Monday, August 31, 2009

I appear to have cooties.

Electronic cooties, that is. I spent quite a bit of time last night and this morning trying to figure stuff out on my computer and I am up to here! I think part of it is that my new computer has Vi.sta. When I bought it, the guy at the store told me that most of the past problems with Vi.sta were because computers didn't have enough memory, and that shouldn't be a problem with my new computer. Clearly, he was incorrect.

Anyway. I updated my iP.od Touch's OS and that made it very unhappy. I ended up having to do a total restore of my iP.od and resync everything one at a time. I lost some of the stuff in my calender (anything I recently put in) but I think I have most of the appts still in my head.

I just spent almost an hour in live chat with a tech (clearly one who's first language was not English and who was working directly from a computer program herself) trying to get my damn Quick.en 2009 that I recently bought to talk to my bank. Seriously- I have a masters in educational technology and it was an arduous, frustrating process for me. I don't know how people who's computer literacy is limited deal with it. *sigh*

I have one and a half days until I go back to work. I'm still in my PJs. I've been working on trying to finish some of the half-finished knitting projects I've been working on. One of the things was matching hats and scarves for KB and M for channukah presents. They're finished and SO CUTE. The problem is... channukah is four months away!!!!!!!!!! I love buying (and making) gifts for people, especially ones I think they'll like. But then I'm so impatient to give it to them! I used that alpaca yarn I love, and they turned out great.B-dog is hanging in there. She's been eating and hasn't had anymore accidents. I think I'm done though. I think she's had her last treatment. If they were being super effective I might keep going, but they are not and this back and forth is torture. I'm actually at a point where I think I need the finality. Clearly, I hope she's feeling well for as long as possible, but I can't do the treatments anymore. Not just the expense, but the hope and the anticipation. I think we're at the beginning of the end. I'm still so sad to lose her. But I know it's coming sooner rather than later, and I need to start letting go.

***TMI alert***
My other issue the last two days... my ass hurts. I have a history of hemorrhoids and fissures. Sometimes, when I start to realize there's a problem, it's hard to tell which H is is. (hem or herp). I stopped taking my val.trex because of the positive betas, so I thought it could be the second... so I took one (approved for symptomatic but not suppressive, apparently) and then realized it must be the former. Well, fissures likely. They hurt. Tylenol helps a little. But ... ugh. I've had this before and it will go away eventually. But it's not just my ass... much of that *ahem* lower region as well as down my leg. Fun stuff.


Still no real pregnancy symptoms. Four days to u/s. Dr. Z's office called because my referral has expired. Since then I changed PCPs. So I have to call my new doc to get a referral before my Friday appointment. Annoying. I left a message about half an hour ago, so hopefully that will get taken care of before the end of the day.

That's all I've got for now. :)

Saturday, August 29, 2009

I'm having a rough morning.

B-dog had an accident last night. It's the first time since she went into remission that she's had one when I was here. (She occasionally does when we're out of town- it's an anxiety reaction.)

This morning, she didn't want to eat her breakfast. I convinced her to eat the cottage cheese that was in there (it had her meds in it) but she didn't finish the dog food. However, she's not food adverse. She's perfectly happy to eat treats or have some of my scrambled eggs.

She does not seem to be feeling unwell other than that- she hasn't expressed any discomfort or pain. But it just is reminding me that her time is probably soon. I've been crying on and off for the last few hours. (M-dog hates when I cry, so it always helps a bit that he runs right up to me and starts licking my tears away. LOL)

I just don't know what the right thing to do is. People tell me that I'll know when it's time. And rationally I know that is true. The vet told me that the illness would likely progress similarly to how it did before, so I know what I'm looking for. The accidents were part of it (and she has only had one... I need to see how the next week or so goes) but the big thing is to watch her joints. She had begun to be very ginger going up and down the stairs... that will be the sign that she is starting to have pain.

But it's still hard. Dogs are so stoic about pain, I worry that she is having discomfort and not letting us know. I also have the overwhelming sense of dread for that day that we will have to make the decision and the process of putting her to sleep.

I was doing a little research this morning on vets who come to your home to put a pet to sleep. I'm pretty sure that's the option I want to take, though it may be more expensive. But after all the money we've spent on her treatments... what's another couple hundred to make sure she's comfortable on her last day? Anyway, that research is what got the tears started. Then I just couldn't stop. Poor III. He doesn't know what to do with me when I get like that.

I am definitely grieving today. She is still here, and just yesterday afternoon she was going after 'bunnies' (never sure if they are really out there or if it's wishful thinking on her part) in the backyard... I find myself trying to soak up every moment... every sensation. But the anticipation of the loss is already starting the breaking of my heart.

I don't know what to do with these feelings. I feel like a crazy dog lady. This is possibly the hardest thing I've ever had to deal with... I feel like some people would say "May you be so lucky!" But the place that B holds in my heart... it's inexplicable. It can't be compared to anything or anyone else.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Some kind of limbo.

Today I am 5w1d and it is one week until my u/s.

Honestly? I don't believe I'm pregnant. Not "OMG! I don't believe I'm pregnant!!!" I realized today while I was cleaning the kitchen... I don't believe that I'm pregnant.

