Saturday, December 14, 2013

Ultrasound #2....post bleed

Hello everyone,
In case you missed Monday's total FREAK OUT!  I experienced a gush of bright red blood and light spotting since.  Today was the first day that I could get back home to see our RE for an ultrasound.  I want to thank everyone who commented on my last post...it really was reassuring to hear that bleeding can be "normal" in early pregnancy.

And without unnecessary build up....everything is still good/fine/great.  We say the little blobby on the screen and even got to see and HEAR the heartbeat (125/min).  Things were measuring right on track....and we could not be more relieved.  They did identify a very small subchorionic hemorrhage which are more common with IVF/FET pregnancies.  It was such a tough week of waiting...with my permanent lady diaper and constant back and fourths to the bathroom.

I feel like I can finally take a deep breath for a minute.....  We even made a semi-first purchase.  Once we found out we were pregnant I went to the bin where I'd been storing testing supplies, medications, and books.  Well.....I guess at some point I became really frustrated about the "pregnancy books" that I'd bought 2.5 yrs ago and must have taken them back to the book resale store.  SOOOO...HB and went and bought some new (used) ones today.  HB even found a few books like "Dude, You're Going to be a Dad, How to get through the next 9 months".

We're so happy to be here.  I'm still afraid...but also just enjoying today...because today we're 7wks pregnant and saw our little growing baby's heartbeat.  This is really happening!  We're having dinner with a friend tonight...and she'll probably be the first person that we tell (because she's been my cry shoulder though so much of this and knew our exact transfer date...so she's wanting some answers!)

And as an interesting aside I went to the resolve meeting over this past week.  Since winter the group has been shrinking to a few "regulars".  At this particular meeting it was me, 2 regulars.  How about all three of us "regulars" are newly pregnant!  Unbelievable!!  I could not be more excited for all of us.  One lady it took 2 IUIs but the other...to whom I've gotten closer, has experienced three previous miscarriages.  So needless to say...she's beyond petrafied.  Her story made put my "brief bleed" in perspective even more.  I'm praying so hard for the Resolve ladies and all of the you blogger friends!

Next ultrasound is still scheduled for Christmas Eve day....at which point we'd be 8.5 weeks and we will consider slowly sharing the good news with family....BUT...today...we're enjoying today!!! :o)

Monday, December 9, 2013

Because it wasn’t’ stressful enough…apparently

2.5 years of infertility to finally get our first BFP on our final FET (#3) and have a first beta doubling time of 76 hours…apparently it just wasn't stressful enough.  Because today I had a gush of bright red blood that soaked right through my scrub pants (which are rather thin to begin with).  I was at work and felt it happen but hoped it was the clear/lotion fluid that I’ve been experiencing this whole time.  I went to a bathroom as quickly and possible to discover that no….this time it was blood.  So I frantically changed scrub pants, found a pad, and wrapped my undies (happy Monday to me).  I had very fait cramps when this happened (like 1/10 on the pain scale).  The RE that had done the ultrasound last Friday had said that bleeding is actually very common in IVF pregnancies and that not be concerned unless it was bright red and accompanied by serious midline cramps (one out of two). 

So I emailed the RE and within a few hours she called back.  Basically she reassured me that this IS not uncommon in IVF pregnancies because all of the estrogen really builds up the endometrium and little bits can come off and present as bleeding.  She would like to do an ultrasound for reassurance but of course because I work 1.5 hours away and can’t really take any more time off….I can’t even do an ultrasound until Saturday.  So now I have a 7 week ultrasound scheduled.  If things are going badly…there is nothing that can be done medically to prevent a miscarriage.  My RE also said that because bleeding is more common during an IVF pregnancy that it is much less concerning than bleeding in a spontaneously conceived pregnancy.  It was reassuring to speak with her about it….but needless to say…the stress hormones have already been released.  I am just to “take it easy” and stay hydrated.  I don’t even get to go to my real home until Friday because I’m staying with my friend while working 1.5 hours away.  I just want to curl up, go to sleep and wake up to find that it’s Saturday and we get an encouraging ultrasound.  I wish there was some way to constantly monitor the growing fetus…maybe some sort of ultrasound app?

So the rest of my day has consisted of cycling through various bathrooms as frequently as possible without seeming like a total psycho here at work.  It seems that there have just been a few dribbles after the initial gush. In levels of irony…it had even occurred to me how fortunate I was feeling not to have any bleeding…because “that would send me over the edge”.  I guess I have a new edge now....and I get to wake up and repeat the bathroom paranoid shuffle until Saturday! 

So here we are at 6wks3days….finding it hard to not fear the worst but still hoping so much for a positive outcome from all of this!

