Archive for July, 2009

Protected: Fine Tuning

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Last week, I met up with a bunch of Stirrup Queens (Mel, LJ, Murgdan, Barren, N, J… am I missing anyone?) for ice cream.  Since it fell on a Thursday, my typical day to get to see Barren, but also a day when I was feeling particularly antisocial, the lovely Ms. Barren convinced me that it would be good for me to get out and go hang out with these lovely ladies for the evening.  So hang out I did, and she was right, I had a lovely time, as I knew I would, antisocial status and all.  (Nothing against anyone else – I just get into my little funks and I have a hard time getting out of them and when I’m there, I get antisocial – don’t take it personally).

But after we finished ice cream and we were disbanding, I told Barren I’d drive her home (it’s not entirely altruistic, mind you, it’s a selfish way to get to spend quality 1-on-1 time with her, but don’t tell her that!  It can be our little secret, okay?).  But first she had to run over to the bookstore with me to pick up a book that my therapist wanted me to read called: Stop Walking on Eggshells which was located in the section on “Personality Disorders.”

While perusing the shelves in search of my book, I stopped short, because this is what we saw:

Infertility Personality Disorders

What I found particularly humorous was that there wasn’t just one fertility book there – that could have just been a filing error (but, um, hello?  That’s one HECK of a filing error!) – but there were two!  The Fertility Diet AND Taking Charge of Your Fertility!  (Now, admittedly, I so despise TCOYF that I think it kind of does belong in the “personality disorders” section… or at least maybe I belonged in the personality disorders section after having read it, but I’m sure that was a bit of an overreaction on my part. )

Well, I always knew we were a little bit crazy.  It’s all those hormones.  Or maybe just the waiting.  Or the stupid things people say to us.  Yes, I think it’s that last one.  Like, “Just relax” or “if you just stop thinking about it or adopt, you’ll get pregnant.”  Or “Have you tried propping your hips up?”

Yes, those things would give anyone a little bit of a personality disorder, don’t you think?


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Now that I’m all set up in my new home, I guess I ought to mention…

Ask and ye shall receive, I suppose.  All that whinging I did about my absent period must have done me some good, because it did arrive, and I have started my BCPs.  There won’t be any other suppression with this cycle, so I’ll just be going in for monitoring on August 11th, and starting stims on August 14th.  Currently, the projection is that retrieval will be August 25th and transfer will be sometime August 28-30th.  Retrieval and transfer dates are highly hypothetical at this point, of course.  Who knows if we’ll even get that far.

If we do get that far, I’m betting on a Day 3 transfer.  No bets on whether it’ll be a 1 or 2 embryo transfer – that’ll depend on embryo quality and whether the antagonist protocol changes anything in that department (I’m not counting on improved embryo quality).

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My new home

Okey dokey.  I think I’m all set up in my new home.   If you don’t have the password to my protected posts, email me.  I haven’t had time to put up a real post here – but I wanted to let everyone know that I’m still here and I do intend to keep posting.  Thanks everyone for hanging in there with me.

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A comment today on this post reminded me that there’s a bright side to being at the last resort after all. I mean, the last resort is Ganirelix. Which means? No Lupron.

Admittedly, I don’t know a lot of women who’ve done an antagonist protocol, and even fewer women who have done a Lupron protocol followed by an antagonist protocol (most women I know who’ve done ganirelix have simply started out there), so truthfully, I don’t really know how the side effects are going to compare. Maybe they’ll still suck. But I’m guessing that I’m not going to be describing headaches that slice through my head like a piece of broken glass. I mean, that was pretty graphic and gruesome, wasn’t it? Ick!

It’s bound to be better than that, right?

Admittedly, starting the Ganirelix protocol requires me getting my period at some point. And my dear, sweet period is still MIA, which, I must say, is definitely not amusing.

Honestly, there simply *must* be something interesting to say about waiting, but there just… isn’t.

Hey, so, have any of you out there used Ganirelix? More importantly, have any of you who have used Ganirelix also used Lupron in the past? How do they compare (specifically with regards to side effects)? I’m thinking of posting this question to the LFCA in my copious spare time, but, um, you all know about me and my copious spare time. I’ve got so little copious spare time that I haven’t even managed to put one of those handy dandy little buttons in my sidebar that says “post my news in the LFCA” which would make it super easy to just go and do it now, wouldn’t it? And in the space of time it took me to type this little paragraph about how I don’t have time to go post this in the LFCA, I could have popped it into Mel’s google spreadsheet. Or picked up the phone and called Mel and told her I’m too lazy to post it in the LFCA and could she please do it for me? But no. I’m not as industrious as Mel. I, as they say, am lazy.

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I took Provera over a week and a half ago for five days and… nothing. Well, nothing except some really visciously bad PMDD-like symptoms. And now I wait.

At the end of this week, in all likelihood, I’ll call Ye Olde Fertility Clinic back and ask WTF is going on and they’ll tell me to come in for bloodwork (you know, to make sure I’m not pregnant – don’t worry, I’ve already POAS’d to make sure, and well, I’m not… duh). And after the bloodwork I imagine they’ll give me more Provera. Which theoretically will induce a period, at which point I can start BCPs.

And if it doesn’t induce a period… well… I don’t know what then.

And I’m tired of waiting. I’m tired of the schedule changing. I’m tired of recalculating when stims might start and, consequently, when my hypothetical retrieval and transfer could be. I’m tired of thinking things like, “Well, as long as we start by X day, it shouldn’t interfere with Rosh Hashana.” For heaven’s sake we had an extra month’s lead time to avoid the High Holidays! This was not supposed to be a problem this time. You know, just like Passover wasn’t supposed to be a problem. Or Shavuos. Or, you know, Shabbos last cycle.

