reading. She had simply emailed me by replying to my last message. She said she coordinated with the lab and if everything stays on track, my transfer is scheduled for Thursday, May 21st.

As in 22 days from today!!!!!

Holy cow!!

My head reeled. Okay....let's see, what needs to stay on track? My cheeks flushed. Do I even know what needs to stay on track??? I began storming through the house (probably breaking the "no power walking" rule) grasping and clutching at papers. Looking at schedules and numbers and appointments.

Okay, here is my "track":
(1) I have a follow up U/S Monday. If the cyst is gone then stop BCPs.

(2) Hope for AF to come by Friday May 8th. If she arrives by then, I need to have another U/S to be sure my lining is thin, my E2 is low and my ovaries are clear.

(3) If lining, E2 and ovaries cooperate, then I can start the Delestrogen.

(4) After some period of time on the Delestrogen, I have another U/S to be sure the lining is building up properly.

(5) If lining is good, then we are on for the 21st.

So, okay, a sequence of five things need to happen to stay on track. I'm a realist, you know. I have a quick flush of excitement and then I settle down and figure out the reality of things. It could happen as planned, and it might not. I'm okay with that.

But still, my heart is really happy today. I might need to go hop around the house a little.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

A Day's Thoughts

Sometimes I wonder what my husband is thinking about. I'll look over at him during an episode of Biggest Loser or Hell's Kitchen and say, "Honey, what are you thinking about?" He replies, "Ohhhh. Nothing."

And I believe the man.

He's got a job, so that's good. So I know he thinks about work. But here's how I imagine our respective days:

Hubby: Oh man, I gotta pee.

Me: I hope my ovarian cyst is gone. Did we put the garbage cans to the curb last night? I need to email the Clinic about exercising. Do I need to go grocery shopping today? We need to get the mortgage check in the mail.

Hubby: Mmmm, coffee. [scratch, scratch]

Me: The dogs are almost out of food, I'll need to pick some up. Oops, milk too. What should we have for dinner tonight? [take dogs out to potty, pick up potty]. I have lunch tomorrow with L and my follow up U/S next Monday. I did book the appointment, right? Remember to ask for detailed receipt this time. Did our tax refund come yet?

8:30 am
Hubby: I wish my computer would boot up faster (he works in a home office). What music should I listen to today?

Me: Time for Lupron. When do I get to halve the dose? How many more days till Delestrogen? I need to look at the online PDR stuff about the Delestrogen. The news says swine flu may become pandemic....should we drive to the Clinic for our transfer rather than fly (500 miles)?

12:00 pm
Hubby: "What's for lunch?"

Me: I need to review those state job postings. Am I going to run out of Lupron? I should do the math and see how many doses are in that vial in case I need to reorder. Ugh, my roses are covered in aphids, remember to buy bug spray. Do we qualify for any of the federal TARP benefits?

5:30 pm
Hubby: "I'm off to the gym."

Me: Figure out dinner. Cook it. Clean up. Gotta remember to call back friend who left message 3 days ago. Did I get the dogs out for a walk today? Can we afford the cost of switching to an all organic diet? Crap, I forgot to get to the post office today.

8:00 pm
Hubby: "What's on TV tonight? Mind if I have a beer?"

Me: I wonder if using my laptop on my lap can cause cancer? Whose birthday is coming up that I need to buy cards for? Should I stop coloring my hair because of the toxins? We're almost out of paper towels. I wonder if our FET transfer date will be delayed. What if we get pregnant with will we manage in this tiny house? What if we don't get pregnant?

11:00 pm
Hubby: ZZZzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

Me: I hope my ovarian cyst is gone. What do I need to do tomorrow?

A Little More About Wacky P

Thank you to everyone who commented about my sil (Wacky P)and for sharing your TV all gave me a lot of encouragement. We watch(ed) so many of the same shows and I just knew that there would be many brilliant and successful people out there raised on crap TV (which, btw, I don't think is all crappy anyway - The Muppets was a classic, indeed!). But truly, parenting is so multi-faceted, TV alone can't be a predictor of outcome. I'm almost looking forward to going over there now! Thank you for helping me to feel empowered!

