Thursday, December 30, 2010

I am Obsessing

I am not really even sure where it started. I think it was when I was talking to my mom about hormone replacement therapy, and the fact that we are using the same hormones right now. Her, to prevent hot flashes. Me, to prepare my lining for a potential pregnancy.

Then I remembered something about how progesterone and estrogen are linked to an increase in breast cancer.

I have been obsessing ever since. Looking at every article I can find. Studies show there is not a link, but story after story from people that went through IVF and subsequently developed breast cancer has me worried.

I am not sure if it is because pregnancy, in general, makes your hormones go completely out of whack and that causes the tumors to grow. OR, if it is because of the artificial hormones required to simulate pregnancy.

It just has me worried.


I want to remember this article, if I ever need to look back on it.

Make so much sense.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Total $24,148.55, as of today

When my total gets to $25K, I think I am going to have a party. A pity-party, that is.

Oh my gosh, that is insane.


shows everything looks "at rest".

If my Estrogen and Progesterone look good (I will know tomorrow), I will start with Vivelle and Estrace on Thursday.

The thaw orders were written for all three embryos to be thawed, to see which ones survive. Two are Grade A (one is around 100 cells, the other around 300 cells) and one is a Grade C (around 60 cells). We would love to be able to transfer two.

Hold me.

I am so scared this is not going to work.

Monday, December 27, 2010


I am actually excited because tomorrow I have a rider.

Mr. B is going to ride along with me, which will make the trip so much more enjoyable. Having someone to talk to makes the two hours fly by, instead of drag.

Plus, if I get bad news (like at my last baseline ultrasound), he will be right there with me. And JB always brings a clear head to any situation.

Especially when I am excessively hormonal.


Christmas hit hard this year. Harder than I expected. I have been thinking a lot lately about being unhappy.

The one and only thing I wanted for Christmas, I did not get.

Thanks for nothing, Santa.

Another blog I frequently read posted a quote I stumbled across today. It said something like true happiness is found when you embrace life exactly as it is.

The fact of the matter is that I have two beautiful kids, and they are my everything. They bring me immense joy.

Trying to focus on the big picture, while nested firmly in the Forrest.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Do you hear it?

It's coming.

I just have that feeling.

The pregnancy train is rolling in on Kelly and BB. All summer we talked about infertility, and I just know she is pregnant.

'Cause if there is ONE thing this process does, it makes me incredibly sensitive to the impending "We're pregnant!"

I wish I could say that it doesn't bug me each and every time. Logic would deduct that it should not add pressure to January, but it does in some strange way.

When I was in elementary school, I hated gym. I was reading my baby book the other night, and a note I came across said something to the effect of : Jamie had a great day in gym today. She did not cry one time, and actually played kickball with the others! We see improvement!

I must have hated sports, even back then.

Anyway, junior high rolled along. My mom thought it would be great for me to try out for volleyball since most of my friends were also trying out. I was 4'7". It wasn't going to happen, but logic wasn't on my list back then, either. I wanted to make the team so bad. Not because I like vollyball. I mean seriously, how bad would my big butt look in those underwear shorts? I can still remember walking to the car, shaking my head to my mom that "No, I did not make the team." Being a mother now, I can only imagine the pain my mom felt seeing my hopes dashed, but I guess that is another blog post for a different day.

I wouldn't say it changed my relationship with my friends, but it did make me feel left out unintentionally. When they talked about vollyball practice, or something funny that happened in a game- I was not part of it.

I want to make Team Baby.

It is hard to be sitting on the sidelines when all I want is to be in the game. Let me clarify: I am not doing this to be like my friends. Since high school, I have not been a crowd follower, even when I probably should have been.

We want another baby.

My point is that it does make it harder when everyone else is already on team baby and talking through symptoms and delivery dates and baby clothes.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Round 1B

As soon as I finish this pill set, I can start building up my uterus for a FET. I am not trying to be a huge complainer, but two things happen when I am on the pill.

1) I bleed. Every day.

2) I get headaches. Every day.

So, I am thrilled to be four days away from ending this round of BCPs.

Meet Lupron. She is a butt shot, and stops all ovulation.

I am not sure if I did not see the needle last time, or if I was so excited to start the process that I did not notice how HUGE it is....


We decided to do a "medicated" FET.

