Thursday, December 31, 2009

This could be real

Beta #2 is in and I'm at 881!!!  That's about a 150% increase in 48 hours.  Wow.  This could be real.  Now I go back Monday for another check and then they'll tell me when the first ultrasound will be.  My guess is that it'll be late next week or early the week after.

I'm still not super excited, though I think it is starting to sink in a little bit.  It occurred to me this morning that there will eventually be some discussion over the gender of this baby.  It's so funny how every time I've ever heard someone say "We don't care if it's a boy or girl, only that it's healthy", I've always thought they were full of crap and just didn't want to take sides or upset their spouse.  I truly don't care even a little about that and it has hardly crossed my mind that either is an option, probably because it's barely crossed my mind that this is happening.

I feel really good today.  A little heartburn, but not bad.

So it's New Year's Eve and I feel I should reflect.  It's very hard for me to reflect on 2009.  Three days ago I would have said that 2009 was the worst year of my life.  Now i can't possibly say that.  So I'm not sure how I feel about's brought me the greatest joy and pain so I guess i can't complain too badly...Happy New Year everyone!!!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009


Is it possible that we got call yesterday saying that we're pregnant?  It feels like a dream and I quite honestly don't believe it.  And I don't mean that in a flippant "OMG!  I can't believe it!" way.  I mean that I literally think they may have made a mistake or something. 

I listened to the voicemail again last night and she definitely said it was all good - and I realized that she said my HCG was 371, not 375.  I really don't believe it though and am looking very forward to my second test tomorrow.

It's so cliche to be in this position and feel anxious and unsettled because of all the past disappointments, but it's really how I feel.  I am fully prepared for this to go wrong.  I am trying to stay positive and send good energy flowing throughout my body, but I'm just saying that I've sort of braced myself for the impact of bad news should it come tomorrow or next week or next month.

Russ says he won't relax until he/she graduates from high school!  I think it will sink in before that for me =) but I can't imagine being so secure with this that I'll actually buy stuff!  And, let me tell you, I have done more (premature) online baby shopping (more like research and browsing, no purchases made) than anyone I know!  Of course that was back when I was in cycle 1 or 2 and thought this would actually work.  Now I'm too scared to even think about that stuff.  And really, scared isn't the word.  I feel like I'm denial - like I won't allow myself to process this yet.  I guess I'm in self-preservation mode and that seems normal.  I just wish I had a guarantee that this was going to last.  Of course there aren't guarantees that anything is ever going to last and I should just love this moment and cherish it.  Easier said than done.

I don't think I have any symptoms, but it's sooo early - I'll be 5 weeks tomorrow.  I am a little nauseous, but that's about it.  No more crampiness but that might come back, I'm such a crampy girl and I can't imagine I won't be throughout this.  I'm not sleeping, that's for sure.  And yet it's not like my mind is filled with baby thoughts or anything.  Hmm...this isn't anything like I thought it would be. 

(OK, so literally I just read that I wrote that I'll be 5 weeks tomorrow and my mind was like WHAT?  Who? And I mean that literally, as if it was news to me - in fact I'm starting to feel like maybe I'm insane.  So clearly the news has not even started to sink in.)

If what they're telling me is true, it means there is a person growing inside of me and that's just crazy!!!  OK that's my final thought on this for the morning...

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

At long last...

We have a winner!  My hcg is 375 at 14dp5dt.

I'm in a complete state of shock and feel silly writing this because my mind is telling me there is no way this real, so why am I telling all these people about it? 

We let the call go to voicemail and listened to it on speaker together.  Farrah, my nurse, was all excited to tell us that the test was positive and that I should now drop back to 2 endometrum a day and keep with the estrace twice a day and I go back Thursday for another beta.

Whoa.  This is really weird.  I'm not excited, not anxious.  Just relieved if anything.  It definitely has not hit me that this is real and we might actually have a baby (and as I wrote that - "baby" - I was hesitant that I might jinx the whole thing by putting it into words).  I can't believe it might be our turn finally.  I feel so very strange. 

Physically i feel very nauseous but I think that's just from the waiting all morning and the news.  It's more heartburn than queasy I think.  Other than that I feel nothing, which is normal.  Although, i swear I feel something in there doing it's thing.  Like a heaviness in my belly.  (Of course i felt that same thing last cycle when there was indeed nothing going on)

HUGE thanks to everyone for their prayers and good wishes.  The support of my friends (real-life and cyber) has been a true gift. 

Now I realize that I cashed in most of your prayers already, but please keep a few coming in hopes that my levels rise as they need to. this real???

Monday, December 28, 2009

Beta Eve

So we decided to drive home today which means that we voluntarily postponed my beta until tomorrow.  I'm weirdly not too anxious, although the evening is young, so who knows how I'll feel later.  I've been in this position so many times and I am 100% prepared for bad news.  I'm holding out some hope that it'll be good news, but am realistic that it's most likely not. 

I have to say that if it is good news, I will be very shocked.  I have never felt more without child.  Experience has taught me that what I feel means nothing so I'll just wait and see.  It would be sooo nice to get good news!  I have to try hard to not think about it.

I DID NOT pee on any sticks.  For me the numbers are too important, especially after my cycle 2 beta of 15 which would have appeared positive on a stick but that indicated an abnormal pregnancy (even though my levels kept doubling for a week and a half before they stopped my meds and allowed the miscarriage to happen - right in the middle of American Idol I might add...poor timing).

So tomorrow I will wake up and head off to my blood draw.  I'll meet my friend for breakfast after and then get my nails done and this time - for the very first time - I will allow the call to go to voice mail.  Can i do it?  I don't know, but that's the plan.  I can't bear to have that awkward silence on the phone after they tell me that it's negative.  And, of course, I'm hoping that a change in routine will mean a change in the outcome.  And Russ isn't even going to be home with me (I don't think).  What's the point?  If it's negative I'll be fine (well, not fine but alright by myself) and if it's positive it'll be the happiest phone call ever and he'll come home and we'll celebrate.

Until tomorrow...

Friday, December 25, 2009

To pee or not to pee


To pee on a stick or not to pee on a stick...that is the question.

I feel very not pregnant. 

Last cycle i would have bet everything that I was.  And I wasn't.

Official beta day is Monday...we may wait til Tuesday.

Do I pee on a stick and get it over with??? 

I've been living in the bliss of possibility and haven't really been obsessing about it at all.  Until now!  I think I'm better off in this place where whatever will be will be.  Testing now will make me crazy until I get that beta...What to do??

Monday, December 21, 2009

It sure feels good...

So we leave tomorrow for Buffalo where we will spend the week at my parents house, which is the house that I grew up in.  I'm excited to see family and friends, especially now that I've found Christmas spirit!  Today Dr. Oz was talking about how progesterone is like Valium and is the soothing hormone.  Is he ever right!  I sure feel soothed.  In fact I wish I could feel like this all the time.  This is by far the easiest 2ww I've had.  I don't know if it's because it's #5 or because it's Christmas or what but I like it!  I'm all happy and just in the best mood ever!

So my beta is scheduled for 12/28.  We're still supposed to be away and are actually driving home that day.  I think I've decided to move the beta to the 29th.  I know.  I could find out one day earlier.  Am I crazy?  I just have to say that I'm enjoying the possibility of being pregnant so much that I I don't mind waiting.  Prolonging the bad news is just fine with me.  And if it happens to be good, then my numbers will be even higher.   We could cut the trip short but I feel like I've barely seen my family in so long because I'm always having to come home for IVF stuff.

And I have a secret.

My nurse told me I should do a home test!  Now I am completely against HPTs for those of us IVFers.  I just think it feeds into the mind games we're already playing.  If it come back negative, we're crushed but still hold out hope.  If it comes back positive, we're excited but are sure it's wrong until we get the blood test and the call from our nurse.  I just think it's a bad idea any way you look at it.  But since my nurse kinda told me to do one on the 28th, what can it hurt?  NO!  I can't.  And Russ says no way too.  AND there's no way I'm telling my mom about this option.  But wouldn't it feel so good to pee on a stick and get the lines???  I'd feel so normal!  I don't think I'm going to do it, but who knows how I'll feel in a week.  Right now I'm just going to wallow in the bliss of hope that I have!  It sure feels good...

Saturday, December 19, 2009

I'm not mad at ya...

Pet Peeve of the Day:
PG women who forget their IF roots.

There's this one girl I know who is happily expecting.  She went through waaaaay more cycles than anyone I've ever had contact with - 9 IVFs (although by now don't we all feel we know IVF Queen, Brooke Shields?).  She is in the home stretch with 8 weeks to go.  She has now gotten into the habit of complaining about being pregnant.  Now I'm sure there are things to complain about.  I know there will be pain and discomfort, inconveniences, and frustrations.  I completely understand that pregnancy brings with it much to complain about.  I don't, however, see how anyone can complain about being pregnant.  Do you see the difference? 

Consider these two statements:  1.  "I'm so big and fat that I can't even think about bending over to tie my shoe!" and 2.  "I'm so big and fat that I can't even think about bending over to tie my shoe!  Please, can't this pregnancy just be over?!"

I realize I'm being hyper-sensitive (and I've earned the right to be, thank you), but if that's how you want to handle the last weeks of pregnancy, just please remember that there are girls out there still fighting the fight and SHUT UP about it.  Go complain to your naturally conceiving friends so that they commiserate with you and you can all have a good laugh.  You'll probably end up making emasculating comments about your husbands too while you're at it (another huge pet peeve of mine!  Yeah, let's talk about how stupid and useless our husbands are to women we barely know - and often within earshot of said husband...and then let's wonder why husbands find comfort and status by having affairs - man!  I'm on a role today!).