I want to tell you two more things about Wacky P, and then I'll move on.

First, she breastfed The Boy till he was 4 years old. No kidding. The only reason she stopped is because she had The Girl, who, as it turned out, was unable to breastfeed for medical reasons. I'm sorry, I totally advocate breastfeeding (if you are able to and want to do it), but really....breastfeeding a 4 year old is gross.

Second is the first offensive thing Wacky P ever said to me. My husband and I may still have been dating at the time. We were in her kitchen as she cooked (it may have been the same day she educated me about fresh eggs). I told her the story of how, when I was 4 years old, I dragged a chair over to the stove so I could climb up to get some cookies which were kept in a cupboard over the stove. I was too young to realize that the stove was on, and I stepped onto a red hot electric burner. I severely burned the bottom of my foot (for which my poor Mom still feels guilty).

Can you guess what Wacky P said upon hearing this story?

She shook her head and said, "Well, that's what you get for feeding cookies to kids."

I was stunned and speechless.

Of course now I would think, "Yeah, well, feeding kids cookies is a whole lot more reasonable than breastfeeding a 4 year old." --- Okay, I hope I might have the guts to say that, although for the sake of my poor husband (always caught in the middle), I'd probably just let it go.


Monday, April 27, 2009

The SIL I NEVER Wanted

The new diet plan went fantastic today! Baked white fish with garlic, curry and olive oil. Broccoli, mushrooms, asparagus, onions and orange bell peppers stir fried in ginger and soy sauce. Okay, my breath was probably a lethal force afterward, but it was delicious!

Oh, and I want to thank Alex P. for the 101cookbooks website. Alex, do you have an email or blogsite...I can't seem to contact you.

Now for the newest jaw-clencher on my horizon: I may have to go visit my sil and fil this weekend.

Ugh. Sil lives only 15 minutes or so from us. I loathe visiting and try to limit it to holidays. Can you say pretentious, know-it-all, preachy, one-upper-about-everything, critical-of-others type of person? She definitely does NOT know about my IF, my m/c's, our treatments or this FET.

Sil is married, has 2 kids from sperm donor. Her boyfriend (now husband) had been "snipped" so she marched herself to the sperm bank and got herself knocked up....regardless of bf's input. And let me tell you, she knows everything about being a perfect parent. Oh yes. And she's happy to share her vast wealth of knowledge.

No TV for her kids. No electronic games of any type whatsoever (one year we gave the then 4 year old daughter a teddy bear that could record your voice and play it back when you squeezed its paw. Sil debated about whether to let the child have it). Neither of them (ages 9 and 5) have any idea who Hannah Montana is. Sil cooks and jars her own jam. They keep chickens from which they get eggs. Did I know that I cannot get a fresh egg from the grocery store? Oh cannot buy a fresh egg from any store. She instructs me how to garden. Her kids have few friends and are spoken to like little adults. Her son is learning to knit.

I thought, these kids are going to grow up to be freaks who know nothing about what their peers talk about. What I really detest, though, is the lack of discipline. Zero. Those kids dictate everything.

You know, I don't mean to judge. Honestly. This is evident by the fact that I have never said anything to her about her dirty house, piles of dishes or unkempt-looking kids. But she preaches...and I can barely stand to be in the same room with her.

The final straw came after I had had my second m/c. I was a mess. She had no idea. We went over for breakfast (what delicious, fresh scrambled eggs we had). From out of nowhere, she looks directly at me (why ME?) across the table and says, "T, did you know that there is a newly published article in the Journal of Something Something Medicine which says that children under the age of 2 years should not watch any TV whatsoever?"

She knows I'm a crap TV-aholic. So sue me. I was working a hardcore stressful job as a lawyer, 10 hours a day. When I got home, crap TV unwound my brain. I admit I watch reality shows, sitcoms and other various forms of crap TV.

So her the fact that I had just m/c'd and didn't have a 2 year old, or any baby for that matter, to sit in front of a TV, put me over the edge. I cried all the way home. Fortunately, my husband is very supportive about this issue (heck, it's his sister...he knows!).