Friday, December 6, 2013

1st Ultrasound Results = 1 IUP

Just a very quick update.....things look good!!!  We have single intra-uterine pregnancy (so that's 3 embryos transferred and one that has fortunately nuzzled in).  I had the same doc that had done the transfer perform the ultrasound.  He calculated the conception date backwards from the transfer date...so basically we're really only 5wks 6 days and the gestational sac measured at 5wks 5days which he was happy with.  He also saw the yolk sac (yippie).  I'm good with that...but when I had been calcuationg from last menstrual period I would have been 6wks 1 day.

I was asking tons of questions that he mostly gave vague answers to because it's still so early on.  He said seeing the gestational and yolk sac are great and "anything else is a bonus".  We even say the faintest of flickers that I eventually cornered the doc into agreeing was the heartbeat.......  It was so faint which is normal for this gestational time.  And now...we wait another 18 days for ultrasound #2....it will be the day before Christmas.  WOW!

I've said before how amazing our clinic is......the lab tech that I'd had such a meaningful conversation with on transfer day was there.  She saw us before and after and celebrated the outcome.  Then one of the nursing assistants whose worked the closest with our case called us to reschedule US#2 a bit later in the day so that she could be there with us.  AMAZING.

And CONGRATULATIONS to all the ladies with BFP on the blogger network right now....let's continue the positive trend!!!

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

A ray of light amidst the waiting....

Hello everyone,
I hope that everyone is doing great.  I feel like there is SO much happening in the blogger network right now.

So today is Wednesday….and our first (6wk 1d) ultrasound is Friday.  Needless to say…time is crawling by and sometimes standing still.  I’ve read similar sentiments before on other blogger’s posts and wished so badly to be in that situation….and luckily here I am.  My emotional state is vacillating between cautious optimism and all out panic (this is normal—right?).   I just keep taking one day at a time.  Today’s grand goal = get through today! I really really wish that I had asked for a forth beta hcg….so at least I could have yet another data point to obsess over.  Pregnancy symptoms while mild, are consistently present = sore boobs, abdominal/pelvic fullness, and a few twinges now and then.  It’s been nice to revel in the week and just think “wow…we’re pregnant” (in between of scaring myself to death with all of the possible outcomes from this ultrasound on Friday).

Amidst all of the stress and fear and waiting….a ray of light.  The birth of our first niece!  The beautiful Baby E arrived yesterday at 7lb 8oz.  I was so elated for my brother and sister-in-law that my own perils hardly registered (thankfully).  Seeing my brother tear up as he holds his new born daughter makes me remember how every child is a miracle.  I want so badly to provide that for HB.  This is the first child to be born into our family in 13 years…so it’s a huge deal.  My parents are now officially grandparents.  This is a joy that I had wanted to bestow upon them but I’m still overjoyed that they get to experience it….regardless of how.  I am an Aunt…HB is an Uncle (first for both) and we've already been designated as the legal “god-parents”!  My ray of light dimmed a bit today when I told co-workers I was a new Aunt….and got questioned directly about “do we want kids?”  Can’t I just enjoy this moment?

Something else occurred to me as I watched my brother.  The nurse had come in to check out Baby E and give her the first feeding to make sure there were no problems.  The whole time the post-partum nurse (who’s probably done the same thing 100’s of times) was holding E my new-father brother had his hand out beside his new daughter….fearful that she might fall or wobble or get away from the nurse.  I took a picture of the scene with the baby and my brother’s hand.  As I looked back over the picture it occurred to me….in the process of having children it seems that the fear NEVER really goes away.  I’m guessing that it changes forms over time.  But as we sit here now…fearful/concerned/stressed about seeing a heartbeat I realize that this is just the beginning of what it means to have a child (or at least I hope that it’s the beginning).  However, I do think that infertiles are on the fear/concern/stress train earlier…and a LOT longer than the average parents. 


So while I continue to beg/plead/pray/bargain with the universe and God to become a mother….yesterday….I just got to enjoy the warmth of my newborn niece….and for this I am grateful.  That’s it for me until Friday…..please send prayers/luck/blessings/super powers our way…ANYTHING….that might make this happen for us.

Friday, November 29, 2013

Have We Won the Baby Lottery?

Dearest Readers,
OMG!  We got AMAZING news today.  Our beta took a big jump!  This might be the REAL THING!  WOW.  

1st beta hcg, 13dpo (8dp5dt) = 64 (So I'm saying there's a chance)
2nd beta hcg, 17dpo (12dp5dt) = 154 (76 hour doubling time.  So..I'm saying there's less of a chance).

