Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Consult #4

We kept going back and forth on whether to keep this appointment or cancel. We had already made our choice to proceed with Dr. M, and were quite certain that another consultation would not change that. Nonetheless, I wanted to go hear what one last doctor had to say about our case while we had the chance. Then our appointment got postponed due to the snowstorm. Doh! But we were able to reschedule for a week later.

Dr. C was nice. No nonsense, she jumped right into it. Suggested the Lupron protocol (like every other doctor), and even said that she felt there was room to increase the doses of the stims. I asked her to compare the lab to our former clinic. She boasted that their lab is on the cutting edge and participates in experimental studies. She also mentioned that the founding doctors were the first to do embryo defragmentation, a time-consuming procedure which repairs fragmentation. Interesting.

She did my physical exam and pointed out that my left ovary is significantly smaller than my right ovary. This doesn't impact my fertility, it's just unusual. My AFC was 15 (10 on the right, 5 on the left).

Dr. C said she was optimistic about our case even knowing what we have already been through. Good to know!

Like I said before, we are still going to proceed with Dr. M's plan. The ball is already rolling there (2 days till Lupron, 8 BCPs to go, 14 days till baseline & stims). I'm glad we went to the consult though. It makes me feel good about what we are doing. I genuinely feel hopeful and optimistic. And ready to get this thing going!

Monday, January 27, 2014


4 days until Lupron starts

10 more BCPs to go (thank goodness, these pills are kicking my butt!)

16 days until baseline/stims

I feel hopeful, excited and ready.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Snow Day & Meds Order

First of all: Snoooooooowwwwww Daaaaaaaaaayyyyyyyyy!!!!!!!! :) I expect Facebook to be littered with posts of rejoicing any minute now :) I would like to take a minute, however, to say to the FB friend who posted her predictions of a baby boom in October: how original. And inaccurate. And infuriating!! She's probably a baby duster too. Blech!!

On the subject of meds, I confirmed the order with the pharmacy yesterday. There will be two shipments: 1) Lupron 2 week kit will arrive on Jan 30 (Jab Time starts Jan 31!!), and 2) the remaining meds will arrive on Feb 7 (the low dose HCG has a shelf life of 30 days, so the pharmacist wanted it to be fresh).

Here's what's on tap for this Hopeful Heart:
  • Lupron (2 week kit)
  • Follistim (5 x 600iu)
  • Low Dose HCG (new to me!)
  • Ovidrel (2 prefilled syringes)
  • Doxycycline (for him & her, how cute!)
  • Medrol (steroid for after ER, I think)
  • MetroGel (new... wondering what fun this will be)
  • Endometrin (I don't know why this is necessary if we are planning for a hopeful FET)
In the meantime, I'm still on BCPs and just counting down the days till Jab Time :)

Saturday, January 18, 2014


My new clinic offers a free yoga class on Saturday mornings, and I'm so glad I checked it out this morning. It was great!

I have never been very good with yoga. It is challenging for me to focus my mind when my body is still... I'm a marathon runner! I love movement, and for me, my mind is able to attain clarity and stillness best when my body is in motion. Nonetheless, I always try my best.

The yoga instructor made it a lot easier for me to connect to whatever it is you're supposed to connect to. She spoke of a few themes throughout the session, and here is what really resonated with me:
  • Surrender - there is a difference between giving up on a goal and surrendering to it. When we are pushing so hard to reach a goal, we are operating more on our masculine energy and block out our feminine energy almost entirely. With surrender, we open ourselves up to whatever energy comes our way.
I LOVE this notion, and it really rings true in other areas of my life. I have always been such a goal oriented person. For a long time, it has always worked for me to put up my blinders and go hard after a goal with sheer determination and work ethic. This approach works well for many things (like earning my degrees, preparing for oboe recitals and music performances, and maintaining consistency in marathon training). However, there are certain situations that are so far out of our control... the more you force it, the more it seems to slip through your fingers. The best example I can think of in my personal life was my goal to break four hours in the marathon. It wasn't until I surrendered that I finally met this goal. I believe we must surrender to infertility in order to find peace while working towards a goal that may or may not be attainable.
  • Grounding - we tend to give a lot of attention towards making a spiritual connection with a higher being or belief system. Our head and upper body is connected to the sky or God (depending on your spiritual beliefs), and our feet and legs are connected to the earth. We tend to forget about the connection to the earth and focus more on God. Interesting :)
  • Shoulders harbor tension, lower back harbors fear - I have noticed lots of pinches in my lower back over the past several months... and I have also been extremely fearful thanks to the uncertain path we have been following. I will strive to acknowledge these emotions, and then let them go.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

IVF #3 - Schedule!!

Whoa... WHOA!!! I have my schedule for IVF #3!

