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.