3rd beta hcg, 20dpo (15dp5dt) =654 (38 hr doubling time....Amazing!!!)

We actually got the call during the final scene while watching the movie Catching Fire (which was great--as everyone has said).  I sprinted out of the theater with me phone vibrating in my coat pocket (apologizing to the 2 people I had to walk in front of).  I tried to tell from our nurses voice what the out come was but I couldn't.  Then she said she has "good news"....whoa?

I've continued to scour the internet for the happy stories of ladies who have succeeded with similar numbers and I'm feeling more confident.  Jane pointed out a fellow blogger at Where's That Bird? who is going through something VERY similar.  Even before today's result our nurse was saying how she often sees frozen embryos take a little more time to defrost/wake up, snuggle in, and start producing hcg (so lower numbers early on).

I've been so very fortunate that both HB and I have been off of work all this week.  Mostly to OCD clean our house in prep for the big family meal that we hosted yesterday (it all went well).  But it's really been great to get to go to the blood tests together, fret/celebrate after phone calls, and just spend this really tough week....together.

What's next?  An ultrasound in one week.  Like an ultrasound to try and identify a yolk sac, fetal pole,...and maybe even a heartbeat (might be too early).  I'm still wrapping my head around this idea.  The idea that I'm not getting wanded to check my lining or follicle number.

I'm still TRYING to be cautious....I was going to add  my beta numbers into the betabase info website....but to do so you have to enter an expected due date....oh no.....not there yet.  I closed the page imediately.

Right now...no one else knows.  It's me and HB's special secret!

In funny news....we are of course continuing PIO injections and sometimes a drop or two escapes from the injection site.  At this point both HB and I know the distinct smell of PIO very well.  We joked that it could be the new fragrance for the holidays.  And then HB whispered "PIO by Calvin Klein".  Gotta keep laughing.....

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Grasping at Straws..the Beta Edition

I'll get right to the point....our hope of a viable pregnancy is still doused in shades of grey (not the racy novel type either).

1st beta hcg, 13dpo (8dp5dt) = 64 (So I'm saying there's a chance)
2nd beta hcg, 17dop (12dp5dt) = 154 (So....I'm saying there's less of a chance).

As all infertiles know...the expected doubling time for the beta hcg is 48-72 hours....ours is 76 hours.  So....yeah.  Going for another test on Friday (20dop).  The REs office has said that the rates are going up at least by 66% each 48 hours.

But maybe it's just being in the medical field....but I know the likelihood of a blighted ovum or ectopic are very real concerns with those numbers.  Also...the 3 out of 10 "pregnancy" symptoms that I've been experiencing are now down to a 1 out of 10.

In summary....I'm not giving up on this (I'm about to cook and celebrate a gluten free vegetarian Thanksgiving and begged my online pharmacy to rush me my next progesterone vial)...but I'm also starting to feel the pull of our "reality"....and it wants to drag us off the top of the mountain that we've worked so very hard to climb up.

I know it is POSSIBLE that this could still happen...Trust me...I've found forums of women who have made it successfully through similar numbers (after scouring the internet)....but I know it's the exception.  It's just so hard that even after getting to this point....NOTHING IS EASY FOR US.  Here I am again....cashing in any miracle points that I may have left.  PLEASE!

I must be a masochist because I find my self being drawn to the "I didn't know I was pregnant" and "Obese and Pregnant" programs.  What's wrong with me?

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone!

Friday, November 22, 2013

"So you're saying there's a chance?"

II'm sure that you're racking your brain about what cinematic masterpiece that quote is from....well....its Dumb and Dumber (a classic!)

[Jim Carrey]: "What are the chances of a guy like you and a girl like me? One in a thousand?"
[Lauren Holly]: "Um, more like one in a million."
[Jim Carrey]: "So you're saying there's a chance!"


WARNING:  Discussion about pregnancy and beta test below (in case you're not in a good place to deal with that)

Well...if you're still reading then I'm going to get right to the point....we got our very first every BFP! Heres the picture.  The bottom wondfo was taken at the end of 6dp5dt....what?  You can't see anything?  Well...there is a squinter of a line that even after enhancing the picture my HB insists is not there.  Then the top is a first response early response taken at the end of 7dp5dt...a real positive.

FAIL....I can't figure out how to load the picture...you'll have to trust me for now.


So today was judgement day....first beta.  The wait to have my blood drawn was rather long.  I had lots of time to let my mind wander....and run through the crazy field it did.  I saw parents with assisting children with disabilities and a toddler frolicking through the lobby.  A beautiful pregnant woman at least 9mo pregnant hugging her 2 year old....and I wanted so badly for that to be my future.  And of course the wait was horrendous....after the blood was drawn I just kept thinking "well at least I'm pregnant at least until I get the phone call" (I'm not a total pessimist...but infertility has been a brutal experience).

