Friday, December 30, 2011

Weaning off of Drugs - Freaked

I got an email today from the nurse (which was really hard to understand, so I had to call them anyway).

1) Estrace - 1x/day for 4 days (I'm now taking 2/day), then stop
2) Vivelle - reduce by one, every other day (I'm now taking 4 every other day), then stop
3) Endometrin - 2x/day for 4 days, then 1x/day for 4 days, then stop (I'm now taking 3x/day)

Then they said, let us know when the baby is born.  No more monitoring of levels!!!  WHAT?  That freaks me out to no end.  The nurse said, that Dr. G says I'm far along enough and he does this all the time and that it's fine.  FYI, my E2 is at 2000something (supposed to be ~500) and progesterone is at 36 (>20).  I'll be off of all the drugs 2 days before I'm 10 weeks along.

Since I see my ob/gyn on Tuesday, I may ask her to check the levels, so I'm sure they'll be taking my blood anyway.

Anyone who has had experience weaning, please reassure me!!!  I feel like they just ripped off my training wheels and are saying, "Good luck in the Tour de France -- let us know if you finish the race!"

Thursday, December 29, 2011


The fetus is babyfying!  Or as the sonographer referred to it, it's a gummy bear!  From left to right: leg buds, torso, arms buds, head.  Heartrate: 171 bpm.  I only got to hear it once... I could've stayed there all day listening, though I could do without the dildo cam in there all day.  Dr. G was once again detained by surgery, so didn't get to talk to him.  Tomorrow PM, I'll find out how much I get to reduce my drugs to -- can't wait for that.  But I have no idea the next time I'm due back at CCRM (if at all).  I'm definitely getting sloppy with my drug administration times (like varying the midday endometrin deposit by 2 hours) and I've forgotten an estrace once and endometrin twice in the recent past.  I'm excited, though, that my awesome ob/gyn (who curses and says that the guys have it easy, they just need to splatter their semen -- in roughly those words) wants to see me sooner rather than later, so I will see her on Tuesday.  She's a talker, so that is good, in that you never are rushed, but bad, in that you often have to wait way past your appointment time to see her.  I feel like I can bombard her with minutia whereas with Dr. G, I'm more intimidated and would feel lame asking him if soft cheeses are okay to eat, if they are pasteurized.  Or about my boobs.  Or whatever.  Anyway, I think I will get to have an ultrasound on Tuesday too, woohoo.  Brainstorm: I think there needs to be some sort of u/s co-op.  Women who want more than 2 u/s per pregnancy (I think that's all I got w/ DS) can join for a monthly membership fee.  Of course, we'll need boatloads of $$$ upfront to get an u/s machine and sonographer, but hey, I bet it'd pay for itself at some point!!!  And then you can get u/s as often as you'd like (or as much as the schedule would permit).  Wouldn't that rock?

Anyhoo, it's all starting to be more real, though I'm still pretty much in the closet... very happy with every Sunday that passes by for me (another week down).

Hope you all are having a good week and that 2012 delivers all your hopes and wishes!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011


[Preface: BTW, I think my belief that readers dropped off was because my followers sidebar has always been weird and reliable -- it jumps from 3 to in the teens and back and forth.  For example, today, everyone is there.  That said, I DO completely understand if the pregnancy/BFP focus of this blog now is difficult for people to read or causes anyone to unfollow.  I never experienced that personally, because I was always hopeful that I could then follow in those footsteps.  Anyway, for those of you reading, here goes...]

I don't know about you, but over the past couple of years, I've been highly irrational with regard to superstition.  For example, every wishbone, every stray eyelash that I blew off my hand, etc., I was very serious about and of course, only made one wish.  Seems so juvenile, right?  But desperate times call for desperate measures. 

There's one EXTREMELY superstitious thing that I have done that I'm almost embarrassed to share with you (that I only recently shared with DH), but the reason I'm going to is that it highlights the desperation, sadness and hope that I felt while undergoing IF.  In 2005, my DH and I enjoyed a summer trip to NYC (where we both used to live, at separate times in our lives).  We stayed at the YMCA (in bunk beds, even) for cheap, so that we could blow our money on extravagant meals.  I got there a day before DH and when I was brushing my teeth in the bathroom (actually a private one, but in a common area where there are a row of them), I accidentally dropped my toothbrush in the toilet.  I cursed this and later, got a replacement at Duane Reade (a cheap DR one because everything is so expensive in NYC).  We believe that our DS was conceived on this trip (possibly at the YMCA, but more likely in a NJ hotel room, where we attended a wedding reception).  Ever since then, I have not been willing to part with this toothbrush.  It's still part of my travel kit (I know, I'm super embarrassed because it's grotesque to use a toothbrush for that long -- though I only use it sporadically since I don't travel that often) and I have told myself, I won't replace it til we conceive B2.  It's like it was supposed to be a good luck charm (that didn't work for 3+ years) or something.  At any rate, now that I'm actually 8w2d, when do I chuck that toothbrush?  Now, after first trimester, upon giving birth?  Weird questions, I know... but now that I started this weird thing, I gotta see it through.  Regardless, I really can't let it go any longer either, for sanitary reasons.  : )

So there you go... a deep, dark, secret that I haven't told anyone except for DH... Am I psycho?

Thursday, December 22, 2011


Boring title, but I'm lacking in creativity and wit at the moment.

Today, I noticed that my number of followers (while never high, because I haven't been at this for that long) completely dwindled down.  Which I completely understand, but still stings a bit... but I'm thankful that anyone is reading and I'm excited to crack the 2000 page views mark after existing for about 2 months.  Also excited to have viewers from IComLeaveWe who are looking for stories of hope/success.

The latest in symptoms, same-same as before: some nipple soreness, still a bit fuller than usual, still usually woozy at night, easily/often tired, hungry all the time.

I do have a somewhat humorous story for you though -- my stomach lately has been substantially pooched and rounded.  I really didn't think it was baby, I really felt like it was fat/food.  Well, after a very prodigious visit to the bathroom, my stomach was flat(ish) again.  I almost want to do an ad -- "Feel bloated and fat?  Well, consume a bottle of Metamucil and put that bikini back on!!!" 