John & I went in for some blood work today, and we signed our consent forms. We both had the infectious disease panel, he had genetic screening, and I had the insulin resistance and celiac panel.

Don't ask me why it came as such a shock to me when I noticed a message from my nurse after rehearsal this afternoon. She left me a detailed message with my schedule. Drumroll, please! ::buzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz::
  • January 16 - start BCPs
  • January 31 - start Lupron 10iu (continue BCPs)
  • February 5 - last BCP (continue Lupron)
  • February 12 - baseline monitoring (b/w and u/s). Start stims!!!!
  • February 23-26 - tentative ER date
Cue the giddy outbursts of joyful song and happy dancing! LOL

Clearly, I am excited to get this thing started. After spending the past month in the abyss, feeling hopeless and clumsily wandering in the foggy land of IUI #4.1 (which I knew was doomed from the start)... we have a plan! We have a plan that might actually result in a baby

I understand the reality of our situation. There's as much a chance that this doesn't work... but that is ok. At least we're getting somewhere. This cycle is pivotal... regardless of how it turns out... we will know. And we will be able to move on with our lives. I hope it is with a baby bump, and plans for the nursery and my comeback race (NYC Marathon, I'm looking at YOU!). But even if it is without the baby bump... at least we will be able to move onto whatever comes next. Hooray for moving forward!! Weeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!!

Tuesday, January 14, 2014


Yup, right on time. I woke up this morning to the usual work up... The oh-so-familiar cramps left little to the imagination, and I told John that today would most definitely be the day I got my period. We had a quick discussion about our next steps. "Have you had any doubts about what we decided yesterday?" "No, not a single doubt. You?" "Not at all." So before he rushed off to work, we agreed that I would call the nurse from Consult #3 (and technically #2... she will be the nurse assigned to our case regardless of who our doctor is in the practice). Now I just had to wait for my period to make it official.

Just for some extra 'fun' before I left the house for work, I noticed that there were (still) some dishes in the sink as I was packing my lunch. How nice that the pan from Sunday night's dinner was still "soaking" in the sink (John does this all the time... he agrees to wash the dishes, but then lets them soak for days). Then I noticed the upside down shot glass next to the pan. OH MY GOD. I used that glass to soak my diamond earrings in hydrogen peroxide overnight. I instantly panicked, knowing exactly what happened. In an effort to 'clean up,' my darling husband dumped my earrings in the sink!!!! I was able to find both of the backings and one of the diamonds.... the other diamond is down the drain :( I called John to tell him what happened, and we will see if we can take the pipe apart to find the other diamond. I've already counted it as a loss... I'm sure it's gone :( I'm so sad. Even though those earrings weren't too terribly fancy (simple and small studs), they were a gift from John on our second Christmas together. I wear the earrings almost everyday... well, I guess I used to wear them everyday. Now they're gone :(

After teaching my first class of the day, the cramping kicked it up a notch and I could feel that icky feeling... Aunt Flo had arrived. So it is officially CD1 over here. Am I surprised? Absolutely not. Am I sad? Strangely, not too much about getting my period (very sad about the earring). I knew this was coming from the second that we decided to do IUI #4.1. So how do I feel? Crampy. Icky. Like curling up on the couch with the heating pad and my doggies and watching bad TV. But, hello, reality check, I can't do that. I must work! My second class will be coming in any minute. So I ate some chocolate, took an Advil (a rarity these days... I have been trying to abstain), and stuck on a heating pad (these things are great!).

So there it is. Today is CD1, when I get home from work, I will call our new nurse... I guess we're officially prepping for IVF #3. Yippee?

Monday, January 13, 2014

Consult #3

First of all, CD26, 11dpIUI. I am expecting my period tomorrow or Wednesday (probably Wednesday). John is still holding out hope, God bless his soul, but I am sure this is a done deal. The twinges in my lower back, the pain in my ovaries, my skin is getting set to break out (in spite of the disciplined regiment I've been sticking to). It is what it is, and I knew from day one that this was a long, long, loooooooong shot.

We went for Consult #3 today, and it was fabulous! Today we met with a different doctor within the same practice as Consult #2. The embryology lab in this practice is impressive, so we couldn't let one crummy doctor turn us away. 