Anyway, after enough time had passed and I gathered my wit, I waited for the right moment. I knew it would come and it did. I'm not one to brag about my credentials, and I think I'm generally kind to others, but oh man, she deserved this!

The topic of TV and children came up again. She went on about how bad TV is and how she won't let her kids go over to the neighbor's house anymore because (gasp!) they let their kids watch TV. Then I said it.

I said, "Hm, P, you know, I grew up on TV. Almost from birth. I watched all the cartoons, soap operas, game shows, sitcoms. Hell, even now I watch hours and hours of reality TV and whatever happens to come on every night! It's incredible, isn't it, that despite so much zombie TV, I've been able to acquire two bachelor's degrees and a law degree, and I graduated with honors for all of them! Go figure."

That shut her up. Oh, the look on her face was priceless.

Unfortunately, it only caught her off guard for a moment. People like that are hard to stop...sort of like a speeding train.

So yesterday my husband said, "My dad is going to be in town this weekend. Want to go to P's house?" I haven't been there since Thanksgiving. I may have to suck it up and go. The only good thing is that I'm feeling happy and positive about this FET cycle. That and the fact that since I was laid off from that stressful law position several months ago, I watch even more crap TV than ever.

That ought to be great fodder for conversation. ;)

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Master Dart Thrower? -- Not Yet.

Oh man. I am starting to think I might have to give myself the IM Delestrogen shots. But no need to panic just yet.

Yesterday was my first Lupron. A tiny little syringe with an itty bitty needle. A wee bit of medicine. No need to aspirate for blood like you need to do with an IM. I admit I was a little nervous before doing that first one. Then I found out that the shot didn't hurt. It really didn't!

I decided that this morning I would have my husband watch as I gave myself the Lupron. Describing the procedure as I did it. I'm going to have him give me the baby steps before moving onto the big guns (IM shots).

So this morning, he watched. He uttered a "yowch!" as he watched the itty bitty needle sink into my belly. He seemed okay. Then we walked to the closet where my box of other meds await. I said, "I want to show the needle you'll have to use for the Delestrogen." I'm trying to break him into this step by step. I pulled a strip of 1.5 inch needles from the box.

He grimaced. He said, "And I have to put that all the way in? I think I am going to pass out just looking at that needle......what if I hit your bone?"

Not only do I not want him to pass out, I don't want to waste expensive medication. Or slip with a needle in his hand.

As some of you know, I plan to have him practice giving IM shots on a beef brisket before taking aim at my tender backside. But I am beginning to wonder if I might just be able to do this myself. I twisted myself around to the right to see if I thought I could do it. Probably. With difficulty.

Did any of you have issues with your spouse/partner learning to give intramuscular shots? Any suggestions? Should I just figure out how to do it myself? Or should I just keep working to get him ready to do it? Part of me really wants him to do it so that he feels like he has an active role in this whole process. That the possibility of having this baby is dependent upon his participation.

I'd be happy to hear what you think.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Lupron - Day 1


I did it! I gave myself my first Lupron injection today!

Okay, okay, I know many of you have given yourselves hundreds of shots. And I know that Lupron can cause all kinds of nasty side effects. The headaches. The hot flashes. The bad dreams. Acne? (great...looking forward to that).

But I feel celebratory because with that first injection, I feel like I have officially started this cycle. The BCPs by themselves didn't feel very important. A shot, however, is tough to ignore! I'm one day closer to transfer.

Oh, and one other unexpected side effect. A good one! My husband seems unusually sweet and protective of me today. Hmmmm, I think he's realizing that this is "for real" too!

Friday, April 24, 2009

Compulsive Shopping

I wrote a rather long post today about Embryo Donation. If you are interested, please see below for that post.

For those looking for something a little less informational, I thought I'd talk about something we've all done.

Buying pregnancy tests.

I think the first one I ever bought cost about $12. I thought, wow, that's pricey! And they seemed to go quickly, didn't tell me what I wanted to hear, and got dropped in the trash.

I found some store brand ones at Wal Mart for about $3 plus change. I put 2 of them in my basket, face down, and hidden behind kleenex and toilet paper. I was sort of embarrassed to be buying them. I don't know why. Maybe I expected someone to look at them, smile, look up at me and give me some weird look.

