Saturday, August 29, 2009

Waiting and Preparing

Spent most of yesterday in a funk. The couch was my friend. Actually, the night before I couldn't stop crying. But I'm pregnant, why am I not happy? Well, I AM happy, but I'm also just terribly scared and anxious. I feel guilty that I am so sad and anxious when things are going so well. But that is how I feel (although I'm better today than yesterday). I have been pregnant 5 times before and I don't have a baby in my arms. I am cautious. I'm trying to have faith that this time is different, that all will be well. But it is hard. I'm also trying to follow my shrink's advice and stay in the moment...and right now all is well with the pregnancy. I'm trying. Sometimes I am actually succeeding. Sometimes not so much. As I said, better today than yesterday. All is well now. Need to keep reminding myself of that. Need to try to STOP thinking about the first ultra-sound which has gone so drastically wrong in prior pregnancies. I am just so scared. Faith. I need to have faith.

Prep for School
As anxious as I am about next week's beta and our first u/s whenever that may be, I am becoming more anxious about the start of the new school year. Told myself on Friday that I HAD to get stuff done for school, but as I said, the couch was my friend. Today I worked for several hours this morning. Very good. Just soooooo much more to go. I guess the good thing is that it's probably the only thing that even has a chance of distracting me from pregnancy worries. Meeting with some fellow teachers on Monday, which I hope will help keep me focused and able to get work done.

What to Say?
Teacher meetings are on Wed & Thurs (beta day). They are planning some stupid small group thing in which we share something about ourselves with our co-workers. I am DREADING this part. Who's brilliant idea was this thing? Quite frankly they don't want to hear about my fertility issues and I don't care much about anything else. Besides, my life has been on hold for a very long time, so I haven't done much to talk about anyway, unlike so many teachers where I work who have fantastic trips to various cool places around the world. Yeah, who can plan trips when one doesn't know when the next cycle will be? Anyway, I don't know what to talk about. Haven't even read any good books. Read some great infertility blogs! LOL! I so wish I could skip this part of the day. Well, I guess I have a few days to try to come up with something....

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Holy Shit! :)

Second Beta
The results of the second beta are in and I am so excited that I can't stop grinning. Sooooooo, what was the number you ask? TWO HUNDRED AND FORTY SIX!!! From 90 to 246...doubling time of 33 hours. Un-freaking believable!! Okay. Calm. Faith. Calm. Breathe. Grin! I am so very full of hope. I just hope it doesn't all come crashing down...hmmm, like how many times before? Faith. Calm. Breathe. Next beta isn't for a full week. Thankfully school starts next week, so at least a little distraction. Not that I can concentrate on preparing for school! Calm. Breathe.

Spent the first part of the day trying to be calm in anticipation of the beta. Very hard to do. Did get some cleaning and organizing done! Eventually laid on the couch and kept repeating "Faith. Calm." Spent the second part of the day alternating between grinning incessantly and trying to be calm. Spent time in the garden. Pet the cat. Read stuff for school out in the sun (well, as much as possible). Now, how do I keep this up for a week?!?

I have been so amazingly blessed with a supportive husband and great friends (both IRL and on-line). Made me cry today with happiness seeing all the words of excitement and support from so many people on FB. Dh keeps saying sweet things to the little M&Ms. Hope they are burying in nicely and getting cozy. So many people all around the world are rooting for our little embryos and sending prayers and good wishes. Amazing. Comforting. I need to remember just how lucky I am in so many ways to have such earnest, loving, heart-felt support. Thank you.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

"Learning to Let Go"

Calm. Serenity. Peace. Learning to let go and live in the moment. Such a hard place for me to attain. My shrink tells me often to live in the moment. So does my husband. While my shrink is away, I saw another therapist. Guess what she said? So, I'm trying to let go of my fears about tomorrow's beta...about the first ultrasound...about everything...and just concentrate on today. Funny that when I started my blog two years ago I chose "learning to let go" as my title. Don't think I've made much progress in that area! I have been trying though. Keep telling myself to have faith. This pregnancy will stay. Let go...(since I can't control the outcome anyway)Have faith...Let go...Have faith...Stay calm. Little mantras in my head (better than most of the other stuff in there!).

For those of you visiting as part of ICLW, what do you do to stay grounded? To stay in the moment? To stay calm? Here is my current list:
*Pet the cat
*Make a cup of tea
*Go for a walk
*Listen to a relaxation CD (any suggestions anyone?)
*Clean (not my favorite!)
*Read a really good book
*Play with an ice cube (okay, well it works for me!)
*Call a friend

Problem is that I frequently forget about the list. I think I need to post the list somewhere. Maybe on the fridge? Someplace where I'll see it so that I'll make use of the tactics. I think I'll make a nice reminder, maybe with a relaxing picture of the ocean or a garden....