I got the call just a few hours after the blood draw...it was my favorite RE (Dr. J)....she said she was going to be put me on speaker phone to give me the news (it's a great clinic with amazing staff).  So my first beta at 8dp5dt is 64!!  SO I'M SAYING THERE'S A CHANCE!

Since the squinter 2 days ago I've experienced essentially a nonstop mental reel of "please let this be true/please God let this happen/Please stick around ice baby...we want you so badly".  And then I think "OMG I'm pregnant".  My "symptoms" have been minimal.  Starting around 6 days post transfer I had some vague and intermittent cramps and slight boob soreness.  My abdomen has felt slightly bloated/tight.  It feels like when you have a sweatshirt with a kangaroo pocket and you have your cell phone in it...just a little vague pressure.  I will also say the vajayjay area has been a bit moist (hard to notice after 2 weeks of Viagra suppositories).  And that's all I got.  I wish I was a vomit fountain with untouchably painful boobs and super sent--that would encourage me that our hcg is moving in the right direction.

Given that I've been staying with a friend during the work week my HB did not know about the pee sticks.  HB had not asked about what day the beta draw was and I had not volunteered it.  SO..I got a treat that I thought would be forever lost due to IVF/FET....I got to surprise my HB with the result!  Today I wrapped up the pee stick in the picture and put it in a box complete with a fake tracking scan.  I put the fake packet at the front door of our house before opening the garage door.  HB opened it and we are still both in happy/fearful surprise!  The next draw will be in four days at 12dp5dt.

I have shared so many joys and sorrows with the blogging community.  I've been so happy to read BFP announcements.  I've read how excitement so quickly turns to fear...and when I've read that I've pleaded to get to experience that fear....and now I am!!  Every time I go to the bathroom I fear there'll be blood on the TP.

BUT I am AT LEAST pregnant for the next 3 days!  I told my husband that it's like we have finally gotten to the top of a mountain that we've been trying to climb for 2 1/2 YEARS...only to find that there are three more mountains ahead (trimesters).  Right now....we're just going to enjoy the view and hope we're allowed to stay this high.....

THERE IS A CHANCE!


Monday, November 18, 2013

THE Annual Christmas Ornament

Since 1998 I have selected one (and only one) Hallmark Christmas ornament to buy and add to the growing collection.  The very first year that I was dating my now husband I bought him an ornament to bring him into the loop so technically there are two for that year.  Each year I take one note card and summarize major events that have happened over the past year and on the back I write down a few goals.  For example…last year’s card had goals of 1) Get a BFP, 2) Pass major professional exam, 3) Finish one year job away from home.  Well…I’m pretty damn tempted to remove that card and just incinerate it…because it’s looking like I’ll be 0/3 for the year 2013.

BUT…onto this years most likely selection.  We try to choose an ornament that embodies the year past.  Honestly…I don’t even think that Hallmark would even create an ornament that could embody the pain and failure that this past year has brought concerning infertility….although there is a Heath Ledger as the Joker ornament.  But after reviewing the options please say hello to our 2013 ornament selection!
Product View
Yep…it’s the classic Lucy removing the football from Charlie Brown.  This has been our 2013!!  We've been in pursuit over and over again…and we keep having the football moved as soon as we get close (or think we’re getting close).  Our goals have continued to remain  just out of reach…never to be realized.  I'm ignoring that it's called "optimist".  It's even animated with audio. Here's the link:  http://www.hallmark.com/products/general/keepsake-ornaments/optimist-charlie-brown-2995QXI2242_DK/

For regular readers you might be thinking “well what about this cycle”.  I sit here at 4dp6dt (blasts frozen on day 6) and I’m reporting absolutely NOTHING for symptoms….exactly like the previous 3 transfers have been.  No cramps, no pelvic tightness, no spotting, no back pain, no mid-night peeing.  Nothing at all like I've read on other peoples BFP blogs. Let’s just say…I’m not holding onto my breath or my hope.

And in one more gut-punch from the universe…my husband brought in the mail and one envelope was addressed to me from a friend in Chicago.  When I saw it I thought “oh a birthday card” as it was within a week of my birthday.  My next reaction was GUILT because I had not sent this friend a birthday card (nor had I sent birthday wishes over facebook because facebook can just die and go to hell).  So there I am…feeling guilty…opening my birthday card….and as the contents are halfway out it hits me…WHAM!  It’s a fucking birth announcement.  DAMN IT!  My husband had told me about the latest birth that he saw on facebook….since I almost never log on I missed it (yay).  And yet here it is….invading my home…my personal space…2 days after our last FET that I get to see the photo announcement of a friend’s newborn complete with a picture of all THREE of her sons together.  Thanks for that universe…you asshole!

