Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Reclaiming My Space In The Blogosphere

This post has been percolating for a while. I’ve been trying to figure out the best way to do this. While I love and embrace the community aspect of blogging, I also feel that personal blogs are our own personal space. We’re entitled to have them be safe places to write about what we want to write about and not write about what we don’t want to.

I’ve been planning to change the name of this blog for a while (since I’m no longer “ISO”). My original plan was to leave the URL the same and just change the name. Now I’m feeling the need for a fresh space. So my plan is to start a new blog with the same blogger id. I’ll link to it from this one, and leave this one intact and accessible from my profile, but not link back to here from the new one.

What do you all think?

And since I’m asking questions of you, Cali has suggested I put up a ticker. Not sure why I’m reluctant. Jinxy, maybe? Thoughts? Favorite tickers?

The new blog will probably go up late Monday or Tuesday, after my NT scan on Monday afternoon.

Also, I will be in Washington, DC from Thursday afternoon, June 4th until Sunday afternoon, June 7th, if any DC bloggers are available for a meetup. I really need a mental health break, and I have a couple of old friend in the area that I will be getting together with. I really shouldn’t be spending the money on this right now, but it’s a pretty inexpensive getaway from NYC, thanks to Bo1tbus (comfy seats with wifi and electrical outlets) and Price1ine. I’ll have time to restore my savings account. I figure I should take advantage of being done with PIO (just 2 more shots, tonight and tomorrow) and not being huge and unwieldy yet.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Not a “real” blog post, but how can I not update you all.

First of all, thank you for all the kind comments and emails. Each one means a lot to me. Very touching that lurkers showed themselves. I’m trying to catch up on emails.

I will say one (or two) last things about the recent conflict, then I will update you about today’s ultrasound. This pregnancy came about out of love. When I began to consider donor embryos, I really wanted some sort of open relationship. I wanted my child to have the chance to have some kind of relationship with his or her genetic siblings. Kathy offered me her embryos with love in her heart, and I accepted them with love in mine. In my mind, we became a kind of extended family. Really, do any of you know ANY family that doesn’t have some friction sometimes? I love Kathy. Not because of this gift she has given me. I just do. I’m horrified that she’s received death threats against her and her children. WTF!?!?!?! And as for the recent requests she’s received for funding for IVF, it would be funny if it weren’t so obnoxious. I have to say, I find it pretty annoying when I read bloggers whining about not being able to afford ART, then talking about their expensive electronic equipment and the vacations they’re taking. (BTW, as an aside, NONE of the UTERUS recipients solicited their positions. They were nominated and chosen as recipients through the google group that Mel formed for that purpose. Anyone can join that group and be involved in the process.)

Oh, and I am turning on comment moderation. Just because.

Okay. Done.

Now for the updates!

Even though I had my first OB appt 2 weeks ago, I snuck in a last u/s at the RE’s. My next OB appt is on June 1st (NT scan that day, too), there was no way I could stand the anxiety for a full 4 weeks. As Tertia calls it, I needed a “live baby check.”

LOOK!!! A head, a torso and arms and legs!!!! And most importantly, a strong heartbeat.


What a beautiful sight.

*****************

Also can’t resist giving you all a Mushy update. Thanks again for the support during that scary time. He’s doing great. Back to his usual self, wrestling with Wilson and chasing his own tail. (I said he was sweet, not smart! Does anyone know why they chase their own tails?) Sunday night I caught them snuggling in a way I’d never seen before. I was able to get the camera out fast enough.


Awwwwww!

*****************

Okay, just a quick pregnancy related question. What worked best for you for reflux? Still no morning sickness, but the reflux is awful. I’ve tried different brands of antacids, but I’m getting very little relief.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Taking a break.

I will be taking a break from posting for a while. It's just too stressful right now. Apparently, because I chose to publicly stay out of a volatile conflict, I am ungrateful and uncaring.

I will be reading blogs and occasionally commenting. If you want to know how I'm doing you can email me at dorasblog at gmail.

Thanks.

To Anonymous in Wisconsin

I could have deleted your comment. I didn’t. I could have turned on comment moderation. I haven’t.

This craziness will only continue if people like you insist on stirring up the shit. The more you stir it, the more it stinks.

You have no idea of what has been discussed behind the scenes.

As for “You don't get to sit this one out because you are pregnant and you don't want to upset the baby”

You know what? I do! I am a nearly 46 year old pregnant woman in my first trimester. This is a high risk pregnancy. You have no idea how stressful all of this has been for me, and the physical toll it has taken. My health and this pregnancy are my first priority. Period. To risk this pregnancy would be to disrespect the enormous gift I have been given.

Friday, May 15, 2009

I’m not exaggerating. Really!

The Mothers Day Fiasco

Some may think it’s odd that I have kept my mother in the dark about my efforts to become a mom. They ask when I’m going to tell her about my pregnancy. Answer: when I absolutely have to. When I tell people that my mother is extremely self centered, they sometimes think I’m exaggerating. Until I give them some details. Well, this past Mothers Day is a prime example.

I did my duty as a daughter and sent my mother a lovely gift that arrived a few days before the holiday. She really liked it. No surprise. I’m very good at choosing gifts for people. Sunday morning I called her to wish her a happy Mothers Day. All good. No conflict yet. Until Sunday evening, when I received a forwarded email from her.

Here is the content of the email:

Awesome Mom
Once you have been hit, you have to hit 5 awesome Moms..

Including the one who thought of YOU today and sent it to YOU...

If you get hit again, You will know you are Really awesome!

So hit 5 awesome moms on your friends list to let them know they are awesome!

Before I was a Mom,
I never tripped over toys
or forgot words to a lullaby.
I didn't worry whether or not
my plants were poisonous.
I never thought about immunizations.

Before I was a Mom,
I had never been puked on.
Pooped on.
Chewed on.
Peed on.
I had complete control of my mind
and my thoughts.
I slept all night.

Before I was a Mom,
I never held down a screaming child
so doctors could do tests.
Or give shots.
I never looked into teary eyes and cried.
I never got gloriously happy over a simple grin.
I never sat up late hours at night
watching a baby sleep.

Before I was a Mom,
I never held a sleeping baby just because
I didn't want to put her down.
I never felt my heart break into a million pieces
when I couldn't stop the hurt.!
I never knew that something so small
could affect my life so much.
I never knew that I could love someone so much.
I never knew I would love being a Mom.

Before I was a Mom,
I didn't know the feeling of
having my heart outside my body..
I didn't know how special it could feel
to feed a hungry baby.
I didn't know that bond
between a mother and her child.
I didn't know that something so small
could make me feel so important and happy.

Before I was a Mom,
I had never gotten up in the middle of the night
every 10 minutes to make sure all was okay.
I had never known the warmth,
the joy,
the love,
the heartache,
the wonderment
or the satisfaction of being a Mom.
I didn't know I was capable of feeling so much,
before I was a Mom .

Send this to someone who you think is an awesome Mom.

OUCH!!!!!!

My mother and her husband share an email address. He can be a complete idiot, so thinking that maybe he stupidly forwarded it, I gave her the benefit of the doubt and called her.

Me: Did you just forward a Mothers Day email to me?

Mom: (Sounding immediately defensive) What do you mean? I don’t know what you mean.

Me: An email about Mothers Day. Did you forward it to me?

Mom: I’m not sure. I don’t know.

Me: Well, go take a look at it, because it was completely inappropriate to send to me.

I hang up the phone. She calls back a few minutes later.

Mom: I think I meant to send it to someone else.

Me: Do you see how inappropriate that was to send to me?

Mom: (Huffy) I stand corrected. (Then proceeds to change the subject and asks about the cat.)

I hang up the phone again. I then replied to the email, saying: "I stand corrected." is NOT EVEN REMOTELY AN APOLOGY. I have not heard from her since.