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Positive and Positive!!

HPT and Beta
After Sunday's negative hpt, I was very wary of testing again. In fact, yesterday I was pretty much in a funk....laid on the couch for most of the afternoon. But this morning I decided to test before I went in for the beta. To my amazement I very quickly got a BFP on the hpt! My dh had run out for coffee, so I left the hpt on his dresser. I soooo couldn't wait for him to get home. He, of course, was also in a state of disbelief once he saw the test. We were both shaking! "Calm." We said. "Calm." After five losses, we reminded ourselves that this is just the first step. Need to be cautious. But man are we happy!!! (So much for caution. Wish my shrink were here because somehow dealing with these positive emotions is just as hard...albeit in a different way!)

At 6am we went for the beta. (I am so lucky that my dh comes with me to almost every appointment.) By 10am one of the doctors at the clinic called. I was a little scared as previously I'd only been called by nurses. Why was the RE calling (not mine, but another one at the clinic)? Good news! Beta was 90!!!!! Okay, some history here. IVF #5 our initial beta was NINE! First FET our beta was 28. So this is much better! That being said, our first IUI beta was over 100, so hence my need to remind myself to be cautious as we never got to hear our little boy's heartbeat.

Up! Down! Around! Around!
So, the question is how to find a place of stability in this whirlwind of emotion. How can I be happy without being tooo happy? (It would be nice to stop pacing...hard to type and pace at the same time!!) Cautious without being depressed? (How to remember that we are not out of the woods by a long shot without getting mired in the loss of all of our little ones.) Oy! Where is that middle ground? What would my shrink say? "Go for a walk." "Pet the cat." "Make a cup of tea." Yup, need to make myself do those things. Not sure any of them will help me find a middle ground....but perhaps some islands of calm in this storm?

Next Beta
Return for second beta on Thursday, so I'm praying for some very nice doubling. Until then, I think I'll go pet the cat....

Sunday, August 23, 2009

HPT Negative

12dpo and at 2am the hpt was negative. And why do you ask did I take an hpt in the midst of a family visit? Sheer stupidity. Masochism? So now I am devastated, but can't show it. Lots of fun and expended energy trying to be positive when I want to curl away from the world. Of course, though, there is that other stupid part of me that holds out hope despite experience over almost 4 years that tells me that any time I get a bfp after 12dpo it is a chemical pregnancy. *sigh* As I said, just sheer stupidity (the hope, that is). Luckily, I have managed not to share this news with my dh. Figure I can give him a day or two more of blissful ignorance.

Visit so far going well. Cleaning basically passed muster! Thanks to all of you who shared your experiences with perfectionist cleaning family members in response to my last post. I am sorry to hear that I am not alone in my scrambling to clean to please these neurotic people in my life. While my cleaning seems to have passed (the weekend is not over!), my pie crust did not. My little sister's (6 years younger at 34) comment was that she couldn't believe I was too lazy to make the crust from scratch. She very kindly did so for me and we threw my crust in the trash (must admit, mine had not stayed up on all sides, but it did have good flavor, even if it came from a box). Isn't family fun?! ;)

My mom could not believe that I was so unhappy about turning 40, which everyone in my family agreed is not a big deal. When I said that I wouldn't mind if it weren't for the fact that I am 40 and childless, she responded "Oh, that." Gee, how supportive.

Can't believe how upset I am that my shrink is away for the next two weeks. I feel very much adrift without her...and she only left yesterday for goodness sake! Of course, it doesn't help that she's away at the convergence of turning 40, family visit, and the likely failure of our 6th and last IVF. G-d clearly has a sense of humor and is testing my ability to stay in this world. Well, and to stay here as a functional being. Funny thing is, I really thought I'd already been tested enough. Guess not. Well, considering I'm about to cry and this might raise questions from my dh, I'm going to end this post here. Besides, need to go make my rounds of other people's blogs...maybe I'll find some inspiration and strength.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Family Coming, oh my!

Not much time to post today as I am cleaning in anticipation of my family's arrival. It is the first time in the 20+ years that I've been in MA (my family is in PA) that all of my family is coming to visit (sis, bro, folks, aunt). I've been a cleaning fiend, but within limits since I'm PUPO. There is just so much to do, though, as my DH and I are just not that neat and haven't cleaned much during the IVF cycle.