So, can I just complain a bit about how annoying it is to order meds through Walgreens Specialty Pharmacy?  Every time I place an order, the quantity is wrong, I get double what I ask for.  Thankfully, some of the drugs (Vivelle) I have to take right now are covered by insurance due to my change in status.  I've seen forums where people sell their extra drugs and I'm toying with the idea of doing that but also being negative and thinking, "If the sh** hits the fan and this falls through, maybe I will need them again."  Which is horrendous... I'm really working hard to forge ahead and feel positive unless I have a reason not to.

I did tell my mom, finally, and she was very happy and excited, so that is always reaffirming and nice.  Also, at a friend's party recently, all women, almost all preggo or with a newborn, I couldn't not say anything, so right before I left (because I was starting to chicken out from doing so), I blurted out the news to two of my coworkers (1 preggo, 1 recently had #2).  I swore them to secrecy... so we'll see how reliable they are.

Anyhoo... just one more week til my next u/s... until then, Merry Christmachanukkah!

Friday, December 16, 2011


is the heart rate of the grain of rice in my belly!  And it is .86 cm!  Also, measuring 2 days ahead of schedule...

While I gripped DH's hand, the order of information revealing was as follows: gestational sac, yolk sac (and that there is one embie), and then I was thinking "and, and, and???" and finally the sonographer stopped to show the pulsing heartbeat.  And then we heard it -- there could not have been anything that could've sounded better to my ears than that.  After looking at everything else,  she said, "Let's look at the heartbeat again," which HAD to be for our benefit, not hers, which is really sweet.  Dr. G was really busy and behind schedule with surgeries so we didn't get to meet with him.  I did ask to speak to a nurse (Chris, who is "meh" IMHO) -- she talked a lot about weaning off the meds, which was weird to me because it's still so early.  I asked about transitioning to the ob/gyn and "graduating" from CCRM and she said around 8 weeks.  She also said I'd get another blood test in a week and another ultrasound in two.  Okay...
Today, Charlotte called me and said that since it was still early (but that my levels were good -- drat, I forgot to ask about the specific numbers!), that we would keep all the meds the same (so I gotta order some more) and that I wouldn't have another blood test for two weeks.  A bit different than what Chris laid out.  On the bright side, I was able to make an appointment with my ob/gyn before the 10th week (it was good that I did, even though it's still early because she is pretty booked up already) so after the 2 week u/s, I'll get another one the following week.  Woohoo!  My friends, a couple where the husband is an ER doc, would go to the hospital and wheel the u/s machine into a closet and do u/s whenever they wanted.  Convenient, eh?  I have no such connections.

BTW, no u/s photos because I figure, they all look the same and I could just as easily copy and paste someone else's and who'd know?  : )  Maybe later...

Nausea and boobage symptoms continue to come and go... am obsessing much less, which is good.  Trying to just stay positive unless there is a sign that I should be concerned about.  It's a good thing it's such a busy time of year, because that'll help keep me occupied and help the time pass.

May tell Mom over Xmas... should be exciting.  FIL (who I adore), though, will be weird because he basically told us to not do it (since DH is older, in his late 40s).  And he's really risk averse, practical and old school.  When DH lost his job (a while ago, we are fortunate that he has a great job now), in the context of our house (which we had just bought) he said, "What if one of you kicks the bucket?"  Ummm... we could all kick the bucket anyday, anytime, but I'm not going to not live my life... But whatevs... family can be so weird sometimes.

Anyhoo... thanks, all, for your amazing support.  I really appreciated the comments that "talked me down off the ledge" in my previous post.  : )

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

I'm an idiot!

I just broke my rule of not reading new blogs and came across one where the woman lost her baby at 10 weeks, after multiple u/s of good, solid heartbeats.  Aiiiiiiiiiiii!!!!!  Also, googling "rate of miscarriage after heartbeat" doesn't help either because you get stories from all over the spectrum.  I'm like a moth to a flame... and I just got burned.

Meanwhile, I continue to be perpetually woozy, which I'm trying to embrace.  I'm thankful that I don't have to actually hurl and I can pretty much go about my business, though I'd rather be lying down, watching TV, eating bonbons.  It's also weird to be simultaneously starving -- what an odd combo.  My stomach will start growling shortly after consuming a monstrous meal.  Aren't you only supposed to eat an extra 200 calories a day?  I think I'm probably at 1000 extra calories a day... I gained 40 lbs w/ DS on a low 100 lb frame, so that is substantial.  So am trying to embrace the perpetual hunger too, but not go nutsos.

Less than 24 hrs to go until the big u/s... until then, I'm going to pick up a book.  (OH, except for last night, reading before bed (Gene Weingarten's The Fiddler in the Subway), I happened upon a story of parents who accidentally killed their infant children by leaving them to cook in the back seat of their cars.  F**K ME (Sorry Rebecca @ Life of an Army Wife)!  These situations have always haunted me because it can happen to anyone.  And how can you even go on with your life?  So that was a lovely way to end my night and try to get to sleep.  W/ DH out of town for work, I immediately crawled into DS's bed and squeezed the bejesus out of him (and stayed there for a few hours before I got really uncomfortable).  Anyhoo... maybe I'll just bake or something.  That would be safe.

Do I sound like a total mess?

Monday, December 12, 2011

3 more days...

This 2ww (til the ultrasound) is interminable.  The other day I freaked out because I didn't have nausea and my boobs were back to normal.  After consulting Dr. Google, I realized that symptoms can come and go (you would think I'd have a clue having gone through this before, but that was AGES ago and so different).  I've decided that, for now, I'm just going to stick to reading blogs that I'm already following.  No one new.  The reason is when I come across someone new, I invariably come across information that is scary and demoralizing for my current state (and of course, I don't realize that information is there until I've already read it.  Example: Someone's TTC journey info will include a BFP from IVF/FET and then m/c at 12 weeks (or later).  As it is, I'm having trouble accepting my positive reality and at some point, I would like to be able to accept it, relax and even enjoy it.  No disrespect at ALL to others' personal pain and tribulations -- I've had a m/c as well and I just don't want to be reminded of it. 