Here's the run down:
  1. Testing - I'd do an insulin resistance test and a Celiac panel. Perhaps a genetic panel for John (we need to discuss).
  2. Lupron Protocol - This seems to be unanimous with all the doctors we've consulted with. Dr. M (today's doctor) explained it very clearly to us. Basically, the Lupron shuts down all of the hormones and allows the doctors to regulate everything without my body running interference. 
  3. ICSI - no question about it, he'd want to do ICSI. Good.
  4. Assisted Hatching - this is standard procedure with this clinic (funny that Dr. K didn't mention it). They puncture a little hole in the shell on day three and he believes it gives the embryo more room to grow. Ok, I'm all for trying whatever tricks there are (though this is not covered by our insurance).
  5. FET - Dr. M explained that he usually goes into cycles with the understanding that the decision to do a fresh vs. frozen ET is made after watching the embryos grow in the lab. He said that he'd prefer to go with a planned FET in our case so that we can create the absolute ideal environment for any blasts that we may get. Embryos can be slow growers, but the uterus has its own window for when it is most likely to allow for implantation. It's possible for the embryos and the uterus to be out of sync, which reduces the chances of implantation.
  6. CCS - chromosome screening was presented as an option, though I don't know that we'd go this route.
  7. Triggering Sooner - many doctors want to wait to let the smaller follicles catch up, but Dr. M would rather trigger when the lead follicle is at 17 or 18mm. We'd get less eggs this way, but the thought is that the lead follicle is dominant for a reason (because it is the best quality). This would hopefully result in better quality (IVF #2 had a few 'degenerate' or past mature eggs)
  8. The Lab - simply put, it is just the best. They do over 3,000 IVF cycles a year, and (in Dr. M's words) the embryologists are OCD about every aspect of what they do. I feel 100% confident that if our embryos are going to make it anywhere, it'll be in their lab. If we get through this without any blastocysts to show for it, then only God will be able to create that miracle in the natural setting.
In a nutshell, Dr. M would want to focus on quality over quantity. He gave us hope, but didn't blow sunshine up our asses. He said that he didn't expect that we'd get 5-6 blasts, but said that he thought we could get 1-3. 

How do we feel about it? Hopeful! At the moment, we are leaning towards this doctor and clinic. Now the question is, whether to wait another cycle (and piddle around with IUI #5) or to start the BCP prep while finishing up our consults (which we suspect will lead us back to this conclusion anyway). We discussed it, and said that we'll probably go with this clinic starting on the next cycle (as in TWO DAYS from now), but we're going to sleep on it. 

Sunday, January 12, 2014

What the Faaaaaaah

Really. What the faaaaaahhhh.... The captain of the 'Just Relax' squad just got her BFP. I have no words right now. This is hilarious and enraging all at the same time! I'm gonna opt for laughter. I wish I could drown my sorrows with beer and wine right now. WHAT THE FUCK.

Friday, January 10, 2014


CD23, 8dpIUI, all the normal 2ww stuff. AF will be here mid week after the weekend. Life goes on.

I've been doing a lot of thinking, and John & I have been doing a bit of discussing in bits & pieces. His schedule this week is really busy with work, so we haven't had the time to sit down and really talk it out. It is our plan to have a date night tonight and spend some time hashing it all out (or as much as possible).

The biggest source of stress was the time crunch created by our next consultation and my period only a day after... it's too big of a decision to rush through just so we can get in on the next cycle. So we decided that we will wait out one more cycle before IVF #3. That gives us some time to think. We will probably do IUI #5 in the meantime, and hopefully have everything sorted out in time to start prepping for IVF #3 in March.

We have Consult #3 on Monday. I'm looking forward to finding out if that clinic is indeed a dead end for us. I hope it is not, but at least this time I am prepared for whatever they may say (and however they may say it).

After much hemming and hawing, I rescheduled Consult #4 so that we didn't have to miss more work. I asked if I could email our records, and they told me that the doctor wouldn't look at them before the appointment so just bring them with us... ummmmmm.... WHAT?! Big glaring red flag. We rescheduled for February 18th, but I'm thinking we will cancel the appointment. Seriously, don't waste my time!

I scheduled another consult for January 21st. This particular clinic was recommended to me by three people in the field. I'm not expecting them to be the answer, but figured why not go hear what they have to say.

So, by the time we decide on our next move, it seems that we will have consulted with four different doctors from three different clinics. I think we are doing our due diligence. I just hope that all of this will give us the confidence and clarity of mind so that we can go into IVF #3 with real hope.

Plant your hope with good seeds,
Don't cover yourself with thistle and weeds,
Rain down, rain down on me.

I will hold on, I will hold on hope.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Running Away

My go-to coping strategy in life? Running away. Up until recently, I have done that in both the literal and figurative sense.

Literally, for example, say John & I get in a fight. I would lace up and slam the door behind me and put as many miles as possible between me and the problem. The good news about all of this? When I return home from a run, I almost always come back with a clear mind and am ready to look at the problem in a new way. Heck, I have even been known to APOLOGIZE after a good run!!

Figuratively, it's a bit less productive. The most relevant problem that we are facing right now is which direction to go in with our remaining two IVF cycles. We have been thinking about it constantly ever since December 9th, yet just now I feel like we are facing a problem that might turn me into a flight risk: John & I are not on the same page.