Whatever symptoms I thought I was having were either in my head or have waned. My boobs are still huge and sore, but I also know that is a side effect that can be caused by the prog.esterone suppositories.

Don't get me wrong- I'm not doing anything like downing a bottle of wine or eating platefuls of tuna sushi. I've even stopped taking my suppressive val.trex dose. But... I don't believe I'm pregnant.

I wish there was another beta between last Sunday and next Friday. I realize it is not medically necessary; it's probably not covered by insurance. So why would they? But I have no idea where things are at. Has my hCG gone up? How does my progesterone look? Is there something growing in there???

I can't be excited. I can't be happy. Not yet. I don't know what is going on. I'm afraid something has happened. Or will happen. I've read enough blogs from IF ladies post-bfp to know that this is very normal. That we all feel this way... how can we not after all we've gone through to get here?

But I can't help it. I won't be able to get excited... to feel positive... to feel pregnant... not for at least another seven days.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

I love my husband.

I have had plenty of posts where I express some of the wonderful things about III and reasons I love him.

This is not one of those posts.

When I was a big mouthed, know-it-all, pain-in-the-ass teenager, my mom used to tell me "I will always love you, but right now I don't like you very much."

Now that I'm married, I totally get that.*

My husband needs to learn to control his temper.
My husband needs to learn to keep certain things to himself.**
My husband needs to remind himself how his behavior and mood affects those he lives with (eg: ME).
My husband needs to remember that there are irritating things about living with him that I have to put up with.

There are occasionally times when I really, really miss living alone. I love III and I love the home we have made together. But sometimes I really miss my little condo, where I could watch what I wanted on TV, decide when I felt like leaving dishes in the sink for a whole weekend, eat cereal and wine for dinner, not leave my condo all day except to walk the dog, sit on my butt with a book for an entire afternoon without anyone knowing or judging....

I love my husband...

...but right now, I don't like him very much.

*I have no illusions that I am a perfect housemate. I'm sure there are plenty of times he feels the same way about me.

**Like that line in When H.arry Met, when Sally says, "Harry, you're going to have to try and find a way of not expressing every feeling that you have, every moment that you have them." Yep. That's how I feel right now.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009


I was planning to write a post today that had nothing to do with IF, TTC, or PG.

But I've been having a hard time getting motivated to do anything. I'm not really feeling like myself. I don't know if it's pregnancy related or otherwise. I do have a little bit of a sore throat. I'm tired... took a 2 hr nap today. I am starving though, which I'd prefer over queasy or nauseous.

And my boobs. They are officially killing me. Not just on the sides anymore. All over. The particular bra I am wearing right now may need to be retired. It is not helping.

So anyone. The moral of the story is that I'm feeling kind of tired, kind of crabby, and very blah.

Oh well.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

I'm a professional worrier.

What a weird place 4 weeks is after a successful IVF. There are people who were "in the loop" and knew what we were going though who check in occasionally- we've shared with many of them our positive test results, along with our continuing wariness. There are plenty of people we're not planning to tell for at least another eight weeks... such a strange secret to be carrying around... can't they tell just by looking at my face?

Friends, even those who have had experience with (their own or family members') IVF cycles, are very optimistic. KB got us our first baby gift. (Tempting fate? I don't necessarily believe in that, but it's hard not to think of it... of course, it turns out she's had the gift for over eight months! She might be more excited than I am!)

My u/s is scheduled for September 4. I will be 6w1d. I realize this might be a little too early to see a h/b, but because of the holiday weekend, the next time I could go in was the 9th and with my school schedule starting the 8th it just wasn't really possible.

I'm a big time worrier. It's like, somehow I feel like if I worry about the worst case scenario, I'll somehow be better prepared.

Not long ago, I left Kirke (a fellow worrier) the following comment about worry.
A friend recommended a book to me a few years ago called "The Worry Cure." It was very interesting to read about the types of worry and the habits of worriers, because they fit me so well. For example, I tend to seek reassurance from people- DH, drs, friends- about the thins that worry me. The book explains exactly what happens to me: "Seeking reassurance does not work because you can always doubt the reassurance later." Yep. That's me.

Unfortunately, I didn't get to the part in the book that told me what to do about it. LOL

One piece of info that did help me with my worries, though, was that most worriers worry inaccurately. It told me "We are more likely to overestimate risk if we can easily recall examples of negative outcomes... when we search for imformation we are seldome objective...we almost never look for the most important information- how often does the predicted outcome not occur?...'Does this information reflect what is generally true, or does it accurately reflect your circumstances?'"

This doesn't STOP my worrying, but sometimes by reminding myself of it I can curb my worrying from getting out of hand.

As I said last week, I just feel like we know too much about this whole process now. Not only that, but I seem to know a lot of people (even outside of blogland) who have had a lot of issues with pregnancy. I have two friends who experienced pre.eclampsia (one lost the baby, the other has a preemie), a friend who has had repeated miscarriages, another who had a stillborn baby full term, a coworker who lost two babies from a triplet pregnancy... this weekend, III's partner's wife experienced a 6 week m/c.

While I know cramps are normal, I can't help questioning mine. How strong is "strong" cramping? If this morning I'm feeling it more on the right, could it be ectopic? I'm not having bleeding, but what if the fetus isn't growing properly? Worry, worry, worry, worry.