I get it. I get that I’m not in control. I don’t need to be reminded of it at every turn.

As I wrote to a friend this morning I’m having a hard time looking forward with a lot of optimism…

“Even SuperDoc doesn’t seem particularly optimistic about this upcoming IVF cycle. It’s pretty disheartening when the doctor is the one that isn’t super optimistic.

He said if I’d asked him in January what he thought my odds would be going into my fourth initiated cycle (which is essentially where I am right now by HIS count… my count is a little different, but I know where he gets his number)… he said he would have given me about 80% odds of a successful pregnancy back then. But now that he’s seen the outcome – two failed cycles, and one canceled due to low response (he’s not counting the one that didn’t get to stims)… he doesn’t have that kind of optimism. He said he’d maybe give me about 30% odds on this cycle.

He said, “I definitely think we’ll learn a lot from this cycle, and it’s going to be key to your ultimate success.”

I paused, took a deep breath, and thought about the implications of that statement.

And he said, “I mean, of course hopefully you’ll just be pregnant at the end of this cycle…”


I’m not trying to be a negative nelly about it – I just… with the IUI cycles even though I technically had more at stake (having never had a successful pregnancy before), none of my negative cycles hit me the way these do. These cycles? No matter how much I prepare myself for the failures, no matter how much SuperDoc himself prepares me for them to fail? They’re devastating. Even though I have four beautiful children at home. Maybe because of it.”

I admit, I much prefer his honesty to meaningless platitudes. I don’t want to hear him just blindly say, “I know this is the one” without scientific basis for saying so. But I admit I’m growing weary. I’m beginning to wonder if I’m the patient that keeps going despite a doctor who secretly thinks there’s really no point. I don’t think I’m there yet. But … will I be there soon?

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On Friday, I received two pieces of mail from Ye Olde Fertility Clinic. The first was a statement detailing my deposit due for IVF#3 (they call it IVF#4, interestingly). I had already paid the deposit that morning, but they couldn’t have known that when I put it in the mail, so no biggie.

The second piece of mail was slightly more annoying (and that’s saying a lot – because any piece of paper that’s more annoying than a piece of paper asking for a large sum of money? Well, that’s pretty annoying, don’t you think?)

It was my embryo disposition report from IVF#1… which was in Jan/Feb of this year! So just a lovely little reminder that:

I had… 10 eggs retrieved.
I had… 9 eggs fertilized normally.
I had… 0 eggs fertilized abnormally (e.g., with more than 1 sperm)
I had… 1 eggs unfertilized and discarded.
I had… 1 embryos transferred. [with zero resulting pregnancies]
I requested… All remaining embryos to be cultured and that any that reached the potentially viable blastocyst stage be cryopreserved.

And…. (drumroll please)

As a final result of embryo culture… 0 embryos were cryopreserved this cycle.

Presumably, that last line was the whole reason they sent this copy to me – since I didn’t have a copy that actually said that before, and I’d merely been told over the phone what the final result was (and it took several days for me to be told that result, too, btw).

Thanks for the reminder. It really… um… helped give me closure?


I wonder how long it will be before I get the embryo disposition report from my May/June cycle and I’ll get to be happily reminded of that hell of a transfer day with the evil doctor when I look at the embryo disposition report and see several signatures that aren’t mine, but are, instead the witnesses who signed in my place. Fun times to look forward to. Hopefully by the time I receive that report, it will be irrelevant and I won’t care, because I’ll just be happily pregnant.


I almost said that with a straight face.

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 We went to a very special birthday party today – one of my best friends has five little monkeys (triplets and twins born 13 months apart), and today was their joint birthday party. I wish I had gotten many more pictures from today’s events, but we were so busy wrangling the kiddeos that I just couldn’t keep snapping photos.
What struck me so much was when my friends Cherie and Kelli, fellow triplet moms, saw my kids and exclaimed, “When did they shoot up so much??” and “When did they stop being babies and turn into toddlers??” Cherie even did a double take and said to me, “Wait, is she yours!?” when she saw me holding Ellie. It’s unbelievable how quickly time has flown, and how big and mature my tiny babies have become in so short a time.  I know it’s a beautiful thing to see, and I know this is what every parent wishes for their children – that they should grow and thrive and develop into little people, but it is still disconcerting to me as a mommy.   I worry sometimes that I am missing out on too many of the precious details in the lives of my children and that time is a thief stealing away those moments which I crave so much.
One of the great gifts that infertility gave to me was the certainty that every moment with my children is a gift – not a right – and I try to cherish each milestone, each day, each snapshot in time of parenting all four of my children to the greatest extent possible.  I know that some days I fall short of that, but it is what I strive for.  I would like to think that I would have taken just as much care to cherish each moment with my children even without the experience of infertility – and I know I would have adored my children, I know I would have loved every moment of parenthood – but I’m quite certain that my perspective is different as a result of infertility.  I don’t mean to suggest I love my children more, or that people who haven’t experienced infertility don’t appreciate their children – none of that could possibly be true.  Only that for me, I know that I find myself thinking about my gratitude for my children in a way (and with far more frequency) than I think I probably would have had I not had the experience that I had. 
But, time does pass, even though sometimes I would love to press the pause button and savor each moment just a little longer.  And my kids – all of them – are growing up before my very eyes.  Today was Jack, Evan, Will, Noelle, and Lilley’s birthday party – another year passing which means just two more months until my kids turn 6 and 2.  Holy smokes!  They just get cuter and cuter, though!   Take a look for yourself!
Julian at the Party
J-man at the party
   Sam at Redden B-day Party  
Sam with his beloved elephant


Ellie Pigtails 
Ellie – our little daredevil – standing on the slide



Abby at Redden Bday Party
A classic Abby pose – serious and sophisticated

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