Thursday, March 27, 2014

You'll Never Walk Alone

This is a sad day. I cannot stop thinking about Colleen, her husband, and their precious Petey Nugget. This song has been coming to my mind ever since Colleen announced the news last week:

When you walk through a storm,
Keep your chin up high,
And don't be afraid of the dark.

At the end of the storm, 
There's a golden sky,
And the sweet silver song of a lark.

Walk on through the wind,
Walk on through the rain, 
Though your dreams be tossed and blown.

Walk on, walk on with hope in your heart,
And you'll never walk alone.
You'll never walk alone.

Colleen, I love you like a sister. I know there's nothing that can be said or done to take away your pain, but please know that if there were... it would've been done already. I'm praying for you, your husband, and Petey Nugget everyday, but especially today. I pray that Petey makes a safe journey into God's arms. I pray that someday you will find some peace and comfort. I pray that the storm ends soon, and that the sunshine comes out. And when it does, we'll all know that it's Petey shining down on us.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

CCS Results!!!

It was a normal Wednesday at work a few weeks ago. Jazz band in the morning followed by 4th grade lessons throughout the day. As my students were packing up from the 11:28 lesson, I was completely surprised to see a missed call and voicemail from my nurse. I knew that we'd be getting a call soon, but was never given a timeframe. I thought maybe Thursday or Friday we'd get this very important call.

It took all my strength and will power not to run over to the window (only place where I get service) and check the message that instant. I was tempted, but didn't want to lose it in front of my students. One student was taking an especially long time packing up. I ran over to help him saying, "I don't want you to be late for lunch!" Gahhhhh!! Move it, move it, move it!!!

When I was alone, I ran over to the window, said a quick prayer, and then hit the button on my phone to listen to the voicemail. I listened for clues in Nurse Jessica's voice as she started her message... Does her tone sound like it's good news or bad? Please, please, please let this be good news. Her intro sounds all business like... or is that her pity voice? Oh, god, is she getting ready to say the worst news? Her pitch just dropped and her cadence just slowed. Please, please, please don't say the worst. Then her tone picked up about ten notches as she said, "I have really good news for you today!"

Our embryo is chromosomally normal!!! I started crying the second she said those words and didn't stop for about 30 minutes. I was so happy!! And it was like all of the stress from the past several months just came pouring out of me. I couldn't concentrate on the rest of Jessica's message (she was giving me instructions for our FET cycle. EEEEEEE!!!!! We're going to have a FET!!!!), so I saved the message and hung up the phone. I called John and told him the news (through tears again, he was so cute, he said he wished I wasn't crying. When will he get it that I cry when I'm happy?!?!).

There was much celebration and rejoicing. To be honest, we are still blown away, humbled, and head-over-heals happy about this news. We have a fully hatched grade 6C blastocyst with 46 normal chromosomes. This is the best news ever!!! 

We will have a transfer in the future, and we are now praying that my uterus will become the perfect home/dojo/village for Frostie Ninja. 

We plan to keep this part of our journey private for a while, and plan to update this blog on a significant delay. After all we've been through... 2 years of TTC, 1 year of aggressive treatments with the RE, 4 IUIs, a laparoscopy, 3 IVFs, endless blood, sweat and tears... so many tears... we are so happy to have this one blastocyst to show for it. But at the same time, there is so much pressure riding on this cycle, and on our precious Frostie Ninja. I can't think too far ahead, otherwise it sends me into a very negative, dark place as my mind races to the possibilities should this fail. I owe it to our embryo, my husband, and myself to be as calm and positive as possible. When people ask for updates and results, I know it is coming from a place of love and support. But it also adds a layer of stress and expectation on me, John & our embryo. For that reason, we have decided to keep this part of our life private for now. I promise to update you when we are ready & truly appreciate all of your prayers, love and support. 


Way to go, Frostie Ninja!! You aced your big test!!
Please, please, please stick around little one!! 

