Wednesday, August 4, 2010


We are on four waiting lists for specific donors at our clinic. In the last two months we have been offered two of them and turned them down.

The first one that we were offered was my favorite. She reminded me of someone I know who has been a very close friend since I was a teenager. She also seemed intelligent and like a good person, and she looked enough like me so that I felt great about moving ahead with her.
When she was offered to us, in June, I took a closer look at her stats. She had donated four times and three of those had positive outcomes. Sounded good. Talked to the donor coordinator about the low hcg numbers on the form.. turned out there was only one pregnancy that led to a baby.. The word "positive" was misleading. I guess the others were early miscarriages. We decided that since we had had trouble with our first donor (I think it had to do with her) in that the embryo quality was very poor, we would only go with really good, proven donors. So no go for donor-who-looks-like-friend. :(.

This narrowed things down quite a lot. I could no longer just see who looked, sounded and felt right, they had to have really good fertility! Percentage wise there were a lot fewer of these women at my clinic.

I had recently added another donor who had great results and appeared to meet all requirements. We were offered her about three weeks ago.  She was really adorable and smart and rode horses... but my gut just kept telling me NO.
Okay, well I haven't lived 48 years and 9 months without learning something. I know I have to listen to my gut. It wasn't really giving me much of an explanation, except "I'm just not feeling it". I decided to honor that, even though waiting is very difficult, and I'm not getting any younger. When I have not honored my gut reactions I have ALWAYS been sorry. That's just the way it is.  It was a strong gut feeling.

There is currently only one donor now that I really want to work with, and she is finishing up a cycle with 2 other recipients this week. My clinic splits cycles for donors who produce a lot of eggs. When we were trying to decided about one of the other donors I had asked the coordinator to ask her (the one we're waiting for now) if she was planning on cycling again. Her answer was that she wasn't decided yet and that she'd need to discuss it with her partner. I took that as a possible yes, so am waiting to hear about whether she will become available soon. Sigh. I really hope so.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Still Here, But Now With KITTENS! (No, I did not deliver them myself)

I have been feeling a need to forget the world of infertility and its many doings for a while. I hit some kind of wall and just didn't want to talk about anything anymore. Going through the whole IVF, getting the negative, and then having to do polyp surgery after (which I was scared of), felt like a real emotional blow on top of stress, to me. Part of me needed to go into hiding.

I've gone through a lot with wanting children, and trying to have them, but there was a certain level of hurt and sadness that I have read about on your blogs, that was revealed to me, that I finally felt myself. All of a sudden I couldn't read all of the seemingly abundant blog announcements of positive pregnancy tests. Especially the women who cycled near me in time. My sisters joyful days. That was shocking to me because I usually feel very inspired by success, and really happy for your joy!
I don't like feeling that way, not one bit!! Thus, the hiding.
I think I'm coming back to earth now a bit.. I'm having a desire to catch up on my blog reading and see who is doing what. The positive side of this is that it does seem like a lot of us actually do get pregnant!!

I have since had the surgery, which was not at all painful or traumatic. I'm so glad it is over.

My sweetie and I also both felt the need to add a kitten to our household... Certainly I was needing to be a momma to some creature. We also have an adult cat who seemed to need some company last winter after his friend was struck and killed by a car. When we went to our local shelter to choose one, Sweet Man and I bonded with different kittens. Then we bonded with each others kittens. Instead of being sensible and perhaps going home and sleeping on it, we couldn't stand the idea that someone else may adopt them, so we now have too adorable, playful, poopful kittens.

We have had them for over 3 weeks now and haven't come up with names yet. They're just Boykitty and Girlkitty. Boykitty is on the bottom in the photo. He is smaller. I know he looks a little uncomfortable, but it was just so cute with his little legs dangling. Trust me, he is treated like a prince. They are both very cuddlesome and satisfying to love.

