Monday, September 30, 2013

Being Present in the Present

When I got home from work today, I went about my usual routine. I was sitting out on the porch while the dogs did their business in the yard. It was such a beautiful afternoon, so we lingered in the moment for a while and enjoyed the sunshine.

My mind started to wander, and before I knew it, I was day dreaming. I was thinking of the future, the days ahead when I finally have my babies in my arms.

I can see it so clearly. I'll come home from work and pick up the kids. We'll all go out for the dogs' walk, have a little snack, get in the jogger and go for a run, make dinner, and do some chores around the house. It is such a beautiful thing... I cannot wait for these days. I know they are coming. And just the thought makes me so happy that there are tears in my eyes.

This whole thing has changed me. I sit here and think back to the Cici of Yesterday and wonder where she went. I was so happy, motivated, and focused. Nothing bothered me and I never seemed to run out of energy. I truly felt invincible. There was nothing I couldn't do.

This is not a way to live, always thinking of the future. I used to be so good at living in "the now." I can hardly find a second where I'm happy with the way things are right now. This is just so hard, I want it to pass quickly. I don't want these days to linger. I want time to just get on. But at the same time, I don't want to wish away the days of my life.

I'm told and I recognize that these feelings are natural. I used to be really scared that after I finally get through this, that I'll never be the same carefree-happy-go-lucky-Cici. But the moment on the porch today reassured me that I will be happy again. I don't think there are anymore carefree days ahead for me... those are long gone when you step fully into adulthood. Being a grown up is so much responsibility... sometimes it is really overwhelming.

But I see what's ahead, and I like it. I see my family in this amazing house. Spending our days laughing in the sunshine and dancing in the rain (I love running in the rain, no joke!). I just can't wait for my day dreams to become simply my days.

On the more technical side of things, I had blood work this morning to see how things were going with my cycle. I waited all day for the RE's office to call me back with further instructions. I was thinking about how I was going to ask for my E2 levels, and isn't it funny the way that the doctor only calls when there's bad news (like my canceled cycle), and when the news is ordinary it is usually a nurse who makes the call. Well, my phone rang at 3:30 this afternoon and I was completely caught off guard that it was the doctor. Fortunately, there were no surprises, and my instructions are very simple (continue with the same dosage tonight and tomorrow, blood work & ultrasound on Wednesday). But I forgot to ask about my E2 levels!!! Augh!! Oh well, I'm sure they're fine. I'll find out on Wednesday when I go in for monitoring. In the meantime, I'm going to get ready for shot #3. Is it completely messed up that I'm actually looking forward to jabbing myself with a needle?! ;)

Sunday, September 29, 2013

On our way

My Wish Stitch :) I fixed the mistake in the blue thread... Next is to fix the mistake in the white thread and then finish up!

My Hope Bracelet plus two shot beads. 

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Party in a Bag!

Meds and needles galore!!
I picked up my meds this morning and am all pumped to start with my first injection tonight. I'll be mixing 150iu of Follistim with one vial of Menopur, then adding 1/2cc of saline to the mix. 

Johnny has to take Doxycycline which got left off the order... so I'm going back to pick it up.

HERE WE GO!!!!!!

Friday, September 27, 2013

All Clear for Launch!

I went in for my baseline appointment today, and got the "all clear" to start stims tomorrow!!

::pause to do my happy dance::

I'm so excited to get this thing started. It is insane to think that this could actually result in a pregnancy.

This weekend is going to be busy and great :D Tonight I'm going to the Apple Store to get my iPhone fixed (the power button has been busted for weeks). Tomorrow, I'm taking Coda to class then we'll make a trip to the pharmacy to pick up my meds (AKA: Party in a Box). I'm going to get it home and organized, then head down to visit my sister & niece for a few hours in the afternoon. I miss those sweet little cheeks and can't wait to smother them. Then I'll get home to take care of the dogs and do my first injection. I see a birthday party on the calendar for Sunday... eeks, I forgot about that! And I'm sure Johnny did too. I'm betting that he did not get gifts, so I guess I'll do that tonight since I have to go to the Apple Store anyways.

I'M SO EXCITED! I'M SO EXCITED! I'M SO.... scared! (haha, Saved by the Bell reference for the cool kids!)