Saturday, March 22, 2014

We're Coming Out

I've been thinking about it for a while, and it is looking pretty definite that we will be 'coming out' about our infertility this year during National Infertility Awareness Week (NIAW).

I remember learning about NIAW for the first time last year as it was 'celebrated' from April 21st-27th. At the time, we were just getting started with the RE. Our initial consultation with the RE was on April 10th, and I had my HSG on April 22nd... (it is so deeply upsetting to know that we are coming up on our one year anniversary with the RE... a full year of aggressively pursuing those two lines, and not a chance that it'll happen for us within that year). I 'watched' with awe and admiration as fellow bumpies talked about how they pulled the trigger, took the plunge, and 'came out.' We ourselves were nowhere near ready to make that step. I was still in deep denial, and just getting acquainted with the constant blood work and dates with the vag cam.

I remember thinking to myself, maybe we'll 'come out' if we're still dealing with IF when NIAW comes around next year. Shit. .... Shit, shit, shit. NIAW 2014 is April 20th-26th. So here we are, still dealing with IF, and realizing that even if we ever "make it to the other side" our lives will still have been changed, scarred, forever by infertility. It doesn't matter how or if we become parents. My body will forever be on the black list of the reproductively challenged... I don't know if I will ever forgive my ovaries for their betrayal. I wonder if I'll ever learn to love my body again.

Starting around January, I had thoughts of making a slideshow about our journey. I have been and still am inspired by a fellow Dreamer who made a beautiful video about her journey. But when I sat down to work on our version, I have always come up with a blank. This just didn't feel like the way to tell our story.

My best friend's husband recently finished his basement with a home studio for making podcasts. We have been very open with them about our infertility, and they have both been tremendously supportive. I asked him if we could do a podcast about infertility to be published and posted for all of the world (meaning FACEBOOK!!!) to hear. He was on board with the idea right away.

But first, I had to talk to John about this idea. Obviously, this is not just my story to tell, and I didn't know how he'd feel about putting it out there for all of Facebook to hear. I love him so much. He says that he is ok with it, and that if it's something that I want to do (and that will make me feel better), then I have the green light.

The next step will be to come up with a list of topics for the podcast. I'd like to be very clear about what things are on the table for discussion, and what things are not. I already joked with my friend that we need to draw the line with how much of my vagina I will be at liberty to blab about. I told him that I couldn't believe that I just said 'vagina' to my best friend's husband. He joked back that I'll have to watch it, and that he runs a clean show. LOL! So I guess saying, "Fuck you, Infertility!" is out of the question. He said I might be able to get away with it a little deeper into the program, where the NSA won't find me ;)

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

At a loss for words...

***Warning: late term loss mentioned...***

I don't even know where to start... It's all just so unfair.

My heart is absolutely broken for a very dear friend and her husband who received just about the worst news you could ever imagine today. Their anatomy scan showed deformities on their baby yesterday at 18 weeks... Today they went to follow up and the doctors confirmed the worst possible scenario. They are going to lose the baby.

Just typing that makes me bawl my eyes out all over again. It's so horrible... It's so unimaginably unfair. After fighting for two years of infertility to get pregnant, going through IVF, finally getting to a point in the pregnancy where they thought they could relax... It hurts so much to think that the universe would allow such horrible things to happen let alone all to one couple.

Chickin, I don't know if you will read this, but my heart is with you. I am praying for you, Shawn, and your precious Petey Nugget. I pray that you can find some peace and comfort somewhere, somehow. I know it's not much, but I am sending you all my love, strength, thoughts and prayers.

Just yesterday, John & I attended a funeral for his best friend's girlfriend. She was diagnosed with leukemia 11 months ago. She was 33 years old. And just yesterday, we wept in the cemetery as we listened to Khalid say goodbye to Diana, and they lowered her casket into the ground.

Why? Why do these tragedies happen? These are good people. No one asks for this. No one deserves this. Why does life have to be so unfair?

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Bad Blogger

Shame on me! I've been absent from this blog for far too long. I could sit here and make my excuses (busy, tired, not in the mood), but the truth is I just needed a break.