Counting down the days, hours, minutes, which are passing very slowly...

Friday, December 9, 2011

5w5d - Okay, they're symptoms...

While I am still playing it safe... haven't made any announcements, haven't used the word "p--gnant," I have to admit that I really do have symptoms.
  • Constipation - Gross, but it's really horrendous... and even though I am taking Colace pills, it's not really helping.  I will refrain from providing additional details, even though I really want to.  : )
  • Boobs - Okay, my boobs are definitely fuller and rounder.  I wish I could hit a freeze button so my less than A-cups could be this way forever.  After DS, it was definitely deflated-balloonsville.
  • Exhaustion - Even though I am typically tired, I am ready for bed VERY early every night.  And even with 7-8 hours of sleep, I am still tired when I wake up.
  • Nausea - Millions of women have asked why it's called morning sickness and count me in as one of them.  For me, it's late afternoon-evening sickness.  It's low grade and I don't actually need to puke, nor does it feel as bad as it does when one has the stomach flu.  It's just kinda there and makes me want to lay around and do nothing.  It also confuses me as to whether I should eat or not, because I kinda want to and I kinda don't.
Although this week has gone by fairly quickly, time is still passing too slowly for my taste.  Still 6 days til the ultrasound.  While I've made some progress toward Christmas, I'm not quite there yet.  So I guess the super-long to-do list helps in this regard.  We're going out of town on the 19th, so pretty much everything needs to be done by then.  Yikes!  Thinking of telling my mom as part of an Xmas surprise (in a non-public way, so DS doesn't hear).  DH wants to tell his mom then too (not because he's close to her, but because she just moved to our state and he wants to give her positive affirmation that being here is good because of B2, since she's a bit of an emotional/mental wreck), even though I'd rather wait with her.  Do you think I'm being unfair?  I just want to keep the circle small still because it's early yet and my mom is an extension of me, while my MIL is most definitely not.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

5 Weeks - Symptoms or Not?

I'm willing the time to pass... it's been one week, so glad to have survived that.  Baby steps... (so to speak).  Still 11 days until the monumental ultrasound.  Meanwhile, it's unclear whether or not I have symptoms...

1) Feeling tired -- I usually feel tired all the time anyway.  I do too much, stay up way too late... so I still feel tired.

2) Always hungry -- I'm a big eater, I eat frequently and I usually am hungry all the time anyway.  Definitely when pregnant with DS, I used to have to keep food on my nightstand and eat right before bed, I was so hungry.  I'm definitely not at that point...

3) Boob size/soreness -- I can't really tell if my boobs are fuller, my boobs are so small to begin with.  Plus they deflated after DS, so cannot tell if they truly are a smidge rounder/more inflated, because maybe that's what my boobs used to look like and I just can't remember (anything, anymore, it seems like).  But yesterday, when I was being lazy and requested a piggyback-ride from DH (um, yes, I'll admit that to you) on the way to bed, I couldn't do it because it hurt to press my boobs against him (sounds so nasty out of context).  And today I couldn't lean on anything either.  Not the sorest they've ever felt though and probably similar to when AF visits...

4) Peeing frequently -- I always have to get up in the middle of the night to pee.  I used to never drink anything during the day because it was so inconvenient to go to the bathroom at school.  Now, I chug water and as a result, do have to go more often, but that was always the case before.

5) Headache -- I have one now, but I also barely consumed any liquids today.  I do get them when I am dehydrated. 

So -- a totally lame symptom analysis, but it just echos that it still doesn't feel real to me yet and that I'm still biding my time.  I haven't used the words, "I'm pregnant" yet or told anyone who is not already aware of my going through IVF.

Okay, I procrastinated all weekend from doing school work and now I just wanna go to bed.  First more procrastination -- finishing Christmas cards.  I think I'm gonna bail on the school work.  Maybe it will make my week go faster being busy at work?

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

You Can Appreciate This...

TMI Alert:

I'm in the bathroom, going pee, with my Endometrin "insert" (what a nice euphemism) and applicator resting in my lap for afterwards.  Somehow, the insert slips between my legs into the toilet (where I just peed, let me emphasize).  So I am reaching around in the piss-filled toilet for my insert.  Thank goodness it was only pee and not something else.  I then reach for the toilet paper so I can dry my hands of the watery pee, but there is none (I'm at work).  Ridiculous.  Due to the industrial packaging of the Endometrin, at least the actual pill portion was fine.  Ai yi yi.  Good times.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Beta #2!

I'm pleased to report that my second beta is: 679!!!!  Psych!  I found this cool resource to calculate the doubling time:

So when I entered in my values, it was 33.97 hours.  "Normal range" is 31-72 hours, according to their chart.

Now we just gotta cross the next hurdle -- ultrasound and bloodwork on December 15.  While it is starting to become more real to me, I'm wondering if I'll be able to "settle in" after 12/15, BIAGO.

If you're doing a FET, you can obsess by checking out this site:

Back when I was preggo in 2005-2006, I probably wasn't super aware because of the different circumstances, but holy gamoly, there are some amazing resources out there!  (Babycenter did exist tho).

Just reordered more meds to last for 4.5 more weeks (according to the nurse), which seems early to me (tell me, you BFP ladies -- when did you finally wean off of your meds?)  Ugh, can't wait to stop paying for that stuff -- especially the Vivelle!  $$$$

I really appreciate everyone's positive wishes, especially when so many of you are going through your own trials and tribulations.  It's very generous and very touching.  Thank you.

I'm Telling You About Myself

Lady Bug at My Journey to Conception was very sweet to include me on the above award.  She has a very cool-looking blog and has been diagnosed with endo, which may be impacting her fertility journey.  She's a devoted follower and supporter and I so appreciate her presence!  Thanks Lady Bug!