From the beginning of this process, I have worried about "chemical pregnancy" and miscarriage... I did some googling and found this chart.

Week of Gestation

Percentage Likelihood
of Miscarriage


10% (after home urine test is positive at 14 days post ovulation when hCG levels reach 50-80)2


5% (or less if heartbeat heard)

2nd trimester

3% (considered stillbirth after 20 weeks)

3rd trimester

No longer considered miscarriage once fetus is beyond one pound (500 grams) around 24 weeks gestation. Stillbirth rate is 1%.

So I'm going to rewrite the chart to highlight for myself, based on the Worry Cure's theory, how often miscarriage doesn't occur.

Week of Gestation

Percentage Likelihood
of NOT Miscarrying





2nd trimester


3rd trimester

Livebirth rate is 99%.

Pretty good odds, huh? :)

Ten days to ultrasound...

Monday, August 24, 2009

Symptoms or psychosomatic?

Everything I was going to post yesterday I decided I wasn't that interested in. LOL

I noticed my blog isn't updating on people's blogrolls... it might be my fault. I turned my feed off (the reason is not interesting enough to go into) but now I've turned it back on, so hopefully it will work and you'll all know when I've updated.

I am excited that my beta went up. According to the online calculators, my doubling time is 1.8 days (which is like 4o-something hours). Being the math geek I am, I was trying to figure out how they calculated that, but couldn't. I even used my graphing calculator.

I think this is finally starting to hit us. Yesterday, I was making myself lunch and III came up behind me. He wrapped his arms around me and rested his hands on my belly. :)

I may be starting to have some symptoms, though it's hard to tell what is real, what is the endo.metrin, and what's in my head. My boobs are definitely bigger (my cousin was here this weekend and commented on it) and they are starting to be sore, especially along the sides. I have had some cramping on and off. The last two nights I've had some diarrhea, but being someone who has always had some stomach problems, it's hard to tell if it's pregnancy related, or just my crazy stomach. Yesterday, I waited too long to eat lunch and found I got very shaky. And I'm tired. But I'm still being lazy, and I think that makes me lethargic and sleepy. LOL

I call today to make an appt for a 6 week u/s around labor day. Ladies who have been through this- is this an internal u/s or external?

I only have two weeks of my summer break left, but my u/s will be right around when school starts. So I can't decide if I want the next to weeks to go quickly or not!!!! LOL

Happy Monday!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Quick update...

I have more to say, but I need a nap first.

I had my second beta this morning, and it was 526. :) Yay, yay, yay, yay!!!!!

I call tomorrow to make the appt for our first u/s.

More to come later today.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Saturday hodge-podge

I'll start with the most embarrassing thing on my mind today.

My ex is getting married today.

I had thought maybe he had (once again) canceled his wedding. (He's done it before with a different girl.) But, thank you, I discovered that his wedding is happening today.

I wish I didn't care. I know it makes me small, but there is a petty, mean part of me that doesn't want him to be happy. I still feel like he's a total lying jerk. But maybe this girl changed things for him. Maybe he's a better person now. Ironically, that thought makes me feel a little better.

Though I still can't stand him.

Moving on...

B seems to be doing better today, which leads me to believe she was having some side effects from the meds. Her mandibular lymph nodes are a little smaller, but that happened the last time too before they blew up again. The down side to trying each of these protocols is the up and down yo-yo it keeps me on. As terrible as it will be when her time comes, at least it will be final.

For the last few weeks I've been knitting a sweater. It's my first adult sweater and is from the Sti.tch 'n' book, which I finally broke down and purchased. It was supposed to be made in angora, but I wasn't willing to spend $10 a skein for a sweater I wasn't sure would work out, so I used a cheap but soft acrylic yarn of the same size/weight. It definitely acts different, but I think I'm going to be able to pull it off. It has lots of ribbing, so it's taking forever. I'm finally done with the front and back and am now onto the boring part- sleeves. I find them boring and I have to do it twice! Hopefully I'll be done in the next few days, and I really hope it's wearable. I may not have spent as much money on it, but it's been hours and hours of knitting. On the bright side, the pattern definitely taught me some new knitting stuff that will be helpful in the future.

My appt with Dr. Z yesterday was quick and easy. He seemed very happy for me and asked how I was feeling. I told him that I felt well, but I am nervous- that this whole process makes it so that I 'know too much' and it is still so early. I go tomorrow for my second beta and am hoping for 400+. Assuming it doubles, I call on Monday to schedule a 6 week u/s around Labor Day.

III and I went out to dinner last night (to one of our favorite Italian places- oh, I already miss the wine!). He is feeling the same way I am- not sure how excited to be. III told me "If we had just gotten pregnant on our own in the first six months and you had gotten a positive HPT, I would have been like 'woohoo! We're pregnant!' but after going through all of this, I don't know how to feel... now we're concerned with numbers and all of that."