Technically, I could try to do a FET "naturally", meaning timed with my regular ovulation.

Two things have to line up perfectly to give the embryo a fighting chance with a natural FET: the maturity of the embryo (mine are 5 days old) and how far past ovulation you are (so they would have to transfer at 7 days past ovulation). If either of these are even slightly off, it could result in losing the embryos.

So, for that reason alone, we decided to do a "medicated" FET. Even if it means big shots.

A medicated FET involves:

Lupron to stop ovulation

Estrace- two pills, three times a day

Vivelle Dot Patch- one patch every other day. Seriously, I hope my hair does not fall out. The recommended dose is one patch every third day. I am taking twice the recommended amount, along with ANOTHER whole dose of Estrogen (Estrace).

Five Days before Transfer, I start Progesterone in Oil. I take this shot for five days, until January 14th, where (hopefully) I will get to transfer two of our frosties.

Next Appointment: 3pm on December 28th. This will be a baseline ultrasound to make sure everything has cleared up from the OHSS and my estrogen levels look normal.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Here we go again...

Lupron tomorrow.

I set all my appointments and got the payment schedule today. Good grief- I have to pay $1200 MORE because of the OHSS set back. They sure do not make any of this cheap. Add that to the Tuition Bill I just got, and I am a tad stressed out about finances.

Let's hope January 14 is a good day, and at least two embryos thaw (and IMPLANT!). The boards have been ripe with BFNs for a while now, so here's hoping January is a good month for a FET.

Saturday, December 18, 2010


We went to see The Fighter today at the theater. Great movie. Long story short, it led me to the real life documentary about Dicky Ecklund- High on Crack Street: Lost Lives in Lowell.

It is a compelling, if not heartbreaking, documentary on what crack cocaine does to your life.

Brenda is one of the three addicts followed, who happens to be pregnant. Five times she heads to abortion clinics- each time she lacks the funds to achieve the end result.

The more I watched, the madder I got.

We are so focused on the "getting pregnant" that I do not often think about abortion and people completely opposite to us. Brenda's mom forced her into having an abortion when she was 15, which probably led her into crack in the first place. Now, she feels she would not be a fit mother to a baby, and I am sure she is quite right. At one point, she even said "I hope this baby is ready for slaughter". Granted, she is a crack whore, but still. There are others like her, out there, not wanting the precious gift growing inside. Injecting their uterus with saline at 22 weeks and then allowing the baby to pass.

I feel it is one of life's great injustices. People desperate for babies and not being able to have them in stark contrast to the women not wanting them and ending up pregnant over and over again.

It is so unfair.


It's not that I wasn't thankful for Josh before.

Because I was.

I think I am just extra thankful for him this year.

Let's face it- Josh would be fine with the two boys we have. He doesn't have this deep longing for another baby. So for him to spend $23,000 on the shows just how much he loves me. He would do anything to make me happy.

As we are on the day of our 11th anniversary, I think back to the night of our wedding so long ago. Little did I know what was ahead- so many wonderful memories together and then this past year a blur of disappointment.

The one thing I can say about it is that it has allowed me to lean into Josh in a different way.

I am pretty tough. Very independent. Tonight, Josh was teasing me about the Floyd Mayweather story which is a huge example of that. If it is possible for me to do it on my own- I will.

Being weak in these moments and learning to allow him to be strong for me has taught me a lot this past year. I think it has deepened our relationship and it is one thing I am really thankful for.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Wait, Wait, Wait....

I am not a patient person.

I know the message at church this past Sunday was spoken directly to me.

I am having a hard time waiting on the Lord.

One note from the sermon: Obedience is the faithful willingness to endure hardships. 'Cause let's face it- patience is only an issue with me when hardships fall. Or answers are sought. Or I am waiting to see if the Lord will bless me with another baby.

Lately, I want to know RIGHT NOW if it is going to work in January.

Okay, I only want to know the answer if it is positive, but still.

No patience. And I am working on it.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010


I have been feeling pretty sorry for myself lately.

The year long journey, with still-aching empty arms. My goal last year was to be pregnant by Christmas of this year, and it sucks to know that won't happen.

Tonight, I was talking to one of my vendor's and got some much needed perspective. Her 6 month old died very unexpectedly this past March.