My point to PG IF ladies?  Remember your roots.  Remember how emotionally painful infertility was.  How does it contrast with the physical pain of pregnancy?  Childbirth?  Would you trade one for the other?  I highly doubt it.  If you insist on complaining about your pregnancy, I only hope that it gives you great comfort.  Comfort because you are now like everyone else.  Dare I say normal?  That must feel soooo good.  For once to finally feel like a reproductively normal woman.  Hmm...maybe now I understand.  OK, I'm not mad at ya.

(This blog is better than therapy)

Wednesday, December 16, 2009


What a difference a day makes.

Yesterday started out fabulously as we learned that we had some power blasts going back in.  I struggled last night with feelings of great anticipation and anxiety.  And, like always, immediately had a nightmare.  I don't usually have bad dreams, but I always do as soon as I have our embryo transfer!  I feel asleep and within 5 minutes I dreamed that Russ and I were on a train and it got crazy bumpy and jumped the tracks and crashed into a cement wall.  I experienced the feeling of "This is it, we're going to die".  I woke up immediately - Russ was still up watching TV and couldn't believe how fast I went to sleep and had the nightmare - he said I had been asleep for only 5 minutes or so.  I hope I don't have too many more, but in past cycles I have had lots.

OK, so this morning starts with FANTASTIC NEWS!  We have 2 frozen blasts!!!!  I started crying when my nurse told me.  THIS CHANGES EVERYTHING.  Why?  Because now I know, no matter what, that this cycle is not my last.  We already have more waiting for us.  And it also indicates that we are having a powerhouse cycle, giving me more hope that one of the 3 will work.  I can't explain how different I feel about everything.  I want to go out and sing Christmas carols and roll around in some snow and bake cookies.  In other words, I am in the spirit - something I had been avoiding for weeks.  Yes, I'm still going into another holiday season childless, but at least I have a big, huge bucket of hope that I didn't have before. 

Wooooo hooooo!!!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Wait! You mean we have a chance?

And they're in!!!!

Today started with a call from Dr. Browne wishing us luck and informing us that our embryos are super duper fabulous!  She said that all 9 are still growing and dividing and that we even had one grade 1AA (the best possible!) blastocyst ready to go.  She said that this is by far my strongest cycle.  Woo hoo!  She also said that she felt more comfortable transferring 3 instead of 4 as originally planned.  She left it totally up to us, but we agreed that 3 would be good.  I have to say that I was pretty scared of the possibilities 4 could bring.  We really just want one (OK, two - but who's counting?!). 

So the procedure went just fine.  I always get my water intake wrong.  My bladder tends to fill very quickly and seems to be small (based on how often I pee) so I don't even start drinking my water until I get to the office. (you have to have a "moderately full" bladder so that they can use the ultrasound to guide the transfer)  So I peed as soon as I got there - went downstairs this time.  Last time the lady at the desk wouldn't let me go!  Then I started drinking and I only had my small water bottle and I didn't even finish it and, like always, I had to go so bad by the time they got the transfer!  It doesn't need to be that full.  You'd think I'l get it right after all this time.  The catherter didn't hurt at all and they got our 3 babies in there quickly and easily.

So here's the problem.  As you might recall, I was not feeling at all optimistic about this cycle.  In fact, my attitude has been that since we have insurance coverage, we'll go for it but we know it is highly unlikely that it will work.  Dr. Browne has said that had we come to her with cash, she couldn't in good faith do it.  Remember that?  OK, so now here we are in the middle of the best cycle we've ever had!  Of all the cycles we've done, this one has the greatest chance of working.  Great news, right?  Absolutely and I wouldn't have it any other way. 


Living in my pessimistic world was comfortable.  I was starting to come to terms with the fact that I wasn't going to get pregnant.  I knew I could handle bad news in a couple weeks.  This great sense of hope that I have now is already killing me!  It's like Wait!  You mean we have a chance?! 

Holy crap.

Not what I expected.  So emotionally I'm on that roller coaster that's sending me back into the world of possibilities.  This could happen.  And they're in there right now, doing their thing.  Our little guys just trying to make it.  Go go go!!!

(my lap top isn't showing me spellcheck so my apologies for typos!!)

Sunday, December 13, 2009

High hopes?

Woke up this morning with no voice mail from the clinic, so I assumed that the transfer was on.  As the nurse advised me, though, I called just to be sure.  I heard back at 10:30 that we were still going ahead with the transfer at 1:15.  I was a little disappointed, but mostly felt panic because I of all the little things I didn't get done on Saturday (grocery shopping and things like that) and I was worried about being stuck in bed for the next few days.  So we go all dressed and ready to go.  The clinic where the embryos are is a good 45 minutes away, but the weather was bad so we left an hour early.   Right about noon they called to say the embryologist took another look and moved us to day 5!  Our embryos are growing so big and strong that they can't figure out who the top 4 are!  This is great news!  Day 5 transfers have a higher success rate and the news made my hopes go up a little bit...but I hope not too high.

I still have one foot in reality - I know what could happen over the next 2 days.  I realize that things could change and that by Tuesday, we may not even have 4 blasts to put in.  The thing is that if they don't make it in the dish, the probably wouldn't have made it in me, so if some don't it's ok - they weren't our babies anyway.  I do wonder if they'll put 4 blasts back at all.  Since a blast is more likely to implant, I would think it's risky to put 4 back and I'm a little nervous about that.  And yet, I want the 4 to go back to boost our chances.  But what if they all take?'s hard.  Reality and statistics tell me that it is highly unlikely all 4 will make it in me, so I should not worry.

So now I had a chance to get to the store and stock up on healthy food to eat while on bed rest.  Yes, they only recommended 24 hours of bed rest, but I take 48 - so what?  After the 24 hours, it's supposed to be 2-3 days of "light activity" and for me that will means being horizontal.  I am taking no chances. 

Have I mentioned the joys of the endometrum suppositories?  I particularly love the crumbs (sorry - that's the only way I can describe it) that come flying out sometimes (yes, those moments might be when I am being particularly aggressive with my wiping - see fall post about stress and my cooch)'s not so much discharge as it is particles that go everywhere.  Gross.  Other times it's more like Elmer's Glue.  Lovely.  Maybe I could put together a craft project!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Day 2 Report

I realize I didn't give a day 1 report yesterday, so I'll start with that.  Of the 11 eggs, 10 were mature and 9 fertilized normally.  They just called today about the day 2 progress and all 9 are still going strong, growing and dividing just as they should.  They've scheduled me for a day 3 transfer tomorrow, but it's scheduled for the afternoon and the nurse warned me that there's a good chance that they'll move me to a day 5 transfer.  This is great news!  It feels more like the first 2 cycles, not that either of them worked or anything but I always felt like they were strong cycles.  If we go with day 3, I'll feel good about transferring the 4.  If we move to day 5, I might be a little more nervous about it. 

For those non-IVFers out there, a day 5 transfer is good news because it means that the embryos have moved to the blastocyst stage where the embryologist can make the best determination about which ones might be the strongest and most robust.  Obviously if they pick the best ones to go back, there are better chances of success.  The news today tells me that all 9 are still in the running, so the tomorrow they may have a tough time determining who the best are, so waiting until day 5 may be warranted.  Another theory suggests that since they're planning to transfer 4, it's easier to determine the top 4 as opposed to the top 2 or 3 as they've done in the past.  Confusing enough?  I know.  Basically, the point is that having all 9 growing strong is a great sign.  It's the best news at this point that we could ask for.  So tomorrow we'll wait and see what they decide.  I know I'm jumping the gun, but I'm feeling hopeful that there might be some to freeze in there too.  Am i asking too much?  Maybe...

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Mixed emotions

So we got 11 eggs today.  My Dr., Dr, Browne was the one who did the procedure and I was just thrilled that she happened to be there today (my clinic is huge!  With 10+ offices and many, many doctors that could potentially perform the procedures - I'm at Shady Grove in the DC area by the way...).

I am in some pain though!  I don't recall ever being like this before, but they say every time is different.  It's just crampy, but my left ovary is pounding.  I have a cyst there and I just wonder if my doctor didn't poke at it a little bit while she was in there...she'd have to tell me if she did right?  Still, i won't take the vicodin they gave me, it makes me feel to loopy.

I feel sooo very negative about this cycle.  If you recall, my doctor told me that if we were paying out of pocket, she would not allow us (in good faith) to continue, though she'd consider using a donor egg.  But since insurance is still covering, we went for it.  Also, they're putting back 4 embryos!  That's so unheard of in this day of the octomom.  One of my fellow bloggers (Hi Sonja!) found out today that she is carrying quadruplets!!!  She transferred 3 and one split!  Holy crap!  It's so bittersweet because obviously it's awesome that she's being blessed with those babies, but I know it's scary to consider the potential complications.  If they put 4 in me, what if some split???  Yikes.  I'll be homeless with a litter of gorgeous children and you know what?  That would be ok =)

Speaking of gorgeous children, it's about time i give some attention to one of my main issues concerning being infertile and the possibility of never having a biological child.  For those who don't know, my marriage is interracial and my husband is black.  We've been together since I was a senior in high school, going on 18 years and we're fairytale happy together.  Coming from a small town,  industrial area like Buffalo and from an old-school Italian family, the relationship caused some stress in the beginning.  It turned out to be just fine - more than fine actually and my family truly loves him (please note my parents loved him from day one and I'm mostly referring to extended aunts, uncles, and cousins of which I have many).  I say this because when people found out he was black, the first thing they said was "Oh my god!!  Your kids are going to be gorgeous!"  or "Mixed babies are the cutest!"  To this day, when people find out that I'm married to a black man 80% of the time, the first thing out of their mouth is some version of "I can't wait to see your kids!!"  Now I KNOW that looks are petty and mean NOTHING in the big picture of life.  But the fact that I won't ever see this kid kills me!  It kills me on a variety of levels.  One being that somehow the fact that we'll have gorgeous kids made our relationship OK in the eyes of so many.  I know - screw anyone who doesn't support us, I know, but this is an issues I haven't totally worked out yet, but am trying to work on.  I cannot see a mixed race family without aching.  And even my friends who mean no harm bring it up often.  They say "You know Tracey we want you to get pregnant for obvious reasons, but also because we just want to see how cute that kid will be!"  It kills me. 