The following is an email exchange with my BFF after I told her what happened and sent her the email so she could read it.

BFF: Your mom is really sick. And it says over and over - "to Moms' she is really sick. Thank god you haven't told her anything. Maybe you can avoid it and see how long you get until she figures it out? When the baby is one or two!

I'm only half kidding on the waiting to tell her!

Me: How about you call her when I go into labor!

BFF: Or we could just mail her the Shower invite to Louise's! (Louise is my BFF’s foster mom, who is wonderful, has a fabulous home for parties, and has known me since I was a teenager.)

Me: Ugh! Does she have to come? Maybe we could mail it late so it arrives the day after the shower.

BFF: That would be a pretty funny way to tell her about it! Think on it....

I LOVE HER!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Quick Update

Sorry about the deleted post. Everyone's fine, it's just been a difficult few days. Will post properly soon. I still have to tell you all about the Mothers Day fiasco. My mother is INCREDIBLE! And I don't mean that in a good way!

Also, I think it may be time for a blog title change. A little scary, but I'm really no longer In Search Of.

Quick update on Mushy: poor guy came home from the vet's with a cold. He's snuffling and sneezing, and sleeping a lot. So still not back to his old self. Vet suggested an extra week of antibiotics. I'm pampering him with stinky wet food (so he can smell it through his stuffy nose) and taking him in the bathroom and running hot showers to help his widdle sinuses drain. Hoping the other cat doesn't catch it.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Mushy Update

He's coming home today!! The vets were never able to really pinpoint why he was so sick. His bloodwork was normal, except for a low white cell count. He had a fever on Wednesday. When I went to see him Wednesday, he was absolutely miserable. Didn't really care that I was there. Just wanted to curl up in the corner of the cage and be left alone. They were giving him iv fluids and antibiotics. The x-rays of his bowels didn't show an obstruction, but they were still not ruling it out, even though he'd pooped after being hydrated. They gave the poor kitty an enema, too! They suspected it might be pancreatitis, but there isn't any diagnostic test for it, or any real treatment. He'd just have to ride it out. Or, the vet said it could have been a bowel infection and the antibiotics are knocking it out.

Wednesday night they gave him some pain meds, and by yesterday morning he seemed much better. Still not eating, but rubbing up against the cage door, demanding attention. That's my boy! I went to see him again after work. He looked so much better. He ate a little while I was there and snuggled with me a lot. He was really annoyed by the iv in his paw, and the constant crying of another cat must have been upsetting to him.

When I spoke to the vet this morning, he said he was doing much better, but still only eating a little. But the vet thinks he might do better at home now. I think so, too. So I'll pick him up on my way home from work. I'm a little nervous about what the final bill will be, but I'm relieved he didn't need surgery.

Thanks for all the good wishes.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

The good and the bad.

First the good.

First OB appt yesterday. The dr is great! My little one is measuring perfectly on target at 1.47 cm, with a beautiful strong heartbeat of 171 bpm. I HEARD IT!!! I cried. What an incredible sound.

Then I got to meet up with Cassandra from Baby Smiling in Back Seat! We were planning to go to this indulgent French chocolate place (because I'm a proponent of "dessert first"), but they went out of business. So sad. They hadn't updated their website, so we didn't know until we got there. So instead we went for a very nice dinner in Greenwich Village. It was such a pleasure meeting her in person. This had been tentatively planned since February. She thought I'd be pregnant, but she wouldn't be. Instead, we're both pregnant, she's 4 weeks ahead of me, and having TWO!!

Now the bad.

One of my kitties is very sick. He started throwing up (just fluid) Sunday, but I didn't think much of it. Cats throw up, and he seemed his usual self otherwise. But yesterday it continued and he became increasingly listless. Completely unlike him. He is usually the most energetic and affectionate cat. He loves EVERYONE! He'd make friends with a pitbull given the opportunity. By late last night I was really scared. Took him to the vet as soon as they opened this morning. He was very, very dehydrated. The vet suspects a bowel obstruction of some kind. They are hydrating him and running tests. An x-ray doesn't show any obstruction, but the vet said it could just be in a spot that is hard to see. His kidney function is okay. Numbers are slightly elevated, but that's probably just from the dehydration. The bloodwork they ran there came back normal, but we have to wait until tomorrow morning for the rest. I'm really hoping it's just a really bad furball, and that once he's fully hydrated he will pass it. The vet said that was possible, or it could be a foreign object and he might need surgery. I had to give them a $500 deposit today and was told that if he needs surgery, it could be around $2,000. But what can I do? He's a young cat (around 6-7 years old), and this could be a very fixable problem. I'm sad and scared.

My Mushy!

Friday, May 1, 2009

Pay it Forward Fridays — Got Embies?

It’s been a while since I did a Pay it Forward Fridays post. About time!

If you’ve been reading for a while, you know how amazing my embryo donation story is. It simply would not have happened without this blog and this community. The gift I have received from Aunt K (Angrycanrn) is so beyond words. I have tried many times here, but I still feel I fail in describing how I feel about it.

But you are all so important to me. Each and every comment means so much. You’ve all helped me keep my sanity during each torturous 2 week wait, supported me after each failed cycle, and are now celebrating with me. My hope is that our story may inspire others with frozen embryos to consider directed donation.

As I’ve said, you are all important to me, but I have a special place in my heart for the single moms by choice and those trying to become one. For most of us, this was not how we originally planned to build our families. Most of us hoped for the typical 2 parent family. We tried. Relationships failed, for whatever reason. Mr. Right didn’t come along in time. As I’ve written in the past, in retrospect, I’m grateful that I didn’t become pregnant with Mr. Wrong. The painful custody issues that my friends and family members go through reinforce those feelings. From this perspective, single moms by choice are often in a better position to give their children a less tumultuous childhood that moms who are single by circumstance.

One unfortunate commonality between many SMCs is that while we looked for the ideal situation, our best fertile years slipped away. It wasn’t easy to give up the dream of my own genetic child, but the dream of motherhood was stronger. When I started investigating embryo donation, I looked into clinic programs. These are anonymous. This didn’t sit well with me. Maybe it’s all the adoptees from closed adoptions that I’ve known, but I didn’t want my child to feel like he/she was created with secrets. In my opinion, embryo donation is such a wonderful thing, it deserves open acknowledgement.

I’ve been so lucky. When one door closed, another opened. When things with one woman with embryos to donate didn’t work out, I wrote about it here. Aunt K read what I wrote and contacted me. Thus began our incredible journey. Her understanding of what I was going through and what I was feeling has been incredible. Even though I was going through my last ditch cycle with my own eggs, she committed to donating her embryos to me. She has been a literal safety net in my life. And here I am, 7 weeks, 4 days pregnant. Thanks to her.

So, where does the Pay it Forward fit in this? Well, I’d like to direct you to a couple of my SMC-wannabe bloggy friends. Princess of Tides at No Yolk and Battynurse at I want to be a mommy. I believe both of them will be wonderful mothers. Princess of Tides is currently in the middle of her last ditch IVF with her eggs and Battynurse is in a holding pattern since her last IVF failed. They have both mentioned being uncomfortable with the idea of anonymous embryo donation, so I would encourage you to read their stories if you are considering some kind of open embryo donation. (BTW, if either of them is uncomfortable with me writing this, I will delete reference to them.) It takes a certain amount of strength and determination to decide to pursue motherhood on your own. These are terrific, loving, strong women who’ve simply hit the brick wall of infertility.

It takes a village, people!

**************************

P.S. On another Pay it Forward note, head over to Kristin’s Etsy shop to benefit The Liz Logelin Foundation. I know it’s an odd time of year to buy hats, but they’re so cute! Buy one and tuck it away for the Fall or as an emergency gift.