I asked her how her holidays were going, and how her quest for new life has been. She is also on the war path to conceive.

"Pretty darn shitty" was her response.

No, I do not have a baby. I did not have the joy of seeing two pink lines, hearing that first heartbeat, the wonderful whoosh-whoosh sound, first ultrasound, naming, holding, etc....but I did not have the heartache of burying a 6 month old, either.

Her womb is empty. Her crib is empty. The clothes and blankets from her son are still in her laundry room. This is her first of many Christmas seasons without him.

Someone always has it worse than you do, and it absolutely breaks my heart.

Amazing how praying and storming the gates of heaven for someone else can change your whole perspective.

In all fairness...they know me well.

Target Pharmacy, that is. When I priced my prescriptions around, they were hands down the cheapest-by at least $500. I have used enough $10 {new prescription} gift cards to buy a coat. Not that I still have them- those do not normally make it out the door with me:-)

They are always very helpful. Tonight, the pharmacist was even joking as he informed me that Amoxicillon can decrease the effectiveness of Apri Birth Control. I said "A girl can dream, right?" We all had a good laugh.

Then it happened.

Why I normally do not share with people that we are infertile.

The tips. The trying to figure out what my "problem "is.

Sex tips, emotional tips, suggestions that I need acupuncture, to stop thinking about it, to get on the adoption list....the list is endless, and never fails.

I know the Target worker meant well, but honestly....if I thought holding a baby and having him poop on me would do the trick, I would have rolled in it twelve months ago. There is just no scientific evidence that having a baby accidentally poop down the front of my shirt will result in my cervical mucus spontaneously being fertile.

So, thank you, for that tidbit....but I wanted to scream at her to keep it to herself.

I probably know how my fertility works, and my own body, better than 95% of the population. And I know she is trying to help, but it gets annoying biting my lip and nodding with a grin on my face while she explained her "poop theory".

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Free Wii....sort of

My Discover card was in overtime there for a while. Thank goodness it is almost paid off. I am owed $4000, and then I will be debt free for this cycle. I can only explain this as a God thing. Who would have thought I could have come up with over $22,000?

Praise the Lord. PRAISE THE LORD!

Anyway, I get cashback for every Discover purchase, which is why I was sure to put the entire amount on the old Discover card.

Kayden benefited tonight because we used those cashback rewards to get him a Wii for Christmas! He is going to be so excited, and it was fun to get something for nothing.

Well, not nothing, but it sure feels like it!:-)

Saturday, December 4, 2010

The date is set

and I am nervous.

What if the embryos don't survive?
What if this doesn't work?

Trying hard to trust God that He has a plan- even if it isn't MY plan. My plan was already shot out the window a heck of a long time ago. I would have been certain that I would have been pregnant by now, had you asked me last Christmas.

I suppose in some ways I did- it just was a very short lived pregnancy. Three days is not long at all.

December 22 is the Lupron shot to stop ovulation. I am excited, because it doesn't seem that far away. The only hitch is that it is the last day of school for K before Christmas, so I am sure he has a party that day that I will be in charge of.

I am hoping tomorrow I can book a 2:15 appointment so that I will have time to head from school to Ann Arbor.

What's really nice is that, other than these two appointments- the Lupron shot on December 22 and the baseline bloodwork on December 28, I only have ONE appointment on January 6. That is outstanding! Seeing that I went God only knows how many times last time around, this is awesome.

Praying, praying, praying that all this works and January 14 is the day I get to transfer 2 sticky beans.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Have I mentioned this is a roller coaster?

From the depths of despair last night comes good news this morning.

All three made it to blastocyst stage and are on ice!

Normally, embryos are implanted on day 3 or 5. It all depends on how many eggs/embryos you get in the first place as to which option is chosen. If you only have a few embryos, it is better to transfer on day 3 because some of the embryos will make it in the womb that would not make it in a petri dish.

Had I know that they were going to take them to blastocyst stage (day 5) before freezing them, I would have requested that they were frozen on day 3. Because they are much more simple in structure (8 cells), you tend to have more that make it to cryo. Taking the embryo all the way to blastocyst stage is risky because you normally lose a few weaker embryos. At day 3, an important critical step happens--the embryo stops relying on the egg and starts growing into the complex structure it becomes. By the time it makes it to day 5, it will have over 100 cells and already activated it's own genes.