So here's the topper and if he's reading this, please know that I am not angry at all, just in a little pain.  I have a friend who recently married a black girl and they are pregnant.  This means that someone very close to me will be having a mixed baby (that's my term of choice) this spring.  I'm not quite sure that I can handle it.  He brought it up yesterday saying, "She (the wife) wants you to hurry up and get pregnant so we can have biracial play dates!"  He meant it in a fun, supportive way.  He loves that he can relate to me in this way - we share a bond of sorts.  But I almost had to leave the room.  Instead I said "Well that dreams over since we're probably never getting pregnant"  I said it in a sharp tone that I think he understood to mean, don't ever say anything like that again unless I deliver some really good news first.

Anyway, the point is that I have to get over it.  Any baby we adopt ( and we may adopt a mixed baby) will be ours and what they look like doesn't matter.  It's just hard because I've been conditioned for almost 20 years to think that people approve of me and Russ partially because of the beauty we'll contribute to the world in the form of our kids.  It just looks like that's not going to happen and it's hard.   

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

About to explode - again

And we triggered with no problem - who was worried?  =)

Like always, I feel like I am a balloon about to explode.  And I don't even have that many follicles - there were only 9 or so approaching the 20 mm stage, but man!  I can feel the pressure.  We're all set for the retrieval at 9:45 tomorrow.  We arrive in Rockville at 8:15.  I should be in and out, on the way home by 10:45 or so.  I have to say I love the anesthesia they give you.  You go out so fast!  And then it's like magic and you're back in the original room and every time I look at the clock and am amazed that I was only gone for 15 minutes or so.  They are fast!!!  I hope it goes that smoothly tomorrow...

I hate that it's so early morning particularly since Russ has to do his thing that early - you know what I mean.   Out of respect for him, that's all I'll say. 
(I'm such a child - I can't help but giggle as I write that!  And I think I should be a mother?!)

On a different topic, I got my nails done yesterday and would like to publicly inform all nail technicians that if the customer doesn't ask for an eyebrow or lip wax, they aren't interested.  I don't need this chick reminding me that my eyebrows look like crap.  I know!  And if I wanted her to butcher them (again!) I would ask.  At least she didn't ask about the lip, that's even worse.

So by tomorrow at this time we should have some babies growing...Yay!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Why all the drama?

So we're triggering in a little more than an hour (9:45 PM for a 9:45 AM egg retrieval Thursday).  This involves a 2.5 inch 22 gauge needle in my "upper outer buttocks".  NO BIG DEAL.  So then why do I have such a crazy ritual planned?  Because I'm a big, fat wimp!  I am so scared!  Not only is this my 5th trigger, but for my first 2 cycles I did progesterone in oil which meant 30+ of these same shots.  And I was a trooper!  What is my problem?

At about 9:15, I will prepare the shot.  Super easy - just mixing the HCG powder with the water.  Then I will lay down in bed, lights low, with peaceful meditative music playing while I ice the injection site for at least 15 minutes.  Timing is crucial with this shot, so it I must be ready at exactly 9:45.  Russ will come in and get ready to give it to me and then my heart will pound and I'll take a million deep breaths and will basically feel like I'm on top of a roller coaster hill.  I'll take 3 final breaths and on the 3rd exhale say "OK" indicating that I'm ready for it.  Russ will go in and say "It's in" He'll then pull up the plunger to make sure he didn't hit a vein (he hit one once - holy crap that was a lot of blood!!!) and say "It's all clear" and then he'll inject, ending with "It's out".  It takes maybe 3 seconds and I won't feel a thing.  So why all the drama? 

I'm crazy, that's why.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Trigger tomorrow PLEASE!

I need to trigger tomorrow!  I was hoping that they would trigger me today but they aren't quite ready yet.  Because of that I had to buy one dose of Gonal -F (one shot) for $217.  Now I KNOW that many IVFers out there reading this pay out of pocket for everything and I have no right to complain, but I was not planning on this and have no money.  If they don't trigger me tomorrow, I will have to buy about $1000 worth of meds (for ONE DAY) and I just don't have the money and am really stressed about it.  There is nothing that I can do so there's no sense in thinking about it, but I can't help but worry.

There is barely a place to inject my belly is soo bruised!  I'm up to 4 shots a day and that evil Ganirelix leaves me bloody and bruised.  The worst part is knowing the reality that this cycle will very likely not work.  But we're giving it a "shot", right?  What's with the corny joke?  Oh and there's stress about when I'll have my test and whether or not I'll have to leave Buffalo (where my family lives) early to come back for it, but that conversation is for a different day.  For now, I just have to go ice my belly and get ready for the night's meds...more tomorrow.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

I feel good!

Oh the weather outside is frightful...
And I just got back from a monitoring appt.  My follicles are looking great!!  I have 11 that are measurable (between 12 and 15 mm) and 6 that are under 10 ( so those guys probably won't make it to the party).  I go back Monday and I really, really hope that I trigger Monday, although I think that might be unrealistic.  If I don't trigger by Tuesday, I'll really need some more meds and that's stressful.  I can really feel those little guys growing - I'm getting to the stage where I feel like I'll explode!  And I'm crampy and last night I was a little nauseated. 

Last nights Ganirelix shot felt like I was being stabbed with a jagged knife!  And then there was a welt and it stung for a long time.  That last part is pretty normal, but the pain going in was not.  Man it hurt.  Have I ever mentioned that I'm a wimp and Russ performs all injections??  A lady at my clinic said to me the other day, as we were talking about how IVF isn't nearly as scary as we thought before we did it, "It's like the first time you gave yourself a shot - it was hard at first but then no big deal" And I had to confess that I've never given myself a shot.  I remember my first cycle we had to start Lupron while on vacation in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic.  After the first couple days I was going to be brave and do it myself.  I sat there ready to go, needle in hand for 40 minutes!!  I could not do it.  I feel wimpy but actually I like that he gets to be so involved and he's so good at it.  I don't like that I have to wake him every morning, but he doesn't even think to complain.

I'm still all happy - I love hormones (sometimes).  It's so funny, I'm making friends at the grocery store, telling jokes to the receptionist.  It's like I'm drunk and that's OK.  What it would be like to feel like this all the time!  I would love it.  I wonder if anyone does feel this good all the time?  I want to know those people.

So here's to maybe they'll call and say I have to come in tomorrow because they are thinking of triggering me tomorrow (probably not, but I can dream, right?).

Thursday, December 3, 2009

It can work!

And we're moving right along.  Another monitoring appt today where I had 5 follicles that were around 12mm and 6 that were less than 10mm (so they don't measure them).  That's about right for me for this time.  They're starting my ganirelix tomorrow which means that they think I'll trigger in the next 5 days or so.  I really want to trigger soon because I'm worried that I'll run out of meds and even though we have insurance coverage for the procedures, my prescription coverage is maxxed out and we have to pay and those meds are SO EXPENSIVE!!!  And I take sooo much.  Tomorrow I move up to 300 of gonal-f in the morning and another 150 at night.  Also at night is 225 of menopur and one syringe of ganirelix.  4 shots a day.  If someone had told me 5 years ago that this is what I'd be doing one day I would have never believed it. 

The shots really aren't bad at all though.  BY FAR the worst part is the wait time until the test.  One of my blogger friends (Hi Cilla!) has her test tomorrow and man I just hope and pray it's positive!  I have to say it's weird to care so much about someone I've never met.  I know I'll cry at her news tomorrow - no matter what the outcome.  And i know (far too well) what a difficult day tomorrow will be.  And I'll have my own day like that in a few weeks.  It's excruciating.  You play little games with your mind, analyze every single teeny feeling you have and wonder if it's an indicator of good or bad news.  It's really awful.  And then the call comes and no matter what the answer (OK, I don't know what it's like to get good news, but I know what bad news sounds like and even once got a "Um...we're just not sure yet" -- my HCG was 15) it feels like a relief because at least I know.  And when it's bad news, it takes a while to remember that you don't have to be careful about carrying and lifting things.  You can have Splenda in your tea.  Oh, and that Malibu and diet coke?  That's fine too.  But for me it takes a while to get back in that mode and every time I say "No, I can't have coffee right now" and then remember that I can - because I'm not pregnant, it's like getting the news all over again.  So basically it sucks.

Sorry to get so negative there.  BIG BOLD POSITVE VIBES out to everyone who is in this right now.  It can work!!! (I would be a non-example of that, but don't let that discourage you)  Despite the reality of the situation, I have been the best mood today!!  I love this part of the process - the hormones start shaking up and I feel so goood!  I hope it continues.  =)

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

I'm a permanent fixture

I had my first monitoring appt today.  I have 4 follicles on my right and 4 on my left, all under 10 mm.  This is very, very typical for me as I'm a slow starter.  I go back Thursday.

As this is my 5th time going through this, I'm noticing pity looks from the staff at my clinic.  I know they mean well, but I feel like I depress them.  The doctor (not my doc, but the one who was there today) looked at me today and said "I really hope this one works out for you"  and he looked at me like he was going to cry.  I appreciated his sentiment and even the sadness he shared with me, but I felt very pathetic.  I feel like a piece of furniture in that office.  Like if they inventoried their office i would be on the list ("2 reception desks, 18 chairs, 3 sonogram machines, Tracey").  I'm a permanent fixture there. 

We've only been doing shots since Saturday and my belly is SO BRUISED already!  WTF?  And they've been hurting so bad too.  My wimpy ass even uses ice before so i do not get it at all. 

I'm trying to do yoga every single day to "open my energy channels".  We'll see what that does.  I'm really losing hope that there are any tricks out there.  But I'll still try them all!

OK, time for shots.  More updates on Thursday...