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Moving Slow

I feel like the clock couldn't possibly go any slower.

I took my last BCP last night, and now I'm waiting for Friday to go in for my baseline appointment. I hope that I'm good to go, and able to get started with stims on Saturday.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Ashes! Ashes! We all fall down!

I've been meaning to burn a certain item that I've been carrying around in my car since June. I was forced to make a Post-it declaring my unfortunate non-pregnant status thanks to the Preggo Posse.

Upper left corner... 

That's better!

While I sat in my driveway watching the Post-it turn to ashes, all I heard was "Ring Around the Rosie" in my head. My heart was instantly filled with the hope that had vanished in June after another crushing BFN. (Interestingly enough, the children song & game "Ring Around the Rosie" describes the plague. I remember playing the game as a child thinking how much fun it was, but after a quick google search I learned how dark it is!)

To replace the Post-it, I have this from last night's fortune cookie:

At first I was very confused by the words, and thought that I was just twisting them to mean what I wanted to mean: by keeping my heart hopeful, my baby would come. Then I decided to poke around on google (again) and found that the Chinese proverb usually has the word "perhaps" in it.

My fortune cookie doesn't have the word "perhaps" in it... is it a sign that my singing bird is definitely coming? When? My heart is open and ready (and my uterus is open and free of scar tissue from my hysteroscopy). So.... LET'S GO!! I am doing my job and building my nest. Let's get a baby in there soon!!

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Letting Go of a Dream...

As anyone who is fighting a battle will tell you, some days you are up and some days you are down. This wild roller coaster called infertility is no joke. The highs are really high (though I can only imagine because I haven't come close to the 'finish line'), and the lows are deplorably low (with which I am intimately aware). The extremes are indescribable.

Today happens to be an "up day" for me. I had a good day at work, got some important things scratch off of the never ending to do list, spent some QT with the dogs, and just enjoyed a run with Coda. Now I'm sitting here catching up on my Facebook news feed as I wait for John to get home with our sushi dinner (yay!!) before I go across the street for some wine with the neighbors (double yay!!).

As I was scrolling along, I came across a link to Kara Goucher's most recent blog post, Run the Edge. Incase you don't know, Kara Goucher is an American elite marathon runner. She's seriously badass, and one of my all-time heroes. She is also a mother and eluded to her struggles with infertility in her book, "Running for Women."

The gist of her blog post today was that she has decided to drop out of the upcoming NYC Marathon. According to her blog, 2013 has not been a good year for running, and she felt she owed it to herself to get to the starting line of her next marathon at the peak of her fitness.

I am so sorry to hear that Kara had to make this difficult decision, but it makes her seem more... human. Even the pros have good times and bad times, ups and downs, highs and lows. I'm pretty bummed that I won't get to cheer her on from the sidelines at the NYC Marathon this year, but then again, I'm still pretty bummed that I had to make the same decision to let go of a dream. On November 3rd, my heart will be at Fort Wadsworth, crossing the Verrazano Bridge, making a journey through all five boroughs... and my body will be on the sidelines, putting on a happy face as I watch a dozen of my friends run by.

At this moment, I am reminded that when we are forced to let go of a dream in the face of infertility, we are not quitters. We are merely surrendering at the moment with the hopes that something even better lies ahead. That doesn't make us quitters. It makes us champions, because we have the courage to try.

On November 3rd, my heart will be on the marathon course, but maybe, just maybe, I'll have a reason to hold back the tears. It is possible that I could be pregnant... chills just went through my whole body typing that. And even if I'm not, I will do my best to remember that I am a champion, and not even infertility can take that away from me.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013


We had our IVF Orientation today... two and a half hours and my head was flooded and spinning by the end! But I've had a few hours to let it sink in and I think I can sort through it now.

I had my sonohysterogram and practice transfer when I got there. Apparently, my bladder's fullness was good, but there was room for improvement... which means I'll have to drink more before the real deal. I hate having a full bladder! I had an external ultrasound in March and nearly pissed my pants! But I'll do what I have to do to make this optimal for the embryo transfer.