I wonder what other children of perfectionist cleaners do when their family comes to visit and they are not perfectionist cleaners themselves. Do they clean? Do the say "what the heck" and leave things as they are? Or maybe most children of perfectionist cleaners are perfectionists themselves. I know my siblings are...both of them made comments about making sure I clean before everyone comes up. Didn't matter that we're in the 2ww for our last IVF. *sigh* Not sure why I care so much what they think, but clearly I do else I wouldn't be a cleaning maniac. (DH is doing all the hard work, like vacuuming and cleaning the bathroom. Sweet.) Just to be clear, though, my apartment is not that dirty. Just dusty and a bit cluttered. Taz kitty adds a bit to that dust. ;)

Well, at least I'm distracted from Tuesday's beta. Well, mostly. ;)

Friday, August 21, 2009

Trying to Rebound?

No Snowbabies
Found out yesterday, on my 40th birthday, that NONE of our little embryos made it to freeze. I am devastated. On day one the embryologist said they all looked beautiful. On day 2, the three we transferred were "absolutely perfect" and the rest were very, very good. On day 3, five of the six remaining had stopped growing and the other was extremely fragmented and abnormally compacted. No snowbabies. No more chances.

Okay, so the rebound part is that I am trying to stay positive. An on-line friend of mine reminded me that plenty of women get pregnant on cycles with nothing to freeze. I keep remembering the study I read that the IVF success rate is better in cycles in which additional embryos make it to freeze. And, of course, I cannot forget our on-going lack of success. So I'm trying, okay maybe not really successfully, to keep my friend's point in the forefront and push the others to the back of my brain. Need some kind of positive mantra.

Can't believe my family is actually coming up to visit this weekend. Nice in that they care about my birthday, stressful in that, well, they are my family! I am praying that AF stays away, if not for 9 months, at least until my family leaves. They leave on Monday. Beta is on Tuesday. Too many emotions all at once for one little brain to handle! Again, I think I really need to work on coming up with a positive thing to say in my head to help me through this all!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

"Happy" Birthday

Turned 40
"Happy birthday!" Yes, one expects these wishes on one's birthday. In fact, I'd be very disappointed if people didn't wish me a happy birthday. But the fact of the matter is: I am not happy. This day does not seem like a happy day to me. And I wish one person (okay, so my shrink seems to understand, although even she wished me a happy birthday -- actually a week early!), would acknowledge and help me talk about why is this not a happy day. I cannot believe that I am 40 and without children. It makes me so desperately sad. We should have a toddler running around the house. But no, our little ones keep dying in the womb. All our hopes and dreams....crushed. I feel the weight of sadness every day. While I know that women have children after 40, I also know that the chances diminish greatly...and after so many losses and failed treatments I fear the likelihood for me is next to nil. I am so sad it is unbearable. How will I deal with today's phone calls wishing me a "happy" birthday? With the "celebration" tonight with friends (and their children -- WTF was I thinking?!?!) and family? With my family coming up to visit this weekend to help me "celebrate"? I just want to bury myself in a deep hole and not come out.

No Substitution for a Mother
The loss of motherhood hit me hard yesterday when I received a birthday card from my mother in the mail. I received many cards. A sweet one from my aunt...and she even sent a second card and made it from my cat. So kind of her. Made me smile. I received a card from my mom (she's actually sent several) and in that card she a put a copy of the little slip that was put on my bed in the hospital room when I was born. Name, date, weight, length, time of birth, when "shown." Made me cry. My mom kept the original, a mother's need she said. So why does this upset me? Because I am afraid that I will never be the mother, only the aunt. It is not the same. A mother is special in a way that no one else can be. (Regardless of who is more supportive/present/etc.) I want to hold on to that little slip for my child. I fear, gravely fear, that I never will.

The M&Ms
With all of this, you'd think I had forgotten the M&Ms that were transferred a week ago. No, I haven't. I just have such little hope. If they are not dead already, they will die later. That is how it has been. I expect nothing different. I keep being told to be positive -- that being positive will not make the pain any greater on Tuesday when I get a negative beta. But I don't believe them. (Saw a therapist yesterday who will see me while my shrink is away and she was quite clear on this point -- in the end, I just said "Yes, that makes sense." while in my head I was thinking "Yeah, right.") I am too scared to be positive. But even with that fear, even I, the great pessimist, am sometimes struck with the affliction of hope. I rein that in as quickly as possible, lest it take over and set me up for a fall that I will never recover from.

Anyway, the M&Ms, if they are living, are now 9dpo. If G-d is smiling, they are nestling in...If not, then part of me will die with them too...

Monday, August 17, 2009

Ear Acupuncture???

