Monday, June 30, 2014


50 days to go until Dr. KK Part I. 

90 days to go until Dr. KK Part II. 

My ovaries are doing their usual thing. Presumably making a big fuss over producing another sub-par egg. I don't know if or when I ovulated, because I'm making no efforts to figure it out with OPKs or BBT. 

Other than that, marathon training is where it's at! This is week 4 of 13 until race day! Woohoo!

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

The Hormonal Fog Has Been Lifted!

I tell you: these hormones are no joke! Even on an unmedicated cycle, the power of your hormones can turn you into a certifiable loon. Add fuel to the fire, and the results are downright turbulent. Sheesh!

I think the hormone haze from the last cycle is finally leveling out. Thank goodness! I can think again. I can see clearly. I don't feel the need to eat pint after pint of ice cream while sobbing one second and raging the next.

I am focusing on my marathon training and it is glorious! Even if I can't seem to stay up on my two feet (yeah, I kinda fell... again... while out on my long run this weekend. Second time this month! What do you do when you fall? Well, I get right back up and run 10 more miles!).

The Dr. KK Countdown is slowly ticking away. We are down to 56 days until Part I (initial consult with testing) and 96 days until Part II (follow up with results). I have to admit that I don't know much about the world of reproductive immunology. I worry that it's too late for me. Maybe there's something that can be done to improve our chances, but I'm worried that it's not going to be enough to make the difference for us. ::shrugs shoulders:: I dunno. There's only one way to find out!!

Saturday, June 21, 2014

How do you put the glass down?

I read a quick photo caption on Facebook about how heavy a glass was perceived to be when you hold it. The longer you hold it, the heavier it becomes. Hold it a minute, it's not heavy at all. Hold it an hour, your arm starts to get sore. Hold it a day, your arm becomes numb and you are paralyzed from doing anything else. The concept was then related to the thoughts that we hold onto.

How long have I been holding onto my infertility glass? To be honest, I haven't put it down since before we saw the RE. The obsession started in October 2012. We were still TTC on our own, but it was the first time I realized that we had been trying for over six months, and I was obsessed.

I was crushed when I got my period (again) and realized that our cycle did not work. The previous cycles weren't as hard to brush off. "Next time," I said, "That just wasn't our baby." Then I 'decided' that John and I could use a TTC break. I tried to put the glass down.

The problem was, I couldn't forget about it for long. It was like I put the glass down, but I was still attached. Maybe I was walking around and put some distance between the glass and myself, but there was a string that held us together. The 'break' wasn't much of a break, because I agonized over when I ovulated and still kept track of my cycle. And when I got my period I was crushed again. That time did not help that it was in the midst of Hurricane Sandy, we were displaced from our home due to power outages, and it was the period from hell.

Now here I am, a year and a half later... almost two years... will be two years by the time we can have hope again for a cycle... The glass is still in my hand, my arm is a dangling appendage, nearly rotted off my body by now. I am trying to put it down, but I am still bound. This time the string has evolved into a chain with barbed wire. And the distance has shortened so severely that there may only be an inch between us. I can put it down, but I can't walk away. I am a prisoner to my glass.

So how do you escape? I am going for a run. Thank god for marathon training. It is one of the few things in my life that brings genuine relief. I wish I could constantly be in running mode. I wish I could run so long and hard that my ovaries would become numb.


This is not the end of me,
This is the beginning.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Liar, Liar, Pants on Fire

I've been doing this whole "pretend I'm ok even though I'm not" thing the past few weeks. Today, it blew up in my face. I woke up to the usual PMS cramps at the usual dpIUI time.

When I was leaving the house to go to work, I looked down at my thumb nail... as silly, sad, or pathetic as it sounds, I had painted my nails with my Ninja manicure on April 20th, two days before our beta. I never had the heart to remove the chipped polish, so I let time chip it away. Well, the final speck was gone when I looked this morning. Cue Ugly Cry #1 of the day. Not fun or recommended while driving. Why does that always seem to happen?!

I started the usual PMS spotting late this morning. And I don't know what set me off, but suddenly I was swept away by Ugly Cry #2 at my desk at work. It's usually a safe place to let loose, but I heard the door open and a man's voice. I made a run for the storage closet, but didn't get away with it. The sales rep from our local music shop was making his rounds, and followed me asking, "Hey! So now you see me and run?" He was joking until he saw my red-eyed, blotchy face. Awwwwwwk-warrrrrrrrd. Then he couldn't run out of the room fast enough. He was abundantly apologetic, saying that he was so sorry and that he would come back later, so sorry to bother, you should really get a cup of coffee, do you want me to get you a cup of coffee?? Oh, god, so awkward.