My husband and I thought we would start again right away with another donor egg IVF after the surgery, But our bubble was popped when all three of our chosen donors had waiting lists. Pretty long too, we were like 4th or 5th on all of them. We had a fourth donor, but we were eleventh on her list, so forget it. We had been lured in to unsuspecting expectation of ease with this situation since our first donor was available right away. We decided not to go with her again though, since it was possible our dismal results had to do with her. I had no idea about waiting lists! I'm 48 and a half, so this waiting business is really hard. For a while there I was panicked, but upon having a chat with the donor coordinator in which I asked to go over each donors list in detail, turns out that some of the people ahead of us had done other things, so we've been bumped up to next on two, and second on the one we really want, tho shes doing split cycles so maybe we're next, too. They have all just started cycles with other people at this point. So probably some time this summer. I hope!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Relaxing a Bit

I'm feeling a lot better. It feels good to just loose myself in daily life without thinking about my state of fertility every single second. The intensity of my focus (obsession?) was getting oppressive.

For some reason I had stopped cooking altogether for the time I was on the hormones. Isn't that strange? I think the hormones had some effects on my relationship to food.. I wasn't really hungry much, but craved junk food. It's quite possible that it was the stress of doing my first IVF cycle, however, because I tend to use food that way.
Now that I am not doing a cycle at the moment, I am eating tons of salads, and cooking lots of yummy things. Yesterday I made omlettes for my mom and some other guests visiting here, with fresh local eggs and chives I had picked nearby, goat cheese and sun dried tomatoes. They were amazing. I served them with vegetarian sausages, and cappuccinos made with organic milk (which tastes sooo much better than regular, its worth the extra $$) on the wonderful espresso machine that sweet man got me for the holidays. Last night we had gnocci with a sauce of fresh tomatoes, artichoke hearts, olive oil and a lot of garlic, served with a colorful salad. I made chocolate chip cookies for dessert.. Sweet man wanted to try a gluten free diet for a while so I made them with brown rice flour. They turned out super thin, almost like lace cookies, and stuck to the cookie sheet, but were delicious, better than regular, crispy and buttery. Yum! We ate every little crumb.
We also sat around with my mom and her boyfriend (whose combined ages are 164) and tried to answer a New York Times "Pop Quiz" entitled "Are You Smarter Than a Fifth-Grader?". Well, we're not. We were all pretty much humiliated at our lack of fifth grade knowledge. Good fun, though.

On the fertility front, this morning, on what I think was Morning Edition, I heard a poem that sounded like a list of all of what we IF's call "assvice".. the things non IFers say, in well intentioned helpfullness, to slap us out of our stupidity, and get us prgnant by, you know, "just relaxing", "just adopt and you'll get pregnant" Blah blah blah.. I was extremely surprised to hear it, since it seems like a very particular sort of "in joke" to this community, and I was very glad to hear it but, well, I can't find the poem on the NPR website anywhere! I DID hear it. Sh.....t. I wanted to link to it for ya, Oh well.

Sweet Man and I really appreciate the well informed suggestions given in my comments btw.. total opposite of assvice if you know what I mean. We are doing the chromosome test for him, and the clotting/immune tests for me. My clinic believes in the apparently controversial intralipid infusion. We are considering a different donor, tho I am not finding one that I feel as.. well related to as the one we used. Maybe give me time to re adjust. Next step for me is to have an uterine polyp removed. Sigh. I hate to do anything to traumatize my poor uterus, as I have had trauma in that area in the past and don't want to reawaken it.. but I promised myself if I didn't get pregnant this round I would try the surgery. So I am.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

BFN+Taxes = Scones

It was negative. I really haven't felt like writing.. but I realize that there are a few people reading this.. something that really delights me. So thanks for reading, and caring.

I've just been feeling like lying low and healing. I feel weak and exhausted emotionally, mentally and physically. Unfortunately I am supposed to be dealing with a giant tax issue, one in which the IRS erroneously thinks I owe them $175,000. If I actually did owe them this, I would be in such deep doodoo. Anyway they are wrong, but if I don't deal with this NOW I could end up in some kind of trouble, I am sure.