Monday, April 27, 2009

A Magnificent Flicker

Here it is!! Measuring right on target at 6 weeks, 6 days, +/- 2 days. I saw the most beautiful little heartbeat.

There is a second, much smaller sac, which is empty. I'm fine with that. Two at once as an SMC sounds VERY overwhelming.

I am cautiously over the moon! The RE gave me an estimated due date of December 15th.

Thank you all for all your support so far. I adore having you all on this journey with me!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

I’ve been a bad blogger. (Updated)

WARNING: Some TMI stuff to follow.

Sorry I’ve been MIA. I have plenty to say, although nothing is really going on during this 2WW for the ultrasound. Just having trouble putting the thoughts together into some posts. So this may be a bit disjointed.

State of the pregnancy.

Still no nausea. (Unless I overeat, which happens sometimes because I get SOOO hungry and wolf stuff down faster than my brain can register.) Occasional crampiness, but it could be constipation, which is a chronic issue for me. (Thank you, stool softener!) Had a teensy bit of spotting Sunday night and Monday morning. Really, calling it spotting is kind of stretching it. It was just a tiny bit of pale brown. Nothing since then. My boobs are ginormous! I’m spilling out of my DDDs. I think I’ve gone up a cup size already. I’m really, really sick of PIO. I think I might have hit a nerve last night. It was hurting all night. (I roll over a lot.) The anxiety while I wait for the ultrasound next Monday is the hardest part. I was going to move it forward to this Friday, but then remembered I am at an all day workshop on Friday. So, NYC peeps, wanna help distract me this weekend? Looks like a perfect weekend to hang in Central Park with some ice cream. (Calcium for the baby!)

Assvice! I think some people are in for some snark.

It’s begun. I knew it was coming, but I wasn’t ready for it. My bad, I told someone at work who I shouldn’t have. The IT guy who I joke around with a lot and has 3 kids (one of whom came to work with him recently and became my instant bud). He overheard me talking to someone, so I told him. Of course, telling him to keep it on the lowdown. Now he’s giving me assvice at every opportunity. He saw me with my Starbux cup yesterday and had to tell me it was bad for me. Now, I have a full post percolating about the myths about caffeine and pregnancy, but I’ll just give you a little preview.

READ THE RESEARCH, PEOPLE!!! There is not a single study that shows any negative effects during pregnancy under 300 mg a day. THAT’S THREE CUPS! Still, most drs recommend limiting it to one cup a day during pregnancy, which is what I have. (*Update* apparently there is one study that shows "an increased risk of fetal growth restriction" with moderate caffeine consumption. This study is linked in the comments of this post. I should have known this would be a controversial thing to post, but this is NOT controversial among REs and OBs. Personally, the way I can pack away food, I'm more concerned about a too large baby than a too small one. Also, most women concerned about caffeine during pregnancy are concerned about the miscarriage risk, which even this study says is not an issue under 300 mg.) There are also now numerous studies that show lots of health benefits from moderate caffeine consumption. My order at Starbux is a tall skim “misto,” their term for a cafĂ© au lait. Which means my cup is half filled with steamed milk. The thought of getting through my workday with first trimester fatigue without my misto is not good. If you find it comforting to completely abstain from caffeine during your pregnancy, you'll get no judgement from me. But don't judge my perfectly safe one cup a day!

Trying to think of the best comeback when I next get assvice from this guy. At the moment, I’m thinking of just saying, “Unsolicited advice to a hormonal woman? Not a good idea.” Any other suggestions?

Informal poll here. Please respond in the comments. Did you get morning sickness? If so, what week did it start?

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

For Aunt K

Angrycanrn and I have been signing emails to each other with “Aunt” for months now. Honorary Aunt is the type of relationship we anticipate with each other’s children. These terms of affection are just a little something extra in our communications with each other.

I keep thinking about how I can possibly acknowledge the magnitude of her gift to me. Mostly, my thoughts keep returning to her faith in me. Her faith in trusting me with her husband’s DNA, with her children’s full genetic siblings. These embryos are a part of her husband’s legacy. The legacy of someone who left this world too soon. More precious than I can possibly express.

I want to give back to her. We have discussed a possibility, but it’s too soon to really plan that. But I want to honor her gift and her husband.

I was raised Jewish, but not religious. Yet there are customs and traditions that are deeply ingrained. One is Jewish baby naming customs. Ashkenazi Jews (Jews of Eastern European descent) name their children for deceased family members. It would feel beyond strange to me to name my child for someone still living. We honor the deceased relative by using either their name or choosing a name with the same first initial as the deceased family member. My niece, Julie Diana, was named for both her great grandmothers, Julia and Dora. I have long been planning to name my child for my father, Stanley, who died when I was 17, but I now want to also give my child an “M” name for Aunt K’s husband, Mark. I’m not revealing my name choices, but boy or girl, there will be an “S” and there will be an “M.” I’m also leaning towards 2 middle names for a girl, to add in a “J” name for my friend’s father. I’m referring to my friend who donated his sperm during my attempts to get pregnant with my own eggs. His attempts to help me create my family brought us closer, and even though it didn’t work, we are family. (And I really like the way the “J” name sounds with the first name!)

It warms my heart to think of naming my child to honor Mark. I hope it warms Aunt K’s heart, too. He lives on in our children.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Fourth Beta — Guess I'm REALLY Knocked Up!

2,541!!! Pretty damn pregnant! Looks to me like solid singleton numbers. The RE I grabbed for a minute this morning agreed. I have the ultrasound scheduled for April 27th with my favorite RE. (The one who squealed and gave me hug the morning of my first beta when I told her I'd been getting positive pee sticks for the previous 3 days.)

I have so much to say and much I want to write, but my brain is just swirling right now! Thank you all for the bloggy love and support. I particularly appreciated the comments on my last post. I knew my peeps would understand.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Because I'm a NUT!

My mother called this evening and got me all pissy. (No, I did not tell her the news.) So, to make myself feel better, I peed on a stick! It helped somewhat. I have a whole bunch of cheapies I bought on ebay. They're definitely not as sensitive as the expensive ones, but at this point my hCG is plenty high enough.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Third Beta

862!! Pretty prefect doubling time! Canadian RE want me to get betas until I hit 1400, the schedule the ultrasound for a week or so later. After this one, she said to wait 4 days for the next beta. I should be well over 1400 by then!

Woohooo! This is feeling more real. The only symptom is still tiredness. No nausea yet. Maybe I'll be lucky. I would think I should have some morning sickness with these numbers. My hCG levels seem to be on the high side of singleton rates, but I've come to the conclusion that you just can't tell until the ultrasound. I've heard of twins with lower numbers and singletons with higher numbers. So I've decided not to worry about it until the day of the ultrasound.

I actually have an OB appt set up! That really makes it feel more real. I kept hearing how tough it could be to get in with the best ones in NYC, so I called last Monday. Yes, before the first beta! This dr has to approve you as a patient before you can get an appt. I gave the secretary my info, basically, my age and that I'm on lovenox. The secretary called me back a couple of days later and gave me an appt for May 4th. So I have an appt with a MFM (Maternal Fetal Medicine AKA high risk OB) specialist at the hospital rated #1 for labor and delivery in NYC. Fine, call me obsessively proactive.

Thank you all for the wonderful support!

Friday, April 10, 2009

Actions Speak Louder Than Words — SOCKSESS!!

SockItToMeElite
Hard to slow down my brain right now to write my “Sock It To Me” post, but I’ll try.

Kymberli at I’m a Smart One had the great idea. The Great Sock It To Me Exchange. From her original post about the idea:

“The warmth you feel from your bloggy support is a warm and fuzzy pair of snuggly socks (metaphor!). Take the support with you for a trip to the stirrups. Wear them when you're chasing around your battle-won little person. Put them on when you have something to celebrate or when you need a hug. Wear them as a physical reminder of all the people inside your computer who you know care for and are thinking of you.”

