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...