So instead, I have spent the morning looking up scone recipes on the internet... and desperately searching for someplace nearby that sells Dole Whip. I discovered Dole Whip when I was in Syracuse last week for the transfer. I happened to stop at Peters Polar Parlor and bought myself a vanilla soft serve cone, and for the Sweet Man, a Dole Whip since he had the sniffles and didn't want any dairy. It's a pineapple soft serve. Its DELICIOUS. Well, he only got one bite, because after I tasted his, I ate the whole thing, threw out my vanilla cone, and contemplated going back for more. Now, back home, I cant find it anywhere!!! So, can you tell that food is my comfort thing? Cooking is also a great creative joy for me. I promised myself I couldn't bake scones today tho until I dealt with my tax duties.

Yesterday I spent the day perusing possible new egg donors. I felt like I wanted to do something proactive, to start this thing all over again. I don't know if our donor was even part of the problem, tho. This is a tough one, cause I really like her. She is intelligent and creative and looks a lot like me (25 years ago). She has donated four times, including for us. Two pregnancies, and two bfn's. No frozen embryos.

It has also been suggested that it could be a sperm issue,. Both Sweet Man and I are pretty freaked out by that possibility.

So, since I am feeling so calm and centered and able to focus on big important problems like taxes and who will be the genetic parents of my hoped for children instead of baking scones, I offer this as my brilliant, perfect solution. Scones. Scones and a cat. What could be better? (and don't say getting your taxes done and having a baby... lalala I can't hear you).

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Beta Tomorrow... Feelings

It's just all so exhausting not to have any control over something so huge as ones fertility. I have been realizing that this whole experience is perverse in terms of the quality of stress that we have to go through. I don't like to gamble, it makes me very anxious. And here I am, gambling with huge amounts of my and my mothers hard earned money. We are not rich people, this money is significant. And I'm gambling with my longing heart. The possible payoff is so big, it's my beloved child. And that's what I lose also.

I don't like this experience. I don't like it at all.

Back when I was trying to get pregnant on my own, before I got lucky meeting this sweet man I have recently married, I did eleven IUI's in one year. I was badly handled by terribly insensitive RE's. I was very shell shocked after that, in fact I can tell you (since I'm a therapist) that I had PTSD. I didn't want to talk about or even think about any kind of fertility treatments any more.

It was the promise of the magic, young, fertile, donor egg that enticed me back into this maelstrom. Everyone said it was practically a given that it would work, since age is my only apparent issue. So how is it that the magic eggs from our young and proven donor produced embryos that didn't grow right?

I've been very emotional, overwhelmed, not feeling myself at all. For months. All of the little details of going through an IVF cycle are manageable in themselves, but together they combine into something that has taken over my life with a nightmarish quality. This morning I was feeling sad while I was washing some dishes, and told Sweet Man that I felt disconnected from him. He came over to give me some affection, and as I reached for him he jumped away. Yes, I had something gross from the sink on my hands, but I burst into tears and wouldn't let him near me after that. He tried and I told him to get away. And I'm probably not pregnant so have nothing to show for being so insanely hormonal.

The Sweet Man's somewhat religious cousin happened to send us a xerox of a sign recently. It says:

Good Morning, this is GOD
I will be handling all your
problems today
I will NOT need your help
so, have a good day.

I can't say that I can totally surrender to that, but it's been interesting to contemplate.

Tomorrow is my beta, and all 3 pee sticks so far, including today's, have been negative. I realize that theoretically there have been cases (although I haven't actually heard of any specific ones) when a woman tests positive after negative hpt's, but I don't really think that's going to happen. Well, I would be shocked.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

The Big Maybe

I'm Waaaaaaaaaiiiiiittttiiinnnggggg.... (tapping foot) Well that's the truth. I've been trying to act "normal", like I'm just going about my business, but my husbands "You're glowing, honey" comments, and my friends who ask "How are you? (fine), Yes, but how ARE you?" just keep blowing my game.