Those, too, ended up in the trash. Twice, though, those little sticks told me something positive - all pun intended. I took photos of the sticks with my two pink lines. My husband and I hugged and the stick sat on the bathroom counter for days (I couldn't throw it away).

Both positives resulted in miscarriages.

Then I started an obsessive habit of POAS. I eventually started buying them at the nearest dollar store. I'd buy 4 or 5 of them. Forget about embarrassment. Now the look on my face said, "What about it??" About 7 days into a 2ww, I'd POAS. Then I'd do it again and again each know....just to be sure it was truly negative.

Like the Elizabeth Kubler-Ross stages of grief, I eventually came to accept that POAS led only to negative results and full trash cans. Cold turkey, I stopped buying pregnancy tests. I figured that if AF were ever late, I could drive to the store and buy one test.

Hasn't happened yet. But the store is close by...just in case.

About Embryo Donation

Happy Friday, everyone! Wishing you a beautiful day!

A few people have asked me about embryo donation, and our reasons for choosing it. I thought I would talk a little bit about it today.

First, my disclaimer: This information is based upon my own research, and I don't claim to be an expert. I've tried to summarize a lot of information here and this is only meant to be a short summary and not a fully inclusive list of information or requirements. I encourage and urge you to do your own research and make inquiries for more specifics. Also, Embryo donation/adoption may or may not be something you would choose. It was right for us, for our own reasons.

So what is embryo donation? In short, it is the donation of remaining frozen embryos by someone who has undergone IVF to another person.

If your IVF was successful (I know we have a member of our community right now newly pregnant with triplets!) and you have remaining frozen embryos, you will need to decide what to do with them. Your choices may include (1) keep them frozen for possible future use by you (for which you likely will pay a storage fee); (2) let them thaw and be discarded; (3) donate them for scientific research; or (4) donate them to another infertile couple.

How does it work? Find a clinic that offers embryo donation services. All clinics have different requirements, so please check around.

You provide them information about you (there will always be paperwork) and they try to match you with available embryos. Donor parents may have some control over who their embryos go to. Other clinics do only anonymous donations. When embryos become available that might be a good fit for you, the RE will tell you about the embryos and you can decide yes or no, whether you want these embryos. Some clinics will also handle the medications and transfer of the embryos, other clinics ship the embryos to your clinic who then takes over. As for the procedure itself, it works a lot like any other FET cycle. The intended mom takes medications to prepare her uterus lining. When the time is right, the embryos are thawed and transferred.

What are the advantages of embryo donation? Well, I could go on and on here, but I'll try to distill it down:
(1) The cost is MUCH less than regular IVF, especially if you would have needed donor eggs anyway. If you have to pay out of pocket for all IF related procedures, you could be priced out of IVF all together, but might be able to afford embryo donation.
(2) The procedure is easier on the intended mom because she doesn't need to undergo egg retrieval.
(3) Your chances of success MIGHT be better because if someone donated embryos to you from a batch with which they were successful, you might reason that the embryos from this batch are "good quality."

Why did we choose embryo donation? For several reasons. I am 43, my eggs are toast, and we couldn't afford to undergo successive attempts at finding one good egg or the very costly donor egg program. My uterus is healthy and my only "downfall" is my age. Embryo donation success rates are pretty good (you can check stats on the US Centers for Disease Control (CDC) website). After two miscarriages, I wanted the straightest, most likely route to baby. We are fine with having a child that is not biologically our own.

What are the drawbacks to embryo donation? For some people, having a child that is biologically connected to mom or dad is important. If you have problems with your uterus, this may not be any more successful for you. Clinics that offer embryo donation are fewer and farther apart, so you may have to travel. Finally, depending on the clinic, there may be a waiting list, and you may have to do several things common to regular adoption (like writing letters to prospective donor parents and doing a home study, among other things). The requirements of each clinic can vary greatly though, so I would encourage you to call around and ask.

Where to go for more information? Try searching the internet for embryo donation in your state. There are several agencies and clinics out there, and it does take some time to research them. I don't feel comfortable recommending any one clinic because I don't know enough about them to make a recommendation. Again, I would also encourage you to check each clinic's stats on the CDC website or

I hope this post was helpful.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

What Time is it Now?