He told one of his coworkers so that he knew why his head might not be in his work as much as usual. As we talked, I could tell he's tentatively feeling excited. He told me "I can't wait to see what strange cravings you'll have," and "I have to start watching what I say- there are cynical things I say that I don't really mean but that I wouldn't want to say in front of a kid." I told him I thought he had a little while to work on that. LOL. Also funny- I called him on my way to my dr appt and asked if there was anything he wanted me to ask. He said "No, not really. It's still early so at this point we just need the thing to keep growing!" I laughed. 'The thing.' LOL. Just another example of how this is not quite real for us yet- I don't think either of us are ready to believe it.

Friday, August 21, 2009

B-dog update

I don't have a lot to say today about being pregnant. (Neither I nor III have said the word out loud yet.) I couldn't sleep last night because my brain was just going-going-going! I'm counting the hours until Sunday, after which I'm sure I'll be counting the hours until my u/s.

B-dog had a new treatment yesterday. She's acting a little weird today. I don't know if she's just really hot (between our hot, humid weather and the pred.nisone, I am trying not to let that make me nervous) or what, but she tries to move everything out of the way (blankets, pillows, the couch cushions) to lay down. She's mostly sleeping on the hardwood.

She seems to be in good spirits, is hungry and is affectionate. It appears her hind legs are a little stiff. She definitely needs to go out more and has a touch of diarrhea.

I need to be patient and see how the next week goes with her. If the treatment doesn't work, we're definitely talking weeks. If it does... we have a big decision to make. Do we want to repeat it in 3 weeks (it's expensive and would probably only give her an additional 2 months) or take what we have and accept that this is the end of our time with her?

I love her so much, but I definitely am seeing changes in her that make me wonder if I'm making the right decision this time. Some of you who are not 'dog people' probably won't get this, but this is probably the worst thing I've ever had to go through. I love her more than anything, but at the same time she relies on me to take care of her and do what's best. It is so, so, so hard.

Thursday, August 20, 2009



My beta was 168!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I'm a little bit in shock.

The nurse told me that was a "wonderful" number and I go back in on Sunday for my second beta. She said she is sure it will progress well and that she was so excited for me.

I have my post-op appt tomorrow with Dr. Z.

I told KB- this had started to feel like a pipe dream. I couldn't imagine I'd be pregnant. Now, assuming all goes well, I will have a baby before the end of the school year.

I can't believe it.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Don't know how to feel...

One of my biggest fears through all of this has been chemical pregnancy. Isn't that weird? Shouldn't I be more afraid of having a m/c? I'm sure if I actually had a m/c, I would be more upset than a c/p. But in my head... I dread the thought of getting that + only to be told "Oops. Just kidding. You're not pregnant after all."

Which is why I haven't become one of those ARTers who are obsessively taking HPTs. I have here and there.... but not every cycle and rarely more than once. I like that when I get my beta, they can tell me exactly how high (or low) my hcg is.

But the hope that I talked about yesterday was making me nervous. I didn't want to be caught off guard. So this morning I did it. I had a hpt that KB had bought a while back when she was late. She gave it to me, saying she wasn't going to need it for a while. (Ha ha ha. Who would think I'd still be needing it all these months later.) This morning, at 7 am, I used it.

After taking that picture, I got online to find how much hcg gave a positive result. For fi.rst resp.onse, it's only 25. But it's positive.

Am I excited? Not really. I think I'm not allowing myself to be excited yet. My beta is tomorrow. I hope it's 100+. If it's not, I know I'll be really sad. But.... this is the first time I've ever seen two lines. This is the first time I might actually be.... pregnant. (My hands are shaking as I type that.)

Please, please, please let this be my time.

Now I can see how people do get obsessive about this. I sat here and thought about going out and buying an HPT that was less sensitive to see if I got a positive with that. Then I remembered I had a digital EP.T "Cert.ainty" under my sink.... it came free with some others I bought. EP.T Cert.ainty measures a HCG level of 50, according to

So my HCG levels are at least at 50... and that's NOT using FMU. oh man. I haven't decided if I should tell III. I don't want to get his hopes up if this is going to be a false alarm...

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

headfirst back into real life...

I am home from my vacation. We had a very nice time, but it was very hot and humid. I love traveling with KB, but she tends to feel sick easily while traveling and this was definitely something that plagued our trip. Despite this, we got to several beaches (resulting in sunburn for me... this summer's weather hadn't left me prepared with any sort of base tan) and did some sightseeing.

We were only gone four days and three nights, but I was not prepared for
how much I missed III. We exchanged text messages, but my phone was on roaming while away so we didn't speak the whole time. I can safely say that, before I met him, I did not understand women who couldn't go for a few days without talking to/seeing their boyfriends/fiancees/husbands. I never thought I'd be one of them!

As nice as my trip was, I was glad to get home. It is hot and humid here, but not nearly as much as on our vacation. I was happy to see III and my dogs. They were happy to see me too- III even surprised me in the shower.* ;-)

Today it was back to real life. B-dog had an appointment for our last ditch effort to give her a few more months of health. The protocol they are using is 4 drugs- I found out late Friday (through an email) that one of them had to be shipped. Unfortunately, by then I was already out of the country and couldn't get back to the pharmacy until last night. Which meant that we won't get the meds until Thursday. I took B in this morning for the IV part of the protocol, only to be called back to pick her up- they want to wait until Thursday when the final part of the protocol arrives. Long story short, it's not really anyone's fault that it happened- just poor timing and a string of little decisions- but it's annoying.