Similar to the Liebster Blog Award, certain rules also apply in receiving this award:
  • Thank the person who passed the award on to you.
  • List 7 things that people may not know about you.
  • Pass the award to 15 other bloggers and don't forget to notify them as well.
1) I love food -- to eat it and to cook it.  When I go on vacation, my schedule revolves around meals.  I grew up in California, so desperately miss In-n-Out and Trader Joe's.  It's on my life list to eat at the The French Laundry in Napa, Per Se in NYC and Masa in NYC.

2) I was once invited to audition for Cirque du Soleil's KA in Las Vegas.  I didn't make the cut, which is okay. 3) I met DH when we were both in a swing dance performance group.  I was on the A-team, he was on the B-team.  : )  Lindy Hop, to be exact.  Now, we mostly just dance at weddings.

4) I have a very crass sense of humor.  I love The Oatmeal, shows like South Park and movies like Get Him to the Greek.  I prefer smart humor to dumb humor...

5) I did martial arts (have a black belt) competitively growing up and have competed in two world championships.

6) I have a potty mouth, but I do a very good job of keeping that buttoned up during my day job as a teacher.

7) I love to read trashy magazines (like People, Us Weekly, InTouch, etc -- but I'm too cheap to subscribe to them).  CCRM has a decent collection in our local office, but have terrible mags in Lone Tree in the main lobby.  What the hell?  We aren't paying them enough money???

Awardees (I'm just stopping at 9):

1) Yet Another Infertility Blog
2) Life of an Army Wife
3) BattleFish
4) The Cornfed Feminist
5) My Infertility Road
6) Donor Eggs Journey
7) My Fertility Blog
8) The Yoakum Crew
9) Compromised Fertility

Sunday, November 27, 2011


Had a horrendous night's sleep last night.  DS had a nightmare so there was one interruption and then had crazy ass dreams -- all having to do with the beta.  I dreamt that I was at CCRM and that they had me POAS for some reason, and I still had the stick in my possession.  I was driving and it was late at night and I still hadn't gotten a call back from them, so I thought I'd read the HPT stick and I read it as a BFP incorrectly.  Then realized it was a BFN... and felt the subsequent sadness.  So that prefaces the start to my day.

An aside: I've done the whole over-scrutinizing of symptoms and checking my underwear like a crazy-person w/ my three IUIs, so I resolved not to do it this time.  As a result, my overall feeling is that I've had no symptoms (which added to my doubts)...

Woke DS up early so we could all go to CCRM in Lone Tree before the 9 am labs window closed (to get same day results).  It's an hour drive so we were going to go to IKEA nearby as well and make a day of it.  The phlebotomist was really sweet and could tell I was nervous (about the results/process, not the needle).  She said, "Blessings!" as I departed.  To prepare for the call, I kept my cell phone in my pocket and had the ringer set at the highest volume.  We had an uneventful, though successful shopping trip and at the checkout in the middle of paying (I actually predicted this, this morning -- in a previous post, I had mentioned how CCRM always calls at the craziest times, never when I'm just hanging out), my phone rings.  I hand my credit card to DH and dash over to the side (which is still in the main path of everyone leaving the store), bracing myself for the worst.  The nurse said, "Hi, this is so-and-so from CCRM.  I have your hCG results."  I figure with that kind of opening, very factual, that it was not good news (I've heard that others say, "Congratulations, you're pregnant!").  And then I think she said something about it being positive and my number being 255.4 (should be > than 50) and that that is very good and my progesterone level is good too.  She also said keep on with the meds and to come in for another beta on Tuesday.  I think I just said "Oh my God" over and over again while my eyes misted (I also recall asking the hCG number about three times so I could remember it for this blog -- dork).  Then I quickly helped finish the transaction while wiping my eyes.  The cashier was probably like WTF?

Anyway, it's all so surreal.  I don't feel comfortable using the word 'pregnant' yet.  This is one small step in the right direction and there are so many other hurdles to cross still.  Of course, I am thrilled, but cautiously so.  It's just not real to me yet.  It's all so hocus-pocusy -- this whole process!  And with not POAS, the control and information was in someone else's hands, which is weird too.

I haven't told anyone IRL yet.  And while I'm so happy, I'm still so nervous.  At what point can I just take a deep breath?  A nice problem to have, I know.  I am definitely looking very much forward to telling my DS (probably after 12 weeks, because once he knows, then the whole world will presumably know).  And of course, other people I'm close to (except for direct coworkers who already know about IVF due to all my appts) too.  I'm trying to take it one day at a time, mentally.  Like if DH wants to talk about gender, names, gear or a nursery, I'm going to smack him.  Meanwhile, anytime I talk about anything related to this BFP, I am saying BIAGO.

I must sound so measured and unfun -- hope I don't sound annoying.  I just want to protect myself.  Maybe I'll let a little loose come Tuesday.  Til then!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Boo and Yay!

First Boo -- right now I'm really feeling negative about tomorrow's beta.  Teared up once today just talking about it with DH.  I'm freaked out, nervous and steeling myself for the worst.  I'm almost pre-grieving.  When DH and DS were out today, I was really close to tearing through my bathroom cabinets to look for a HPT.  But thankfully, I think I'm out of them and I resisted.  I've waited this long... I also think I freaked the bejesus out of myself by reading too many blogs last night (as helpful as they are), sometimes the extraordinarily long and tough journeys of some women can be scary and demoralizing.

Secondly Yay -- it's been a month since I've started this blog and I'M SO GLAD that I did!  Even though I've already been going through IF for quite a while, for this IVF/FET cycle and period in my life -- it's been immensely helpful.  While I initially started the blog just for myself, it's become much more than that.  I've forged connections.  I've learned from others.  I've gained hope.  I love checking in on others and hearing from women on my own blog.  As I have said before, this community is so amazingly supportive and its reach knows no bounds.  I love that there are so many ways that the community (especially Stirrup Queens and Cyclesista) supports newbies and everyone out in the ALI blogosphere.  And another is...
Rebecca from Life of an Army Wife very kindly extended this award to me!  I never thought anyone would read my blog and while I'm still a newbie, my hits and followers are slowly increasing in number.  Rebecca is a very supportive and dedicated reader.  It's always a treat to see her comments.  Her IF history includes miscarriages (including 1 from IVF), negative IUIs as well as health issues like PCOS, fibromyalgia and endometriosis, and she writes about it all from the perspective of an army wife.  She is a rock star for dealing with all of the above and being such a devoted wife and strong woman. 