The weather has changed. Yesterday was really sunny and hot. This morning it is overcast, windy and cool. So strange. Maybe the weather is trying to jolt me out of the strange sensation I've been having of time passing s..o......s..l..o..w..l..y.

I started on BCPs just a few days ago. Monday? Yes, Monday. Today is Thursday. Only three days have passed? Feels like a 2ww! Good grief.

We are commencing an FET cycle, and it feels like months since I popped that initial pill. First Lupron injection will be this coming Saturday. Two more days from now.

At this rate, I am beginning to feel like I will retire before this transfer comes to fruition!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Giving What I Have

This is my first ICLW month. In fact, I only recently started blogging and created my blog.

Briefly, my husband and I married in late 2006, started ttc right away, had 2 mc in 2007 (June and October). In 2008 we finally made our way to an RE and IF clinic. We're now working toward transferring our first donated embryos. A couple of months ago I stumbled upon blogs I am.

Because of ICLW, I read many more postings than usual today. I am awe...of the events in your lives, and how you cope, and how you persist. I have carried the burden of my own loss and suffering and dashed hopes for two years now. I feel like (I am) a newby compared with a lot of you out there.

I just want you all to know how moved and touched I am by the stories you share, by your willingness to be vulnerable, by your strength in reaching out and in your endless determination.

I sat in my living room today and looked out over our back yard, awash in sunshine. At the little insects diving wildly in the air, this way and that. At how the sun glimmered on blades of green grass. At the few clouds drifting by overhead. And I thought of you all. Of your stories that I read.

If it matters at all to the Universe, I wanted to give you what I could. I directed all of my thoughts and energy outward to you all, urging for each of last...triumph and joy and every dream come true.

Thank you, for reaching me today. I am so moved.

Why I Don't Tell


Almost no one knows that my husband and I have pursued infertility treatments.

That we decided to go with embryo donation/adoption.

That five darling embryos were donated to us.

That we are hoping to transfer at the end of May.

Only my husband and one close friend of mine. No family. No one else.


Unbelievable comments.

During a phone call with my mom yesterday, she said (confident I will be childless all my life), "Well, at least you'll never have to deal with a child growing up to be like that Cr; K; guy."


What a friend quickly said when a third person asked me whether I have any children: "No...she has doggies."


What my sister once said about me not being a mom, "Well, at least you don't have anyone to worry about."


The thought of telling them, explaining it all, defending our choices....ugh. The thought of being unsuccessful in all of this and then having to go back and explain our failure....and the crash of "All for the best" comments that would be made. Ugh.

But...ahem....if we are successful....they are all REALLY going to be caught off guard and feel a little betrayed, I think, about not knowing.

But that's the risk I've chosen to take.


Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Not a Member? The Club Snub

"You are a less relevant human being."

This is the message that society sends (repeatedly) to those of us without children.

We, the childless, are apparently incapable of understanding, feeling or giving "real" love. We are apparently selfish, self-centered and unable to sacrifice for others. We have never felt a deep human bond. We are not members of The Club, and those who are members never let us forget it.

One day, several years ago, I was at a friend's house for a summer dinner party. By then I had already been a practicing RN for several years. My specialty, by the way, is pediatrics. As several of us stood around visiting in the kitchen, my friend's five month old daughter was getting fidgety in the baby swing. Another female guest scooped the child into her arms and began patting and bouncing the baby in an attempt to pacify her. My friend turned to the woman holding her baby and said, "You sure can tell you're a mother! Only a mother knows how to hold and calm a baby!"

I did not say a word. But I knew that as a pediatric nurse, I had done more things with, for and to babies than my friend ever would in her life. I simply was not anyone's mom.

Somehow the rest of us - we NON-mothers - are put into a lower social strata by members of The Club. The army of non-mothers who are educated, successful, intelligent, kind, generous, creative, funny and who are productive, contributing members of society, are forced to hear and remember that we just don't measure up. We are not members of The Club and our lives are apparently meaningless without children.