Friday, November 15, 2013

The Freezer is OFFICIALLY Empty

All embryos have left the building....in my ute (for those counting...and we are...that's #6, #7, and #8).  We were VERY lucky and had all 3 survive the defrost. And the transfer went smoothly (just like all of the others before).  My lining is still AMAZING (thank you Viagra).  The joint pain I was experiencing during last post has since gone and therefore must NOT have been a Viagra side effect (don't know what caused it...."getting old" is NOT an option on this multiple choice test!).  The most experienced Dr. at our RE practice did the transfer.  He's super nice and even said that my vascular resistance value was one of the "best he'd ever seen".  Basically this means that Viagra dilated my vessels so well that blood was just flowing through them without hindrance!

The only real difference was that HB wasn't able to make this transfer due to work.  We've been lucky that he's made it too all the others.  I kept him updated via text and of course brought him the embryo's first photo shoot.  I think the quiet time made me feel more reflective/nostalgic about the process.  I kept looking around and thinking "this very well could be the last time I'll be here doing this" (regardless of outcome)...and remarkably...I felt okay about that.  In the post-transfer dimly lit room I could have even napped...closing my eyes to the white noise of my wand friend (portable ultrasound machine)....if not for my ever expanding bladder.  In some ways I just feel like...."this is it" (not in a "I'm pregnant" sort of way or even in a frustrated "I'm giving up" sort of way...but just in a calm..."this is the best effort that I can possibly make" way).  After a month of vaginal Viagra and gluten free vegetarianism...."this is the best that I can do".  Put it's not to say that it will be the end of our story....  As we all know too well :o)  I've been trying to happily conclude this infertility story as long as I've been involved!

Perhaps it was my more reflective nature but I really do feel like the universe was sending VERY mixed signals.  First off...on the drive TO the transfer...I get behind a van for this company:

Now what do you think is the only think that I can read from that logo?  BFP!!!  BUT then...I spoke to the embryology technician about the defrost and grading (were frozen at two 3BB and one 2BB).  This always happens and it's normally about a 2 minute "conversation".  But this time the lady and I sat down in comfy chairs and had at least a 20 minute talk....like a real talk.  In retrospect I really don't even know how it started.  Turns out she had experienced unexplained infertility in her mid 30's and gave up on the medical intervention path.  She now has two wonderful adopted children ages 10 and 13.  Say whoa?  I almost felt like I was talking to my future self.  It was extremely bizarre.  I can't say that I'm into numerology or "signs" per-say....but yesterday DEFINITELY got my attention.  After the talk with the technician that brought in our ice babies and the Dr. just raving about my vessel resistance and lining.....I really felt like I had a whole team cheering me on, in slow motion, as I turned the last corner and approached the finish line of a race.

In other random updates...I'm doing some of my own PIO injections and I feel like I'm getting pretty good at it!  It's also my birthday this month...turning 34.  We started TTC when I was 31.  Wow...that's sobering!  AND...I even had a candle lit specifically in my blessing by one of my dearest friends N.  She was traveling to Guatemala and lit the candle at a famous church in honor of "christo negro" (as there is a dark crucifix carved out of wood).  And another dear friend is praying to Allah for us regularly.  Seriously....this is it!

Now the dreaded wait.....(again).
Wishing everyone the best!

Friday, November 8, 2013

Viagra = Thickest Lining Yet!

Greetings to everyone!
I'm now half way through the FET#3, "clean out the freezer" cycle and wanted to provide a brief update on how it's going.  Also I wanted to document my personal experience with using Viagra (generic) vaginal suppositories because there does not seem to be much out here on the web.....mainly a few forum references.  Anyway....I've now been on the viagra for 1.5 weeks at 20mg suppositories 3/day.  I've been using the PreSeed plastic applicator for the process. 

Unfortunately I think that I'm experience an uncommon side effect from the Viagra.  From my research side effects are categorized into common (headache, dizziness, and vision changes), uncommon (lots of things), and rare.  I am experiencing serious JOINT PAIN!  I first noticed it on about day 5 of usage in my knees and then day 6 it was my knees and pelvic bones.  I've NEVER had joint pain or soreness before.  Let me tell you....it sucks!  It's a very deep pain and is not relived or aggravated by any particular position or movement.  Finally on day 7 of usage (yes...it took me that long) I started taking Tylenol and that works to relive the pain...but I have to keep taking it every 8 hours of it comes back (of course I tried to skip a dose...BIG mistake).