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Waiting, waiting, a waiting room

My mom came with me to Shady Grove this morning for my first monitoring appt. since it's day 2 of my period.  Usually these appointments take 15 minutes, 20 at the most.  Today I was there for over 2 hours!!!  There was not a seat in the place and people were sitting on the floor.  From what I understand it was a caused by a few things like one of the other offices being closed (for the holiday weekend, I guess?) and something about the techs not getting there act together.  Whatever.  It's not like we have any choice about it - I mean no one could exactly leave, so we all just waited.  I was happy to have my mom there with me, although I felt bad that she had to sit there.

One of the cool things about just sitting there is that I got to talk to some other women about their infertility experience.  I said out loud to my mom that no one there was in as bad shape as i am.  There is some kind of crazy, totally messed up pride in being the best at something and I am the best IVF failure.  Warped, i know.  Anyway, so this girl was telling me her story and she is starting her first IVF and I was so happy to be able to give her tips about everything.  People are so anxious about all the needles.  If only that was the worst part.  The shots are easy.  The blood draws suck pretty badly...especially when my veins scar and then it really, really hurts.  By far the most painful for me of all.  And the one lady knows how to get through the scars but the rest of the techs don't and ouch! 

Anyway, i got off track.

So since everyone had been waiting forever, we all talked and that was nice for a change.  Usually everyone just sits there silent as if we don't all know that we all have some sort of infertility issue.  I like talking to others and either learning from them or helping them understand the process.  So that was good...

They found a cyst on my right ovary and said that depending on what my blood work looked like they may have to postpone the cycle to allow my ovary to settle down.  Turns out it wasn't an estrogen producing ovary so we started shots tonight.  150 of Gonal-F, 150 of Menopur.  We'll do 300 of Gonal-F in the morning too.  That's a lot, I know.  I need a lot cause my ovaries are uncooperative.

And so we're off onto cycle 5 and all is good.  I'm a little nervous about running out of meds, but I need to take it one day at a time.  I need to remember that there are plenty of people who don't have any insurance coverage and our having to pay a couple thousand dollars (even at Christmas) is not the end of the world.  Looks like the earliest my pregnancy test would be is the 26th but more likely a couple days later.  If it is the 26th, I may postpone it (and that would be soooo hard to do) so that I can spend more time in Buffalo with the family.  We'll see...

Friday, November 27, 2009

Cycle 5, here we come!

And cycle 5 is officially started...

I go to my first monitoring appt tomorrow.  Assuming my levels are OK, we'll start injections tomorrow night.  I'll be doing the same protocol as last time (Gonal -F 300 AM, 150 PM and Menopur 150 PM with Ganirelix down the line as I get closer to retrieval). 

It's cool that mom is in town and can come with me to the appt - not that it's exciting or anything, but she's never been to Shady Grove.

I'm so very convinced that this cycle won't work that I then get myself thinking that since I'm so sure it won't work, it will work and then I'm right back to where I always am - one big messed up head of conflicting thoughts!  Oh well.  At least we get a cycle 5, right?  What will be will be and there's not much I can do about it.

My goal for this round is to not think about it.  Wish me luck.  What I mean is that I don't want to over-analyze (or analyze at all) anything that's happening.  Maybe we'll only have 6 eggs this time - or maybe we'll have 20.  Whatever.  It doesn't matter - if they're our kids, they'll come this time and that's all there is to it.

Yeah, right.  Watch me not think.  That'll be a first.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

I need to know

I KNOW I'm supposed to be thankful today.  My parents are here for the holiday, the turkey is in the oven.  Life is good. 

So then why have I been holding back tears for the past 24 hours? 

It's like the holidays remind me of how everything is the same.  Yes, things are good and I'm blessed in so many ways.  It's also a glaring reminder that our family is exactly the same as it has been for the past many, many years.  And while it's good, it's the same.  I remember last year thinking, "Oh, wait til next year...we'll probably be busy taking care of a newborn - man will the holidays change!"  In fact, I think I've been saying this for the past few years.

And here we are.  Things are great.  Things are the same. 

I just want to know.  I want to move on to whatever it is that we're going to do.  This last IVF cycle will likely be our last.  There's some question about whether or not we'll be able to start now or if we'll wait until insurance recycles in 2010 (to get full prescription coverage).  It's just about money.  But I really want to get this cycle done.  I have to know one way or  the other.  Are we getting pregnant or moving on to adoption?  I need to know.  So now I don't even know for sure if we're going to do this cycle this month.  Russ and I need to talk about money and figure it out.  Not even knowing if we're going to do it is driving me nuts...

So, happy thanksgiving.  May this be the last one that will have these questions out there waiting to be answered.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Why can't we just use words?

When I read other people's blogs about their journey through the world of infertility, I feel like I need to take a course just to understand the acronyms that they use!  I've been dealing with this stuff for 5 years.  I'm not new to it...maybe a little new to the blogging world, but why can't we just use words??   I guess I'm resistant to it also because I feel like non-IVFers are reading this and if I'm this confused by things like BFN, DH, and FET then how on earth could other have any clue?  So I read these other blogs and nearly every time, I have to google "infertility acronyms" and find that page that helps me understand what these women are talking about.  It's a little frustrating - mostly because I feel stupid for not being able to pick on it by now.  And, no offense, some of the acronyms are kinda dumb.  Of course I'm not one to even use LOL in an email...maybe an occasional OMG in jest or an WTF when I'm at work, but that's it.  Honestly it makes me feel OLD.  I like words.  In case you're not an IVFer (YES, I realize IVF is an acronym too...) here are some commonly used ones:
AH Assisted Hatching

ART Assisted Reproductive Technology

BBT Basal Body Temperature

BCP Birth Control Pills

CD Cycle Day

CM Cervical Mucous

D&C Dilation and Curettage

D&E Dilation and Evacuation

DH Dear Husband

DI Donor Insemination

DPO Days post-ovulation

DPT Days post-transfer

DX Diagnosis

E2 Estradiol

ET Embryo transfer

FET Frozen embryo transfer

FSH Follicle Stimulating Hormone

GIFT Gamete Intra-fallopian transfer

GnRH Gonadotropin Releasing Hormone

HCG Human Chorioonic Gonadotropin

HPT Home pregnancy test

HSG Hysterosalpingogram

ICI Intra-cervical Insemination

ICSI Intra-cytoplasmic SPerm Injection

IF Infertility

IM Intra-muscular

IUI Intra-uterine Insemination

IVF In Vitro Fertilization

IVIg Intravenous Immunoglobulin

LAP Laparoscopy

LPD Leuteal Phase Defect

MC or M/C Miscarriage

MESA Microsurgical Epididymal Sperm Aspiration

NK Natural Killer Cells

NP Nurse Practitioner

OHSS Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome

OPK Ovualtion Predictor Kit

PCO, PCOD Polycycstic Ovary Disease

PCT Post Coital Test

PG Pregnant

PI Primary infertility

PID Pelvic Inflammatory Disease

PMS Pre-menstrual Syndrome

POF Premature Ovarian Failure

RE Reproductive Endocrinologist

SA Semen Analysis

TX Treatment
ZIFT Zygote Intrafallopian Transfer

Yes, there are A LOT!!!  And that's not even all of them. 

Help me out, girls - use words please.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Welcome to my world

I'm feeling strangely healthy emotionally.  Haven't been in touch with this in a while so I will savor it.  Had an awesome talk with Russ you know I have a nagging worry that he'll leave me for someone more reproductively capable should this baby thing not work out.  My fun emotional outbursts can't be helping that cause so I asked him if I was sucking the life out of him.  I mean, really.  It has to be exhausting to take care of this (me).  No surprise that he reinforced the fact that I'm his life and responsibility and that of course I'll be emotional but that we're doing very very well all things considered.  I might even suggest that we're coming through this stronger than ever.  It was a great talk.

I KNOW.  Those of you who know Russ want to punch me in the face for thinking he'd leave me over this.  I KNOW.  But it's hard being a physiological defect and it brings about huge insecurities.  It was a great talk though, that I really needed.

OK, now thinking about all that has caused me to tear up and I'm not feeling as emotionally healthy as I was when I started typing.  Crap.  Welcome to my world.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

I'm THAT girl?

I know this may sound ridiculous (like "duh") but it's starting to occur to me that this whole baby thing may not happen.  Maybe I'm a little slow, but I think it's pretty close to being a lost cause.  Man, that's depressing.  I've never really allowed myself to think that it won't happen before, but after that conversation yesterday it's hard to deny the facts. 


This sucks.

I'm one of those women.  The ones who people have to monitor themselves around and say to others " careful...she can't have children" in a hushed tone as someone else starts conversations about babies. 

I am THAT girl? 

Who would have thought?

Now, I know the (g-damn) bright side.  Adoption is wonderful on lots of levels.  Not only do we get a baby, but we get to make the difference in the life of someone who otherwise might not get a chance. 

OK, fine. 

Now don't go telling me "Don't worry, it'll work this time."  Really?  Will it?  Because I think it won't and I know more about this crap than you do.  =)  (can't help but smile)  Maybe it will work.  But it probably won't. 

My apologies.  As you can tell, I'm in a negative place right now.  I'm sure I'll return to my normal state of mind soon.  ("normal" being a relative term of course)

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

the real deal

It's so nice to feel as comfortable with your doctor as we feel with Dr. Browne.  And vice versa.  For the first time today, I felt like Dr. Browne spoke to us in a very realistic manner.  Not to down her for being so optimistic before, but I felt like we left today with the real deal.  And the real deal is that this ain't working.  We're going for another IVF cycle, but she cautioned us that once 4 tries don't work, our "prognosis changes dramatically".  What does this mean?  Well, she says that as long as insurance is paying we should still go for it.  She also said that she could never, in good faith, take money from us.  That means that if we were paying out of pocket for this, she would not agree to do it.  That's significant.  And reassures me that we're working with an excellent doctor. And it means that she thinks it won't work.  She said that if we wanted to continue after this cycle (should it be unsuccessful and insurance runs out), she would want to move on to donor eggs.  We are not interested in that (at least I'm not - though we (Russ and I) should probably have a real conversation about it first), so for us it means moving to adoption which is what I'm ready for.  Not to put down donor egg people, it's just that I don't have some burning desire to be pregnant - I just want our baby, Russ's and mine.  Would it be great to have one that was half his?  Sure.  But it wouldn't be "ours" and I'm not sure I can deal with that.  Plus it would mean money and egg transfers (even if it's not my eggs) and no guarantees of a baby.  Adoption = baby even if there might be heartbreaks and hassles along the way.  Plus we don't even know if cycle 5 is it.  Maybe there will be a cycle 6, right?  Or maybe cycle 5 will bring us our fabulous little baby. 