This Award is given to bloggers who have less than 200 followers, all in the spirit of fostering new connections. Leibster is German & means ‘dearest’ or ‘beloved’ but it can also mean ‘favorite’. The idea of the Leibster award is to bring attention to blogs with less than 200 followers.

Here are the rules:
1. Thank the giver and link back to the blogger who gave it to you.
2. Reveal your top five picks and let them know by leaving a comment on their blog.
3. Copy and paste the award on your blog.
4. Hope that the people you’ve sent the award to forward it to their five favorite bloggers and keep it going!

My list below is in no particular order and some that I have not included may have already gotten a Liebster Award.

1. Tortoise Baby makes it to my list because her story gives me hope. She also went to CCRM and had the same doctor (Dr. G) as I do. She is now just shy of her first trimester of pregnancy and recently got off of all the hormone drugs.

2. BattleFish is on her third IVF (stimming right now). She lives in Finland with her DH. I've always wanted to be an expat, so reading about how she balances two cultures (+ IF) is fascinating to me.

3. For We Are Bound By Symmetry is a very aesthetically pleasing site. Gorgeous graphics. "Unaffected" (her pseudonym) had a FET the same exact day as I did and has been steadily POAS and documenting everything (impressive!) in a very scientific way. She just got a positive beta (as well as BFPs on hpt tests).

4. New Year Mum is from Australia and is suffering from secondary infertility. So I can really identify with her, although her journey has been much more arduous than mine, unfortunately. She has a DD, conceived naturally. But since then, has had innumerable challenges including m/c and loss. She only recently got a BFN after a FET. Wishing her hope and success in 2012!

While there are so many blogs I follow and enjoy, I'm going to stop here (for now). I really appreciate hearing everyone's thoughts and support, but for now, company and college football await. Hope to post tomorrow after my beta... YIKES!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Musings on Thanksgiving Day

Slept in and woke up to a quiet house.  DH and DS went to a Thanksgiving bike ride organized by a pro (used to be on Lance Armstrong's team) who lives in town.  But the house is a mess, so I'm procrastinating (plus did a lot of cooking over the past few days already).  I'm proud of myself for handling the 2ww (okay 9 day wait) as well as I have and only had one slumpy down day (yesterday).  Only 3 more days.  I've resisted POAS and I'm sticking to that.  I am slightly tempted after seeing others POAS daily and noticing changes, but a BFN would be really devastating and I don't want to have to grieve more than once.  At the same time, I recognize that IF is a good problem to have.  Let me explain -- I have my house, my family, DH and I are both employed.  None of us are terminally ill.  We live in a developing country with freedoms, we are not hungry.  There are awful problems to have and while IF is a pain in the ass, it's a problem of privilege.  But the 9 day wait and BFNs still SUCK!

As I become more involved in the IF blogging community, I notice the following phenomenon:  pregnancy guilt (almost like survivor's guilt).  I really wish this didn't have to happen and that others could rise above jealousy and bitterness so that women didn't have to feel guilty when they have reached that pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.  It's the whole point of all of our IF journeys... to get pregnant and have a healthy child.  I know what we feel is what we feel and that we cannot always help ourselves and that some people's journeys have been particularly arduous and challenging...

Okay, I get bitter when a cute coworker who it never rains on gets pregnant on her FIRST try.  I get bitter when another under-30 coworker who it never rains on gets pregnant in six months (which was an eternity for her).  I don't get bitter when an infertile who has gone through multiple IUIs, losses, IVFs, FETs, whatever, gets pregnant.  I gain hope and and I am thrilled.  Of course, I want a BFP for myself too, but pregnancy is not like a limited edition Andy Warwhol print where someone else's BFP takes away from me getting one.

So I hope all of you out there with BFPs can celebrate unabashedly on your blogs.  And that NO ONE makes you feel bad about it.  Because you deserve your happiness 100% (not a fan of the over 100% sports aphorisms.  : )).

Off to prep Thanksgiving!  Thinking of you all!

-Pork Chop (silly nickname, but I LOVE to eat, and I eat a ton for my 5' 1" size).

PS.  In the future, if you want to sleep in on Thanksgiving, try Alton Brown's butterflied turkey -- this is my first year making it.  It takes WAY less time to roast, because you cut out the backbone and smash the whole thing flat.  Definitely looks violated, but hopefully, is really yummy.

Friday, November 18, 2011


I'm writing from my bed, reclined (less than 45 degrees), 1 hour into my 36 hours bed rest.  Of course, I am using a laptop stand, which I got specifically for this purpose.  I can't believe 6 months of delays has gotten me here, finally!

FET recap: I slept in a bit since I took the whole day off.  I got a call from embryology whilst I was in the shower confirming our transfer of 1 embryo and that we were all good to go (and that I was coming in).  We cut it a bit close on time and got there about 5 minutes late.  Labs first and the woman (new to me) there that day was the BEST ever, barely felt the needle prick, which is not typical.  Then, upstairs to the surgery center, whereupon acupuncture (w/ Cyndy) was next.  The needles stung a bit in some parts (especially the ears) going in, but once they were all in, it was fine.  Kinda funny/weird having acupuncture in such a clinical room.  Next, the nurse came in to take vitals and I only had to drink a bit more water to fill my bladder (nothing even close to the 32 oz of water they asked me to bring) + take the Valium, which had no effect on me til I was done and getting up.  The ultrasound lady (sorry for the non-technical names) checked my bladder and it was just right.