Can I tell you that this mindset angers me to no end? If it turns out that my dreams don't come true, if I never have a child....well, pardon me.....but my life will still have mattered.

We all have the power to impact the lives of others in positive, meaningful ways. We change the world from what it was to something better. We deeply affect others, and lives are forever changed because of us. Don't give into to the mantra of The Club. Know who you are, know your worth, and know that you matter!

Monday, April 20, 2009

Let the Drugs Begin!


It's a go.

BCP's begin tonight. Lupron on Saturday.

I swear....I think I actually ovulated the very MINUTE my blood was drawn this morning. Estradiol was still on the rise, but so was my progesterone. My RE apparently thought that was a good enough sign to proceed.

Only catch (isn't there always?) is that I need a follow up U/S around May 5th to be sure my ovarian cyst has indeed disappeared.

That means Dr. JabbaWand gets an extra swipe at me.

Nevertheless, all I can think about are those sweet little embryos, stored away in straws, tucked into a cylinder, and closed behind a freezer door. Ever since I learned about them, and was told the paperwork had been signed off and they were ours, all I could think was: "Hang on my loveys! Mommy is coming!"

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Oh, joyous day!

Today is my birthday.

My husband, who is not the guy, is trying so hard to surprise, comfort, encourage and support me.

And I love him for it. First thing this morning, barely awake, as he stood at the toilet, he began signing "Happy Birthday" to me. I had to laugh.

I walked into the living room to find a gift bag, pink roses and a card awaiting me. My heart turned to mush.

We don't give each other fancy or expensive gifts. We never really have. Can't afford to and have other things to spend our money on (like fertility treatments).

Last night I told him that it would mean the world to me if, this morning for my birthday, he would make my bowl of cereal, pour the milk onto it, and bring it to me. It is the tiniest efforts of love that mean the most to me.

A bowl of cereal, pink roses and a card that brought tears to my eyes.

Today I feel lucky and blessed.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Planning and Pondering

Stretching across the air and down beside a tree
A ray of sun reached out and gently caressed me.

Thank you all for finding me and for taking the time to offer your encouragement and support! It is so helpful.

I have a confession to make: I am a Google infomaniac.

I need to know everything...about my meds, normal lab result ranges, protocols, procedures, statistics...everything. I gobble information like a starving dog.

My estradiol and progesterone levels from yesterday appear to be pre-ovulatory (at least according to my research). I will be re-tested on Monday and hope to see my estrogen come down (from its current 218) and my progesterone increase (from its current .73). At least I know what I'm looking for.

In the mean time, I keep telling my husband I'm going to buy that meat for him to practice IM shots on. He just says, "Okay." Hmp. I'm impressed. I did warn him that once the needle is in, he'll have to pull on the syringe to be sure he's not aspirating blood. He cringed a bit at that, but was still okay with it. I've decided to have him practice using water and also trying it with olive oil -- you know, so he'll get a feel for viscosity. I'm going to wait though until we get the go ahead for the FET cycle.

This morning I went and had my hair colored per my usual 5 week regimen. It is now the glorious color of a new copper penny! It will hopefully be my last time getting it colored for the foreseeable future!

Have you been warned not to color your hair once you begin a cycle? Do you color anyway? Do you use natural hair coloring agents that are not harmful? I just wonder what other women do. I mean, I've been coloring my hair consistently now for, oh, maybe 4 years or so. I'll willingly give it up to ensure the well being of my baby, will be a change.

Did I mention that I turn 43 tomorrow? Time just marches on, doesn't it?

Friday, April 17, 2009

Ode To My Ovarian Cyst

One more time, I hop up for the ride
Please put your feet here and open your legs wide.
Slide toward me a little, that's it...right there,
He waived the wand and rolled close in his chair.
Up on the monitor you will see...
That's not quite right....what could it be?
A cyst, said the doc, in a casual tone.
What does that mean? I started to groan.
He faxed the Clinic, It's their call to decide.
Then from me the ultrasound wand he pried.
The Clinic called, I was near tears
She spoke while my heartbeat roared in my ears.
Not sure, she said, why there's a cyst
We'll draw blood on Monday, we'll do a new test.
So again I will wait, my excitement half-hearted
Will this FET cycle EVER get started????