Ear Points
Okay, just something else to stress about. Great. So talking to DH about my acupuncture appointment and mention the needles in my ears (ouchy ones). He does NOT want me to have ear points done again. Says points in ear are linked to miscarriage. Googled it. Hmmm, more than one site that indicates that ear points in pregnant women are contraindicated because of miscarriage risk. Great. With so many losses, that's just what I need. Told DH that he would have to call the acupuncturist and tell her no ear points. Okay, so why can't I just tell her myself? Why do I think I'll cave in if she insists they're safe/helpful/etc? I want this last IVF to work soooo much. I can't decide what I should do. What is okay and what isn't? How the hell should I know?!?!!? I feel like I'm walking on egg shells. What am I going to do that is going to make this cycle doomed to failure? Should I do this? Should I avoid that? *sigh*

Today is 6dpo or 4dp2dt. 8 days until beta. See my shrink tomorrow (and Friday), but on Saturday she is leaving for two weeks. Beta is on a Tuesday. Normally I would have seen her on that day. *sigh* Why this Tuesday of all Tuesdays does she need to be gone?!?! Just my luck (or lack thereof), I guess.

I reiterate my desire to go to sleep and not wake up until the beta!!

I did manage to distract myself for some pieces of time today by doing work for school. Other times too sad. Sometimes just too focused on this cycle. At least I'm getting a little bit done...Trying to think of something positive here!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Still Waiting

Okay, I'm really not getting anything done. I can't stop thinking about this cycle, prior cycles, childlessness, infertility. Very depressing. Not conducive to preparing for the school year, which starts much too soon. Need to get out of my own head.

One week until I can POAS. Not that I'm counting or anything.

Food and Failure
Can I just say how absolutely tired I am of eating my acupuncturist-approved diet? I am sick of sprouted bread, millet porridge, leafy green veggies, whole grains, lentils, etc. I want a nice, big bowl of ice cream...some cheerios with MILK...a cup of coffee (decaf would be just fine)...a peanut butter and jelly sandwich on white bread. But, I'm being "good." Don't want to be able to blame myself for eating poorly and causing this cycle not to work. Not that it's going to work anyway. Which makes this whole "being good" thing even harder -- or more ridiculous, depending on how one looks at it. Not that it's really that big of a deal in and of itself. It's just that I feel like the last 3+ years of my life have not been my own. Have been controlled by this one, seemingly unattainable, goal. I have never put so much effort into something...only to fail time and time again.

Saturday, August 15, 2009


One week until I'll POAS. (Beta 2 days later.) It seems like forever. I keep replaying all of our prior losses in my head. I know I should be staying positive, but it is so very hard. I just want to go to sleep and not wake up until the beta. Wish that were possible. Actually, it would be really nice if I could sleep a solid eight hours. Heck, I'd be happy for six!

I have tons of work to do for school, but every time I try to work on it my brain ends up elsewhere. I'm lucky if I can manage 15 minutes at a shot. I had hoped that school work might distract me from the 2ww, but apparently I hoped in vain. My friend said just leave it all in G-d's hands. Apparently I'm not very good at that. Her implication was that it was never going to work until I did. Guess I'm freaking screwed then. *sigh* Just more stress.

Can't believe that I will be 40 in less than a week. Makes me enormously sad that I will be 40 and still do not have a baby in my arms. I don't think the age would bother me so much if it weren't for the issue of fertility...and its decline. I'm 20 years older than my mother was when she had me. Scary thought.

I really thought I could write more. But I think I am just too sad. I hope that if the cycle works, it works. I can not deal with another loss. I can't. Too many already that I can't stop thinking about. Where is hope now? I think I'm just tired of everything.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Embryo Transfer and Stress

Embryo Transfer
The embryologist called at 7:30 Thursday morning. Three PERFECT embryos were crying out to her "pick me! pick me!" [Yes, the embryologist actually said this!] So transfer was set for 9:30 that day. Since DH was/is sick with a stomach bug, a friend of mine drove me to the appointment. Very sweet of her. All went well; although, a few things annoyed me. First of all I should point out that my bladder was very, very, very full -- leaving me a bit cranky -- and DH wasn't there so I was feeling somewhat alone. I had to wait quite a while on the lovely table waiting for the RE and when she arrives she wants to talk to me about only putting in two embryos (had already discussed with embryologist who encouraged me to only put in two since they looked so perfect). RE said she was very concerned about the possibility of triplets. Yeah, right. Has she read my history? 5 losses, 3 IUIs, 1 FET, and 6 IVFs?!? Yes, she assures me, she knows my history. Hence the conversation otherwise she would have insisted on two. Eventually she acquiesces, much to my relief as I REALLY have to pee! Embryo transfer is tricky because of a little kink in the path...not fun because, as I mentioned before, I really have to pee! All little swish on the monitor as the little embryos go in. Neat. Then everyone leaves the room and I must lie on the table all by myself and wait. Did I mention that I really have to pee!?!? I thought I was going to cry. Passed the time by looking at the picture of our three little embryos and trying to run various mantras through my head. 10 minutes later...(and by now a full hour has passed)...I got to go pee! Peeing never felt so good!