Then we had our consult with the doctor. He explained the whole process, which I mostly knew about thanks to the awesome ladies on TB & IDOB. It was great for John to hear it though. Then we signed the consents. ::deep breath::

Next we met with my favorite nurse to do our meds lesson. I'll be mixing Follistim and Menopur at first. Then I'll add Cetrotide to the mix to ensure that ovulation doesn't occur. When the time is right, I'll get instructions to trigger at a specific time. I'll do either a Lupron and/or HCG trigger.

Then I'll go in for my egg retrieval. After that, I'll be on Endometrin three times a day (yuck). Then embryo transfer... time for that full bladder and a valium. After that, I'll be on Estrace and then wait... I'll go back to the office two weeks after egg retrieval for a pregnancy test.

My schedule will look something like this (give or take a few days here and there depending on how I respond):
  • Tuesday, September 24th - last BCP
  • Friday, September 27th - baseline monitoring (blood work & ultrasound)
  • Saturday, September 28th - start stims!! Follistim, Menopur & Cetrotide for 7-10 days
  • Tuesday, October 8th - egg retrieval
  • Saturday, October 12th - embryo transfer
This is all very overwhelming, exciting, insane... the thought that one month from now I could be pregnant... it actually blows my mind. I hope and pray that we get beginner's luck. I want this to work so much!!!!

Tuesday, September 17, 2013


And clearly I'm excited about it :D

The list of meds is long: Menopur, HCG, Cipro, Estrace, Medrol, Valium, Cetrotide, Zofran, Follistim, Doxycycline, Endometrin, Lupron...


And I'm actually feeling excited about it for the first time :D Now I'm really looking forward to my orientation tomorrow. I noticed that they've scheduled me for a monitoring appointment for Friday, September 27th... I wonder if that's the precursor to the start of stimming?!

For the first time in a long time I feel hopeful. We are about to start something new that could actually work. There is a real chance that I could get pregnant from this cycle. Squeeeeeeeeeeeee!!!!!

Saturday, September 14, 2013

After the Storm... There is Sun

I cannot begin to express the deep, heartfelt gratitude I have for the wonderful people I have met thanks to this journey with infertility. It is amazing to me that there is anything for which to be thankful in regards to IF. But there is. It is the people who I never would have met, the friendships that I never would have made, and the relationships that would have never been this strong if I didn't have to fight this battle with infertility. Friends, Blog Stalkers... you know who you are. There is a piece of my heart and soul that is stronger and warmer thanks to you. I love you all and wish I could hug each and every one of you every single time I think of you (which is often).

I have had some really dark days recently. I don't want to talk about how sad and horrible it was. It will only bring me down when I'm finally feeling like I can stand back up again. But I will say that it was because of the love and support of the above mentioned family and friends that I was able to get through it. As hard as I got knocked down, they picked me up and carried me along at a time when I felt like I couldn't take a single step more. And now, somehow, I feel like I can walk on again. My heart is pieced back together and full of love. 

I have had the honor and pleasure of meeting two of these friends in real life this weekend. It is incredible... my dear friend Say & I are both day dreamers, and a few months ago were saying, 'wouldn't it be great to meet up somehow?!' Long story short, we seized an opportunity when Sueann revealed that she lived in the very city that Say determined was the geographical halfway point between us. The three of us planned a girls weekend where we would meet to run a 5K together and go from Internet buddies to real face-to-face friends. 

This, of course, was not without a few road bumps. I had a train wreck of an emotional day (as you can see from the previous post) yet I still managed to get on the plane. Then Say missed her connecting flight which forced her to face a fearful situation of being alone in a strange city and missing the race (the main event of the trip). But we all got here. And even though it didn't go perfectly according to the plan, we had a ball together.

In the hotel before leaving for the race. I'm ready for some fun!
On your marks... get set... ;)
I am so sad that Say missed out on the race.
Sueann & I had a great time and did our best to "represent" for Say :)
Getting color bombed and taking Say's shirt along for the ride :)
Making the most of our awesome girls weekend :)
We picked Say up in the middle of nowhere...
Sueann drove over a screw & had to get the tire repaired...
We got pedicures... it was so much fun!
We went to the Relay for Life to honor our dear ones who are or have been affected by cancer.
CLEcyclist, a fellow bumpie who is fighting and is a true warrior. I have her in my thoughts and prayers.
My best friend's father, who left us in 2007 and will forever be in my heart.
Two dear colleagues who left us in 2008 and 2013. Every time I see a sparrow, or come across familiar handwriting in a music score, I think of these two brave and amazing women.