I fell in love with the idea immediately. What a great way to celebrate this community and the VERY REAL things we do for each other! I’d already been the recipient of “lucky socks.” Before my cycle with my poor old ovaries last November, a caring blogger email me to ask if she could send me lucky socks for my cycle. I wrote about how cared for it made me feel here. Before my first FET in February, Angrycanrn sent me more lucky socks and some awesome beads.

My sock buddy was Betty Rubble at I Married Barney, Now What? She sent me the most adorable socks and a lovely handmade card! They arrived just in time for me wear in the stirrups for a lining check. Since this cycle seems to have worked, they are now officially lucky socks!


Here is a photo of one foot in the stirrup. Could really take a wide shot by myself, and yeah, I hadn’t shaved my legs. After going to this clinic for so long, on a cold morning, I JUST DON’T CARE!

Now, as to the title of this post and how it relates the sock exchange and our corner of the blogosphere. It came to me as was scrolling through my iPod the other day. It’s a clichĂ© phrase, but it’s also one of my favorite lyrics by Jonathan Larson, who wrote Rent, from another show of his. You can download the song here. I looked for a video clip, but couldn’t find a good quality one. This is the chorus:

"Cages or wings,
Which do you prefer?

Ask the birds

Fear or love, baby

Don't say the answer
Actions speak louder than words"


Many would say that all our blogs are just words on the internet, but our community is so much more than that. If it weren’t for this community, Angrycanrn and I would not have connected, and I would not be pregnant today. Cassandra sent her massage therapist friend to my hotel room for an amazing massage before my first FET. Our community helped finance Calliope’s FET and now her baby is HERE!!! We have donated expensive meds to each other. (BTW, my dear friend and fellow SMC wannabe, Princess of Tides needs meds for her next cycle. Please help if you can.) We helped a deserving couple, who’ve had so much heartache, go on a vacation. We helped ease someone’s pain by helping her with the ridiculous co-pay bill she received after surgery for an ectopic. We never know when a heartfelt comment will be the very thing that gets someone through their day. Sending each other socks is a perfect symbol of how we care for each other.

ACTIONS SPEAK LOUDER THAN WORDS! But our words are pretty awesome, too!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

425!!!

The email I received from Angrycanrn a few hours ago: "The WWW is clamouring for an update! Can you hear the chants?"

Beta #2 is in. 425!! That's an increase of 118%. Perfect! Above average, but not crazy.

Thank you all for the bloggy love. Monty, your comment touched me so much. Thank you. Kristin, I'm on 30 mg of lovenox. I think that's the lowest dose.

Keeping this brief, 'cause I'm busy working on my "Sock It To Me" post.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

SNORK IS HERE!!!!

Calliope at Creating Motherhood had her little boy!!! Details to come, but I am so beyond thrilled for her! What a week! This baby is here because of the efforts of this community. Cali was the first recipient of The U.T.E.R.U.S. Brigade's fundraising efforts. YAY for us!

Can't wait to see pictures of this little boy. Congrats to mom, the new grandma and great grandma!!!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

195!!!!!!

I'm just thrilled! And tired. No other symptoms yet. I'm bruised beyond belief from the lovenox. A few people have suggested arnica. I'm not a big believer in topicals, I think they mostly have placebo effects, but the bruising is BAD! I have a bruise just from the tape used after my blood draw this morning! What do you think, internets?

Thank you all for your love and continued support!

Well, better get back to pretending to work!

P.S. Go buy a hat!

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Please go shopping for a GREAT cause!

Been meaning to post this. Since my stats are WAY up, now seems like a good time.

Recently I received an email from an Etsy seller I featured here back in October. She had some beautiful, hand crocheted hats she wanted to donate to help support The Liz Logelin Foundation, which she found out about through some of my posts. She didn't have the time to handle the listings, and I was feeling overwhelmed by my upcoming FET, so I tried to think of someone with a big heart who might be able to tackle the job. I very quickly thought of Kristin. She is such an amazing asset to our community. A more loving woman would be hard to find. Check out her post about the project, and the Etsy shop she set up. Now go shop! I know it's an odd time to buy hats, but come Fall you'll be glad you did. They're so beautiful!

LOOK HOW CUTE!!!

It's DARKER!!!

Out of consideration for those still trying and having rough time, I won't post this as my Show and Tell post. BUT LOOK!!


So glad I figured out how to do this today. Sometimes I'm quite clever. After spending time with the Apple tech on the phone trying to start up my macbook, I remembered about the bootable external hard drive I created. Fired it up, and was briefly able to access my damaged internal drive and back up my documents. And I'm able to work with it and post pictures. I still need to take the macbook to the computer hospital. Haven't decided whether to do it today or not. Maybe I'll be lucky and they'll have the right hard drive in stock and can just swap them out, so I don't have to leave it behind.

Anyway, back the the PREGNANCY!!! It's so reassuring to see the line get darker. I'm going to wait until Tuesday to go in for the first beta (13dp2dt), so the number will be reassuring, and so the 2nd beta will be Thursday, when my boss is out, so it won't be a big deal if I'm late for work.

As to how I'm feeling about all this, I'm terrified, but relieved, if that makes sense. I'm overwhelmed with love and gratitude for Angrycanrn. And proud that we made it happen ON OUR TERMS! I keep looking at pictures of her twins, especially their baby pics. JUICY! Now that they're 3, they're beautiful lean children, but OH! they were roly poly babies! My favorite kind. J in particular had the juiciest thighs! What delicious dumplings! I'm just imagining my dumpling baby. A wonderful feeling.

Thank you all for your love and support.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Dead Hard Drive

No clever title. Of all days, it looks like my computer's hard drive might be dead. (Thank goodness for Apple Care!) Typing this on my iTouch. Thank you all for the wonderful comments. I will keep updating with my iTouch, but it's hard typing on it, so I may not be returning many comments the rest of the weekend. Hopefully, it will be fixed soon. And I will be able to comment more and post photos from work on Monday. xoxo

Saturday Pee Report


Guess I'm kind of knocked up!

The line showed up in less than 3 minutes, and I don't even have to squint at it in bright light to see it!!!!

Here's a close-up.


Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Screwed!

Thank you UnitedWealthcare! Just got off the phone with my insurance company. I’m pissed. Now I know that many of you have no IF coverage at all, but I was counting on some reimbursement for my transfers. My bank balance is scary. I have some IF coverage, but it has a cap. A fairly low one. There’s no way it would cover another IVF with my eggs, but I should still have enough coverage for these last 2 FETs.

I called UnitedWealthcare in December to check on my international coverage. I was told it was treated as out of network. So theoretically, I should be reimbursed 80% of “reasonable and customary” charges. When I returned from Canada after my transfer in February I submitted the bill for the transfer. I kept checking the status on the website, and it said “In Process.” On March 11th I called to check what was going on. The recorded information said the claim was denied, so I got a person on the phone. I was then transferred to a Resolution Specialist. She told me the claim needed to go through the International Claims Department. She said she would transfer the claim over, and it should be process in about 10 days. I was also given the International Claims Department address, so I could submit the next bill properly.

Fast forward to today. Boss is out, so I had the privacy to call and follow up. This time after being transferred and put on hold a few times, I’m told that my international coverage is ONLY FOR EMERGENCY CARE! WTF!! I was absolutely not told this before. The Resolution Specialist I spoke to today said I could appeal the denial. I will, but I doubt it will help. I feel completely misled.