I want to finish up with the two remaining consults scheduled and come to a decision for IVF #3. With my eggs. And before my period comes so we can get right to it. John seems to be struggling with the realization that our insurance covers only two more egg retrievals, and is ready to go to egg donation now because it is actually covered (yes, you read that correctly... my insurance is incredible). The problem is... I don't want to do egg donation. At all. Or at least not with IVF #3... maybe IVF #4... though I would be more open to embryo adoption than egg donation for some reason that I can't totally explain (at least without sounding like a selfish bitch). But I know one thing for certain: I don't want to think about it right now.

Clearly, the two of us have to get on the same page before we can proceed with IVF #3. But anytime the topic is brought up for discussion, what do I do? I run away... hang up the phone, storm out of the room, raise my voice and insist that "I don't wanna talk about it right now!!!"

I'm bummed out that we will have to likely sit out the next cycle because we aren't going to be ready to make a decision. Next week is going to be hard...

Monday - Consult #3 (with the same practice as #2 but with a different doctor)
Tuesday - Consult #4
Wednesday - Mocha's surgery (the vet just told us last night that the growth next to her tail is melanoma and it needs to be removed... He doesn't think it is malignant, but won't know for sure until he does another biopsy after it's removed)

...and I'm expecting my period on either Tuesday or Wednesday. With my track record of running away from confrontation, it is unlikely that John & I will be able to come to an agreement for the next cycle by the time my period arrives.

So, fine, we're probably going to have to wait until the next cycle. But that doesn't change the fact that I'm going to have to find a way to be able to talk about this.

Why does this have to be so hard? What is God preparing us for? Why is he putting us through this? What is coming that we have to toughen up for?

I am reaching a point where I want to just see the finish line. Whether I like where we're going or not, I'd rather just know that this journey has an end in sight. As impossible as it is to imagine my life without becoming a mother... if that's where this is going, I'd rather just get to the conclusion already so I can learn to deal with it and just move on with my life.

Monday, January 6, 2014


CD19, 4dpIUI, feeling crampy and negative. It's just one of those days where I can't find any positive thoughts. So, let's move on, now shall we?

Friday, January 3, 2014


Wow, last night I was in a complete rage. I was so upset by our crappy consultation with Dr. K, I couldn't think straight. I just needed some time to be pissed off, angry, and bitter.

I fell asleep on the couch and woke up around 1:00 in the morning. After moving over to bed, DH and I found ourselves unable to sleep. So we talked about the consult and made our peace with it.

We are too impressed with this clinic's embryology lab to let this one doctor turn us away. After thinking about what Dr. K was saying, I see that he wasn't saying no and that we are hopeless. He proposed a decent plan (actually almost identical to Dr. P's plan from Consult #1), he just had horrendous bedside manner. And is a lousy salesman. After the crazy fog lifted, I picked up the phone and scheduled a consultation with a different doctor in the practice. We shall see.

All things considered, if things don't pan out with the above-mentioned super clinic, we still have a really good option to explore with Dr. P. I have total confidence in Dr. P's plan for us. I'm just not so sure about his lab...

It's so hard. It shouldn't be this hard!! I resent almost everything about this journey... IF really breaks you down, and kicks you where it hurts over and over again. It's like our breaking point is a line in the sand... it might move from time to time, and we are constantly crossing back and forth. If infertility is consistent in one thing, it's consistently unstable.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Consult #2

Well, that fucking sucked!!! Within two minutes of meeting this doctor, I knew that this wasn't going to work. He was cold, impersonal, impossible to relate to. He explained things in a way that seemed like he was talking to a couple of brain surgeons. He jumped right into how we could try a Lupron protocol, they don't do Day 3 transfers, and the main draw to their clinic is their top notch lab. He said several times that he couldn't make any guarantees (I wasn't asking him to), and when I asked him if we had any reason to have hope... that's what we got. No guarantees, no hope.

He said a few things that really made my blood boil... and I almost lost it and cried in his office. He asked if we had any questions... NOPE... so we went to the ultrasound room. I had to produce a urine sample, and I was so pissed off that I couldn't pee in the cup. Finally got that done, and went out to get weighed. Blood pressure was through the roof. The nurse pointed out that it was high, and I said, "I'm pretty upset right now." The doctor came in for the ultrasound, and asked about the high blood pressure and said, "What's wrong?" I told him, "That's a loaded question. Let's just do this." ::feet in the stir ups:: After the ultrasound was done, he apologized for upsetting me.

John felt like he was just saying things to turn us away without coming out and saying it directly.

Whatever! I'm so pissed!! So that's a big, fat HELL NO to that clinic.

IUI 4.1

How'd it go? Just like the first three IUIs, on paper things look very promising. In our hearts, we pray for a miracle. But our heads won't let us be foolish. We knew going into this that the odds were stacked against us. Our breath is not being held. But even a fraction of a percent is better than 0% chances.