"Now and then it's good to pause in our pursuit of happiness and just be happy. "

26 February 2011

If You Build It, They Will Come

I started a new page, entitled "Nursery Design" as a place to collect ideas for my future baby's room. My intent is to use it as a space to place pictures of ideas and links to design web sites that I find. I did this for my wedding in paper form, a book of cut outs from magazines of dresses, hair, makeup... And thought, why shouldn't I start doing this for my baby room? Just because I'm not a mom yet, doesn't mean that I can't look, right? And maybe those moments of dreaming will be just another message to my future child of how much we want them with us. So, forthcoming... Nursery Design Page... stay tuned.

21 February 2011

Ode to Progesterone

Happy ICLW again! For those of you new to my blog, please see the tab above: Our Journey. Thanks for stopping by.


And now my Ode:

Oh how I miss you, lovely Progesterone

I miss my thick hair
I miss my clear, smooth skin
I miss non-interrupted sleep
I miss my calm, peaceful demeanor

Oh how I miss you, lovely Progesterone

Won't you come back to stay?
(At least for 9 months???)


There must really be something to that 'pregnant glow', huh? As my body comes down from the meds from my last failed IVF cycle, I see my normal hormone glitches taking over. My hair feels less full, my skin is more oily, I'm breaking out like a teenager and I'm edgier than hell. These are all signs to me that my natural body rhythms just aren't quite right.

I was talking with my RE about it at my WTF appointment last friday (yes, I still need to fess up about that.... in due time, my pretties) and telling her how much I love being on Progesterone, how calm and healthy I feel. And she tells me that likely my stress hormones are dominating (YA THINK???) and its causing excess androgens, leading to the skin imbalances, among others...Progesterone combats that. Progesterone is just fantastic really, it helps reduce inflammation in the body! It actually is necessary for implantation to allow for the embryo to implant into the uterine lining and not have the immune system get pissed off and kick it out. Its one of amazing little reactions that happen in our bodies when one gets pregnant, or so I'm told.

Anyways, enough of the science lesson. For now, I'm just wishing that my body was still happily puffed up from the progesterone, anxious about our next steps, and aching to feel a baby growing inside me...

20 February 2011

70s Flashback - Party Busses and Protests

For the last few days, save for a WTF appointment with my RE last Friday (more on that in coming post), I've focused on everything but infertility... and it's been good...not great, but good.

Since last Thursday, I've been supporting my teacher husband, B, in a fight for his working rights. Our state is currently "ground-zero for labor" (per an MSNBC news show host). Now, I don't want to get into a political debate here on my blog, but I do want to say how inspiring it has been to see people come voice their opinion and show support of a topic near and dear to their hearts. We've spent the last 3 days going downtown to be in the capitol building, chanting, waving signs, rallying, and PEACEFULLY (unlike some other news channel's reports) protesting the governor's proposed legislation. It has made me feel more alive than I've felt in a while. The energy that comes from being in a group of people, estimated at 35,000,  is very rejuvenation and also puts this infertility trouble in perspective. Yes, it sucks ass that we can't get pregnant. And yes, it sucks ass that we have to spend a ton of money on methods to try to have a child, but we are fortunate that we can even begin to think about paying for these things. Some of the people down at the capitol yesterday are fearing that they won't be able to pay their mortgage if the governor's budget bill passes. We are fortunate and I am SO thankful for that.

Also, last night, we spent the evening bar hopping via a school bus with a large group of our friends to celebrate a 40th birthday.  Getting out with them and laughing and talking and catching up, reaffirms to me that my friends, even though they are all parents and we aren't, still like us and find value in our friendships. I forget this often. I feel like because we don't have kids, we are missing a huge chunk of our lives that we can't relate to them on.  And to some extent, that's true. But there are other things in their lives and ours that we have in common and we can still laugh and joke and encourage and support... These evenings give me the strength and energy I need to continue on our path to parenthood and not give in to the desire to crawl into a hole and isolate myself or sell everything and go into the peace corps or something life changing like that...