Oh and did I mention?  She wants to put back 4!!!  4.  That's right.  Wow.  She really thinks it's not gonna work.  But we'll try...

OK, so I just posted and realized that I left some important info out...glad I can come back and edit.

So...  the reason why it seems so bleak is because my eggs appear to be pretty f-ed up.  While I did have 3 grade A quality embryos to put back last time, the other guys were all sorts of messed up!  Two embryos had 2 nuclei and that's just not right and indicates that it's one f-ed up egg.  I need A LOT of hormones to get my ovaries working and that has always indicated that maybe my eggs are old and tired.  So all of this put together tells us that our chances are slim.  But there is a chance, so we keep moving forward.  There is nothing that can be done to improve egg quality.  They're my eggs that have been with me since I was born.  Personally I feel disloyal talking about them so disparagingly.  =)  There's gotta be one potential baby in there!  Let's just hope that we find it.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Wedding Recap (borrowed from Emily at Hope and a Wish who borrowed it from Sew Infertile - thanks girls!)

I have appt with Dr. Browne Tuesday.  Until then, some fun =)

1.  Where/how did you meet:
         At the Yellow Jaguar teen club on Transit Rd.  I was 17.  Spring Break 1991.  Pay $5, get all the sprite you can drink...

2. How long have you known each other:  for over 18 years

3. How long after you met did you start dating: We met in the spring of 1991 and started dating in January 1992, though we started smooching in November '91 (SO scandalous!)...we both had significant others that we had to ditch before we could date officially...OK it took him til June to give the boot to his - but she was 800 miles away...we were kids, OK?

4. How long did you date before you were engaged: Almost 6 years...2 and 1/2 of which were long distance (total of 3 and 1/2 long distance years...)

5. How long was your engagement:  A little over a year and a half - there was much to plan

6. How long have you been married: 10 years

7. What is your anniversary: July 31

8. How many people came to your wedding reception: 192 - only 3 people no-showed (total of 6 with dates)

9. What kind of cake did you serve: White cake, white frosting - my all-time favorite!

10. Where was your wedding:  Kloc's Grove in West Seneca, NY (outside of Buffalo)  Gorgeous gorgeous gorgeous! 

11. What did you serve for your meal:  Mmm...we had fillet mignon and stuffed chicken and I ate A LOT - big surprise, right?

12. How many people were there in your bridal party: 4 girls

13. Are you still friends with them all:  Everyone except the evil one whose name I shall not speak

14. Did you or your spouse cry during the ceremony: I sure did!!  But he didn't, though he did stumble and seem nervous as hell during his vows that I wrote and made him memorize (not smart of me)
15. Most special moment of your wedding day: That's tough...either being announced "man and wife" or our first was all so special though.

16. Any funny moments: When our minister pronounced us husband and wife, he called Russ by his father's name and said Mr. and Mrs. Ken and Tracey Johnson...his dad (also a minister) had gotten up and spoke during the ceremony and his brother Ken was also there - common mistake I guess.  It was funny - I didn't get mad.

17. Any big disasters: Just the monsoon.  We were supposed to be married out on the patio overlooking the most beautiful scenery, but it rained.  And rained.  And the wind blew.  And it rained.  And rained.  So everything was moved inside.  We created the most intimate and HOT (holy sweating!) was perfect in the end.
18. Where did you go on your honeymoon: 5 night cruise to the Bahamas and Key's where we first learned our love of blackjack
19. How long were you gone: see above =)

20. If you were to do your wedding over, what would you change: I would have gotten to the place early as I had originally intended.  A cousin wanted to give the use of a limo (he owns the company) and wanted us to have the really good one which wouldn't be available until later in the day.  Had I been there early, everything would have been "perfect" but only stupid stuff like the table cloth on the table with the candles and stuff.  Nothing too big or important. 

21. What side of the bed do you sleep on: The side closest to the bathroom of course!
22. What size is your bed: KING
23. Greatest strength as a couple: Hmm...there are so many.  Probably that we still get butterflies when we see each other.  What does that mean?  I'm not sure.  But I like it.
24. Greatest challenge as a couple: We've barely any challenges, in fact I can't think of anything real or significant.  This whole infertility thing would have to be up there, but it really hasn't impacted on our relationship at all.  Oh, yeah...there is the whole me losing my mind thing and his patience and love no matter how whacked out I get.  So that.
25. Who literally pays the bills: I do and I'm terrible at it.  At least I have some clue about where money is going and that helps me to not spend so much.

26. What is your song: I Only Have Eyes For You
27. What did you dance your first dance to: Umm...our song?  See above
28. Describe your wedding dress: hot hot hot =)  LOVE it
29. What kind of flowers did you have at your wedding: My bouquet was dozens of pastel roses (SO Martha!) and the girls carried freesia (anticipated their bouquets would be bigger...a little disappointed in that).  Yellow rose topiaries on every table.  Gorgeous.
30. Are your wedding bands engraved?  No...should they be?

check out the video Russ made for me for our 10th anniversary.  Stay tuned to the middle to see wedding shots

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Go away

Dear Pregnant Women of the World,

Why are you stalking me? 


I lost count of you yesterday at the outlet mall.  I can see why a pregnant woman would want to shop at the's certainly a time for bargain hunting.  Still, you were a bit excessive yesterday and I didn't appreciate it.  I wish you no ill will.  Best of luck to you and your family.  I truly hope you have a healthy pregnancy and painless birth.  It's just that I want to punch you in the face right now.  Again, it's not personal. 

Hostile as i may sound, please understand that i don't sit and think about you all day or anything.  And I seem to be over any residual self-pity.  I barely even think about my non-pregnant self...until i see YOU that is.  Then it all comes back.  Fantastic.  Cause I needed to wallow a little more, right?

I'm glad you don't notice me, though.  It's hard enough, but to have to deal with your sympathetic looks would put me over the edge.

So, if you see me coming please turn around and walk the other way**.  Or perhaps close your coat so i don't see that ball sticking out.  Do like they did with Elaine on Seinfeld.  Wear big shirts, carry big bags, or remain seated as much as possible.  Beautiful and full of joy as you are right now, i do not want to see you and your family-in-making.  So go away.  Is that too much to ask?

Best regards,

**This message is not intended for those expecting moms that I know and love.  I do not wish to punch you in the face.  It's the nameless bitches that I'm referring to here.  I'm genuinely happy for you - really. =)  (REALLY, I AM! - no sarcasm here at all, OK?)

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Doesn't take much to make me happy...

So now that I'm hormonally balanced (relatively speaking that it is...), it's so nice to feel like a normal person.  There are actual large chunks of time when I feel I am more than just a chick trying to get pregnant.  Yes, there are other things going on in my life and I may even have some responsibilities to attend to.  I finally feel available to do those things and it's a relief.

But since I'm communicating with YOU, allow me to indulge in my infertile world a little bit.

I know we have at least one more chance at IVF (could even be more, not sure where we stand on insurance), but I'm feeling quite ready to start the adoption process.  I know what you're thinking.  Once we start the process, IVF will work or - even better - we'll conceive naturally.  Not bloody likely.  But it's a nice thought.  Adoption is costly, but we've been spared the outrageous costs of IVF so it's about time we buckle down and save some bucks for the most important thing we'll ever do.  It doesn't mean that we're giving up on cycle 5 before it even begins, but I just want to be prepared.  I'm just so curious about what will happen.  It's like I'm a character in a book and anything is possible.  I suppose that's true enough, but man this is a depressing book, huh?

Have I mentioned the joy of Diet Mountain Dew?  It's glorious.  All those chemicals and unnatural ingredients.  I shall indulge for a week or two more before attempting to purify all of the caffeine and artificial sweetner out of my life.  It's soooo good though!!  Doesn't take much to make me happy...

No spellcheck today...what's up with this computer I'm on?  Sorry...and yes, I'm too lazy to carefully read what i wrote.  Whatever.

Monday, November 2, 2009



Thank God.

Because yesterday?  Was bad.  I literally cried all day.  Sitting in Grevey's watching the Bills play?  Crying.  Awful.  I'm way better today so hopefully that means the worst is over.

That's all for now.  Just wanted to let you know that I didn't jump off the balcony.

Sunday, November 1, 2009 sad

This sucks.

Still crying everyday and that seems excessive.  Went out for my great Sangria bash last night and had to leave the table for fear of blubbering all over everyone.  I just wanted to go home.  But then it got much much better...  I don't get why this is so hard this time.  Don't get me wrong - I'm not sitting around all day crying - just a little here and there.  But I should be past this by now.  Hormones.  I know.

I keep forgetting that the cycle is over.  I was at a football game at my school Friday night and kids were running around and I kept protecting myself from getting pushed and bumped.  I feel like it's all still in there and I need to be careful.  Yes, i feel insane.