Dark, Milk, and Peanut
DH and I have always named our little embryos. Actually he has usually chosen the names. We've done the three (well 4 b/c we had one to freeze) musketeers, the three stooges, FDR and Eleanor, the Andrews sisters, etc. This time I named them without DH and I specifically did not pick people names. Besides, I am tired of picking the names of DEAD people! So now we can just refer to our three current embryos collectively as the M&Ms: milk, dark, and peanut. I kind of like it. [Especially peanut; makes me smile.] DH is not so happy because he didn't pick them. Too bad. He wasn't there when I got the picture. My turn.

Other than the stress of this cycle, which is weighing heavily on my brain. I am thinking a lot about our prior losses. Two of them in particular. Often, that extreme having-to-pee feeling (among other things) will trigger thoughts of our first loss. We conceived naturally after only 2 months trying. All seemed well. We talked about names. Our friends gave us stuff for the baby. We blissfully went for a check up at 10 weeks. Didn't hear any heart beat. Hmmm. Went for a vaginal u/s (hence the very full bladder...and they took a while, so I REALLY needed to pee!). DH held my hand. U/S tech looked concerned. I knew something was wrong. DH was oblivious. U/S tech asked me if I was sure about how far along I was. I started to cry. DH looked bewildered...until the tech said the sac looked about 6 wks. No baby. All our dreams and hopes and plans crushed instantly. Devastating.

Anyway, I think I need to stop writing now. Will blog more later. More stresses to write about. Might help me deal?

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Fert Report and Decisions

And the Word Is...
Out of the 17 eggs, 12 were mature, and 9 fertilized. I'm happy with that. (Okay, I secretly set the minimum at 10 fertilized b/c I like round numbers, but hey 9 is good!) Last time we had 7 and only 3 were of good quality, so I was thinking (like how I have to plan everything out?) that maybe we'd get an extra one to freeze. Delay the inevitable when this cycle doesn't work by having the possibility of another FET.

But it Gets Better!
I am sitting at my computer, mindlessly doing things on FB, when I get a call from the clinic. And not just anyone from the clinic, but from the head embryologist (who my RE referred to as the Goddess b/c of her skills). My first thought, of course, was that all of the embryos were dead. Seeing the clinic's number when I wasn't expecting it made my heart fall into my stomach. My fears were unjustified. The embryologist called to say that all of the embryos were looking beautiful!! She wanted to see if we would consider doing a 3-day transfer instead of a 2-day so that she could better determine the two best embryos as they all looked very, very good right now. Wow! I, of course, needed reassurance that 3-day was better than 2-day. After all, we chose this clinic because of their contention that 2-day transfers were better for women with multiple failed IVFs and multiple miscarriages (ME!). In the end, the embryologist acquiesced to my uncertainty and fear by saying she would check the embryos in the morning and call me at 8am to make her recommendation. I made DH call the RE to get his opinion. I ended up speaking with the RE, who basically made the goddess statement and deferred to the embryologist all the while acknowledging his prior harping on the 2-day transfer. (Glad that wasn't just in my head.)

So bottom line is that I don't know when the transfer will be...tomorrow or Friday. Wonderful situation for my anxiety level. DH hopes that it will be Friday as he is sick (a whole other story. *sigh*) and I won't let him come tomorrow. He promises he'll be well for Friday. (Whatever.) It leaves some friends in limbo in terms of driving me, but they seem willing to be inconvenienced. Thankfully.

Cloud 1000
Despite the uncertainty, my brain latched on to the whole amazing embryos thing and started launching itself to cloud 1000. So excited. Too excited. When is EDD? What if there are twins? Etc. Etc. Stupid girl. I've been here before. All looks well. All ends horribly. When will I ever learn? Picture: IVF#1...It's IVF, something new, of course it will work. Wonderful blasts...3 to transfer and 1 to freeze. Soooooo excited. So full of hope. BFN. Fast forward a year and a half: IVF #4...New protocol. New hope (although somewhat guarded this time). 19 eggs! 10 fertilized! 7 awesome looking blasts! 2 frozen and FIVE (yes, that's right!) transferred. BFN. Yeah, see what I mean about stupidity. Why hope when the past makes the outcome so clear. Stupid girl.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Eggs Retrieved!

All actually went well this morning. Let me repeat that: all went well. :)

Not only were 17 eggs retrieved (second largest number for us), but also I was pretty comfortable. Considering how I felt during the last retrieval (not very emotionally safe), this comfort is a big deal. The nurse was friendly and someone I knew. I liked the RE. The u/s tech came over to say hello (wow!!). AND the anesthesiologist was a woman! Really liked that!!! In terms of pain, not too bad. Only took two tries for the IV (worst ever was 4 tries) and the post-ER pain is manageable. So far have kept to my vow of no Percocet. Yay!