BUT....I had my mid-cycle wanding and guess what?  THICKEST LINING YET!!!!  OMG!!!!  Lining is up to 10.3!!  SOOOO EXCITED ABOUT THIS!  The previously thickest lining I had was 9.6 and that was the cycle after an endometrial biopsy (so it took an extra month and an invasive procedure to get that).  Now I'm in DOUBLE DIGITS after 9 days of vaginal viagra.  So guess what?....I'm more than happy to deal with joint pain side effects and walk around with partially melting suppositories in my pocket....and perma-panty liners.....IF it gets me to a huggable baby.  I will be the first to go and find a custom onesie that says "I'm a viagra baby"!

I hate to say it....but this result has spiked a little flicker of hope in me again....despite the results of my previously "hopeful" cycles.  In one week we'll complete the transfer and hopefully AT LEAST one of those three little icey embryos will stick in my extra fluffy lining. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE!

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Grasping at Straws: Part 2

"Is that Viagra in your pocket or are you happy to see me?"  BOTH!

So here I am...early on in the offically dubbed "clean out the freezer" FET#3.  Baseline ultrasound wanding...no problems.   Started estrogen pills and patches.....and Viagra vaginal suppositories.  Well actually....they're generic Viagra because they're $2/pill compared to $25/pill.  Throughout my extensive experience (at this point) I've had thin endometrium during the IVF cycle, low-normal during FET#1 and normal on FET#2 but that was AFTER an endometrial biopsy.  SO....in my research during my "break" month I found some articles that say Viagra can help women with thin lining.  Say what?  Basically it works for women in the same way it does for men....by interacting with smooth muscles around vessels of the reproductive tract and thereby increasing blood flow to the reproductive organs.   We know the outcome in men....but for some women.....this increased blood flow can nurture a thicker healthier/happier endometrium.

So now I su-posit 3 rocket shaped suppositories into my vajayjay (one 3x/day) for the next two to three weeks.  This means this process must occur at work....and so yes....I have Viagra in my pocket (how is that weird?).  I also found that the little applicator tube that comes with Pre-Seed lubricant works perfectly for this project.  Seriously....the crazy things I've done (or am doing) that would have NEVER imagined.

As the title suggests....I'm grasping at straws.  Yes...I know.  My latest career idea has gone up in flames and I'll likely be unemployed in 9 months.  This means I can in NO WAY spend our life savings on IVF#2.  Of my 12 female coworkers FOUR are pregnant....one of which is an office-mate and so I get to see the daily bump progression.  And this morning I got into the elevator with a woman in labor.  So.....dear universe....if you've been waiting for the exact time to throw the Hail Mary football pass.....WAKE UP....because the time is now!

UPDATE:  On my other straw grasping.....I've survived 2 weeks as a gluten free vegetarian.  It's REALLY tough for me to do....but I'm doing it.  I would be elated to continue gluten free living for 9 more months....if only I could get that elusive BFP.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Toughest Battles


I’ve seen a few bloggers mention the crisis that Holly and Darren are experiencing at “Oh Baby Baby” (http://www.themakingofbabyben.com/).
I am not a religious person and just borderline spiritual and yet I’ve prayed for their family and continue to do so.  The unfairness of infertility continues to astound me.  We deserve AT LEAST a one trimester pass for every year that we have struggled with infertility and loss. I cannot imagine what they are going through.

I must admit that when fellow infertiles win the baby lottery I do stop officially “following” their blog….but not because I no longer care.  It’s just that I must manage my exposure to pregnancy updates and bump pictures in any way possible so I can at least pretend to be a functional human being.  Some days I can handle the updates…and some days I can’t.  But I continue to follow along on their journeys.  On my good days I cheer them on and on my worst days I am reminded that there is a path out of the darkness…because they have made it out (and maybe one day I can too).  And I HATE to have to add them back to my follow list because of loss.  

Holly’s story also shakes me on a more personal level as someone who has yet to even achieve a pregnancy.  I’m often reminded that sadly, the war is not won simply with a positive pee stick.

I want to have hope again!  I want all of us to win the baby lottery!  And right now…. I want to follow Holly’s journey for another three months as she continues to grow and gives birth to healthy beautiful twins!  