Just on the verge of discomfort for me.  Dr. G came in and was really positive about our 1 blast thawing perfectly (3BA, which I'm trying not the obsess about, since it wasn't our best one, but was frozen individually), said it was like it was never frozen.  Then it was like a well-oiled machine -- ultrasound lady pushing on my stomach, nurse helping with something or another, embryologist John doing his thing, Dr. G getting in there... did 1 "test run."  Then in it went, a little white air bubble/speck on the screen.  And that was it!  15 min of still time.  Then I had the choice to use the bedpan, wait it out or get up to use the bathroom.  I tried the bedpan, super weird, but I was gonna explode otherwise.  Then I could chill for the post-transfer acupuncture.  After that, I got up to use the bathroom and I could feel the influence of the Valium.  Next stop: Five Guys for lunch (lying down in the car) -- I highly recommend it (a minute away from CCRM).  As a former west coaster, I desperately miss In-n-Out, DH says he thinks Five Guys is better.  I cannot blaspheme In-n-Out.  Eating a burger brimming with stuff is kind of a challenge in a prone position tho.

9 days from now is Sunday where I'll have my blood test.  They said I could do it on Monday too at my local CCRM office, but that would be a work day and I can just imagine getting news in the middle of class with 24 third-graders running rampant.  Not optimal.  So we are gonna make a day of it and do the whole IKEA thing (not new to me, but new to Denver) while we're down south.  Oh, and Dr. G counseled against doing a HPT, which I wasn't planning on doing anyway. 

I know the black bar is silly, but I'm being paranoid.
I've got Grey's Anatomy eps I plan to catch up on Hulu, books, mags, a bell (to ring for my manservant AKA DH), water, snacks, the paper, DVDs, etc etc.  I'm a doer, so this gonna be a challenge.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Bring it!

On Wednesday, after not hearing from CCRM by 4 pm on when my transfer tomorrow would be, I called them.  They still didn't have the schedule yet, but by 5 pm, they said I should be there by 11:15 am (with acupuncture before and after).  Then, this morning as I was rolling into work, I get a call telling me that the time is now switched to 8:15 am.  F**K!  My DS, a kindergartner, doesn't start school til 8 am and I have no family in town (at the moment, sis is traveling in S. Africa & MiL is not capable).  Plus, I was going to attend a special surprise family event in his classroom.  DH urged me to push back, so I called them back and pleaded my case.  Nurse Carolyn called me back right away and let me push it back to 9:15 am.  At least we can get DS to school, but will miss his kinder event.  : (  Don't get me wrong, this FET is a huge priority, but STILL... cut me some slack, CCRM.  I'm always at their beck and call with scheduling.  Now, my transfer is at 11:15 am (but still gotta arrive early for the bloodwork and acupuncture).

So to address the photo: in my pre-blogging days as a lurker, I had read about pineapple core and grape juice (+ walnuts or just nuts in general + yams) as being beneficial to implantation (nothing highly scientific, mostly on blogs and forums).  I've also read how too much is not good either.  At any rate, old wive's tale or not, what the hell?  Don't worry, I won't consume ALL that is on the counter... just thought I'd maximize the dramatic effect.  I'm thinking 1 cup of juice per day and 1 cup of pineapple per day (I might blitz the core into a smoothie).

Of course, DS knows NOTHING about our IF tribulations and IVF.  He is just doing the thumbs up because of Daddy.  DS used to break my heart by requesting a baby and asking about having a younger sibling.  He'd say he wanted a baby sister (so he didn't have to share his toys).  We'd always say, "We're working on it."  Then he'd say, "How?"  Um...  can't even remember how I answered that, but that I didn't.  : )  It also breaks my heart that he doesn't ask anymore.  Sigh.  I know that I'm fortunate to have one child and as someone going through secondary infertility, I don't expect great amounts of sympathy.  I do, however, know what it feels like to be disappointed month after month, procedure after procedure, year after year.  I also know what it feels like to have a vision of your future not coming to fruition and to feel like your life is in limbo.

Anyhoo... before I go to bed tonight, I plan to clear my nightstand for maximum space and lay out my diversions.  Mags, books, DVDs, laptop, grading... might also prep that pineapple.  Can't believe the big day is finally nearing.  So surreal.  Catch you all on the PUPO side!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Drugs Galore & Last Hurdle...

I can't get over the vast pharmacopia that is coursing through my body right now... it's tough to keep track of and I've started using one of those Sun-Sat pill boxes that I associate with "old people."  What's weird, too, is how I'm experiencing little to no side effects.  I'm off of the Lupron (yay, no more injections!) and am now taking:
  • estrace - 2x/day
  • Vivelle dots - 4x every other day
  • endometrin - 3x/day (progesterone inserts)  So glad I don't have to do PIO, which just sounds frightening
  • medrol - 1/night, steroid to avoid rejection of embryo - tastes disgusting!  Thanks for the tip, TurtleMama (take w/ plenty of liquid and do not let it linger on the tongue due to bitter taste)!
  • tetracycline - 4x/day, take on empty stomach
  • baby aspirin
  • prenatal vitamin
  • Colace - TMI, sorry -- stool softener, these drugs are stopping me up!!
My biggest challenge is timing the tetracycline 4x/day on an empty stomach (1 hour bef a meal and 2-3 hours after meals).  I eat ALL the time...  so unfortunately, some of those doses are not really on am empty stomach.  Hope that is not an issue, have not discussed w/ the nurse or anything.

Last Hurdle: Had my progesterone level checked today and according to my nurse's voicemail, "looks fantastic!"  So no # specificity, but I'll take it!

Just gotta get those report cards all done and sub plans for Friday written up and lay out all my bedrest diversions and I'm good to go.  Nervous, but cautiously optimistic.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Blogging Question

Since I'm new to this, I'm trying to figure it all out... I notice that my friend who has a Wordpress blog has a function where he can reply to comments and it's indented (set-back) so it looks different from the other comments.  As a commenter, you can also be notified of other comments or replies.  On Blogger, I don't see this functionality -- am I missing something?  I feel like if I reply to comments, no one ever knows or sees it unless they check back on the comments.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Close, but YES cigar?

So I had my doppler u/s appointment and estradiol blood draw this morning.  I got a call back from the nurse as I was trying to park my car in the Costco lot on a VERY crowded/busy shopping day and as my DS started dry-heaving in the back seat, requesting a baggie to puke in.  Why don't the nurses ever call me when I'm calm and by myself?  I'm a teacher and sometimes the nurse calls while I'm in the midst of 24 third-graders and I have to speak in code, "Well, my monthly visitor arrived today.  Okay, so I should start taking those miniature pills when?"  Well, I got the car parked and DS ended up not puking (phew!) and I was able to grab a pen/paper to take some notes on the next steps.