So, I guess I'm not fine. I wish I could shut off my ovaries for a little while to give my brain a break. Sigh.

And, this just in, I just got my period. BIG SURPRISE, IUI #5 is a bust. I don't know if I should count today as CD1 or if tomorrow is CD1. I DON'T CARE. In the end, it doesn't really matter. We are not doing another IUI.


I had the realization - why am I torturing myself with more IUIs while we're in this holding pattern?? I didn't have a single shred of hope, I knew that it was basically going to guarantee when my period would come and that is it. It is not worth the pain. It is not worth the planning. It is not worth anything at all!!!

So what now? We continue to wait. 62 days until Dr. KK Part I, 102 days until Part II.

Somehow I need to find a way to keep my brain distracted. I will be running a lot to numb the pain.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

A Nice Weekend

Yup, you read that right :) Things on the TTC front are at the same standstill as before. I don't care (or at least I'm trying not to) and I'm living my life peacefully and happily.

I picked out my next big race - marathon!!! I will be returning to the LVM in September and running for some revenge! I did this race in 2011 and dropped out at Mile 23.8. This time, I will get my medal!! So you know what this means?! I'm officially training! Woohoo!! I went for my long run and got a little lost so I ran a little extra. Oops ;) I'm so happy to be running like this again! I even ran two miles at my 'race pace' (I set a somewhat arbitrary pace goal, though I could care less if I fall short. I just want something to aim for). My body was a little stubborn about getting to the pace, but once we got there we held it. Just need some practice to remember ;)

Other highlights from the weekend include a concert (we performed) and seeing my dad for FD. It was lovely :)

My dogs are currently snuggling me. I'm happy :)

Monday, June 9, 2014

Deja Vu

AGAIN!! I can't believe it! Though, I guess given the circumstance, I should not be shocked.

I'm at work, tracking down kids to let them know about a schedule change. I walk into a 6th Grade classroom to deliver the note to one of my clarinet students. And what's on the screen? The health lesson. You know, THE health lesson. There's the perfect little female reproductive system with the perfect little fertilized egg floating down the perfect little Fallopian tube on its way to the perfect little uterus. So perfectly easy, right guys?!?!?


Same deal as last year (here's the blog link if you'd care to review). And ironically the SAME EXACT POINT in my cycle. Well, last time it was 2dpIUI #1... this time it's 3dpIUI #5.

So much has happened in this year. When I read back last year's post... wow. My tone is genuinely optimistic. I really thought that there was a shot that all this would've worked. One year, five IUIs, three IVF ERs, two IVF transfers, and one laparoscopy later... I'm over it! I am not so foolish to invest my heart this time around. I know where we stand.

I don't mean to sound completely negative. I'm not over here crying my eyes out day in and day out. All things considered, I'm back to living my life (something that I was not doing from September through March of this year). Though I did have a serious wake up call this weekend. Somehow, my head was so far up my ute that I missed out on some pretty important details. Thankfully, I have an understanding family. But still. Holy shit.

I spent so long singing Mumford & Sons's I Will Wait as my anthem for our TTC journey. You know what? I am done waiting. I can't let my life pass me by and sit around here praying for a miracle. If it is meant to come, it will come. And if it does, I will be overjoyed. But for now, I have to carry on.

Friday, June 6, 2014

Oh, My Aching Ovaries

IUI #5 is officially in the books. As I said in previous posts, I am officially guarding my heart and am at peace with the probability that this won't work. I am NOT at peace with how intensely my ovaries are hurting me. I'm telling you: the ovulation pains from several follicles is far greater than anything I've experienced in all three of my IVF cycles. Ouch :-/

The good news is that it will pass. And I was able to take the day off from work so I can cuddle my dogs on the couch. As a teacher, it is not possible to just gut my way through the work day. Could you imagine?! The kids would be running circles around me saying, 'Mrs. Z, why are you laying on the floor?!'

The technical info for those of you who care to know ;) ovulation pains made it pretty clear that the timing of the IUI was absolutely perfect. Post-wash left us with a decent sample of 13.5 million swimmers to go after our 3-8 possible targets (don't worry, given our history and what we know from our poor embryo quality as demonstrated in all three IVF cycles, the chances of this working or for me becoming the next Octomom are slim to none).