All this means one thing- they are definitely stronger than a day 3 embryo! This makes me thrilled. I know I am not out of the woods yet because the freezing process can also be really difficult on embryos, but today I celebrate. I am one step closer to transfer, and that makes me thrilled!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010


I did not think I would post anymore, but I am just so down and out tonight, I need a place to vent.

I picked up another round of birth control today. For some reason, it feels like I am taking two steps back when I start a fresh pack. I know it is necessary to manipulate the timing of the frozen transfer in January (if I have anything frozen), but is seems so counterproductive.

I think part of my frustration tonight is because I have yet to receive my "freeze" results. I am still wondering if I just went through 10 days of hell for nothing.

My friend Michelle got me this wonderful daily devotional called Streams in the Desert, and I have really enjoyed reading it daily. The lesson from yesterday was about how a vineyard owner pointed out that he only stops trimming vines when they have stopped producing fruit. Otherwise, he continues to prune them back so that they continue to grow, in the same way God does in our lives.

Man, I am sick of being pruned.

Almost a year has passed on this journey towards pregnancy, and I feel my soul slowly giving up hope. So tired financially, physically, and most of all emotionally. I have huge bruises on my arms from the IV last Sunday and everything still aches from producing so many eggs. I got another bill in the mail for that visit. I am just sick and tired of paying medical bills. I feel weary.

I have been so touched, though, by how caring people are. I guess the outpouring of love does not exist without the pain, so I would not know the support and love I currently feel without going through this dark valley. Michelle also gave me a hope and peace ornament for my tree, and even just thinking about them makes me cry. I am struggling for both tonight, to be honest.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Bye for Now.

I think this is the first time, in over five years, that I have been praying for AF to come to relieve this bloating. I look about five months pregnant.

I went out and about today and am so thankful to be feeling better in time for Thanksgiving.

This will probably be it for a while, as there will be not much new between now and January:-) Praying for a decent freeze in the meantime.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

This cycle sucks

and other ramblings.

Out of 17 embryos fertilized, only 3 are normal. That really stinks. I am not sure if these three even made it to freeze yet. I should find that out maybe later this week?

It just stinks because I really wanted to make it to transfer. I am not out of the game yet, but I can't help but feel that way. It still has to freeze, then un-thaw. Only 50-70% make the un-thaw.

I am just praying and hoping for really strong embryos. I cannot help but feel like all of this was a waste. All this sickness and pain...just to result in this.

I can finally say that, after 6 days of feeling completely rotten, I feel better today. I am eating and walking around. My house is still pretty darn dismal- thank God for a long weekend.

I am so happy that I trusted my gut and bought two packages up front. So bummed, though, that 1 of the 2 seems like a wasted cycle. Praying hard that the All-Knowing Breath of Life will allow me to make it to transfer in January, or this Christmas is going to be really difficult.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Weekend Update

The last few days have been...rough.

OHSS did not care that it was my birthday. She reared her ugly head, leaving me bedridden most of the weekend. It culminated Saturday night with violent vomiting for hours on end.

We took a trip this morning to Rochester Hills to see Dr. S- he gave me an IV of Zofran and some additional tablets to take home. He also checked my ovaries- they are both around 8.5 cms, so about the size of softballs. No wonder I have been so sick.

Thankfully, I feel much better tonight. In the last four days, I have eaten two slices of bread and a half of small McDonald's fry. Tonight, I actually ate a whole bowl of scrambled eggs and feel a lot better!

Looking forward to my "abnormal" report and how many made it to freeze, which should come Monday or Tuesday.

Friday, November 19, 2010

I'm here

Early start to the morning yesterday. We got to Rochester hills and I did not start getting nervous until I had to put the surgical hat and booties on. The egg collection itself did not take that long- around a half hour. It then took me about two hours to get the pain management under control and for my mind to wake up.

They popped 25 follicles and retrieved 18 eggs. As I was being wheeled to my car, I threw up. Back to the room I went. I then got a shot for nausea that hurt because of the placement in my leg. The car ride home was not fun--at all.

Last night, I felt pretty miserable, and kept telling Josh that I never want to do that again.

Thank God for my mom- who had the boys overnight again and came to take care of me today.

The good news is that 17 fertilized, so I am hoping that they thaw well and continue growing.