So a few things have been helping me recoup and gather the energy and strength I need to move on to our final FET with our 3 embryos and beyond that if necessary. Because more than anything, I want a family with B and I want to wake up on a weekend morning and play with my kids. And I want to be awoken at 1am and 4am to feed my hungry newborn. And I want to see them grow into a their own unique self and learn to make choices and make mistakes. And I want to show them how they too can fight for their own rights and develop friendships that give them strength and help them when they need a lift.

So thank you, dear friends, for helping me through this journey, even though you may not know that your did.

12 February 2011



That's me... nothing but a big failure...

4 fresh transfers and 1 frozen transfer, of mostly beautiful embryos. We've tried day 5, day 3 and day 2 (age of the embryos)... And all of those transfers have resulting in only 3 chemical pregnancies. (Yes, this last one, was indeed another chemical pregnancy, says my RE)

Over the last 36 hours or so, after receiving the news that my beta was only a 1.0, I have felt very panicky. We're at the end of the line here with our genetics. We've agreed to be done spending 10s of thousands of dollars per year on this basically doing the same thing while still not having any more clear of a path. We still don't have a solid reason.

By that I mean, no one can really agree on why RIF occurs. Or maybe what I mean is that there are too many unproven explanations for RIF. Or MAYBE what I REALLY mean is that the medical community has no "for certain" diagnostic tests and resulting methods of overcoming possible abnormalities in those tests to solve the RIF issue. Come on medical community... GET IT TOGETHER!!!

Aside: This is precisely why infertility needs to be voiced more so that funding can occur to solve these issues, and those of us without insurance coverage can hope to someday have help in paying for this madness.

So where does this leave us? With 3 possible explanations:
  1. Poor Egg Quality - My eggs are poor quality, chromosomally abnormal, and therefore our embryos stop developing after a few days in-utero because the pregnancy is not viable. 
    • Factors supporting this:
      • IVF #3 showed "spongy and grainy eggs" which I guess are a sign of poor quality
      • IVF #2 embryos kind of 'pooped' out around day 5
      • Premature Lutenization in 3 of my 4 IVF stim cycles is correlated with poorer egg quality
    • Treatment: 
      • Donor Eggs or Embryo Adoption or Adoption
  2. Immune System Malfunction - My eggs are fine but my body won't let the little embryos implant for too long. The process starts, but my immune system is messed up just enough that it attacks the implanting embryo and says, "Stop trying to burrow in!" 
    • Factors supporting this: 
      • Mild endometriosis found in my laparoscopy last year, which is correlated with implantation failure in some literature
      • The immune testing I had done showed that I have some borderline signs of this potential issue. (High NK cells, CD56+, APAs.... I touched on this a bit in this post)
      • The feverish feeling I got during my 2ww of the first 3 transfers, before I started taking the prednisone during the 2ww.
      • Treatment:
        • Use some fairly non proven and potentially unsafe infusions in the blood during our FET that aim to suppress the immune system more so than what I've already been doing with the steroids (I used prednisone with my last two transfers)
        • Use a proven gestational surrogate to transfer our embryos to instead of me and hope that at least one sticks in there.
      • Both 1& 2
        • Treatment:
          • Bang head into wall and hope that when I come to, there's a baby in my lap.

        The reason that I lay this out there is that I really need some help in deciding our next steps. I just don't know what to do. We have 3 beautiful grade A day 2 embryos in the freezer and I want to make sure that when I look back on this all, I can say that I left no stone unturned AND we weren't stupid in throwing away this last chance at our genetics. I'm open to everything right now. Really... I just want this to end. I'm tired and weary of this journey and I want to get on with my life. Do we transfer all 3 back to me? Do we find a gestational surrogate? Do we try both? If this doesn't work, is donor eggs the right step? Or am I kidding myself into thinking my body can hold a pregnancy?

        Any advice is appreciated.

        10 February 2011

        Feeling Foolish

        For the past few days, I really went there. I truly did. I felt symptoms that I've NEVER felt before and I warned myself not to go there... but I did. I went there. I had my due date figured out, I had my finances finally on the mend. I had our basement finished and the baby room fixed up. Oh and I figured we could even afford a spring break celebratory trip to Mexico....