How many pregnant ladies were there in Target yesterday?  Four.  And they're sooooooo arrogant.  =)  Walking around with their big bellies.  Remember when maternity wear used to be all big and unattractive? You sometimes didn't know if someone ws pregnant or just a heavy person?  Not now.  Now they all walk around with their little balls in front of them.  Look at me!  I have a person growing in me.  Show-offs.  I see them and fantasize that they went through treatments too so that I can be happy for them.  I feel like if they had to work at it, maybe they appreciate it more.  Unlike my co-worker who is 9 months and ready to pop and sighs and complains all day.  Poor thing.  I feel sooooo sad for you and the baby you'll meet likely this week.  Not.  It's not that I'm unhappy for those who conceive naturally, it's just that I don't think those women have a clue.  They take it for granted and don't realize how lucky they are.  Hopefully they have a friend like me and can realize how blessed they are to not be in my shoes.

Yeah, so I guess I'm having a down day.  Sorry.  I just feel so sad.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Bright side

Always, the silver-lining girl, I thought I'd share some positives from the past 24 hours:

-  When i cry a lot, it makes my eyelids puffy (like they stick out at least 1/4 inch) and it makes my eyeliner go on beautifully and look really cool - I honestly wish I could make it look like that every day
-  I got to eat lots of great food (specifically Buffalo Blasts, fried mac and cheese, pasta carbonara and white chocolate macadamia cheesecake) 100% guilt-free
-  Cheesecake Factory has FRESCA!  (could not have made me any happier)
-  I had a diet coke today!!!  (yet to have a diet mountain dew yet...maybe tomorrow??)
-  I've been reminded (not that I really needed it) that I have some of the BEST FRIENDS in the whole world who love me and Russ and hurt almost as much as we do at times like these
-  When tears come to my eyes, it makes my contacts crystal clear and the world looks awesome
-  Tammi got me the cutest bear ever!!!
-  Russ is continuing to spoil me by taking me to the mall today to eat (always a plus) and see the Michael Jackson movie
-  I got to spend some quality time with my kids (students) today without being distracted by my drama - they always make me feel good

Another great thing is that I now know that how I feel during a cycle has ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to do with the outcome of the cycle.  I was convinced I was pregnant and I'm not, so that means that when i don't feel I am, I could be.  For the next cycle, I can be more relaxed because analyzing every feeling is futile.

On the dark side, I've been crying a lot and was not sure that I could make it through the day.  Did not cry at work, thank goodness.  Just some slight welling up (clear contacts!) but not a full-blown cry.  I'm not a good slight-crier.  I usually either go all out or barely anything at all and I'm the queen of the ugly cry and it takes about an hour for me to look back to normal (except the eyelids which remain puffy for many hours).  So I'm thankful that I wasn't sent over the edge at work.  I would have had to leave.  Got in the car and it was full blown within about 3 minutes.  It's hormones.  And the most disappointing news ever.

Don't worry - this will not turn into a pity party for me every day.  I'll be back to preparing for cycle 5 soon.  Just give me a few days, OK?  My precious friends have agreed to go with me to drink pitchers and pitchers of sangria on Saturday and for that I am thankful.  That will be the official end of the pity party and I will be moving on.  I sure hope.

HUGE THANKS to everyone for their thoughts and prayers.  I sure hope that shit is cumulative because God knows I've racked up some points over the past year.  May it all move into a successful cycle 5.  It's so nice to feel loved.  I sure am lucky.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009


So I obviously have no intuition whatsoever. 

Bad news.

Dr. Browne herself called and i swear she felt worse that we do.  She said she thought the cycle went great and has no explanation for why it didn't work.  I already had an appointment scheduled in a few weeks for a follow up and we're going to go straight into another cycle.  The good thing is that she called a little before 1:00 so don't have to wait all day!  That is a blessing.  Russ had to call my mom to tell her.  I just would hate it if I cried on the phone and then she's at work and getting all upset.  I'll call her later. 

It definitely is harder since I thought things were going so well.  All I know is THIS SUCKS. 

And so we're off to Cheesecake Factory where we will over-order, take most of it home and keeping eating all evening.  Ah...

Monday, October 26, 2009

Tomorrow is it

So tomorrow is the big day.  I'll go for my test in the morning at 6:45 am and then leave work around noon to come and be with Russ to get the call.  The call can come anytime between 12:30/1:00 and 4:00.  Quite a range, I know.  If it's bad news, they'll call and say "I'm sorry your test was negative".  If it's good news, I'm not sure what they say.  Cycle 3, the call sounded like this "Your HCG level is 15 which is a positive result, but a number so low, it's usually not a successful pregnancy."  So, what I wonder is if it's a real-deal positive result, do they say "You're pregnant" or do they just tell you the HCG level and say "It's a positive result and we want to keep monitoring it, come back in 2 days"  All i know is that I want my HCG to be through the roof!  Over 200!!  OK, so over 25 would be fantastic.  But the higher the better.  Seriously I did some research and if it's not over 100, it's not very good, though some say levels after IVF can be lower.

Since it's the day before, the madness is starting.  I have myself convinced that there's nothing there.  The next 24 hours will be tough.  I prepare myself for the worst and now I really believe it to be true.  How can I be so convinced one way and then change so fast?  I keep thinking there should be a major sign and I have none.  But that's what everyone says and many of them end up pregnant.  Stay positive!!!  But it's so hard.  I'm very prepared for my pity party.  Ask me in a hour and I'll be back to believing something is there. Ugh.

So I think we decided that if it's a no-go, we'll go directly into another cycle.  It makes sense insurance-wise.  Waiting until 2010 would mean we pay more out of pocket.  Doing it now means we'd only have to pay for some meds, but nothing for the procedures.  I know I need to do one thing at a time, but it helps to have a plan.

OK, so all that anxiety that I didn't have for the past 2 weeks?  It's all coming out now!  Oh man.  It's like knowing there's a really good chance you could have won the lottery but you just have to wait to find out.  Yoga really helped, though, and I'm back to feeling like maybe there's a little guy in there.  Who knows!!  Can't wait for tomorrow.  I'm a little worried because I've never gotten bad news and then had to go to work the next day.  Hopefully Wednesday will be OK if it is bad.  So many people care - and my big mouth tells everyone - so it's hard to tell people when they look at you with those expectant eyes.  Most people will get a text either way tomorrow afternoon.


Sunday, October 25, 2009

I wonder if I am...

Here's the thing...either I'm pregnant or I'm not.  It's already determined at this point, so really I am now just playing a waiting game.  Now the praying can continue for things like a healthy pregnancy that sustains.  But whether or not they're in there is a done deal.  That knowledge makes the waiting much more difficult.  I'm sure I could "accidentally" show up tomorrow for my blood test and they'll do it.  But I'll wait.  Til Tuesday.  ("...voices carrr-rrryyy!")   As much as I'm thinking about it, I'm not really that anxious (definitely depends on your definition of anxious, though, I guess).  What I mean by that is that in the past, I've had such extreme feelings of anxiety (for like the whole 2 weeks!) that it was truly painful.  This time, I'm starting to get that excited "waiting in line for a roller coaster" feeling, but not too much.  What I feel is very peaceful.  Because I've convinced myself I'm pregnant.  Hmm...I wonder if I am.  Wouldn't it be nice?

Russ and I went for a walk today out on the bike path that I love so much (and that I haven't been on since the snake incident in June).  I was saying that some day we'll have our kids and look back on this time and just sort of forget what a pain all of this was.  It already feels like it hasn't been so bad.  I know it might sound crazy, but what will ever be more important than this?  Nothing.  So fighting a little bit is totally worth it and i can't really complain, especially if we end up with some kids.  It would be a real shame if we went through all this and still had no kids.  By the way, it's come to my attention that some people are unaware of the financial situation surrounding all of this IVF stuff.  Don't worry about us- we'll be just fine.  So far insurance has covered the vast majority of everything.  For all 4 cycles, we've spent maybe $4,000 or $5,000 total.  Not a big deal considering that if we had been paying cash, it would have been at least $100,000 by now.  We are blessed. 

2 more days....

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Living in Fantasy Land...

I feel pregnant.  I believe it to be twins.  There's at least one girl.

Living in Fantasy Land is fun.

I really do feel good about everything though.  I wish I could remember how I felt during cycle 1.  I remember thinking that I was prepared for the worst news and then being floored by the sadness of the news.  It's weird how you can't predict certain things.

Only 3 days left...and I can tell they will be long.  I can tell I'm starting to psych myself into thinking I'm not.  The mind plays crazy tricks.  I have my pity party all set.  We'll go to Cheesecake Factory and order one of everything Tuesday night if it's bad news.  Hey, it's all I got.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

My positive attitude is weening...

So I'm not using the baby board this time...I just couldn't look at that thing anymore.  What's the baby board?  Well, it's a vision board that Oprah told me to do.  OK, she didn't tell me, she told the whole world to create a board with everything you want on it and it will come to you.  I don't do everything Oprah tells me (OK, us) to do, but I come pretty close.  It's from the Secret - you know the thing that says if you put out lots of rich, money-having energy, you'll get rich?  Anyway, I created the board before cycle 2.  It has pictures of mixed babies (or light-skinned ones) - the theme is twins, a boy and girl.  It has the baby names on it and pictures of a stroller I like.  I got the CUTEST baby booties and bibs and little caps.  I used to like and focus on it when I was getting my shots and then it would just sit there in the living room...  It's out of sight right now and I don't miss it.  i figure I visualized enough.  at one point last cycle, I truly wanted to throw the damn thing off the balcony.  I felt it was mocking me.  So now it sits in the corner facing the wall.

I feel the same, but my positive attitude is weening.  How could I possibly know what's happening in there?   This doubtful thing is obviously a defense mechanism designed to prepare me for the worst next week.  Did I mention that if we do get bad news, we're going to have a one-night super pity party full of everything bad I could possibly eat?  That's the only comfort I can think of.  Sad, huh?

Was up again last night at exactly 2 AM.  Ugh.  That makes me think it's a bad sign too.  Everything is not a sign!!  I need to learn that.  But why the no sleep?  I wake up and all i do is analyze every little feeling.  The "presence" i was feeling in my belly?  I think it was just gas.  But then I learned that progesterone causes gas.  This is the only cycle where I've had bad gas SO I say it's because I have extra progesterone - the one I take 3 times a day with the cooch pill and the stuff my body is making because I'm pregnant!  So i get all happy but then a minute later I'm convinced there's nothing in there.  Considering this, i am still significantly less anxious than other cycles still so that's great. 