I always feel better if I can just get a poem out of my system. Today I felt the need to scream. Here's why:

Because during today's pre-cycle/baseline U/S, there was a cyst on my left ovary.

Because I don't know if my cycle will be delayed.

Because Nurse DeadPanFace missed my vein when drawing blood (again), despite the fact that I have veritable garden hoses for veins.

Because when I got home from the U/S, my husband (who works at home) was on a business call and I was going crazy having to wait to talk to him while thinking about the cyst.

Because I haven't, can't and won't tell my mom, sisters or friends (save one) about this FET/embryo donation we are embarking on. Past negativism, defeatism and other unwanted reactions to my "testing the waters" comments about fertility treatments put the kabash on any support from them.

Because life just doesn't feel fair some days.

I wanted to scream. I didn't. I breathed. I waited it out. I wrote an ode to my ovarian cyst.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

A Shot in the Dark

Good golly, I've got to teach my husband how to give me an IM shot.

The Delestrogen. Of course I'll handle the SQ Lupron. When I learned that the Delestrogen was IM, I thought, hm, how to do that? The Clinic quickly said, "Oh, your husband can learn to give them to you."

My husband? Surely they were joking. My husband grimaces and can't watch when they show a "murdered body" on the TV show Bones or one of those CSI shows. He can barely withstand hearing the word "blood."

Oh, and did I mention he has a purpose tremor?

I thought, having him try to do this could be dangerous....for both of us. I told the Clinic I'd have our monitoring clinic give me the twice weekly shots.

Then I read the literature and discovered that the shots had to continue into 12 weeks of a pregnancy (I'm being hopeful, see?) Twelve weeks?! I can't drive to the clinic twice a week for 12 weeks just to get a shot.

"Honey," I said, "You gotta give me these shots." I told him why. Surprisingly, he was willing. "Okay," he said, "If I have to, I have to."

So I'm going to teach him. Did I mention that I was a registered nurse in a previous life? All those years are going to come in handy.

I'm going to the grocery store to buy some meat, I'm going to tie it to a plate or cutting board, and I'm going to have him practice injecting that meat with water over and over and over.

According to my calendar, we should start the Delestrogen around the second week of May. By then, Honey will be a pro and my behind should just look like another slab of meat to him.

Good golly.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Gearing Up

The beginning of my FET cycle is around the corner. Friday I go for an U/S, then I expect the Clinic will give the thumbs-up to start BCPs. A week or so later I should start the Lupron. Then the Delestrogen and other meds. My uterine lining should get all plumped up and ready to welcome with open arms three gorgeous little embies.

Somewhere inside me I am really REALLY! excited about all of this. I just feel like it is going to work like a well-oiled machine. Like my uterus has just been waiting for healthy little embies to show up, and then all will be well. Like, of course, duh, I will be pregnant by June.

Yet, some other part of me feels....I don't know....indifferent? Unemotional? Maybe it is the fear of being too hopeful. People who are too hopeful tend to have the rug pulled out from under them.

So I calmly stare at the box of pills, vials, syringes and capsules that await me. Maybe it will become more real after my first injection (ouch!). At the moment, though, I am in a weird state of mind.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Learning the Ropes

I am new to this blogging thing.

I stumbled across a blog or two and now eagerly read several infertility blog postings and comments. Particularly since my husband and I are about to start our first FET cycle. I look to these women for insight.

I have seen hope, fear, disappointment and fortitude among these women. For crying out loud, they stick themselves with needles every day! They pray, they plead, they stand resolute. They walk silently among the swollen pregnant bellies that seem to be everywhere in the grocery stores, shopping malls, banks and restaurants.

In spring 2007 I became pregnant the old fashioned way. I did not tell anyone at work because I wanted to wait until after my first doctor's appointment, which was to be at 10 weeks. I was 6 weeks, so I had a few weeks to wait. That Saturday, there was a company picnic. I attended and had a fine time. The next day (Sunday) I drove my husband to the airport. He was to be gone that next week on business.