Friday, September 13, 2013


CD2. I went in for my baseline ultrasound and blood work. My right ovary is still big and full from the last cycle, so I'm going on BCPs for the next 10-14 days to rest my ovaries. The doctors will have a meeting on Monday to decide on all the IVF patients' protocols. My case will be discussed. Then we'll find out what's going on at our orientation on Wednesday. The nurse gave me a packet of all the forms so we can read them over in advance and come prepared with any questions.

All of the physical elements are coming together, but I wasn't prepared for the overwhelming flood of emotions. I thought I had dealt with it all and came to peace about all this, but the constant trickle of tears today tells me it runs deeper than I had thought.

I know it's impossible to control my emotions, but I wish I had a little more control over turning off the waterworks. I cried while walking the dogs. I cried while driving to my appointment. I cried while sitting in the waiting room. I cried while talking to the nurse before she drew my blood. I cried when I paid for my BCPs. That's a lot of crying to take place in less than three hours.

I don't really know what else to do but to keep moving forward. Even if each step leaves a trail of tears, at least I'm going somewhere.

Thursday, September 12, 2013


I woke up to my period this morning. Sigh. I grieved the failed cycle all day yesterday, so today I was determined to just get on with it. I called the RE and I'm going in tomorrow for a baseline ultrasound and blood work. John & I will go back next week on Wednesday for our orientation. We will sign the consent forms, order our meds, take the meds lessons with the nurse, do the practice transfer, and whatever else has to be done to get the ball rolling. I wonder what my timeline will look like... will I be going on the pill? When will I start stimming? I'm really excited to get some information :)

Wednesday, September 11, 2013


CD21, 11dpo, BFN today and yesterday. Don't ask me why I tested. I usually don't. I guess I was hoping for a miracle.

It's not coming this time. My period will be here soon. This really sucks.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Acceptance with Hope

Today is CD18, 8dpo of this cycle (TI+injects, IUI#4 canceled). I cannot believe that just a week and a half ago, I was in a very different place. Before IUI#4 was canceled, my head was a mess of anxiety, stress and 'what ifs.' The day that we were canceled, was one of my lowest points. And since then, I've worked through quite a lot and have found myself here: in a place where there is acceptance and hope.

I have accepted that this cycle will most likely be a bust, but still have hope that our happy news is coming soon. Knowing that IVF is our next step is comforting and overwhelming at the same time. It is overwhelming just like marathon training: if you think of the whole thing all at one time it is too much for your head to manage; it is best to take it one step at a time. Yet the thought is comforting because I believe we will get the results we've been looking for very soon.

For now, I am just moving right along. It will be what it will be, and no amount of mental energy will change that. So I accept and hope. And just keep going!

Thursday, September 5, 2013


I went to my RE's monthly support meeting last night. At this point, I'll take anything I can get; I figured it couldn't hurt. Two of the nurses ran the meeting, and perhaps with the date being sandwiched in between two holidays it hurt attendance... I was the only patient to show up. I'm so glad I went!

We talked about a lot of things: my TTC journey, my treatment history, stress management, my husband's role in all of this, so on and so on. They even offered a lot of information about IVF when I told them that would be our next step if this cycle doesn't pan out.

The biggest thing I took away from the meeting was that when things are so far out of our control, sometimes the only thing you can do is surrender. The tighter you hold your grip, the more things seem to spiral out of control. So instead of grasping at straws, surrender.

As a lifetime over-acheiver, I am not accustomed to "giving up." I have run 10 marathons, most of which the thought has crossed my mind to give up before reaching the finish line. Through my training, I have conditioned my body and mind to persevere... never give up. But through my sub-4:00, house hunting and IF journey I am starting to see that you don't have to give up in order to surrender.

I surrender to infertility; I trust in God's timing and I know he will take care of us. I surrender running while TTC; I know it will be there for me when I get through this. I surrender. This is not admitting defeat, rather opening myself to the possibility of a miracle.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Plan B = IVF

If this cycle is a bust, then our next plan is to get ready for IVF. My doctor will have to make an appeal to my insurance to waive the mandate (two required injects + IUI cycles), but he seems to think that I will get approved thanks to my history.