6 more days...we're two-thirds of the way through.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

I know?

There could be people growing inside my body.  Think about that.  While beautifully miraculous, does anyone else find that a little weird?  This whole process is very strange.

Every cycle, I always say "If I were pregnant, I think I would know."  In cycle 3 I was convinced from the beginning that it didn't work.  My pregnant friend (hey Shel!) would tell me that if she didn't know that she was pregnant, she wouldn't "know" she was pregnant.  That was comforting at the time because it made me feel like maybe I wouldn't know if I was.  But here's the thing.  According to whatever it is inside me that tells me these things, I feel like I know.  I feel like there's babies in there.  I realize that saying this out loud could "jinx" it, but come on - if I'm not jinxed already, who is?  I also realize that this conclusion sets me up for potentially devastating news next week.  But how bad could it be, really?  Been there, done that.  I can handle it.

Speaking of bad news next week, I've come up with a plan.  If it's a no-go, I'm going to have a one evening pity party for myself (as opposed to the 5-week long ones I usually have which result in 8-10 pound weight gains).  I will go wherever I want and eat everything I want.  Right now I'm thinking Outback where I will get one of everything and have as much or as little as i like and take nothing to go since the next day I will get right back on track.  Did I mention that I lost 2.6 pounds last week?  While laying around the house eating EVERYTHING is sight?  I seriously think the scale was broken, but who's complaining? 

I came up with this plan because last cycle it was really great (well, relatively great) because we got the bad news on the road to North Carolina to celebrate our 10th anniversary.  Yes, the news came on the exact day.  I saw this as a great sign.  Wrong.  Anyway. Farrah called, gave us the bad news, and I cried for about 15 seconds before realizing that we missed our exit and the distraction kept me from boo-hooing at all.  And then to be able to go away for the weekend really helped a lot.  OK, so at this time of year that's not possible so eating bad food is the only thing I can think of.  And to be honest, I probably won't feel like eating that night, so we'll see.  Incidentally if it's good news, I have no idea what we'll good cause the babies need good food I suppose. 

Have I mentioned that it's 2:20 AM?  Yes, I can't sleep at all.  So much for the hormones inducing the best sleep ever.  Didn't do Zumba by the way.  I just felt like it was too risky.  Yoga was making me nervous enough with all the stretching and bending and twisting and pulling. 

OK, I'm off to the couch where I will find something on the border of interesting and boring to lull me to sleep.  8 more days...

Sunday, October 18, 2009

No freeze pops

So no frozen embryos this time.  They don't say it, but logic tells me that there must be something wrong with my eggs.  Bad eggs are causing poor embryos which cannot be frozen.  Now I know exactly what they would tell me:  "The good embryos were put back in you"  OK.  Fine.  But if my embryos were so great, then I think one other could make it to the stage where they would be freezable.  Now it's true that embryos need to of super excellent quality in order to freeze (like way better than even the ones that they choose to put back) and of course I would prefer those super excellent ones to be in me.  I just can't help but thinking that with all these bad cycles and no freezable embryos there must be something wrong.  More than just my tubes clearly. 

But it doesn't matter does it??  No.  Because I have 3 babies in my belly ready to go!  Or so we hope.

I am maintaining a very positive attitude.  The crazies have started a little but not so bad.  The crazies consist of me feeling absolutely sure that I'm pregnant one minute and then 30 seconds later I'm convinced that I'll never have a baby ever.  But it hasn't been happening too often, so I think that's really good.  I have a theory that if there are babies growing in me, I would be naturally be ecstatically happy all the time since baby love would be flowing through me (it's a very scientific theory as you can see).  Well I have been in a really happy mood so that's good right??  (Sure, Trace, it has nothing to do with the high levels of estrogen you're currently experiencing...)

Tomorrow is yoga and Zumba class.  I've decided to do both, but "take it easy" at's instructions were to engage in "light aerobic activity" but nothing high impact.  I can't run (darn!) and no jumping or bouncing or fast up and downs and no abs exercises (and I had all those crunches planned too...).  But I can totally handle Zumba I think.  I just won't jump or bounce. 

9 more days............

Friday, October 16, 2009

Am I peeing on myself?

WARNING:  Sorry for the gross details here.  You may now choose to close this post and check in on me tomorrow or the next day.

I got out of bed this morning and my cooch pill discharge was DRIPPING DOWN MY LEG!!!  Honestly I thought, "Am I peeing on myself??"  Normally this is something that I feel I recognize easily, but perhaps in this case I was missing something?  I get to the bathroom and it looks like a stream of milk flowing down my leg.  WTF?  I don't understand.  I had underwear on with a pantyliner.  I don't understand.  And what's with the liquid anyway?  What's going on up there?  It's such a mystery to me.  From past cycles, I can recall that things could get pretty liquidy, but to actually flow out?  Whoa.  This one might be too gross for even me.  I guess I need tighter underwear?  Ew.

In other related news, my left boob feels like it's on fire a little.  Just a little but I don't like it.  And I have been really crampy all day.  Good?  Bad?  Who knows!

Tomorrow we will visit the National Cathedral and light a candle.  And then eat really, really yummy pizza!

That's all I have today.  I think we can all agree it's enough.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Crazy is coming

If I could stop thinking for a little bit it would be okay but I just keep thinking and thinking and thinking.  For instance, today i spent more time than i had researching exactly how the implantation process works.  Do I really need all that information?  What i found is that there is almost nothing I can do to help or hurt the process.  That's strangely comforting.  So after finding out this information, do i stop obsessing?  No, of course not.  All I think about all day is the unknown possibilities that lie ahead in a million different ways. 

If I'm pregnant, I'll give birth at 36.  Not terrible, but old enough.  It means that I'll be well into my 50s when the kid(s) graduate from high school.  Maybe I'll know grandchildren, but maybe not.  Why am i thinking this right now?  Because I'm losing my mind.  It's like I can almost see it going.  While I feel I'm living on the right side of crazy today, i know that I'll go to the dark side soon.  This is most commonly characterized by rapid shifts in thinking about whether or not I'm pregnant and that about-to-get-on-a-roller-coaster feeling whenever the pregnancy test day is pondered.  I have 12 days left.  That doesn't seem so bad. 

Just a little time out of la-la land to discuss the fact that today I could actually feel the cooch pill discharge oozing out...EW.  Made me all slimy-assed.  Hot, isn't it?  MmmHmm...

Off to meditate in hopes of clearing my mind.  Wish me luck.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Could we be more blessed?

OK, so bed rest sounds like fun until you have to do it.  It's really hard to just sit there when you feel fine ( and I'm the laziest person EVER who can easily spend a weekend lying around on the couch).  Not like when you're sick and don't feel like doing anything...  But I actually got up today and took a shower (Hallelujah!) and went and got my nails done.  I'm all light-headed from sleeping so much.  Work tomorrow, but it'll already be Thursday so the week will be over in a blink.

I still feel nothing.  That's normal.  I'm going to go out on a limb here and disclose that I think I'm pretty self-intuitive.  Last time I knew I wasn't pregnant.  The time before, I felt like I was and then about 5 days before the test I had this terrible feeling come over and I knew it was over.  And I'm not saying that for a fact I knew, but in fact one had implanted, began to grow a placenta and then stopped growing.  I kinda think I was in tune to that.  Being intuitive sucks because I feel I can trust my instinct and if my instinct is negative, then I tend to beat myself up.  If my instinct is positive, then I get my hopes up.  At this point, I can tell you that they're in there doing their thing.  That's all I know.  What's my prediction?  I don't know why I have a strong feeling this is going to work.  That, by the way, has nothing to do with the intuitive thing (at least I don't think), it's just how I feel.  I get in touch with my intuition this weekend and feel more solid one way or another - that should f things up in my mind pretty nicely.

I'm going to take a moment to document for myself some things that I have been thinking while my mind is in a normal state (in other words the hormones haven't hit me hard yet).  I would like to refer back to these things if we get bad news on the 27th and/or when I go insane over the next 2 weeks.  Here I go:

1.  My life is fabulous with or without kids.  Would a baby (or two or three) greatly enhance things?  Yes.  Is it a crime of nature that Russ Johnson doesn't get to be a dad?  Absolutely.  But let's face it - I have a good life and you will never find me crying about "why me" where this stuff is concerned. 

PAUSE  Can I just tell you that in the past 5 minutes I got up off this chair and walked over to the couch to read a text message 3 different times?  It wasn't until the last time that it occurred to me to bring my phone over to the computer so that I wouldn't have to keep getting up.  I am a problem solver.

2.  Adoption is not only a great option, but one that does great things in the world.  Let's get off the "you're kids would be soooooooo cute" thing and get down to reality.  I could name 10 kids that I would adopt right now and they aren't even cute little babies.  They are, in some cases, obnoxious teenagers and still know that I could be their parent and love them forever.  Put a baby in my arms and tell me it's ours?  Forget about it!  I'll melt and be just as excited as anything that could come squeezing out my cooch.  (and let's not forget that nothing would have to squeeze out of there and there must be some comfort in that?)

3.  Whatever happens, it's not my fault.  Carrying that 3 pound bag of apples around Shoppers today did not cause the babies to not implant.

4.  I strongly believe (and i know this is annoying to some) that there is a reason for all this.  I have no clue what it could be, but someday I'll figure it out.  My hypothesis is that infertility is teaching to let go of control.  It's working by the way.  But I sort of feel like, "OK, learned give me my baby".  I don't know what else it could be, but I do know that logic has nothing to do with it. 

5.  We will have kids some day - just ask the psychics

6.  This not working is in complete spite of about a zillion people's prayers and good wishes.  Could we be more blessed with wonderful people in our corner?  I feel guilty sometimes that others need prayers too and we're hogging them all.  Life is good.