        So my symptoms were as such (and sorry for the TMI)
        • For the last 8 days, I've had a bloody nose whenever I blew it (ie rhinitis, a common early pregnancy symptom)
        • For the last 5 days, I've been constantly dizzy and craving oranges, which I normally dislike
        • For the last 4 nights, I've woken up at about 2am and haven't been able to really get back to sleep
        • Over the course of the last week, I've had small period type cramps on and off, which I never have, unless I have my period.
        • And of course there was the big boobs... well, big for me ;-)  (Thank YOU progesterone)
        For you infertiles out there, DON'T even tell me that you wouldn't go there too, right?

        And yes, I even said in my last post that I knew in my heart of hearts that it didn't work. But after a few days of these symptoms, I truly thought, maybe... just maybe... this is finally all coming together for B and me. And maybe, just maybe we'd be pregnant and have our little baby and even have some in the freezer for our second child and we would finally be free of this amazingly huge financial burden that is infertility...

        But once again, infertility has taken the upper hand and made me feel like a foolish ass for hoping that this could really be our end in sight. 

        My beta today was a whopping 1.0...

        ONE. POINT. OH

        (they would like it over 50, at least)

        I mean, really? Really???? FUCK. I thought even if it wasn't a viable pregnancy, maybe we'd have a beta that was higher, like 10, or 20 or something, with all of those symptoms that I was feeling. I can't even call that a chemical pregnancy! But no... not even a sign that something was trying to happen other than the signs in my body, and now the signs that I feel like were all in my head. Even more, now that I've had those symptoms, I can't even imagine what it might feel like if I really ever DO get pregnant with our frozen cycle or if we choose to use donor eggs. I'll be a worried anxious mess about any symptoms that I have and not be able to relax until my baby is in my hands.

        Foolish... That about explains how I feel today.

        P.S.... for those of you who know me in real life, I'm not sure I'm ready to talk about this just yet... so while I treasure your interest and need support, the best way to support me right now is just a little space on this topic.  Thanks :-)

        07 February 2011

        2ww Writers Block

        I've been struggling to write any posts during this 2ww. I think its because I'm trying to detach myself from this process even though I know if I have a negative outcome, it will still hurt. During the 2ww, I'm pretty much a mess. Internally, I'm up and down emotionally. Externally, I may seem stoic or pensive or happy.  Sometimes a twinge here or there gives me a little glimmer of hope that maybe, just maybe, this could finally be our time, but deep down, I really don't think this worked. I still have a few days to wait until my blood test, so I will dutifully take my progesterone, like a good little IVF patient, and hope that I'm one of those lucky women who get pregnant w/o really feeling anything...  In my heart of hearts I feel that we'll be thawing those 2 little frosties for one last attempt with my genetics....

        For now, my quietness is simply a sign that I'm trying to focus on anything but infertility for the next few days, even though my mind can think of nothing else...

        01 February 2011

        Anger in the 2ww

        I'm angry.

        I'm angry that after 4 years of trying to have a baby, we still don't have one.

        I"m angry that everyone else is pregnant and I'm not.

        I'm angry that I still feel alone, even though I have this blog, and a support group and fantastic friends.

        I'm angry at myself for not 'just adopting' (said with LOTS of sarcasm) because at least if I started the adoption process a few years ago, we might eventually be guaranteed a baby (see what I said there... might.... still not a 100% guarantee).

        I'm angry at the true unfairness of infertility. Its just.. not... fucking.. fair!

        I want to kick and scream and break things today and I want this all to finally, finally be over with. I want to move on with my life and live outside of the infertility world for a while. I miss that world. What's it like? Hm.... I can't seem to remember...

        I'm angry that I'm not over being angry. Haven't I figured out how to live with this already?

        This is what the 'two week wait' does to me. It makes me angry.

        At least I get to go home and hopefully have a snow day tomorrow. My snow day plans will include but not be limited to the following: naps, food, book reading, more naps, shoveling, more food, a sip or two of B's stout that goes perfect with any snow day, and an adventurous dog walk or two.