I imagine the timeline will go something like this:
September 12 - CD1, start BCP for 2-3 weeks, RE office submits paperwork requesting IVF
September 16 - Doctors meeting to discuss all the IVF cases and decide protocol
September 18 - IVF Orientation (consult with the doctor, medication instruction & other prerequisites)
End of September/beginning of October - begin injects
Mid-October - Egg Retrieval
End of October/Beginning of November - Embryo Transfer

John & I made the decision last night over dinner. There were a lot of factors which we considered to arrive at the conclusion that we are ready. It is all sinking in, and is still feeling surreal. You know me: I am having a hard time pinpointing my emotions right now. It's like there are a million pieces of scrap paper swirling around in my head like a tornado. I have to wait for the winds to calm down before I can piece it all together and get rid of the clutter. So for now, I'm moving on with my day. I'll be back later to make sense of all this :)

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Proud :)

I hope this works! A clean house is a happy house :)


My thoughts are a jumbled mess and I can't take it anymore! I'm losing sleep, and have a constant knot in my stomach and lump in my throat when I'm awake. I don't know what to do.

John & I made the decision to move onto IVF before IUI#4 got canceled. Now that we've been downgraded to TI, I'm thinking that we need to reconsider that decision. I know it's such a personal choice, and that there's no wrong answer... but in general, I've always been the most indecisive person in the history of the world. This is killing me.

This is my brain without a solid Plan B :-/
I feel like I'm tormenting myself much in the same way as when we were considering the laparoscopy. Something that really helped me then was to just write it all out. So here I go:

IUI + Injects Pros
  1. Cheaper
  2. Less invasive
  3. 30% chance of success
IUI + Injects Cons
  1. 70% chance of failure
  2. History of beautiful response to meds with no success
IVF Pros
  1. 50-60% success rate
  2. I believe this will work
  3. My response to the meds from this cycle show that I'll get a lot of eggs from an IVF cycle.
IVF Cons
  1. More expensive
  2. More invasive
  3. Are we jumping to this too soon??
Ok, so even after doing all of the above, my head still feels like this:

Here's what I am seeing from looking over the above. It is clear from my past four medicated cycles and laparoscopy that my body would do well with IVF. There are three main factors to consider:
  1. Success Rate
  2. Money
  3. Comfort Level (in terms of our emotional status as well as willingness to be aggressive with treatments)
The success rate is obvious. IVF wins over IUI. Money is thankfully not too big of an issue due to our insurance. We are so fortunate to have outstanding coverage. We will still have to pay for a portion OOP, and obviously we will have to pay more for IVF than IUI, but we are in the financial position where money doesn't have to be a deciding factor. I suppose this means it all comes down to our comfort level.

And that's when my head starts to do this again: 

In terms of the physical aspect, I have already dealt with a lot of pain trying to get pregnant. Yesterday's O pains were at an all-time high; I literally cried from the pain, it was so extreme. But I don't care about physical pain. I know it is only temporary. I can manage it, and it will pass. When thinking of going through an egg retrieval and all the stimming... I know it won't be comfortable and there will be pain involved. That is fine. As long as it brings me my baby, I will endure any pain as long as it won't kill me.

Emotionally speaking... that's so complicated. I don't know how much longer my rope is, but with every failed cycle it seems like I use more and more. I feel like I've been living in crisis mode since January 2012 (see my blog post from the other day, Finding the Center, for a full explanation). I miss my former happy self. I understand life is hard. It has its ups and downs. I just wonder how much longer I can tolerate being down before I break.

It doesn't help that I am on CD11, 1dpo and I feel the clock ticking. With an average 11 day LP, I see that this cycle will be over by September 12th if it is a bust (I hope and pray and wish that I am surprised with a miracle, but it is hard to fully give myself to that thought). That means that we only have a week and a half to make this very important decision. ::big breath:: 

I am open to thoughts and opinions... I know I have to decide for myself, but I value open and honest opinions. It doesn't mean that I'll necessarily agree, but my ears, mind and heart are open. So... what would you do??