The little miss hopeful part of me wants to tell the world, "I feel pregnant!". That other leather clad part who's been through so many disappointments wants to cover LMH's foolish mouth while muttering.. "the embryos looked wonky".

Fact is, there is a big maybe in my life right now. That's just the way it is. Oooomm.. Make way for Ms. Zen roshi part.

All three of these parts will agree that my tits feel like lead balloons ever since I upped the crinone to three-a-day after my progesterone measured 6.5 on transfer day. That's low. Dr Google says that crinone doesn't measure in the bloodstream properly tho.. that it should be getting where its supposed to go, my uterus. But I think Dr.G is wrong, its clearly going straight to my tits.

In other interesting news, I actually recognized a fellow IF blogger when I was reading her blog for the first time today. I mean, she is someone I met once IRL, at a baby shower of all places, and we spent a good bit of time bonding over our shared desire for a child, and our mutual "advanced maternal age", TTC as a SMC which I was, but no longer am, etc. We wished each other a sincere "good luck" and parted ways. A while back I heard through our mutual baby shower friend (who btw had conceived through IVF with donor eggs) that the woman I met had been successful with a frozen donor embryo. I was so happy for her. Her baby was born on my birthday, too. I think this odd way of reconnecting feels good to me! Yay, blogosphere!

And Yay blogosphere for all the wonderful supportive comments I got from joining LFCA...
Thank you!!! They were much needed and really did help.

Well I'm 4dp5dt... got my pee sticks at the ready... Hiii-ya! Take that, 2ww! Smack you on the head with a pee stick!!!

Sunday, April 4, 2010

3 Wonky-Looking Embryos...

But I love them, anyway.

We transferred these three yesterday morning. It was easy peasy, no pain involved, which was a relief for a first time IVFer.

We ended up with 8 embryos, one more than originally had fertilized, that made it to day 5, but not to blastocyst. I understand that morula is the stage before blast, but the embryologist started to call them "arrested" then stopped, saying that she picked the three best. So are they arrested, or are they not? Why don't they look like other morulas I see photos of? Neither the Doctor nor the embryologist seemed to like the way these embryo's looked, but they both said there was still a chance. They appear to have stopped growing on day 3 or 4, or maybe they were just going very slow.. but they didn't look so good. All wonky. Also they said the other 5 (which looked pretty darn similar to these 3) were not in good enough shape to freeze.. I kept asking for explanations and getting these unclear answers, I had the embryologist come back twice to clarify things, and I still feel confused. Like, if they are good enough to transfer why are they not good enough to freeze? Why not see what happens if the remaining 5 were left to grow another day? No, they're not good enough for either of those things.. so why are we transferring them? I need to have yet another conversation with someone about this.

So, we transferred 3. We were planning on transferring 2, but the Dr said the way these looked, there was no way we are getting triplets. So boo. I really wanted triplets. Kidding. (I've got to be careful what I say... I realize having triplets certainly happens!)

After a lengthy conference with Dr Google, I have concluded that all the embryos were slow growers, with a lot of fragmentation. So, not very good quality in more ways than one. I wonder how this happened? We are using a 27 year old proven donor.

DH and I were both sick with colds over this transfer trip, cranky and just uncomfortable for the darn 7 hours of driving and the overnight hotel stay. Got a bruise on my voluptuous hip from the plastic seat belt thing, from sitting in the car for so long. I kept feeling hungry but nothing appealed to me. That has been going on for a few days now. Not even the chocolate cake that Molly recommended from Wegmans... I was so looking forward to trying a new chocolate thing, but for once, I actually felt aversion to it. Must be the hormones (I've been saying that sentence a lot lately!)

So here I am with these three embryos inside of me, wondering if I should have any hope at all.. or is it better not to? The same questions I see so many women asking on these blogs. I guess I just have another opportunity to practice letting go to the great mystery that is life.

I have a little hope. A teeny little flame of excitement that keeps burning. But it is very small.