Any suggestions for the appeal? There’s no reason for UnitedWealthcare to know that the embryos were moved to Canada from MI. The MI clinic would not treat me because I’m not married, and moving them to another US clinic would likely have been impossible due to FDA regulations. I thought I’d write in the appeal that I went to Canada for treatment because that’s where the embryos were, and that embryologists feel that it’s risky to move embryos and thaw them in a different lab than where they were created. Some embryologists do believe this, and some clinics have terrible thaw rates with embryos from other clinics. Also, what do you think about pointing out that because Canadian fees are lower than the US, that they would have had to pay out significantly more if I’d had the transfer here?

DAMN!

**************

In other news, no news. Too soon to POAS. Today is 7dp2dt. Any symptoms can be attributed to the estrace and progesterone. For some reason (self protection?) I’m not feeling as hopeful about this cycle. Even though everything looked good and went smoothly, I’m feeling low.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Because I’m special, DAMN IT!!

I’m home.

Sorry I haven’t updated. I’ve been very tired, and, frankly, sad. I’ll explain the sad part, but let me update chronologically.

Insanely early morning flight on Wednesday. Dropped my bags at the hotel and took a cab to the clinic. Short wait, then the u/s tech checked my bladder and said it wasn’t full enough. (I just had to pee when I got off the plane.) Chugged a LOT of water. Definitely full enough, but then the RE was delayed with a hysteroscopy. The tech handed me a small cup and said I could pee just that much. Damn, it’s hard to stop once you start peeing when your bladder is painfully full. Still waiting, so the u/s tech checked me again. “Oh, you’re very full!” Duh! Handed me another cup and said I could fill it 1 ½ times. OY!

Then the RE was ready. Last time we transferred 3 lovely day 2 embryos and I did not get pregnant. This time we decided on 4. They all survived the thaw with all cells intact. Although, honestly, I really don’t think one of them counts, as it was only 1 cell. We transferred a 5 cell, two 4 cell, and the little 1 cell. Then I lay on the table in bladder agony until I could get up to pee. I swear, it felt like I peed for 5 minutes straight. I know it wasn’t really that long, but it sure felt like it.

Why am I feeling sad? At my urging, the RE checked my progesterone levels. Let me preface this by saying that before I started cycling I did a lot of research on the effectiveness of vaginal versus intramuscular progesterone (PIO). Here are a few research articles: one, two, three. My NY RE is adamant about vaginal progesterone being as effective as PIO. When I consulted another top NY RE before cycling and asked him about the research, he agreed with it, but said he prefers PIO because there was a problem several years ago with one brand of vaginal progesterone. So, I felt fairly confident about not needing to stick myself in the ass with a long, large gauge needle. The day of my FET last month I had my levels checked as well, since I had read about the exceptions who do not absorb it well vaginally. It was a bit low, so the RE told me to add more. Progesterone supplements are very important for a FET since there is no corpus luteum (empty egg follicle) producing progesterone. At the time I was using four 200mg capsules up the hooha a day. She had me add an additional three 100mg prometrium pills per day. Also up the hooha. So I was poking progesterone up there SEVEN times a day. We figured that would be enough.

Anyway, as I said, at my request, we checked my levels on Wednesday before I left the clinic. As the last time, I was shoving a lot of progesterone where the sun don’t shine. Shortly after I got back to my hotel I got a call from the RE. My levels sucked. I was so exhausted at this point, but I got in a cab and went back to the clinic for a vial of PIO and some big scary needles. Even though there was no reason to think I wouldn’t absorb vaginal progesterone well, I’m feeling guilt and sadness for the 3 beautiful embies that were transferred last month.

Although I have every reason to be hopeful about this cycle, I’m feeling the failure of the last cycle all over again.

Any tips from self PIOers? A friend used em1a cream. Any thoughts on that? So far I have found it easiest to inject while sitting. Easier to twist around and keep the syringe steady. I have also added 1ovenox (blood thinner) injections this cycle as a precaution, since I have a heterozygous MTHFR gene mutation. This single mutation is generally not thought to cause thrombophilia, but we are being proactive. But because of the 1ovenox, I am much more apt to bruise badly from the big PIO needles. The last couple of nights I used a warm compress on my butt (used the little hotel room coffee maker to heat up water, then poured it over a washcloth), but I think that contributed to the BIG bruise (about 3”x1”) I have on one side. And that’s the side I have to inject again tonight. Damn. I was thinking about trying an ice pack this time. Suggestions please.

So there you have it. Good times.

Let the 2WW insanity begin!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Quick update.

Sorry I haven't reported in. I've been VERY tired. Flew up VERY early the morning of transfer, and hardly slept the night before. Transfer was actually Wednesday. The thaw and transfer went well. Today I got together with another cool blogger, Decemberbaby, who I met on the last trip. I still need to catch up on my sleep. Switched rooms today after being woken up by a screaming fight in the next room at 4am. The front desk said they were not checking out, so they gave me a new room.

Will update with more details soon. Thank you all for your good thoughts and prayers. xoxo!!!

Monday, March 23, 2009

Mel’s Show and Tell — A Cautionary Tale

Coming late to Show and Tell this week. This week I have a “Tell.”

“Advanced Reproductive Age”

“Advanced Maternal Age”

That’s the diagnosis for us older women. I’ve even heard the term Geriatric Maternal Age! YIKES! I knew as I was getting older that it could be harder to conceive, but I really didn’t know the cold, hard facts until my first RE visit. No gynecologist ever warned me. I knew once I hit 35 that the chances of genetic abnormalities increased, but I still thought I had a good chance of getting pregnant. Maybe I’d need some clomid or something.

I have a cousin who was anovulatory who got pregnant her second month on clomid. A friend in her late 30s got pregnant on her second IVF, but she’s a DES daughter, so I didn’t think her situation applied to me. Another friend tried some DIUIs as a single woman in her late 30s that didn’t work. But she had irregular cycles and told me that her hormone levels were very bad. (I didn’t know about FSH and all that stuff at the time.) My cycles were like clockwork. I’d never gotten pregnant, but I’d been so careful when I was younger. As I got older, I was less careful. I figured I was just missing the “window.” I spent most of my 30s and early 40s working freelance and had no insurance. I would just pay out of pocket for my annual pap and the occasional dr’s visit.

Then at 44 I was hired by the company I’d been freelancing for. I made my first RE appointment. I was stunned to hear the dr tell me, without any testing yet, that at my age, we needed to go straight to IVF. He said that when a woman is in her 20s, 90% of her eggs are genetically normal. At 44, at least 90% of my eggs are genetically abnormal. I was told that even with IVF, at the maximum dose of medication, I had a less than 5% chance getting pregnant and bringing home a baby. That if I did manage to get pregnant, the miscarriage rate at my age is 50%. Cold. Hard. Facts.

Then I started the testing process and found I had a polyp in my uterine lining that was certain to prevent implantation. It was right past my cervix. Two drs looking at my HSG films said I basically had a homegrown IUD. So whatever fertility I’d had the previous years was screwed by this damn growth. The last few years of OPKs and baby dancing were a waste of money and pee.

The polyp was removed, and after SIX cancelled IVF cycles, I managed to get to retrieval and transfer. I had one lone embryo. My RE said my chances of success on that cycle were about 1%. As you know, I was not in that 1%. But getting that far has made it easier to move on.

Why am I sharing this? I know most of you are aware of these facts, but if I can save one woman the heartache I’ve endured, it’s worth sharing. I was inspired to share this by a woman I met in the waiting room last Friday while waiting for my lining check. Usually people make an effort not to interact in the waiting room, but I’m chatty, and it’s so damn boring. Everyone sitting there is going through something difficult. Why shouldn’t we connect? So, I’m talking to this woman, she’s 37 and going through her first IVF. As we talked more, it turns out she’s not really feeling ready for motherhood yet, but she has great insurance coverage, so she is planning to freeze all her embryos for future use. I WAS SO DAMN IMPRESSED! Proactive fertility treatment! Awesome!