We got news of our CCS report last week. I've been holding off on updating my blog because I have some IRL friends who stalk this blog. I'd like to share the news with them personally before putting it out there on the interwebs. I'm almost through my list, so I should be able to publish the post soon.

A lot has happened over the past week, and with our report we gained important information. We now have a path to follow. At least for now, we know what direction we are heading in.

John & I have discussed our current situation and both agreed that we feel an enormous amount of pressure. Our situation is so delicate... we have decided to take a more private stance as we make our next steps. I will continue to post to this blog, but there will be a considerable delay when posting time sensitive information (results, protocols, procedures, etc). Over the past year with my blog, I have always made updates pretty instantly. But in an effort to guard our emotions and claim a little shred of our privacy back, I will not be posting timely updates here. I will continue to use this blog in the meantime probably for babbling about whatever comes to my mind, so come on by whenever you get the chance :)

To my IRL friends, I love you lots & lots. I can't wait to hug you or hear your voice on the phone again soon.

To my internet friends, you know where to find me :) I'll still be around the usual boards, lurking, stalking, and cheering you on!!


Sunday, March 9, 2014


I had a dream last night. We were waiting for the call with our CCS results, and then the phone rang. I answered it, and was surprised to hear my grandmother's voice on the other end. I was surprised because 1) it wasn't the doctor and 2) she passed away in 1999. (This is the same grandmother who in real life struggled with IF in the 1950s. She and my grandfather tried for nine years before they got pregnant with their miracles, twins: my mother & uncle.) She told me that she had the results of our CCS testing, and that it wasn't good news. We both started to cry, and I begged her to just say it... I wouldn't believe it until she said it. It was not a nice dream :(

I have always thought of my grandparents as our guardian angels. I am praying that it was just a bad dream - a sign that I'm more stressed than I thought. I do not want this dream to come true. I can't shake the feeling that this was my grandmother's way of softening the blow... that we're headed for bad news soon. I really, really hope I am wrong.

I feel so bad for the pressure that we are placing on our precious Frostie Ninja. We have all of our hopes pinned on her. If she decides not to be our baby, then we will likely be waving goodbye to our hopes for a biological child. It is a scary thought, and a lot to ask from one little blastocyst.

But our Ninja is strong. She has to be. She fought to make it this far. I truly believe that if we can just get her in my uterus that I can help her the rest of the way. She is a fighter just like her mommy & daddy. I pray that she is our baby.

We will find out soon... hopefully this week... if she passed the test. Many prayers have been said. I've been visiting her almost daily, and playing songs for her. When I visited on my birthday, I told her that I wished that she would have a birthday too.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014


I heard a lovely story this evening:

A man went into an antique shop and saw a teacup on the shelf. He noticed it right away and commented on how lovely it was. The teacup said, "I did not always look like this. I started out as a lump of clay, and then my maker spun me around and shaped me. I was so dizzy and the stretching hurt. Then he placed me in an oven. It was so hot, I thought I was going to die. Then my maker took me out of the oven, and he smeared a glaze all over me. It smelled so much that I gagged. And then again he put me back in the oven. This time it was three times hotter than the last time. Finally, my maker took me out of the oven and placed me on the shelf. He put a mirror in front of me. I said, 'That is not me! That teacup is beautiful. I am just a lump of clay.' My maker said, 'Yes, the teacup is you. I made you into the teacup and knew from the beginning that this is who you were meant to be.'"

We are all teacups. The trials and struggles of life shape us into who we are meant to be. I can't tell you how many times infertility has made me feel inferior and flawed. The pain of the journey has already scarred me for life. I will never be the same.

But maybe the scars I now carry with me are what is shaping me into the person I was always meant to be. Maybe this pain is making me strong and beautiful.

I can only hope and pray that I will make it through this and become the woman I was always meant to be. I have always dreamed that I would be a mother. I pray that my dream comes true. One thing is for sure: if I do become a mother, I will be eternally grateful. I can imagine no greater love in the whole world.