Sunday night, around 10 pm, I turned off the lights and TV and went to use the restroom before going to bed. I was bleeding. I was alone. I called the after-hours medical number for an advice nurse. She was very kind, asked several questions and made an appointment for the next morning (Monday) for me to be seen. I called my husband and he was able to get a morning flight home.

Alone that night, I bled and cramped. I knew what was happening.

The next day, early, I called in sick to work. My gyn performed a vaginal ultrasound. She said, very matter-of-factly, "You are definitely NOT 6 weeks. The sac is empty, so if anything you are 4 weeks or you are miscarrying." I was miscarrying. I continued to bleed heavily for the next several days. My baby was gone.

Not wanting anyone at work to be suspicious, I returned to the office and worked a full day Tuesday. A co-worker joked about my "taking an extra long weekend" -- seeing as I looked to be just fine on Saturday at the picnic. I was quietly crushed. Okay, he didn't know. He couldn't know. I could have said something. I didn't think it was anyone's business. But I was crushed.

I wanted to scream, "No! It wasn't a long weekend. It wasn't fun and games. I was having a miscarriage, okay?! I was alone all night, bleeding my baby out of my body while my husband was away and couldn't be with me, okay?!"

I said nothing. I worked.

This is the silent wail of the infertile. That day my voice joined theirs.

The song of sorrow.


So yesterday was Easter. I spent much of it outdoors with our two dogs. While the dogs played in the grass, I scrubbed the patio, I scrubbed our patio chairs and hosed them down, I cleaned the BBQ grill, I swept old leaves from the patio and I planted some tomato and cantaloupe seeds (my first attempt at anything resembling gardening). Then I sat down in my newly cleaned chairs and soaked up the warm sunshine.

My husband is not much for yard work. Oh, he rolls the trash can to the curb and mows, but he'll happily leave the gardening, flower tending and watering to me. After my work was done, though, he sat with me and together we watched our dogs romp in the yard.

As I sat there, I couldn't help but wonder, whether a year from now, might we be parents to a new baby....celebrating baby's first Easter? I won't be washing the patio, that's for sure!

One can always hope.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Our History and Chronology


5/2007.....................Two pink lines (pregnant!)

6/24/2007..............Started spotting

6/25/2007............. Miscarriage. Blighted ovum.

8/21/2007............ Two pink lines (pregnant!)

10/7/2007............. Started spotting

10/8/2007............. Saw baby bean on transvag U/S. No heartbeat. Miscarriage.

7/2008................... First meeting with Infertility Doc S.

8/2008.................. Diagnosis: geriatric eggs.

11/2008................ Quit seeing Doc S.

2/2009.................. Decide to pursue embryo donation. Contact Clinic. We're 4th on the list!

3/12/2009...........Telephone call from RE to discuss possible match!

3/20/2009........ The embies are ours! Five little darlings.

4/6/2009.............Travel to Clinic to meet RE and Dr. Plans to start FET cycle this month with possible transfer at the end of May!


I know there are a lot of women and couples out there like me....experiencing the ups and downs, hopes and devastations of infertility. I had no idea how many of you were out there until I began doing some research in my own quest for answers. I tried to research "just the facts" -- the scholarly articles and medical postings. But I kept tripping across what I now realize to be the blogs of so many women, recounting their own tales of woe, their experiences with RE's, the dreaded 2ww, the numerous unsuccessful IUI's and various medication cycles. At first I huffed in exasperation when I came across the blogs. I was NOT looking for what I thought to be merely the opinions of non-professionals. I wanted answers. REAL answers.

Okay, okay, quit laughing at me. I now know that if there were real answers out there, many of these blogs would not exist. When I finally took the time to READ the blogs, I realized that here, among you all, the bloggers, the posters, the commentators, the was what I needed. Support. Encouragement. Commonality. A place to shout "It's so unfair!" A place to laugh, cheer, cry and discover the vast knowledge and experience of others.

Now, as my husband and I travel our own road of infertility, I must say that I treasure my new friends. You all out there in cyberspace. You all who have given me hope, inspiration and much more information that those medical articles I set out to look for.

I want to share our experience with you and hope that I, too, will provide a forum for your need to shout, laugh, cheer, cry and discover new experiences.