It’s so easy to live in denial and just hope that everything will work as it should when the time is right. Biology doesn’t wait for us. Brava to this woman for taking action. She wasn’t doing this fearlessly. She has a fear of needles and sometimes faints at blood draws. And she was really scared about the retrieval. BUT SHE WAS DOING IT ANYWAY! Again, BRAVA!!!

So that’s my cautionary tale. Don’t forget to see what the rest of the class is showing.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Send In The Clowns????

Came across this link on a message board. Had to share. Bwahahahaha!!! But wait, what if you’re clown phobic? Technically known as Coulrophobia. Now I’m not phobic, but my father surprised me by showing up at my 5th birthday party in a clown costume. I didn’t recognize him and was freaked out by this 6’ tall clown towering over me. Doubt that would be good for implantation!

Now, for cycling and traveling news. Final lining check was this morning. One of my favorite REs was not scheduled to do monitoring this morning, but popped over to do my ultrasound. Sweet! Her exact words were, “Your lining is beautiful!” It measured 12.5mm this morning. Let’s hope this was the LAST empty uterus ultrasound. I’ll start progesterone on Sunday.

Travel plans — OY! Had a mini meltdown on Wednesday after pinpointing the date with the Canadian RE and then checking airfares. (Hormonal much?) My original plan was to fly up after work on Tuesday for the transfer Wednesday morning. Well, let’s just say the airfare for that was INSANE! About 3 times what I paid last month. I emailed the RE about the logistics of taking an early morning flight Wednesday morning and going straight to the clinic from the airport. This will still be almost twice what I paid last month, but what can I do. She thought that would be fine and was very reassuring. So, please think good flying weather thoughts for me early Wednesday morning! (BTW, I saved a few dollars on my tickets by choosing in advance not to check luggage, so please no big gifties to the hotel, or it will cost me $50 to check a bag on the way home!)

Got the same hotel as last time bidding on Price1ine. A little more than last time, but only about $4 a night more. Still a fantastic bargain. And I know the lay of the land there now. I know what’s good on the room service menu and what’s not. I know where the closest convenience store is, so I can stock up on soft drinks and munchies without paying mini bar prices.

Feeling sad that I may not get to see Angrycanrn this trip. She’s currently out of town dealing with her ailing father in law. He’s damn lucky she’s willing to help him, considering how he’s treated her and the kids! I’m hoping things are resolved soon, so she’ll be home in time, but if not, I know she’ll be there in spirit.

I will have you all with me in spirit! And of course I will have my computer with me to keep you updated.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Looking good!

I know you were all waiting for an update yesterday, but I didn't hear from the Canadian RE until today. Went in to the local clinic yesterday (CD8). Lining measured 8mm, one follie at 11mm. Found out today that the blood work was fine. I will go in for a final lining check on Friday. Assuming all is good, I will start progesterone Sunday and the transfer will be next Wednesday! I'm really hoping Angrycanrn can be there for the transfer this time. Time to start checking airfares!

BTW, to be filed under "People Are Stupid," went to a physical therapist for the first time Monday for my foot. I explained that I didn't want to have him use a topical anti-inflammatory because of the upcoming FET. So he tells me that he and his (30 year old!) wife were trying to conceive for quite a while (I didn't ask how long, 'cause I didn't want to hear the stupid response), and that she got pregnant as soon as she gave up coffee. Ummm, yeah, right.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Up The Hill Backwards

Sometimes it’s just one line of a song that strikes a chord. I’ve been ripping my old CDs, and this one line of Bowie’s jumped out at me. Up the hill backwards. Yeah, that’s as good a description as any.

Been meaning to update and respond to a couple of questions. So strange not to be injecting ANYTHING this time. Doesn’t really feel like I’m cycling. Just taking my estrogen. To answer Calliope’s question, I am taking 4mg orally 3x a day. The dose will probably stay the same. Normally I would just go in for a lining check after 10 days on estrogen, but since I need to request the time off from work and make travel arrangements, I will go in tomorrow, after 6 days, to see where things are. It feels surreal that the transfer should be sometime early next week.

Mo asked if it felt good to be back in the process. Ummm, yes and no. Flushing away the remains of my fluffy, triple stripe lining made me sad. Certainly starting again right away feels better than waiting. WAITING IS THE WORST!!! But, as I said, it doesn’t really feel like I’m doing anything. Maybe tomorrow’s monitoring appointment will help. Once I can request the days off and make flight and hotel reservations, I might feel more in the swing of this cycle.

Mostly, I’ve just been feeling down. My back hurts. I pulled something in my upper back rolling over in bed Saturday morning. How lame is that? My foot is really hurting. Anyone have any suggestions for relieving planter fasciitis without anti-inflammatories?

Anyway, to end things on a more upbeat note, and in keeping with the 80s music theme. I’m trying to make this my theme song.



One way or another I'm gonna find ya
I'm gonna getcha getcha getcha getcha

One day, maybe next week ...

What's your theme song these days?

Friday, March 13, 2009

Must add this nut to my blogroll!

I will definitely be writing a real post soon. I want to answer the questions from commenters on my last post. But I just had to share this link. OMFG!!!! Cecily at Uppercase Woman linked to it today. I just can't stop laughing! All I have to do is think about this post and I crack up. So, if you need a laugh (and who doesn't) go read this post by The Blogess.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Maybe This Time

Frozen Embryo Transfer, take two.

CD2 today. Went in to local clinic for blood work and ultrasound. All clear to begin. Start taking estrogen pills today. Normally with this type of cycle I would go in again for a lining check after 10 days on estrogen, but since I will need to make travel plans and ask for time off from work, I will go in after 6 or 7 days to see how things are progressing, and hopefully we will be able to firm up the transfer date.

Again, I'm sorry I've been a lousy commenter. Please bear with me. I'm reading and thinking of you all.

**********************

Check out this interesting article about how some things are actually easier for single moms. Cool!

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Officially Not Pregnant — It's Gonna Take a Village (*edited with extra info added*)

No surprise. Actually yesterday wasn't as bad a day as it could have been. But I did wind up with a migraine, sleeping away a good chunk of the day. So no energy to post. Did you read the comments on my last post? So many people who want to actively help me get pregnant. It will happen. Sometimes embies just don't stick. I'm just going to have faith that that's what happened this time. My lining looked fabulous, I had an SHG before this cycle, so I know my uterus looks like a hospitable place for a good, long stay, I've had extra blood work done to check for any immune or clotting issues. There appears to be no reason I can't get pregnant and stay pregnant.

Regarding Angrycanrn's incredibly generous offer to help me do an egg donor cycle, I'm not physically or emotionally there yet. Emotionally, I'm really attached to these possible little redheads. While I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE that she wants me to have the best odds possible, I have a hard time believing that there isn't a healthy baby in this proven batch of embryos created with a fertile 23 year old's eggs. Out of 10 embies, I believe there will be a baby. I believe I will be mommy to J and E's little sib. (Please let him or her have E's temperment!! Angrycanrn will have to explain that!) (*ETA* Even though the assholes in MI froze them randomly, their SART stats are very good for donor egg FETs. Also, even though they didn't stick, that the thaw on these last 3 went well is also a good sign.) Physically, I think I have lupron PTSD. I was talking to someone the other day who described it as feeling like having the flu. That's pretty accurate. And the migraines were awful. Full blown, scary aura and all. I'm having a hard time just thinking about shooting up lupron again. I start feeling anxious at the thought. So we are going to try a non-lupron FET protocol this time.