I made a conclusion today... I am usually a 'never say never' kind of girl, so don't hold me to it, okay? I don't want to do this ever again. The physical pain is significant. And the emotional anguish... going through all of this hassle with regular blood work and ultrasounds, giving myself shots and taking hormones, allowing my ovaries to dictate my running life, and the intense pain of ovulation... all for something that I believe in my heart will not pay off. It's just hard to keep going like this. Perhaps I will talk to my doctor about doing an unmedicated IUI for the next one. It just hurts so damn much. And I really don't think it's improving our chances by enough to make the difference.

Anyways, like I've said before, I am still praying for a miracle. Why not pray for this to be it? I'm trying anyway. But I have found comfort in our 'plan' for the future. Regardless how this cycle turns out, I am reassured by the faith that something will work out.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

IUI #5 - Trigger

Today is CD9, and I went in for my second monitoring appointment (first ultrasound) for this cycle. To say that I'm more relaxed about this time around is a major understatement. I haven't been obsessing about cycle days, or even asking the nurse about my hormone levels. I was doing my core workout last night when I suddenly realized that I FORGOT to take my Follistim. I was two hours late for my date with the needle - no big deal, I took the shot as soon as I remembered - but it just slipped my mind. Honestly... I don't care! I know this isn't going to work, and while I'd love to be graced with a miracle, I'm not counting on it. Maybe that sounds sad to most people who will read this, but I am at peace with it.

I saw most of my favorite people at my monitoring appointment this morning. The nurse who did my blood draw is so funny - we always crack up whenever she's there. Dr. J and my favorite nurse did my ultrasound. My lining is measuring at 6.6. That's great! Time for the follicle count. Oh, lawd, my ovaries are WORKIN' IT just like they always do. I have three in the mature range and five in the 'gonna catch up' range.

As my doctor was calling out the measurements, my favorite nurse said, "Is this a typical response for Cici?" Why yes. Yes, it is. My ovaries are a couple of annoying bitches! They're always like, 'Heyyyyyyy, we're working so hard up in here! Notice me! Notice me! Do you feel that??' I swear, it's like they're fishing for compliments or something.

I am triggering tonight and the IUI will be on Friday. Probably the best part of all this is that Johnny's cup is currently in the refrigerator AT WORK. (My clinic puts a liquid in the cup that needs to be refrigerated up until 30 minutes before sample production) Ironic when I think of all the times people around here carelessly stated, "There's something in the water!" in response to all the pregnant teachers.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

The Plan

Ay, ay, ay. Let me tell you: the power of a solid plan is a wonderful thing. The problem? Our plan sucks.

About three weeks ago, I had one of those sleepless nights when my brain just wouldn't shut off. I decided what I thought was a genius plan. John even woke up, listened to the plan, agreed it was good, and rolled back to sleep. The next morning, I asked if he remembered the conversation, he said he did and he thought it was great. Ok, so we had a plan.

As it turns out, it wasn't The Plan. It seemed like every other day, I had a sudden panic stricken realization that I hated the plan. Are we headed down a dead end? Is this going to be a waste of valuable resources? Time, money, energy? I started to notice along with these questions that I just want a baby in my arms. Now. Yesterday!! I am so, completely exhausted of being in crisis mode. I just want this chapter to be over. I want to move on and resume the otherwise happy life I once lived.

But it's not that simple. Because I simply cannot imagine living a full and happy life without becoming a mother. So we must press on.

But how? Where do you go after the most aggressive form of baby-making fails you? IVF was supposed to be the last resort that should have worked. We were stunned when IVF #1 failed. We were absolutely blindsided when IVF #2 produced not a single transfer-worthy embryo by Day 3. We were heartbroken that our one and only blastocyst from IVF #3 failed to implant from our FET.

It is clear that this isn't working. The definition of insanity... Well, you get it. More IVF and more IUIs is just insane.

I have learned though the many running accomplishments I have made to never say never. I remember the days I said, I could never run a marathon! I could never run a 5K in under 24 minutes! I could never break 4 hours in the marathon! I have run 10 marathons, I have run a 21:45 5K, I have run a 3:42:54 marathon. Never.say.never.

But I find myself saying at this point that I never want to do IVF again. It has been so traumatizing... The time from ER to ET... Watching them all die... Knowing how expensive it is and how there's nothing we can do to fix it.... I cannot put myself into that situation again and expect to come out sane on the other side. It makes me sick to even imagine doing another IVF.

So what next? How are we supposed to overcome this great obstacle set in our path? What will The Plan be?