My beta is on Thursday. This is the most hopeful I've been in a long time. I'm not having any symptoms (aside from the huge, sore boobs, thank you progesterone)... I guess the hope comes from the good outcome we had this cycle, plus just statistics. My doc told me there is around a 40% chance each cycle of me getting pregnant after ET. That usually technically means that out of the women in a similar age group and situation to me, 40% of them got pregnant. It also means that 64% got pregnant within 2 IVF cycles. So I guess that more-than-half number gives me a little more hope... I just hope it's not dashed. It's going to be tough on both me and III. :-( Hopefully, beta news will be good and we won't have to go through that again....

*While I know many REs advise avoiding sex and org.asms post-ET, my don't. They feel a "moderate" amount sex is fine beginning the day after the transfer. What usually dissuades me is the mess from the endo.metrin, but the shower location pretty much took care of that!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

It's a bullet day

  • I leave for my trip tomorrow. I wish I was more excited, but I know I'll have a good time.
  • I feel like we're definitely on borrowed time with B-dog. She's been more anxious lately and panting a lot. I know this is possibly a side effect of the prednisone, but it unsettles me. Her mandibular lymph nodes are huge. The others are enlarged too. She has an appointment for this last protocol on Tuesday... Part of me wonders if I should. But then I feel like I'm going to need to feel like I did everything I could for her. I was reading testimonials today about how people knew it was time to have their dog put to sleep. We're definitely not there yet. She's still running around and playing, even if for shorter spurts, and enjoying us. But I know we don't have a lot of time left.
  • I woke up this morning with a lack of bloat. Thank goodness. I was starting to think that maybe I was just fatter than I thought I was and I was just blaming it on the bloat. But no. My familiar (but not ideal) stomach is back. And I'm feeling okay.
  • On the other hand, my boobs are killing me and feel super heavy. Between that and the leakage coming out of my girly parts I just want to flush all the endometrin down the toilet. The only thing that keeps me inserting those damn white tablets three times a day is that it's making a nice home for my embryos. Pleeeeeease stick!!!
  • Hope everyone has a nice weekend. It's usually quiet here in blogland on the weekends, but I'll catch up on anything I miss Tuesday. :)

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

I thought this was going to be a different post.

III came home yesterday around 5:30- that's very early for him. He walked in, said hello, and then started walking around our downstairs area. "What are you looking for?" I asked... "Nothing." Um. Ok.

He told me he was going to a 6 o'clock martial arts class. I asked how long it went and he said he might stay for the 7 o'clock class too, so I could eat without him if I wanted to.

He was clearly not in a good mood.

So he left and I sat here stewing. I hate when he gets like that, and I hate that, for the second night in a row, I'd be eating dinner by myself. I was composing a blog about it in my head- really. LOL

Then the doorbell rang.

My lovely husband sent me flowers. Tulips. (I love tulips.) With a note that said "Just because I love you! XOXO"

Confession time: After I opened them and got them all set out, I started thinking. Why is he sending me flowers? Maybe it will be followed by bad news. Or a confession. Or maybe there's something he won't confess to....

(In my defense- when I posted it on my status on, my dad, my uncle, and a friend all said "What did he do wrong?" Is that what flowers say nowadays?)

Then I started thinking... I hadn't been feeling well all week after the ER, and I'd been feeling very unattractive and lacking in energy. Maybe he was just being nice!

I sent him a text "Sneaky boy! I just got your flowers!" So he skipped the 7 o'clock class and came home to have dinner with me.

When he had come home earlier, he was pissed that the flowers hadn't arrived like they were supposed to. That's why he was acting that way.

I asked him "What made you decide to send me flowers?" He said "It just seemed like you could use it. With everything that's been going on.... and you've seemed kind of down lately..." Sweet man.

I love him.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

The cost of IF.

Yesterday, I read about Megan's IF coverage being "maxed out". It got me thinking about my own. In the beginning, I didn't look too much into it because the idea of hitting our limit seemed so far off in the future. As we get further and further into this, especially after a "wasted" IVF last cycle, I figured I should check it out.

The insurance I'm currently on covers a maximum of 6 IVF cycles. This is based on medication, so it does not include FET. So we are at 2. It is a bit of a relief to know that we have those frozen embryos, so we have the possibility of some tries that don't use up our coverage... but I really, really want more than one baby, so chances are we will eventually have to do this again....

Money has always made me crazy. It is my #1 anxiety inducer. But to be perfectly honest... it shouldn't be anymore. III's family is pretty well off, and he had a good chunk of savings before we got married. If our insurance did max out, we would likely have the means to pay for the treatments.

(I'm cringing as I'm typing this. I know some of you probably hate me for it- I can't imagine what you are going through, struggling to scrape together money for treatments, or worse having to make the difficult decision to take a break or completely stop, solely based on financial issues.... keep reading, though... I address this more at the end...)