I haven't gotten the full info from the RE yet (maybe some of you who've done this kind of cycle could share? Cali?), but I'll go in on day 2 to my local clinic and then start high doses of estrogen. I'm assuming I'll need a bit more monitoring with this protocol than with the suppression protocol. The RE said we could add an antagon (i.e., ganre1ix) if it looked like I was going to ovulate too soon. Does anyone know, do the high doses of E2 generally prevent early ovulation. With this kind of cycle, I probably will have to wait until pretty much the last minute to buy the plane tickets and request the time off from work, but if it means I can avoid lupron, that's fine. I have heard that some clinics are getting higher FET success rates with this protocol.

OH, MY!! Did you read the response to my last post from Tessa??? It's obvious why I love her and her daughters so much. And her daughter's offer!!!! WOW! I read this when I got up yesterday to go in for what I knew would be a negative beta. I started crying when I read this. Thank you so much, sweetie. That you would think to be so generous says everything about your heart! And I'm pleased that I could indirectly give Tessa a moment of sweetness with her teenager. I hear sweet moments can be few and far between with teenagers. Ah, all part of the package, along with poopy diapers and projectile vomiting.

A pair of awesome women. Tessa and her daughter.
Aren't they and Claire a great excuse to visit Europe?

Sorry I haven't been a good commenter lately. Hopefully, I'll have amazing energy when hopped up on just lots of estrogen. Hmmm, some personal toys might get a good workout. (Note to self: AA and AAA)

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Family of Choice — Love Trumps Blood

I know I’m not the only one with a screwy family. Many are way worse than mine, but still, it can be difficult. Which is why “family of choice” becomes so important.

I’ve mentioned one of my oldest friends (we met the first day of high school, in homeroom) who, after having her son in October, when the NICU nurse asked who I was, said I was her sister. And meant it.

Angrycanrn and I are building an extended family type of relationship for our children. Her faith in my parenting abilities means the world to me. Boy, does she want to see me knocked up! She truly feels like a long lost sister. If she needed me, I would drop everything and fly up to be there for her and her children.

One of the things I’m finding painful about the failure of this cycle is the irrational feeling that I’ve let her down. I know that’s crazy. I just wound up on the wrong side of the odds this time. I kind of felt the same way after my cycle with my own eggs and Donor Daddy’s sperm. Calling him to tell him I wasn’t pregnant was so hard. He’s family, too.

A few weeks ago I was on the phone with my friend Tessa. (Not her real name, but a short version of her user name from the IVF message boards where we met.) Tessa is an American married to a Dutch man and living in the Netherlands. Let’s just say the way the Dutch handle IVF is negligent. They barely did any testing or monitoring. They basically just said, “This is the dose we give women your age.” I think she was nearly 40 when she started her cycle. She wound up with severe OHSS. She really should have been hospitalized, but given the treatment she’d already received, maybe it’s better she wasn’t. She got much better medical advice from the women on the message boards than from her doctors. Her baby girl is truly a miracle.

But I’m rambling, back to the topic at hand. Tessa first became pregnant as an unmarried 19 year old. Her family disowned her and completely rejected the daughter she had then. She was a young, frightened girl, with a complicated pregnancy, and then a preemie with lots of issues. But she managed. Her family NEVER rose to the occasion. She met her husband when in her late 30s and moved (along with her grown daughter) to Europe to be with him. We met in person when I was there on vacation last Spring. We felt an immediate kinship. Back to the phone call of a few weeks ago. Tessa asked me if I would consider being their daughter’s guardian if anything were to happen to both her and her husband. (Her husband’s family members are too old to take on a child.) Again, what incredible faith in my (unproven) mothering abilities. They are both healthy, and I don’t anticipate needing to take her, but of course I would. I love little Claire. I would raise her as if she were my own. All the while telling her stories of her kooky, big hearted mom.

I feel at a loss for what to say to wrap this up, but I’ll try. As hard as the failure of this cycle is, I am still so lucky. My heart is full with all this love. I’m a single woman with a rockin’ family of choice! Not to mention a whole bunch of internet friends who have been there for me every step of the way. Hang on everyone. The ride’s not over!

Delicious Claire napping in the hat Aunt Dora bought for her from the UTERUS Brigade's Etsy shop. Hand knitted by Rachel at Henry Street.

Thursday Pee Report (Resenting Progesterone)

To all those who have been remaining hopeful, I thank you, but you are all delusional! 13dp2dt and not even a tiny hint of a line. My urine is hCG free. If I got a positive beta tomorrow it would not be good news. There's just no way at this point that this cycle will produce a viable pregnancy. Right now I just want to get the word that I can stop shoving progesterone up the vag. Part of me want to just stop, but I'll wait until tomorrow. I'm really getting annoyed every time I do it.

Thanks again for all the bloggy love.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Wednesday Pee Report (I don't think there's a chance in Hell.)

First Response says NO. I think the cheapies I have are the same anyway. I bought them on ebay and the seller said they were generic FR. They look exactly the same, like they were manufactured in the same factory. But I went to the drugstore and bought the box anyway. They were on sale for $14.99 (box of 2 tests). Maybe I'll pick up another box for the next cycle. I'm still sticking the progesterone up the hooha and taking the estrace, and will wait for Friday to go in for the beta. I'd skip it, but at least that is covered by insurance. I think I'm going to take the day off as a personal day, so I can go back home and hide under the covers until I get call saying stop meds.

Sucks! I'm so cranky and depressed, I'm not functioning well at work.

Going across the street for my coffee and I think I need some morning chocolate.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Tuesday Pee Report (A little too soon to book plane tickets, but ...)

I have never seen a positive pregnancy test. NEVER! Sucks. 11dp2dt should show something.

Today's test was a cheapie. Going to buy some First Responses today, but from what I understand the cheapies are just as sensitive.

Emailed the RE last night. She wants me to wait until Friday for the beta. Now my fear is beta hell. (For those not in the know, that means a low number on the pregnancy blood test that usually indicates a non-viable pregnancy, like an ectopic (embryo implants in fallopian tube) or an early miscarriage.) She said I can start right away on day 2 if the beta is negative. I'm thinking about trying a natural cycle this time, as I was so miserable on lupron. I need to do some research about just how precise the timing needs to be, since I'm coming from out of town. It also makes me nervous because of my age. Ovulating early during a naturally timed FET will screw it up, and at my age, my ovaries are unreliable.

Thanks again everyone for all the support.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Monday Pee Report :-(

Zip. 10dp2dt. I know I'm not out of the game yet, but hope is receding. I want to hide under the covers.

Thanks for all the support and lovely comments.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

No line (yet).

Hopefully just too early. Maybe it means it's a singleton taking his/her time snuggling in.

I did have a major gagging episode yesterday. Opened an old jar of hair gel I hadn't used in a while and the smell was so vile and overpowering. Didn't throw up, but almost. Hoping it's a good sign.

Thanks for all the good thoughts.

Friday, February 27, 2009

How soon did you get a positive pee stick?

Thanks for the beet ideas. For some reason, butter hadn't occurred to me at all. Going to try something with butter tonight. I love that I can cook up a whole lot and then season them in small portions. Keep the ideas coming. BTW, for those like me, who love beets but were intimidated by cooking them, it really is easy. Peeling them is messy, but quick. Latex gloves kept my hands from getting stained, and intend to keep using the same pair as my "beet gloves" until they tear.

Okay internets, when do you think I should do it? I was thinking Sunday, which is 9dp2dt (that's 9 days post 2 day transfer for those not up on the lingo, or 11 days post ovulation (if it were a natural conception)).

Those of you who've had success, please tell me when you got a second line. I've been fairly calm so far, but I'm starting to get anxious. I WANT TO KNOW!!

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Chocolate and Beets

Strange combo, I know. Still nothing happening yet. So this will be a boring post.