Please send Holly and Darren your positive thoughts and prayers.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Grasping at Straws: Part 1

Hello to everyone!
So I'm 3/4 through my take a break cycle following 3 (more) unsuccessful Femara cycles.  So not very much excitement....at least not directly.  A break month has, however, allowed me to do more research on unexplained infertility.  First off...it seems that most people in this waste-land diagnostic group end up successful and have a baby.  Which brought me back to MY reality in which I'm....at this point....a professional cycle failer.  So here's what I've been cooking up.

Celiac Disease?  
So celiac disease is (in simple terms) when you body makes antibodies to wheat and wheat products.  It is considered an autoimmune disease because the small intestine can be damaged by the immune response to wheat.  And if you haven't read a food label lately....wheat seems like it is in ALMOST everything.  In the article "Undiagnosed celiac disease in women with infertility" by Machado et al (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23447921). it was found that the rate of celiac disease in infertiles is over double that of the general population.  AND in unexplained infertiles it was as high as 10% (very small sample set).  Another article focused on unexplained infertility.  Increased prevalence of celiac disease in patients with unexplained infertility in the US by Choi et al, (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21682114) had a larger sample and found that the rate of celiacs in unexplained infertility is 5.9%. 

I have no direct symptoms that would make me think I have celiac (diarrhea, severe weight loss, nutritional deficiencies).  BUT "it is estimated that 83% of Americans who have celiac disease are undiagnosed or misdiagnosed with other conditions" according to a cecliac education site (http://www.celiaccentral.org/celiac-disease/facts-and-figures/).  The exact mechanism by which celiac can contribute to infertility is not fully determined but is thought to be either nutrition deficiencies due to the irritated bowel or because the immune system is so reved up that it even attacks embryos/babies (common idea linked to many autoimmune diseases).

So my first (Part 1) grasp at straws is that I am attempting to go wheat/gluten free.  It may seem like a simple food modification but is really HUGE.  Because I'm a vegetarian I'd say that AT LEAST 50% (if not 75%) of the foods I routinely eat have wheat/gluten because it's in all of the fake meat products.  But...it's close to free to try.  I figure I'd give it til Thanksgiving....by which time I'll know the results of our final FET.  I might try and actually get tested for celiac.  It's a blood test looking for three different antibodies that are made against the various by-products of wheat.  I'll see what my RE has to say about it at my baseline ultrasound in a week and a half..  That's right....yet another FET on the horizon.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Libster Award....now pass it on :o)

Thanks for the shout out from Marcy at http://sensitiveginger.blogspot.com/ who says that, "The word liebster is German and translates to sweetest or dearest." The idea behind the blog is to build a network of support and link up fellow bloggers."

This is my first pseudo-award....so lets do this...why not!

11 Random Random Facts About Me:
1)  I've kept a journal since 1999.  Yeah...a little cheesy but it's been like a blog before I had a blog.  Very cheap therapy. :o)  Over those 14 years I've often went back and read entries and found them all of funny, amusing, shocking, and horrifying.  My journals are my original misadventures of the well intentioned.

2)  Vegetarian for the past 17 years.  It works for me.  Even though my Dad still offers me a steak when I go home...just in case I change my mind.  I eat eggs and cheese but no seafood.

3)  Voted wittiest high school superlative.  It's a nice way of saying I'm a smart ass.  I still haven't out grown that! :o)


4)  One hallmark Christmas ornament per year.  I write out a note card that summarizes the year's major events and goals for the upcoming year.  I've been doing this since 1998.


5)  In about two weeks it will be my 5 year dating anniversary with HB.  And what an amazing 5 years they have been!  I feel like the luckiest girl in the world to have met and married him! 

6)  I really want to grow a vegetable garden one day.

7)  I hate clothes shopping.  I just hate spending the time and money involved in clothes shopping.  I'm not very fashionable...and yet I'm also very picky at the same time.  It's torture for all involved.

8)  Cat person.  I don't dislike dogs by any means I just prefer the independence, defiance, arrogance, and genuine love that our two cats provide.  I like that cat's don't try so hard to be liked. HB and I have two 18lb, overweight cats, and we love them so much!

9)  I've seen U2 live in concert...twice.  AMAZING!

10)  I name my cars.  George, Al Smith, and now Clover.

11)  I'm going to see the Book of Mormon play in early 2014.  Tickets have already been purchased!