It also got me thinking about what happens when we finally do get pregnant. Right now, I have my insurance and III has his- a "family" plan is the same amount where there are two or ten of us, so since we both have insurance benefits with our job, we're currently separate. But once there's another of us, we'll likely get a family plan. The thing is... who's insurance??? I definitely have better insurance than III. BUT any maternity leave I take that is not covered by my contract (which is only six weeks) I will have to pay the whole premium for my insurance. I don't know how much time I'll want to take... so it seems to make sense to go with III's insurance, even though it doesn't cover as much stuff. (In general, not IF.)

I don't, however, know what his insurance allows for IF treatments. We live in one of the states that mandates insurance, so I know something would be covered, but don't know how much. Plus, is IF considered a pre-existing condition? So complicated.

I almost didn't create this post, because I feel like such a whiner considering how many of you ladies out there are dealing with IF that is not covered by insurance. So I did a little research... is an organization that deals with infertility issues- there are suggestions and help on there for how to make ART "more affordable", but also there is information about how to contribute to the cause of getting IF coverage nationwide. There are currently two Family Building Acts out there- HR 697 and S 1258- that would require insurers to cover infertility treatment. You can find more information on them, and see how you, as a voter and citizen, can contribute here.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Can you tell I'm home alone?

I was curious about what may be going on down there underneath all that bloat... I found this interesting, though it's pretty technical. From

Why doesn’t every embryo become a baby?

The enigma of embryo implantation – why doesn’t every embryo become a baby?

While modern technology is very good at making embryos in the laboratory, we still cannot control the implantation process. We do not know which embryo will become a baby – and this can be very frustrating, for both patients and doctors ! Many patients who do not get pregnant after an embryo transfer start believing that their bodies are defective, and that they have "rejected" the embryo. They feel that if they failed to become pregnant even after the doctor transferred 3-4 good quality embryos, that they are flawed. However, you need to remember that embryo implantation is a very complex process, which consists of a series of phases in which the embryo has to appose and attach itself to the maternal endometrium and invade into it.

First, the embryo has to undergo further development, till it reaches the blastocyst stage, when it hatches from its shell, known as the zona.

The hatched blastocyst then needs to implant in the endometrium, and the three phases of implantation are known as apposition, adhesion and invasion, and occur during the period of time known as the implantation window. Apposition, or orientation of the embryo (which is at the blastocyst stage at this time ) within the cavity of the uterus, starts when the cavity has become minimal due to the suction of endometrial fluid by pynopods (small protrusions found on the surface membrane of the cells lining the uterus). Adhesion of the blastocyst is a progressive phenomenon that ties the embryo to the endometrium and is the primary event initiating invasion. Many molecules, such as cytokines, growth factors and cell adhesion proteins called integrins play an important role in this complex process during which the blastocyst and maternal endometrium must undergo an exquisite dialogue. Invasion is a self-controlled proteolytic process that allows the embryonic trophoblast to penetrate deep into the maternal decidua and to invade the endometrial spiral arteries by producing chemicals called proteinases. How implantation is regulated and brought about remains an enigma, but we need to remember that the implantation process is surprisingly inefficient in humans – Nature is not always very competent! After IVF, it’s only about 10%, which means that only 10% of embryos implant successfully to become a baby.

The responsibility for this low efficiency has to be shared between the embryo as well as a defective embryo-endometrium dialogue. We still cannot successfully predict which patient will get pregnant after embryo transfer . We now know that one of the major reasons for failure of the embryo to implant is a genetically abnormal embryo. Basic research on implantation is of great interest today, because embryonic implantation is the major factor limiting in allowing pregnancy after ART, but we still need to learn a lot about this "black hole" in our knowledge, before we can learn to control it !

Many patients blame themselves when they don’t get pregnant after an embryo transfer. They feel that the fact that the embryo did not implant means either that their body is defective; or that it "rejected" the embryo; or that they did not rest enough. However, please do remember that embryo implantation is a complex process, which you cannot influence by your diet or physical activity – so there is no need for you to blame yourself if the embryos do not implant.


Still bloated. Very tired. I didn't sleep well last night- between not feeling great and a snoring boxer, it was one of those nights. So I'm garbed in yoga pants and III's t-shirt. KB and I had planned to hang out today, and I asked if she and M would come over here. I'm such a slug. We did go for a walk, though, with the pups, even though it was so hot that B-dog tried to lay down in the shade half way through. LOL After they left, I took a nap. Then I watched TV and knitted. Now, III is still at work and just called to tell me I could eat without him. *sigh*

I got my back-to-school letter yesterday, and while I'm bummed that the summer is coming to an end, it will probably be good for me. I have become quite the couch potato. A lot of sitting on the couch. I'm not even really looking forward to my trip next week. It will probably be good for me to get back into a schedule.

This may be the most boring post ever. I have nothing much to say.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Egg Transfer; Lovely Blog

Today's transfer went well. III came with me this time, which he didn't the last. He didn't come into the OR with me, but he waited with and then for me. It was really nice to have him there, and he was very interested in our embryo news. We got 2 8-3 embryos for the fresh transfer, and then another NINE of various levels (if I remember right, at least 2 of them were also 8-3) to freeze. They discarded only FOUR of the fifteen! It's such a relief to know that a) we got two good quality embryos for today's transfer and b) we have some hardy embryos frozen for future FETs.