Interesting to note that pre- (meaning while I'm being put under anesthesia!!) AND post- ER the RE asked if we were sure about using donor sperm and about using all donor sperm. Yeah. Now's the time to think about it? WTF? Especially challenging to think on it while trying to recover from anesthesia. *sigh* RE went through some pros and cons (and if you think I remember them, you're nuts!) and luckily DH responded by saying we had thought about it (really?!? must have missed that) and had decided to go with all donor sperm. RE said he was just double-checking because once it's done it can't be un-done. (No shit, Sherlock! You think I'm stupid? Yeah. Just pull that sperm out of the egg and inject a different one. Oy!)

Called family, friends, and shrink to share the news. Apparently I was not always so clear in my speech (shrink didn't understand the message I left!) and DH failed to tell me this. When confronted about this failure to stop me from making unintelligible phone calls, his response was "but your slurring was cute." Cute?!?! Okay, aren't people you love supposed to stop you from doing stupid things?

Upon arriving at the dogs' house (we're dog-sitting), DH made me brunch while I updated FB and my on-line groups. Then I went to SLEEP!!! (Considering the fact that I slept practically NOT AT ALL last night, this ability to sleep was pure bliss!) Drugged is sometimes good! I just hope that I can sleep tonight sans drugs.

Now comes a most nerve-wracking wait. Awaiting the fertilization report. At least at this clinic I can call at 11am (BostonIVF I had to wait until they called me) to see what's up. I am very nervous since we are doing donor sperm. But who am I kidding, I'd be nervous anyway, especially since IVF#3 when we only had 2 eggs fertilize. I am HOPING that of the 17 eggs at least 14 are mature and maybe 10 fertilize? We'll see. I know we just need ONE good embryo, but somehow it feels like there are safety in numbers. Purely a foolish notion, of course. After all, with IVF#4 we had 10 embryos and put in FIVE blasts and still got a BFN. *sigh* Why is this whole thing so hard? Why does nothing make sense? Judging from my nice looking embryos you'd think that all would be well. Women with crappy looking embryos or one embryo can get pregnant....why can't I? Well, I think I'll stop here before I go on a rant about my defective self.

Bottom line: praying for both sleep and a good fert report. G-d willing. (Obviously the fert report has much higher priority -- just in case G-d is listening.)

Monday, August 10, 2009

Sperm All Set

Sperm = check. Meant to call on Friday to make sure the sperm arrived safely (well, just to make sure it actually arrived!), but somehow I forgot. Weird. Freaked out yesterday when I found out that the ER would be on Tuesday and vowed to call about the sperm first thing Monday morning. Somehow, I forgot. Strange. Didn't remember until I was talking to my shrink. (Where does that term come from anyway?) Embryology dept called back late this afternoon (late = I was getting very nervous) to say that all was well. Sperm delivered. Whew.

Not sure if I mentioned previously, but we decided to use all donor sperm. Well, I decided. DH agreed. Not much discussion. Which I find a bit disconcerting. In fact, I'm concerned that we didn't give this whole donor-sperm thing enough consideration. Just trying to do SOMETHING different to convince myself that it was worth doing another cycle. Without changing anything, why would I expect a different outcome? Hence, new diet, new acupuncturist, new sperm. Does that seem a good enough reason? RE didn't object. DH didn't object. But was it actually a GOOD idea? If it works (please!!!), I'll never know if it was the new sperm. But if it works, will I be causing unnecessary grief to that future child? Did I give the ramifications enough consideration? I hardly read anything. Did read some blurbs from sperm donors and from children conceived with donor sperm (some well-adjusted, others clearly not), but didn't really think about it. Too nervous I would change my avoided. Hmmm, I guess I can avoid things when I want. But that's another issue.

Anyway, time to stop thinking now.

Things Change with the Wind

Friday's u/s made me full of hope. Yesterday's dashed it. Lining DECREASED (???) from 9.3 to 7.7 (or 8.4 if you count her second measurement). What is up with that? No clue. Just something else to worry about. Follicles seemed good, though. So that was positive. I presumed I would trigger Monday (after so many IVFs it seemed clear to me!). But, when they called they said to trigger that day at 9:30pm. Totally took me by surprise. Not happy. Now so many follicles won't have a chance to grow, which means less mature eggs at retrieval. I presume it was because my E2 shot up to 2434, but I wanted one more day. More eggs. More chances for a good one. This is our last IVF. I just want it to work. Both the lining decrease and the early trigger were clear reminders of my lack of knowledge and my lack of control. I want to know everything. I want to control as much as I can. But, especially with this process, there is so much that I cannot control. *sigh*

Egg retrieval is tomorrow. (No shots at all today, a nice reprieve!) I am so nervous. Not only do I hate the lack on control, but I worry about the number of eggs. Again, though, nothing much that I can do. Nothing I can do about how many are mature....or how many fertilize...or the quality of the embryos...or or or or...