Aunt Flo is such an inconsiderate wench. She couldn't wait until Friday to show up. No, that would've been too nice of her to wait until after our therapy session on Thursday evening. So now, we are starting a new cycle and we don't have a plan. Sigh.

I called my nurse this morning to let her know. We are supposed to find out the results of our CCS testing. Hopefully our frosty ninja passes the test with flying colors, and we'll have the opportunity to do a FET.

UPDATE: I just spoke to my nurse and asked a bajillion questions. Turns out, because we are in the study, we don't get the option to put off our transfer if our Ninja is good to go for a transfer. And we won't find out the CCS results until next week. So, on the BCP I go with the hopes that our CCS testing comes back well, and that we can do a FET at the end of March or beginning of April.

Monday, March 3, 2014


Why do things have to be so confusing and complicated? And painful? Infertility is so unfair... nothing is left untouched...

We are still absolutely THRILLED to have a blastocyst waiting for a FET. Assuming the CCS testing comes back normally, then we will actually have a fair shot at this. That in itself is a miracle. The entire month of December, when my head and heart were stuck in the darkness, this was something that I couldn't even imagine anymore. I am out-of-this-world happy to even have this chance at a biological child.

So why am I feeling so lost and confused? Because I'm thinking too far ahead... that's always what gets me into trouble.

*********WARNING: Sensitive and personal content below. Read at your own risk. And if you find yourself passing judgement, then just stop reading. Also, if you are an IRL friend lurking in, feel free to read, but please do not bring the topic up in conversation with me unless I bring it up first.*********

Here's the situation... we are trying to decide what to do with our next cycle. Our options:
  1. If the CCS testing on our one ninja frosty comes back normally...
    1. Do a frozen transfer and pray that ninja sticks!!!
    2. Leave ninja frosty in the freezer for another cycle while we do our final IVF cycle. Hopefully we'd get another embryo who makes it to blastocyst so we can have more than one try or (I can't believe I'm even typing this) the chance for a sibling.
  2. CCS testing on our one ninja frosty comes back abnormally
    1. FET is canceled and we start researching other options (adoption, egg donors, embryo adoption, live CFNBC, child-free not by choice).
Ok, so let's get into the nitty gritty here and talk about each of these options. I'm being so optimistic about our frosty ninja, that I'm not even going to entertain option 2.1 right now (CCS results come back abnormally). We will find out in a few days, but for now I am so happy that we have a blastocyst, I can't spend time worrying that it's abnormal.

Option 1.1 (FET right away) is probably what we'll do. I can't wait to see if our frosty ninja will result in a baby!! Though, I have to say, the thought of the transfer not working... it makes me so sad. I hope the miracle isn't only that we got a frosty... I hope the miracle is that we'll get a baby.