I'm enjoying the yummy chocolate that Angrycanrn sent me for my transfer. Chocolate makes sweet babies, right? That's my theory and I'm sticking to it.

About beets, lately I've been really into them, but I'd never cooked them myself. There are a couple of gourmet takeout places near my office that make good beet salads, but they're expensive. I knew in theory that they were easy to cook, so I picked up a couple of bunches on my way home tonight. Trimmed them, rinsed and dried them, then wrapped them in tin foil and roasted them until tender. Tossed some with some salad dressing I had in the fridge, but left most of them unseasoned for later. They were yummy, but I need some good seasoning/dressing suggestions. Please help!

6dp2dt

Monday, February 23, 2009

Baby See, Baby Do!

Love those lolcats!


Just a little diversion, since all I'm doing is waaaaaaaiiiiiiiiting.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Mel’s Show & Tell — My Canadian Adventure!

If you're here from ICLW. My story is kind of complicated. I have listed a few posts on my sidebar that summarize my journey. It's still a lot to read, so please don't feel obligated to read it all. Thanks for stopping by.

For Show and Tell I thought I'd share more pictures from my trip. Of course the picture in this post is my favorite!

Here a shot from my hotel window when I got up to get ready for my transfer Friday morning. Phoebe said it looked like I was staying in a helicopter. My room was on the 25th floor.


Late afternoon on transfer day.


A Totonto blogger left me a comment after reading mine on the Virtual Lushary. December Baby, her adorable 13 month old daughter and I met for a delicious brunch downtown on Saturday. Instant bonding. She's so cool! Go wish her luck on her IUI today.

After brunch we walked around a bit and watched ice sculptures being carved.


(Me with ice penguins. Sorry for the blurred face. Privacy paranoia.)

After we said goodbye, I went to check out the Gardiner Museum of ceramics. Cassandra, don't bother (unless there's an interesting special exhibit). Not really worth it. I KNOW you've seen better collections. But here are a couple of pics from the current special exhibit.

An unexceptional Picasso. I like it, but have seen MUCH better.

A pair of nice Betty Woodman pieces.

The museum did not have a single Beatrice Wood piece. Just wrong!!

Another shot from my window yesterday afternoon. Check out the ice! Brrrrr! Then the snow started to fall.


Don't forget to check out what the rest of the class is showing!

Friday, February 20, 2009

Pay it Forward Fridays — Feeling the LOVE!!

Weepy, hormonal chick says, I LOVE YOU GUYS!

The love in this community makes things happen. Our community got Cali pregnant! If not for this community, I would not have connected with Angrycanrn, and would not be sitting here in a hotel lounge, sipping a virgin mary, with 3 beautiful embryos on board.

I want to share with you about some of the love I've been blessed with.

Cassandra at Baby Smiling In Back Seat left me a comment that I should email her, because she might be able to hook me up with something while here. She has a dear friend who is a massage therapist here, and she wanted to treat me to a massage. HE CAME TO MY HOTEL ROOM! Heaven. Sheer heaven! Of course, any good friend of Cassandra's would be a terrific person. A caring, dear man, and a seriously awesome massage therapist. I don't think I've EVER had a better massage. He finessed the tendonitis in my shoulder so carefully, that it feels better than it has in ages. I anticipated having trouble sleeping because of nervousness about this morning's transfer, but I had no problem drifting off to sleep. I can't thank her enough for her generosity and kindness. I'm so hoping her current cycle works. Someone this caring will be a terrific mom.

Then, as if Angrycanrn hasn't already been generous enough, this afternoon a package was delivered to my hotel room. Apparently, she wanted to make absolutely sure I had all the chocolate I wanted right at my fingertips.


Yeah, it's HUGE. Have I mentioned that she ROCKS? Okay, maybe once or twice. ;-)

BTW, I could totally feel her loving energy with me this morning as I awaited the results of the thaw. Since I had quite a wait at the clinic, I got friendly with the nurses. I was talking to one grandmotherly nurse, showing her pictures of J and E (they're on my iTouch), telling her our story, and I told her the story of Angrycanrn's dream. She rubbed her arms and told me she got chills. The RE and I talked about this miraculous connection in the transfer room. Hon, you were there in spirit! The embies were labelled with both of our names, which was just perfect.

Of course, I was wearing the beautiful bracelet Angrycanrn made me. Wore BOTH pairs of lucky socks, and had the Obama beads in my purse (didn't bring them in to the transfer room, you never know where Mardi Gras beads have been :-0).

The RE, the nurses, the RE's secretary were all so terrific and caring. They told me that as much as they enjoyed meeting me, they hope I don't need to come back. Me, too!

No vacancy!

This clinic does not have the capability to take pictures of the embryos before transfer, but I did get to see them on a video screen before transfer. Of course, I think they are adorable.

I did get a picture post transfer. So wonderful to see something in there after so many months of empty uterus ultrasounds.

Dora's Uterus. No Vacancy!

6, 5, 4 — YES! WE! CAN!

This morning's transfer went beautifully! Minor snafu, they couldn't thaw the embryos until I signed the consent forms. Obviously, if I weren't an out of town patient, this would have been done prior to today. If they had let me know, I could have gone there yesterday and signed them. So, although I got there at 8am, I didn't have the transfer until nearly noon.

The embryos thawed perfectly. They thawed 3 and they all survived the thaw. (My biggest worry.) These are day 2 embryos, and we had a 6 cell, a 5 cell, and a 4 cell. Tiny bit of fragmentation on the 4 cell. None on the others. They also did assisted hatching on them.

I feel very hopeful! My boobs hurt already. ;-)

Thank you all for your support.

More later!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Here I Am!

Well, I'm here! And it's COLD!

Here's the view from my hotel room window this morning.


Being very lazy, since it's just so cold. The day started out sunny, so I thought I would head over to the CN Tower to check out the view. Of course the weather changed, and the wind was blowing snow flurries sideways into my face. Not much visibility, so I decided to treat myself to a drink and a snack at the restaurant on the observation deck. (Note: One of the best caesar salads I've ever had.) While I was there the sun peeked out and the fog lifted a bit.

Here's the view.


Trying not to be too nervous about the thaw and transfer tomorrow. Really nothing I can do about it.

I truly helps knowing all of you are thinking of me and hoping tomorrow's transfer brings me a wonderful, little take home baby. Thank you all! xoxoxoxoxoxoxo!!!!

Friday, February 13, 2009

Pay it Forward Fridays — Receiving is Giving

This week I’ve decided it’s my turn. I’m going to revel in all the love in my life, embrace it, and allow it to wash over me.

I also want to talk about the gift we give when we graciously allow others to give to us. A few months ago another blogger sent me an email saying she wanted to send me something for luck for my cycle. My initial reaction was to think I would email her back and say it was sweet, but not necessary. Well, duh! Of course it wasn’t necessary! That wasn’t the point. This sweet woman wanted to send me something to brighten my day during my IVF cycle. It would make her feel good to do so. I realized it would be wrong to deny her that pleasure. Her instincts were also spot on. The package arrived on a difficult day. Her gift made me smile and feel cared for.

I don’t know why it took me a while to realize this. I know this so well from the other side. I love choosing gifts for people. I love seeing their pleasure when I get it right. Why in the world would I deny that to someone else?

Then there’s the big gift. The gift of life. The gift of cells that contain so much possibility. While we know there is no guaranty, we hope that a little clump of cells will grow in my nice fluffy uterus. That a tiny heart will start to beat. That organs will form. That a healthy baby I’ve waited so long for will grow and grow and grow. Angrycanrn says I give her peace by accepting the gift of her embryos. As I’ve said before, the best way I can think of to honor that gift is to be the best mom I can be.

So, I guess what I’m really trying to say is THANK YOU ALL! And bring on the love. My heart and arms are wide open for you.