One funny thing- the tech was doing the u/s looking for my uterus and paused. She said "Um, Dr? Is that her ovary???" I told her "Well, they got 20 eggs..." She said "Oh! So I guess it is!" I said "Yeah, I've been feeling pretty bloated," and she told me "Yes, I can see why!" So, apparently my ovaries are pretty huge right now.

A few days ago, Katie nominated me for The Lovely Blog award.

The rules of the "One Lovely Blog Award" are: Accept the award, post it on your blog together with the name of the person who has granted the award, and his or her blog link. Pass the award to 15 other blogs that you’ve newly discovered. Remember to contact the bloggers to let them know they have been chosen for this award.

I definitely don't have fifteen newly discovered blogs that I have taken up reading... but with ICLW I did get a few. Some have already been listed on others' blogs, but these are the newest blogs I've begun to regular visit:

Misconceptions About Conception
The Pitter Patter
Slice of Pie
I Never Thought It Made Sense Anyway

Okay, so that's only four. :-/ I spent a little time looking around at others during ICLW, but those are the four that made it to my bloglist. I love everyone on my bloglist, though, new and old, so head over to the right and check 'em all out! :-)

Saturday, August 8, 2009

What's irritating me today.... the post retrieval bloat that makes me look like I'm 3-4 months pregnant. Nice. If I was 3-4 months pregnant that would be one thing... but I'm not. Just sayin'.

We had a bbq to go to and in the car III said "What's wrong with you today? Do you not feel well?" and I said "I feel DISGUSTING." He was like... "Oh... ummm... well, you don't look any different from usual." Then he must have realized that that comment might not necessarily be helpful, so he amended it to "I mean, you look fine."

Now I'm home and wearing my pj pants and a big hoodie. 15 hours to transfer.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Fertilization report.











Fifteen out of the twenty eggs fertilized!!!! PHEW. Totally the opposite of the last time.

Now we wait and see how they divide. I'm hoping that, considering we had pretty good results with the rescue ICSI, it means we have a good chance of getting some good embryos- enough to transfer AND freeze.

I hate the waiting, but I think I can pretty safely count on at least 2 good ones for Sunday's transfer. Keeping my fingers crossed for that, and then some.

Feeling ok.

So, day after retrieval, and I think I'm feeling better than I did the last time. I definitely have a bloated stomach, but I didn't take any pain meds today and am not really feeling very crampy at all. I just spent about two hours out in the sun in the backyard with the dogs, and came in feeling a bit shaky, but that may just be because I needed to eat lunch.

I am encouraged that I have not yet heard from the clinic, except for the recovery nurse calling to see how I am feeling. Last time I got a call before 10am to tell me there was no fertilization. They clearly tell you that the report will come after 3pm.

I feel like there was more I wanted to say, but somehow I have forgotten. I want to do some cleaning today, but first need a shower. I'm contemplating a nap as well...

Oh, what a busy day! LOL

Thursday, August 6, 2009

ER complete.

Ooooh, I am crampy!

But they got 20 eggs! Woohoo!

Everyone at my clinic is so nice. The anesthesiologist even told us "Two years ago, my wife and I were sitting in those seats ourselves," and then showed us a picture of his year old son.

So now I'm sitting with my feet up, a heating pad on my belly, a glass of ginger ale, and a bloodstream through of tyl.enol 3.

We expect the fertilization report tomorrow around 3. Transfer scheduled for Sunday.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Not having a great day...

I woke up with a sore throat. Seriously? I just got over the stomach flu and my ovaries are ginormous, and now a sore throat? WTF?

B-dog's appt was not great. The most recent protocol is no longer working. I cried at the vet's office, and almost had the vet in tears too. There is one more thing we can try, though not for another two weeks. III isn't sure he wants to try it. He said to me on the phone "At some point, you're just going to have to accept it." Cue more crying, which cut the phone call short because he hates when I cry. I know I will have to, I just don't want to.

Finally, our new schedule for school came out this week, and I discovered it yesterday. I emailed a work friend of mine (Sra) who got pretty screwed with her schedule last year. She emailed me back and told me her mom is in critical condition in the hospital after a heart attack. They aren't sure she is going to make it. I feel so bad and wish there was something I could do, but it's definitely one of those things where there really isn't anything I can do. This is exactly what I was thinking about leaving my parents yesterday, but I can only imagine how she feels.

Tomorrow is my ER so hopefully I'll feel better and all will go well.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Deep breath.

I enjoyed seeing my parents, but to be honest 8 days of them living with us was a little much. I'm exhausted. It's such a mix bag living where we live. I absolutely love it here, but we are far from our families. Which means visits are often extended and filled with high energy and feelings. Tiring. Plus, as my parents get older, I worry more and more that each goodbye from a visit will be the last. They are not specifically unhealthy, but both are overweight and have just ventured into their sixties.

I did end up telling them somewhat about the infertility stuff. I had to go for u/s and b/w on Thursday, Saturday and Monday so I pretty much had to. It started out in the car, early in the week. My dad asked me if we had any plans to have kids. I said "Haven't we already had this conversation?" and my mom said "Yes, we have." My dad just didn't remember. I reminded them that it had been almost a year ago that we spoke about it.