Going to try to focus this afternoon on school stuff, instead of this cycle. Can't believe that school starts in less than a month and I am so unprepared. Scary. Most of the teachers I've spoken to have done a lot of work already. I am so behind. Anyway, need to just focus on what I am going to do today. Just today. So hard, though.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Hope Springs Eternal

Despite all of my worrying, this morning's u/s went well! 14 measurable follicles (10-14.5mm) and 13 smaller follies. Lining was 9.3 and triple striped. Yay! Put me in a good mood for most of the day! Well, that and the absolutely BEAUTIFUL, PERFECT weather! Sunny, breezy, and no humidity. Next u/s is on Sunday. We'll see what happens. E2 was 1071. Seems low considering the number of follicles, but I'm trying not to worry about that. We'll see.

Actually got some work done for school. Miracle of miracles. Certainly helped to relieve just a little bit of my stress/anxiety. Spent many hours sorting through piles of papers...stacking them into appropriate piles, which will themselves later need to be sorted. Eventually came across too many reminders of past IVFs (yes, interspersed with all my school stuff...not the epitome of organization!) and I had to stop. Was just too depressing. And the material for CCRM in Colorado...where we had once thought of doing a donor egg cycle. Don't think money is going to allow for that...hence all the stressed placed on this, now our last fresh cycle.

Anyway, with the exception of some side forays into sadness, most of today was good and productive. Even had a beautiful period of perfect contentment: at the house where I am dog-sitting they have a gorgeous yard with a hammock. Contently in the hammock, I drank raspberry tea and read Eric Foner's book "The Story of American Freedom." Pure heaven...especially with the dogs at my side, the birds chirping, the sun shining, and a light breeze blowing. So sweet. Until I got bit by a mosquito and decided to come inside and type this!

Need to go home soon to get my shots (fun, fun, fun) and then we are off to an AA meeting where DH will get his 4 year medallion. I am very proud of him and all the work he has put into his sobriety, especially in this past year. Will go out to dinner to celebrate with S (my step-daughter), her girlfriend, and a friend of mine/DH's. We'll also celebrate the fact that today S heard that she got into grad school (silly woman wants to become an English teacher -- I tried my best to convince her otherwise!).

Guess we'll see what tomorrow brings...

Thursday, August 6, 2009


Tomorrow morning is our next blood work and ultrasound. I am nervous about it, of course. Always worried that it could show something wrong. Especially worried about E2 levels...usually low for me...Will the level match the follie count? Will the follies be growing well? In sync? I know there is nothing I can do change what they will show...or maybe that is the problem...there is nothing I can do. But maybe I haven't been doing all that I can. Who knows what would impact things anyway. I've certainly been eating well, doing acupuncture, and following protocol. But, I also haven't gotten myself to sleep enough, nor have I managed to de-stress. What is the impact of the massive stress I am feeling? Negative I'm sure. *sigh* Why can't I control my brain, my emotions, better?

Fragments of the Past

School is starting in less than a month. I need to start getting ready. I am worried that between the cycle and other stresses, I won't be able to do what I need to do....Of course, what teacher isn't stressed about being prepared for the school year? Anyway, I started to clean my "backroom"...the room with all of my school stuff as well as tons of miscellaneous, well, crap. A first step in getting to that school stuff. It was even harder than I thought it would be.

Interspersed with all of my school stuff were fragments of the past. Our first consult with Boston IVF. Trigger times for medication. Follicle sizes. Little notes of encouragement from DH. Not to mention non-infertility related gems. It was so overwhelming. All that hope we had with each cycle. All that hope gone. How do I continue to move forward? Each step is just harder and harder.

It is amazing what an all encompassing impact infertility has. My sense of self. My work. My relationships. What I eat. What I do. What I don't or can't do. Funny even in therapy we are postponing discussions of things until after the cycle is over...

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Tortured Hope

Infertility is a roller coaster. No duh. Why should the sixth IVF be any different? Actually, you'd think that it would be easier because I should anticipate all the ups and downs. Especially the downs. But, alas, that is clearly not the case. Each time is harder. Exponentially harder it seems with the last few. Near to impossible to stand when it is the last fresh cycle. I am most certainly going nuts. Oh yeah. What about that hope part? Keep telling that tormenting emotion to leave me alone, but it is an insidious beast. Very first b/w and u/s since starting stims and hope is creeping in. Crafty. 22 follicles. I am happy (yes, really!) and then I worry...what does number matter, they will all be of horrible quality...only a few will be mature...there won't be many (any?!?) good embryos anyway...and on and on. E2 was 333. RE had said my eggs were in decline because last time my E2 was only 90 and he wants it to be between 100-300. Yay! E2 is higher this time! Hope wraps its claws around my heart and then I it bad for it to jump so much? it is higher than the RE wants...what does this signal?