Oh, back to the u/s -- triple pattern, good blood flow, 10.2 mm -- all good (thickness is supposed to be > than 8 mm).  But the estradiol level was 256 and they want 300.  : (  The nurse (Carolyn -- new) said that we can kick it up with estrace twice daily, which I've used before to beef up my lining during IUIs, but have never ingested it orally.  Which I welcome, because bright blue discharge is kinda disturbing.  As I recall from one woman's blog, "It's like I f**ked a smurf!"  Apparently they are not too worried as the wizard (Dr. G) felt that 256 was close to 300.  They're not even going to check that again.  Only progesterone on Tuesday.

So new upcoming drugs: progesterone inserts (endometrin) 3x/daily starting on Sunday.  Tetracycline (which I cannot stand due to the need to avoid dairy) also.  Medrol comes up somewhere too.  Good thing I'm a Type A organized person (how do non-Type A people manage all the details???). 

We find out on Wednesday when our transfer appointment will be on Friday.  Can't believe the day is actually nearing and that it's actually going to happen. 

Weekend plans: work (blah), raking leaves (kinda gratifying), errands, college football and DH's b-day tomorrow.  Hope I can survive the week, always busy right before Thanksgiving at school with report cards and whatnot.  Transfer day on Friday and then we host Thanksgiving -- hrmmm.... bedrest is not so conducive to Thanksgiving prep.  I should still have plenty of prep time -- besides, it'll help the 2ww pass.  The IUI 2ww was bad enough, with the higher stakes of IVF, I don't know how I will be able to stand it.  I know it's less than 2w, but still... how do others do it?  Do I need to stuff my schedule to the brim?

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Climbing out...

I've been blogging for only a short two weeks and I am blown away by the online community.  It truly feels like an organic, spontaneous coming together of people with like minds/issues/needs.  One site leads to another, which leads to connections made, blogs followed, being followed, etc.  As a long-time lurker, this is quite exciting to me!

Anyway, the latest w/ H is that he is once again, DH.  We are starting to emerge from the woods... I'm hopeful that we can make it to the 18th and beyond.  I've so appreciated all of your support and it's so awesome to hear from and be connected with women all over the world.  I think that is a key part of what's been missing from my life.  While family and friends both local and out-of-state/country are indispensable, you just can't talk frankly about the details of IF with people who are not immersed in it.  I also don't have a lot of female friends who live in town (I moved away from where I went to college and most all of my friends stayed there), so it's just refreshing to be in touch w/ cool women.

Onto the medical stuff -- I have 3 patches on now... moving into 4 Vivelle dots.  I have had NO symptoms (that I know of, what the hell is the norm anymore?  My body has not been my own in a looong time) and of course, if you have symptoms, that sucks and if you don't, you're wondering, "Is something wrong?"  Next hurdle to cross in 2 days -- doppler u/s and another estradiol level check. 

And while I have revealed little to no identifying information thus far, a parting remark for my readers in the Pac-12 -- GO CARDINAL!

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Still in it, but barely...

It's been nearly a week and I am no less riddled with emotions and the marital strife has not dissipated.  It's like 1 step forward, 2 steps back.  I am deeply appreciative of all of your support.  I hope that this FET cycle will not be in vain and that my dreams of another child will come true.  Of course, I hope that this current challenge in my marriage will be surmountable.

As far as the nuts and bolts of my cycle -- a week of Vivelle dots has had no noticeable impact on me thus far (the nurse said it makes many people nauseous).  But I haven't yet gotten to two patches, let alone 4.  Had blood drawn today for estradiol levels and it was at 85 and they want over 50.  The Lupron has been making me very bruised recently, despite the beginning of it being bruise-free.  Is it air?  Is it my technique?  My greatest epiphany though, today, was finding a way to get rid of the adhesive from the Vivelle dots in a VERY easy way (I have read so many posts from women having trouble with that darn adhesive).  I use Goo Gone for household adhesive removal all the time, so I squirted a little into the cap of the bottle.  Then I submerged a Q-tip in the Goo Gone.  Wiped it back and forth on the adhesive residue and voila!  Gone w/o a trace!

Next appointment on Friday -- u/s and another blood draw for estradiol.

Not out of the woods w/ H yet and while he does want another child, our issues are definitely affecting whether or not we go through with transfer on the 18th.  Between now and then, I will do everything I can to get us back on track...

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Take the D out of DH

Despite my asking for patience and some slack from DH (heretofore referred to as H) during this whole process w/ the drugs and whatnot... the sh** hit the fan last night.  A lame remark I made led to old behavior cycles in our marriage which led to some really strong statements being made.  Now, I feel more alone than ever.  And with questions from H about whether we ought to even be TTC, I feel like all the life has been sucked out of me. 

I want to feel hope, but right now, I just feel nothing but awfulness.  Sigh...

Friday, October 28, 2011

TGIF and CD1 with a Fake Period

I think today was CD1 of the Lupron period, post BCP.  BCP periods for me are not the same as regular ones, so it's always so hard to say.  I almost want to send the nurses a picture (gross, I know, but still) and say "Tell me if this is CD1!!!"  Everything on my calendar is still pretty much the same, especially the transfer day.  The only bummer is that I'll have to do an E2 draw in Lone Tree on a Saturday (which is an hour drive for me, but maybe I can combine w/ a trip to IKEA!) -- but I do realize I'm very fortunate especially since I know so many of you have to fly to CCRM.

Otherwise, I continue to feel like crap (tired, cold-ish symptoms) and it's unclear how much of that is just life (not enough sleep, stress, etc) or Lupron.  I also have some mouth sores and I do get them now and again, so can't tell if it's correlation or causation.  At least it's Friday -- I plan to sleep in a ton this weekend.  No plans, other than seeing some friends, which will be chill.  One friend I'm seeing has been going through IF as well and is now pregnant.  It hasn't been easy for her despite the outcome... That's what seems hard about this whole process, because even if we do get a BFP, it's one hurdle after another to cross and that seems to never end... when can you breathe easy?