Option 1.2 (put FET on hold while we do one more ER) is what I really want to do. I have a lot of reasons why. What are they? Funny you should ask ;)
  • Get it over and done with: our insurance covers four ER cycles, and so far we have used three. Even if our frosty ninja works out, we'll end up using this fourth cycle at some point to try for a second. And if it doesn't work out... well, we'd use it one way or anther to try again for our miracle. I am already dreading another IVF cycle.... it is so hard... physically and emotionally. I just want it done and over with. Leaving a loose end like this makes me crazy... I feel like a constant burden has been on my shoulders and it's been looming over my head all this time. I'd rather just KNOW what our reality is rather than spend a whole pregnancy (GOD WILLING) wondering how I'll drudge up the courage to do it all again.... and wondering if it'll even result in a good blastocyst or just more heartache. 
  • I get my body back: I have been making a lot of really hard sacrifices for a really long time to pursue IVF. I gave up marathons & training... my heart still aches when I think about the NYC Marathon. I miss so much about my former lifestyle... I miss my Sunday long runs with friends. I miss my fit and lean runners body. I miss the buzz of registering for a marathon and the months of training and counting down to the big day. I miss the opportunity to go blow off steam at the track after a hard day. I miss pushing my body to the top of the hill just to prove to myself that I can do it. I miss the amazing, empowering feeling of accomplishment. I miss it all so much. Once we get this ER out of the way... I can RUN again. I can drink alcohol and caffeine (assuming I'm not pregnant). I don't have to worry if I forgot to take a dose of my CoQ10. I don't have to worry about my eggs aging, or living such a clean and perfect life for fear of ruining further my (probably already ruined) egg quality. The only time I'd have to make these sacrifices again would be for a PREGNANCY. Which, obviously, I would gladly do without thinking twice!
  • We don't have to worry about my aging eggs: presumably, we will have gotten the best ones out, and then that's it. We're done with my eggs. I'm off the hook. I have spent months resenting my body for betraying me. I have felt broken. Unable to produce. Unable to fulfill my duty as a wife and a woman to bring a precious egg to the table. It has been and continues to be extraordinarily difficult for me to navigate... it cuts to the core of my self worth. 
Sounds reasonable, right? And it would only delay us from transferring our ninja frosty for about a month. An exercise in patience? Yes. But at this point... I'm willing to wait one more month in order to gain my peace of mind in return... my body... my mind... my sanity.

Where's the problem with this? John doesn't agree. Like I said above, it's complicated. My side of the story isn't the full story. Here's what is holding us up:
  • My insurance covers donor eggs: I feel bad even admitting this here... I know that some of my most favorite blog stalkers are 100% OOP, and don't get a penny from insurance... My insurance covers a lifetime maximum of four egg retrievals... and they'll even cover the cost of donor eggs for those four cycles. I am humbled and blown away by this. I understand the enormous gift that this is... it's a game changer for us. If we were OOP from the start, then there is NO WAY we would have been able to pursue this much treatment. You're probably thinking, "Good for you!! Why exactly is this a problem?" Well, the issue is that it opens a can of worms. Donor eggs is a choice, whereas it wouldn't be if our insurance didn't cover it. I know, I know. That doesn't exactly make sense. Here's the thing: personally, I don't even want to consider using an egg donor. I have a lot of reasons why not, but I'm not going to get into it now. I think it's a great choice for people who are ok with it... but I'm personally not. Why is this a problem? Because John wants to keep this as an option. See what I'm saying? The fact that it's a choice opens a WHOLE CAN OF WORMS. And has been a fuel to the fire in that it has caused several fights and ugly cries. 
It's messy... it's complicated... it's going to be painful working through to a decision. Thankfully, we have a session scheduled with my therapist on Thursday. John will come with me, and this will be the topic of discussion. However, we won't have much turn around time if we even reach a decision during that session. I'm expecting my period by the end of the week. As a matter of fact, my average LP would make Thursday CD1. Sigh. See what I mean? Complicated. Confusing. Painful. I fucking hate infertility. 

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Day 6 Report

IT'S GOOD NEWS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

We have a blastocyst!!!! Our little ninja is graded as a 6C (the number indicates size on a scale from 1-6... 6 means fully hatched! The letter indicates quality on a scale from A-C. A is rarely given by my clinic, and my doctor said there's only a 5% difference on implantation rates between B & C). It was biopsied and frozen Thursday morning... this is so surreal that we actually have a frosty!! We are still on cloud nine and will probably be here a while!! :D

So, the final report gives us the following in summary:
  • Feb 21 - ER - 9 eggs retrieved
  • Feb 22 - Day 1 - 5 eggs mature, 5 eggs fertilized
  • Feb 26 - Day 5 - 3 embryos arrested, 2 embryos still growing (1 looking like it might arrest soon, the other doing better)
  • Feb 27 - Day 6 - 1 embryo arrested, 1 embryo made it to blastocyst and was biopsied and frozen
How do we feel about this news? We are absolutely thrilled!! I've said from the beginning, if we even get one blastocyst it will be a miracle, and we'd be so, so happy. 

WEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!! I have a frostyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy!!!!!!!!