Worry. I continue to worry. Anxiety sucks. Makes it hard to concentrate. Gives me a massive headache (or is that all the hormones?). And it turns into despair. It will not work. The greatest predictor of future behavior is past behavior...True for IVF?...Perhaps by the sixth...Why would this one work when all the others haven't?...And if I do get that BFP, what does that mean? Nothing except that HOPE has weaved its way from the heart to the brain and taken hold, only to dash me against the rocks laughing gleefully as yet another child dies inside of me. Five? Some would say. Twenty. My kill rate. Twenty little embryos, some attached for days or weeks, some that never attached at all; but all clearly dead. How can one stop crying?

You'll be sure to note that the torture is clearly self-torture. Must go with my warped mind or perhaps simply with being unendurably (is that even a word?) depressed. Watched "Empty Arms" again. Why? As if my journey wasn't in my head enough. No, needed to add images and sad music. Watched the wedding dance video...where is my happiness? Can I steal just a teeny, tiny bit of theirs? Just a little? Move me from unendurably depressed to simply depressed?

Then again, maybe I'm not really depressed. I have moments of contentment when I am doing (gardening, in the sun, with friends, with my kitty) punctuated by extreme sadness and highlighted by unprompted (or self-torture prompted) bouts of crying. Now, if I were really depressed would I have those moments of contentment?

Regardless, I know that I am tired. The journey has been too long. Too hard. Yes, I know that I can stop at any time...but would that be any easier? I can't imagine not having children with DH. Being parents together. But then again, if I can't even survive the journey of creating a child (no matter how out of the norm), maybe I won't make a fit parent after all. As a friend said: "There is a reason why you are going down this path." (or some such thing) Maybe the reason is that God is being smart in not giving DH and I children to raise. Yeah, well, perhaps. Or perhaps S/He just has DH's twisted sense of humor.

I am tired of this journey. I am tired of hope. I am tired of loss. I am tired of lack of control. I am tired of feeling defective. I am tired of crying. I am tired of not sleeping. I am tired of trying not to be angry. I am tired of envying other people. I am tired of hurting. I am tired, tired, tired.

Monday, August 3, 2009


I am starting to get anxious about tomorrow's blood work and ultra-sound. I'm most concerned about the E2 level, as last time RE said it was low even on the max dosage of medication. Will it be worse as I am now that much closer to 40? (FORTY! Now that's another issue.) While the AFC was good (18 resting follies), will they all be growing well? Will this cycle be okay? Tomorrow is the first indication of how the cycle is going...There are so many places for things to go wrong. This whole process is just so anxiety and fear provoking. My impulse is to want to go hide. Get off the roller coaster. Maybe a nap is in order? Now if I could just actually fall asleep to take a nap!

Sunday, August 2, 2009


I had a good day most of yesterday...and today...a small miracle. But then, seemingly out of nowhere, this afternoon I just became inexplicably sad. I am not crying, but I'm am so sad it hurts. I just want to curl up and go away. Somewhere safe. Somewhere where I am happy. Somewhere that does not have infertility and loss. Somewhere...


Had a joint shrink session with DH yesterday. Was actually very helpful. I think we both understood better (of course, not completely) where the other one was coming from. Poor DH is both depressed from this ttc journey and worried about me. Me? Well, overwhelmed. In despair that this last cycle will not work and I cannot imagine living life without children. Can't bear the thought of life-long heartache. (Hence the suicidal thoughts...Made a promise, though, that I would not act on those thoughts. Can't help them from being there, though. I just can't imagine things getting any better and I can't imagine continuing on as miserable as I've been.)

Anyway, we both were in a better space after the session...Even cleaned our apartment! Looks soooooo much better! Which lifted our spirits just that little bit more. Had a nice dinner with S (step-daughter) and her girlfriend. AND, I actually slept some last night...4 hours straight and then on and off for the rest of the night. It was a miracle!!! Maybe talking really does help!

In terms of support while my shrink is away during the 2ww, I called the woman we saw to discuss donor sperm. She really seemed to understand the trauma of infertility and multiple losses. So, I'll see her during that time (in addition to whoever is covering for my shrink). I think that I need to put some other supports in place as well. Though, I'm not sure what they should be. I just know that I will be in a dark place if this last IVF fails as well.

Well, maybe yesterday will help put me on the path to a slightly better frame of mind for this the very least, I haven't cried yet today!!!!!