Speaking of others who are preggo -- how do you deal with coworkers and friends (not going through IF) who are pregnant (another one just announced the deets yesterday)?  I'm talking the ones who try one time and get knocked up or can't stop talking about every little pregnancy detail (despite knowing you are going through IF).  Other than grinning and bearing it or giving them the double finger?

Even though I am under the weather, I am not too under the weather for DATE NIGHT!  Yummy French bistro food, here I come!  Maybe some froyo for dessert... (Unfortunately and on the flip side, all this cycling has made any exercise routine go to hell -- ugh, this weight gain is NO fun... there's only one reason weight gain will be enjoyed/tolerated).

Have a good weekend all -- catch you on the Vivelle side!  : )

Thursday, October 27, 2011


Okay, I'm being a little overzealous on day 1 of blogging, with 3 posts... but more on the long journey. Even though I've got some time cushion with being 36 (really, almost 37), my husband is 11 years older than I am. This has put additional pressure on the whole B2 thing for us... he doesn't want people to think he's the baby's grandfather and/or be ancient or dead when the kid is still relatively young. I point to people like Robert Downey Jr., Tony Randall, Elton John, but that doesn't really ease his mind (especially since they all have $$$$$$ and are not normal people). Anyway, obviously to get to where we are, we are over the hump on this. DH wants this as much as I do... phew. Plus, I got to see DH looking fondly upon (w/ amusement and joy) some friends' three year olds this weekend, which is also reassuring.

Another thing -- we have decided (though we still have lots of time to change our minds) to transfer 1. With the financial, pregnancy/health, developmental risks involved (though if we did happen to end up with twins, we would happily welcome them, just not gonna seek it out) -- we figure, if all goes well w/ the thaw and whatnot, we have 3 shots at FET. Sounds like with 1, they thaw the 3BA (since the other two are frozen together) and use that. Also, as an elementary school teacher, I see SO many twins (and now I'm dying to find out which ones are IVF) and many have major issues. ADHD, low birth weight, learning issues... or one twin will be Mr. Smart and one will be Mr. Not so Much. Or one Mr. Handsome and Smart and Athletic and the other Mr. Dumb, Not as Cute and Not so Athletic... that freaks me out a little bit.

Worry Journey

As with with most others who are going through infertility, this journey has been a long and windy road. We are lucky to have CCRM conveniently located from our home and having friends who have traveled here just for it from big cities, convinced us that we needed to look no further. It's just one long giant waiting game. The 2WW after each IUI was tortuous, but slightly less so each time, as I let myself have less and less expectation. After getting on board with IVF the same day as our regroup with the illustrious Dr. Gustofson*, we were thinking it'd be full steam ahead. NOT. It's so crazy to me that they give you BCPs to supress your system, but those same BCPs can cause you to get cysts (because I never had them in the past and that's what the Dr. said). So even though we started IVF in late May, we haven't even really gotten off the ground yet. Two cancelled cycles, plus life plans (like travel), plus hyperstimulation from the stim drugs (which, were amazingly, no big deal with regard to symptoms and the poking and whatnot), has led to delay after delay after delay.

So I kinda feel like, well, I'm on the home stretch (or at least what I hope is the home stretch), so what's the point of starting a blog? More than anything, the blogs that I've stumbled across, have given me hope. The forums, not so much -- those are just plain frightening -- so many horrible stories/sagas too. And even though this may be the home stretch -- who knows? Besides, FET is a whole 'nother deal and so far, not the breeze I thought it'd be.

Yes, one injection per day (Lupron) is mouse nuts, compared to 3+/day. The little insulin needle is nice too and even though my husband, my brother-in-law and friends gave me 99% of the injections during the stimming, I've been doing all my own Lupron shots. I'm over it! BUT, that Lupron is sneaky. I've been constipated (lovely and TMI, but this is all about education!) and having CUHRAZZY dreams (like orgasmic**). I've also been really sweaty and hot (nurse said it's like a menopausal environment --> hot flashes) so I've been sleeping for crap too. Haven't started the Vivelle dots yet, as I'm waiting for the fake period to start after stopping the BCPs. But I've heard that that estrogen is no walk in the park...

What I'm really curious about, though, and haven't asked about yet, is those progesterone suppositories (no PIO for me, thankfully, as I've heard scary things about those too). Do you have to lie down for 20 min after each one? I'm an elementary teacher and I'm wondering how I'm going to fit that in my work day...

I'm also worried about whether I'll be able to identify my "period" after the BCPs... because sometimes it's hard to tell w/ it being literally spotty.

Is it possible to NOT be worried about anything/everything in IVF? Since you shouldn't be stoned while cycling, I'm assuming no one is, but is there anyone who is humanly capable of just being like, "Heeeeeeeeeyyyy..." about all of this?

*I also like to refer to Dr. G as "the wizard," like from the Wizard of O.Z. You hardly see him, but he is the man behind the curtain, directing you and the nurses.

**I've read freaky things about women who inadvertently orgasm during dreams after transfer and then with a BFN, blame themselves for potentially expelling their embryos!!! WTF? OMG. I'm thinking I may need to not sleep after transfer for a couple days, just in case... WHAT TO DO???!!! Granted, these dreams don't happen all that often to me, but with all the added hormones... who's to know? I've also heard of Benadryl being suggested to stop that, but apparently that does not always work. Again, too many things to worry about...

Better Late than Never

After going through a miscarriage and finally getting pregnant after a year, my husband and I were very careful to be cautiously optimistic as we tiptoed into this new stage. Therefore, we prefaced everything we said with IAGO. For example, "Let's get a Mac.Laren stroller, IAGO." IAGO stood for If All Goes Optimally. We then called our fetus IAGO for the remainder of the pregnancy, especially once we were past the first trimester. Now that we've been trying to conceive #2 for three+ years, we've brought back IAGO. Now it's BIAGO, with the B standing for B2 or Baby 2.