After I got the call Thursday from the clinic, I told them I'd have to go back on Saturday again, and that it was for the "fertility stuff". That I had to have blood taken because they were checking my hormone levels. (Which is true... just not the whole story.) They asked a few questions, and honestly, I was a little evasive. I told them that I just didn't really want to talk about it a lot. It's hard to know whether they would ask more questions or fewer questions if I told them more, but I do know the more my mom knows, the more she worries.

With what they knew, they still talked a lot about when I had babies and asked a lot of questions. My mom wanted to know if there was a higher chance that we would have twins, and then told me not to buy two cribs because she knew someone who's twins always sleep together. My dad wanted to know if it was a boy whether we'd have a bris. My sister, who has a one year old, came up and I told them it was likely that we would do things very differently from her. For example, she told EVERYONE that she was pregnant around 7 weeks. My dad said "What, do most people wait until after the first trimester?" When I said yes, he said "Well, I hope you'd tell us before that." I said "I haven't decided whether I would." Geez. It's not really your say when I feel comfortable telling you if I'm pregnant! I know they are very anxious for us to have a baby, and so they ask and comment... I just feel like, knowing my parents, if they knew all the details, they'd just ask and ask and ask. I feel bad sometimes, because I know they think I'm too private with them. But their questions and comments are uncomfortable for me. So I guess I choose to be private with them.

It's interesting... when I visited with my roommate, we were chatting about that. I was telling her that my friends see me as someone who will say anything, but my family thinks I'm the "private" one and a bit of a prude. She told me that, living with me, she always felt I was extroverted, but still one of the most private people she knew. I actually took that as quite a compliment. I think it's good to keep some things private! But it doesn't mean you can't be friendly.

So my cycle is coming to it's climax, if I may call it that. They have slowly decreased my dosages since Thursday, and last night I took only one meno.pur. Tonight I take the ova.dril and my ER is on Thursday. Based on my first experience, assuming that the ICSI is successful, that would mean an ET on Sunday. I have responded very well to the stims, and at my u/s yesterday I had 25 follicles that were 14+ and some additional 12s and 13s. So hopefully we'll get plenty of embryos and be able to freeze some.

Being the math geek that I am, while I was laying on the table getting my u/s (with all those follicles, it literally took about 15 minutes) I was figuring out how many eggs they might get... last time I had 27 follicles and they got 17 eggs... that's about 65%. So if I have about 30 follicles, that could result in approximately 18-19 eggs. I believe ICSI has around a 70% fertilization rate, so if that is true, that gives us around 13 embryos. I know this isn't anything definite... you never know how it will come out (as clearly illustrated by my first round of IVF), and even if we get that many, it doesn't mean we will have that many to freeze, but I just can't help doing the numbers in my head...

For a complete change of subject....

I take B to the vet today for a lymph node check. I'm sad to say that they have barely changed size. Earlier in the week, I felt like they were definitely shrinking, but they stopped and perhaps even started growing again. While she is still running around and behaving the way she always does, III feels like she is sleeping more, and I can almost hear the clock ticking to the day when we have to make the decision to let her go. The anticipation is tearing me up (that's always been the worst part of my anxiety) while I try to take advantage of every day- every kiss, every cuddle, every game of fetch... I don't know what I'll do when she's gone. I wish I could keep her with me forever.

In about a week and a half, KB and I head off for a Caribbean vacation for four days. I had been looking forward to it, but right now I'm not super excited. I'm anxious to leave B-dog. I feel like I've barely seen my husband, because of my parents being here... I just am feeling very attached to home and it makes me anxious about leaving for even that short time.

Plus, it means my summer will be coming to an end!!! I don't start school until September... but I can't believe it is already August. Not only have I not done much of what I planned, but the weather has not been very summery around here most days. I haven't even been to the beach yet. :(

Sorry this is so long, but I don't think I've even covered everything I wanted to catch up on! But now I'm off to catch up on some others' blogs. :)

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Cycle update

Thursday's u/s (cd6) showed one measurable follicle on each side. My e2 was at just over 800. They dropped my meds a bit for two days, and I went back this morning for an u/s. Today (cd8), I had 4 measurable follicles on each side and my e2 was 2467. The have me taking 75ius of bra.velle and 75ius of meno.pur today and tomorrow, and coming back in on Monday for another u/s and b/w.

Last cycle, on cd8 I was around the same e2 level- 2335, and on cd10 I was at 4039 and that was the day they had me take the hcg shot. I had my ER on cd12. If it goes similarly this cycle, my ER will be on Wednesday, with a probably ET (fingers crossed!!!!) on Saturday.

My visit with my parents has been nice, but GOD I'm exhausted! They've been here for six days now- they head home early Tuesday. My cousin, A, and her boyfriend are here to visit too for the weekend. Last night, I woke up in the middle of the night, sick. I threw up! I never throw up! Ugh. I hate getting sick. Being nauseous is the worst feeling to me, and throwing up ... blah.

So my family went into the city without me today. We were supposed to meet up with them for Italian food... but I'm still not feeling great and III doesn't want to go either. (He made that clear to me in not the most positive way... *sigh* Men.) So my family is having dinner in the city and I'm watching of LOL

I'll try to catch up on more stuff on Tuesday after my parents head home.