Answers to 11 questions:
1. What song cheers you up?
  Just one...sheesh.   Hakuna Matata from the Lion King soundtrack
2. What age was your favorite so far? 
  30
2. What is your best feature on your body?
  Hmm.  I have nice hands and fingernails
3. How did you meet your significant other?
  We were actually set up by friends on kind of a blind date at a group trivia night.  
4.  What makes you feel loved or appreciated?
  Being told thank you and hugs
5.  What age where you when you had your first kiss?
  16 (very late bloomer)
6. What organizations or activities were you involved in as a child?
  Basketball
7. If you were to travel back in time, what year would you go to and why?
  1970.  It just seems to be a simpler time.    
8. What Halloween costume have you worn in the past that was a big success?
  Honey Badger!
9. Do you think space exploration will find other life forms during our lifetime?
  No
10. Do you consider yourself a morning person or a night owl and has it changed with age?
  Morning person

11 Questions to be Answered by Nominees:
1)  Cat or dog person and why?
2)  What's the best concert you've ever seen?
3)  What's your favorite family tradition?
4)  What's the weirdest food you've ever eaten?
5)  What's your favorite adult beverage (alcoholic)?
6)  Do you believe in karma?
7)  If you HAD to dress up for Halloween this year...what/who would you be?
8)  What's the coolest place you've traveled internationally?
9)  Introvert or extrovert?
10)  You have $500 that you must spend on yourself only...what would you buy?
11)  Would you prefer the movie, play, or book version?
  
Nominate 11 Bloggers:
1)  http://gypsymamasjourney.blogspot.com/
2)  http://nogoodeggs.wordpress.com/
3)  http://infertilesmurf.blogspot.com/
4)  http://whenisitmyturn12.blogspot.com/
5)  http://hope4babybump.blogspot.com/
6)  http://my-invincible-spring.blogspot.com/
7)  http://minetocommand.blogspot.com/
8)  http://aubreyandnick.blogspot.com/
9)  http://eatloveprocreate.blogspot.com/
10)  http://corkandstork.wordpress.com/
11)  http://notpregnantandpissed.blogspot.com/

My nominee described this as a kind of chain letter....which is a perfect analogy.  So, no hard feelings if people would prefer not to pass it on.  Even though I am sometime slack about commenting...I really do enjoy reading all of these ladies blogs and several more!

Happy blogging!

Monday, September 23, 2013

Femara & Flu Vaccine Fails


Greetings everyone.  I hope everyone is doing as well as possible.  Update here from infertile land is I've gotten my third BFN in a row with Femara and timed intercourse.  No real surprise.  It was a long shot.  A pity gift from my RE knowing that we wouldn't be able to schedule any more appointments until November due to new job schedule and living 1.5 hours away from my husband.  I can't say I ever got my hopes up about this working....and surprise....it didn't.

Soooo now I'm taking a "break" month to gear up for our FET#3 in November....yep....number THREE!  The "clean out the freezer cycle" as we've deemed it.  We're clearing out the last of our frozen embryos.  Yes...we were lucky to have frozen embryos...but when you go through all of these FET cycles and still end up with BFNs it really tears at the heart strings.  So November we'll transfer embryos 6,7, and 8.  Yep...THREE.  Our super conservative RE has already green lighted THREE embryos.  Why?  Because in conversation with our RE....she also has little hope of success.  Basically these are the last embryos from the egg carton from our IVF....and our RE basically feels like all of those eggs were a little "undercooked" when harvested.  So....we really are clearing out the freezer.  After results from that cycle we're going to need to make some tough decisions.  IVF again or move to adoption.

In other ways in which being infertile has slapped me in the face this week.  At my work place there is a mandatory flu vaccination policy.  As I'm filling out the form check out #7 at the top and #9 at the bottom.  *SIGH*

"9.  Are you pregnant or is there a chance you could become pregnant during the next month?"  And my only two options are "yes" and "no".  HOLY HELL!  I could write a ten page paper in response to that question.  Seriously?  Sure...there's a chance...there's been a CHANCE the past 27 months...and here we are.  AHHH!



I also had  a chat with my younger brother last night.  His wife is currently 7 months pregnant.  We had not yet told them about our infertility.  It was just too hard after they announced the pregnancy.  I didn't want to crush the happy moment for my family.  But the conversation steered to kids.  "ME:  We went to the air show with a friend and her two sons.  BRO:  Oh do a lot of your friends have kids.  ME:  Yeah it's just that time in life.  BRO:  What are you and HBs plans for kids?"  So I told him.  He was glad to know because he said that he'd know something was "up" since the moment he announced their pregnancy during Easter.  He had also noticed how our Mom kept starring at me at various points during the pregnancy announcement.  Like when Bro and SIL said they hadn't told her brother yet because they were also trying and were not yet successful.

So I really only have one aunt and uncle that I'm close to that we haven't told yet.  If they bring it up I will share with them.  But it's the worst topic ever to try to "transition to naturally".  "How's work going?  Shitty because I'm on injectables and find it hard to concentrate."  AWKWARD.