That's all for now...I'm crampy and know it means nothing.  Just put my mid-day coochie pill in and that's probably it...

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

I live in the bliss of hope...

So Russ specifically told me that he doesn't want me sitting on this "hard chair" for too long today (the chair at the computer desk).  My 24 hours were up about 2 hours ago and I'm going insane staying in bed all day.  For the next 2-3 days I'm supposed to engage in "light activity" only...that means I'm not leaving the house til tomorrow and then it'll only be to get my nails done maybe.  Then back to work Thursday.  I'm being extra cautious because since they put the babies back (excuse my use of the term "babies" when discussing the embryos - I know that may sound creepy, but it's what we call them, so whatever) yesterday it's only day 4 today and they can't physiologically implant until tomorrow or Thursday so I feel like I need the extra bed rest days to give them a good shot.

So far so good...I mean I feel NOTHING so it's not like there's anything to monitor.  The meds they have me on make me crampy and my boobs hurt so that gets disregarded as possibly pregnancy symptoms...and I know that I couldn't possibly be pregnancy yet anyway.  The implantation process takes 10 days.  Maybe by Saturday or Sunday I'll have some bleeding - that would be a great sign.  As the embryo burrows itself into my lining it can bleed a little.  The irony is that the cooch pills they have me taking (progesterone suppositories) can cause bleeding.  So, really, there is no way to tell.  I have the test on the 27th.  Two looooonnnng weeks. 

The great side effect so far?  SLEEP!!!  I'm on progesterone and estrogen and both make me sleep like a baby!  I've literally been sleeping 10 hours a night and then napping throughout the day.  LOVE that.  Especially since my sleep has been sketchy over the past few months. 

I'm eating enough to sustain a family of four.  I'm just soo hungry!  And, again, I cannot blame any pregnancy on that.  Hormones maybe.  Last week i gained .2 at WW.  This week will be worse i fear.  Ugh.

In case you haven't picked up on it, I'm still in the "oh my!  I could be getting pregnant right now!  Isn't that divine?" stage of IVF.  By the weekend, I'll be over-analyzing every single thing I feel in an attempt to determine whether or not I have babies in me.  It is exhausting and will cause me to sound like an insane person.  Just a warning.  But for now, I live in the bliss of hope that maybe this is it. 

OK, back to bed.  Ugh.

Monday, October 12, 2009

And we're off!

And they're in!  Three grade 1 embryos were transferred to my uterus this afternoon.  The procedure is very simple, though today it was more uncomfortable than ever - just a little more cramping when the catheter went in.  And who did the procedure???  Our very own Dr. Browne!  I was SO EXCITED when we learned this.  I had this fantasy that she requested to be there to do it once she saw we were on the list for the transfer that day.  Reality is that it was her day to be doing transfers...

OK, so you have to go with a "moderately full" bladder so that they can use the ultrasound to get a good look at the uterus to know where to place the little guys.  Since this was my 4th try, i know my bladder and know that I don't have to start drinking my water until 15 minutes before the procedure - come, people who know me, you know I can fill my bladder up in 5 minutes, right?  Easily.  So i get there 30 minutes before the procedure and want to pee one more time before i start gulping the water down.  I go to visit the restroom and the lady behind the desk stopped me!  She said i wasn't allowed!  i thought about becoming outraged - I kept saying "Um, this is my 4th time and I know my bladder" and she made the point that they might take me early.  In the end it was no big deal but it was just weird to not be able to pee when I wanted to, ya know.

OK, so then you go in there and they go over the embryo quality and the final decision about transferring 3 is made.  Then they push really hard like they're digging for something on your lower abdomen with the ultrasound, she inserted the speculum and then the catheter and then the lab lady came out with "3 for Johnson".  They push them in and that's it!

I'm supposed to be in bed right now, but I had to get this written and my laptop is acting funky.  Russ is yelling at me...gotta go. 

Prayers Prayers Prayers that these little guys stick!!!!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Transfer tomorrow???

Day 2 results:
We still have 7 little guys growing strong. 
We only need one.
Or two little babies.
So then why am I disappointed that there are only 7? 
7 is good.
Again, we only need ONE.

The nurse said that 7 are "cleaving" (that just means growing and dividing) and that we're scheduled for the transfer for tomorrow.  It's supposed to be at 12:45 and we need to be in Rockville at 12:15 with a "moderately full" bladder.  That's a always a tough one to control.  The first time i drank soooo much water on the way there, I was practically crying when I got into the room.  They allowed me to do a "10-second release" which was not easy but it helped.  By the time we got to the next cycle, I drank some water 10 minutes before and was good to go.  Still, I get all nervous (me? nervous?) about making sure I have the right amount of water.  And then after the procedure (takes only 10 minutes or so) I hate it because I want to get up right away because I have to pee so bad. 

Anyway, it supposed to be tomorrow but since it's scheduled so late, it gives them time to decide that we'll wait til Wednesday.  I prefer to wait til Wednesday.  By then the embryos become blastocycsts and the ones that make it to that stage have a better chance of working out since they can tell who is strongest more easily (straight up survival of the fittest).  If they do it tomorrow, it's still good though, so no worries.  I just hate that I can't really make plans or anything.  Luckily it's Columbus Day and I'm off anyway...Russ isn't though.

So now I sit and I contemplate things that are out of my control.  The doctors want me pregnant really badly too.  They know what they're doing.  If they want to put the little guys in me tomorrow, it's for a good reason.  There is really nothing for me to worry about.  While I'm not a fan of the phrase "it is what it is", in this case, it really applies.  Whatever they decide, they decide.  And I can't do anything but trust that they know what they're doing.  So why the anxiety?  Because I'm Tracey Butler-Johnson, nice to meet you...

Saturday, October 10, 2009

15 fertilized, 8 growing strong

So the call came at 11:30 but they called the house phone so I missed it!  Ugh.. I left my cell as the main number and Russ's cell as the back up. I don't get it, but anyway, i got the message at about 12:30.  Now they're saying they got 16 eggs (She says "As you know, there were 16 eggs" and I'm like, no I didn't know...).  Only 15 were mature and all 15 fertilized.  8 of them are at the 2 cell stage and the others can catch up tonight.  Tomorrow's report will be more telling.

So today I start doing the progesterone inserts.  My first cycle we had to the shots every night and they were the big 'ol fat shots that were a huge pain (more figuratively than literally) but now they have the inserts that you stick up your cooch 3 times a day and you're ready to go.  OK, so the panties get a little gross (holy pantyliners!  I go through a few a day) but it's better than the shots.  I also start taking estrogen pills.  All this to ensure that the little guys grow in me.

We're about to leave for the National Shrine where we will light candles.  I'm so touched by every one's good thoughts.  I put that we got 15 eggs on my Facebook status and people I barely talk to wished us well and are sending prayers.  We're really fortunate. 

Woo hoo!!! 15 eggs!

Woo hoo!!!  15 eggs!  That's a record for us and we are thrilled!  It's amazing that they got so many considering they were only seeing 10 eggs on the ultrasound.  No wonder I was feeling so crazy those last two days - my follicles were working overtime!  The nurse came in to tell us there were 15 and I did an Elaine and yelled "GET OUT!!!"  and then the doctor comes in (Dr. Stillman, had never met him) and tells me the same news and the nurses thought it was funny that I said "Dude, you were really working in there, huh?"  The nurse high-fived me because i called him "dude".  I guess they have to get their fun where they can find it...

OK, so here's my theory:  One of those eggs is our baby.  I realize that it is not a profound theory or anything but it's the one I have come up with.  Seriously, I'm just putting it out there - we are getting a baby this time.  I know I could be eating these words in 18 days (pregnancy test should be on the 27th) but this time i just feel it.  Like there's no doubt, my only question is how many we'll get.  And don't worry, people, I'll be OK if it doesn't work out.  I don't feel like all my "eggs are in one basket"  (pun intended or not?  Not sure here...) because we now know that we have another cycle coming just in case.  It's just that I feel absolute about this.  At least right now.  Tomorrow they could call and tell me none of them fertilized or they were all poor quality.  They won't though.  With the exception of the first cycle where 12 of 14 fertilized, we've always had 100% fertilization.  I wonder if it's happened yet.  My guess is it has by now (it's 2 am).  The babies are growing!!!

So tomorrow we're going to the National Shrine Basilica of the something?  It's the the big-ass Catholic church in DC.  (No is big I believe)  I need to light some candles and pray.  Pray, you question?  YES.  I do pray.  Even though I'm not 100% on board with a religion, I am a Catholic girl at heart and regardless of who or what I'm praying to, I do pray.  A lot.  And the comfort that I get from being in a warm, colorful (albeit UPTIGHT) Catholic church is very helpful to me at times like these.  I was going to go the National Cathedral (Episcopal I think??) but as beautiful as it is, it's so cold.  All stone and no color.  Maybe we'll go there next week after they transfer the little guys back to me.

Lastly, considering that they stuck 15 needles through my uterus and into my ovaries (did I not explain that part??) I feel really great!  A little crampy but the anesthesia (Propofol...just like MJ, I told you!!!) didn't bother me at all - like not at all.  I barely napped when we got home and have been energetic.  I mean I was asleep earlier and now I'm just up cause I'm up.  In the past I've been knocked out for like 8 hours after. 

Alright, so the next step is that they're calling me tomorrow with a report about the little guys.  They'll tell me how many of the 15 were mature at retrieval (therefore ready to go!) and how many fertilized naturally.  Ours have always fertilized naturally, but if they see that it's not going well, they can take one of his sperm and inject it straight into the egg (called ICSI).  Again, we've never had to do that but if they do it's not a big deal.  As Tammi keeps telling me about this cycle, "different is better" because if this cycle is exactly like the others, it will turn out babyless.

OK, back to bed.  St. Elmo's Fire is on...ahhhh...