I guess if I am to get Ohss, it will come tomorrow. Hoping and praying that stays away and the pain doesn't get any worse. Who knows? Maybe this is like giving birth- you forget how painful it is OR maybe next time I won't have so many eggs so it won't be an issue.

January 14 is the first available hopefully I will make it!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Here Goes Nothing

10,000 IU of hCG tonight to trigger ovulation.

If I am going to develop OHSS, I just started the ball rolling. Let's hope it doesn't get too bad.

Hartog's new wife

is pregnant. I got the e-mail this morning.

I am thrilled for him. He completely deserves it.

Still, it is hard. At this stage of the game, I just don't want to hear about how they think it is a boy and cannot wait to pick out a crib, stroller, etc. I need to stay as far away as possible from all things baby, or I turn into a sobbing mess.

So hard to be in this delicate balance of being thrilled for other people and yet so sad for myself.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Another Day, Another Drive

Early take off time this morning-8:30am. Had to make sure my bloodwork could get in before the daily cut off.

First, I seriously have the best friends in the whole world. The three people that know what we are going through all e-mailed me today to see what they could do. I am humbled. It honestly made me cry. I am so thankful God has put people in my life that love me like that. I am getting all teary even now!

Eggs are ready to hatch, that is the good news. E2 levels do not look bad- 3642 today. I got the call around 3pm to take one last shot of Bravelle tonight and then my hCG trigger tomorrow night at exactly 10:30pm. SO happy I do not have to go back tomorrow, which was the plan when I left the office today.

Thursday is the day they will retrieve the eggs. I am surprised I actually made it to retrieval with this disaster of a cycle. Now I am hoping I do not fall into the dismal 1% that ovulates before they can retrieve the eggs.

I will not know until Friday/Saturday/Sunday if I will get OHSS. That is probably the second most plaguing question I have tonight.

The most pressing is how many embryos will I have at the end of all of this, and if they will they freeze and unthaw well. The cryopreservation of embryos is so much better than it used to be...but it still is not foolproof or as great as a fresh transfer. I will not do a FET (frozen embryo transfer) until January. Feels like forever and a day away. Although, it is almost better to have this hope through the holidays (provided I have a few to freeze). Had I transferred and not gotten a BFP, I would have been gutted.

FWIW, putting up my Christmas stuff was not a great idea. I am not sure if it is the daily blood draws or the massive amount of eggs I am lugging around, but I got wore out really quickly. I ended up getting sick around 9pm. Now, my house is trashed. Thankfully, I have the next two days to work at getting it picked up and the Christmas stuff finished.

I am in prayer tonight- that I do not ovulate early, that I do not get OHSS, that the eggs turn into great quality embryos and are actually able to be frozen.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

I am absolutely nuts

In anticipation of having a long recovery this week and next (provided I actually get there and also that I get the moderate form instead of the severe form of OHSS), I had the excellent idea of putting up Christmas stuff that I can enjoy it while resting.

And that makes me flipping nuts.

Not Cancelled Yet

Follicles have grown- most of them are between 16-18 mm. There are 12 larger ones, which should mostly make it to egg retrieval.

Gabs and gabs of smaller ones which probably won't make it to maturity. These ones are surprisingly the ones that give them the most problem with OHSS.

Which, is freaking me out. I am just praying I do not get it in the most severe form.

Took one vial of Bravelle today and then I go back tomorrow for more bloodwork and another u/s.

Hoping my E2 levels have slowed down.

Looks like (if I do not get cancelled before) thursday is probably the day of ET.

Saturday, November 13, 2010


E2 levels 3,300.

Not really sure what this means.

My mom graciously went with me today to my u/s, which was such a nice break for me from all the driving. We then went to Howell outlets, and had a nice afternoon shopping. I do not get to go much with my mom (without kids), so it was a special treat.

Lead follie 18mm, and a bunch in between 13-16mm.

I go back tomorrow at 8:30 to decide whether to go forward or cancel. My E2 levels cannot double, or I will for sure be cancelled.

Good news is- no meds tonight! YAY!

Bad news- my body is going through the ringer. I am so sore from all the blood draws and extremely tired from carrying around all these eggs.

6am is going to come early tomorrow.

Friday, November 12, 2010


Just found out my mom has a tumor in her uterus. She went today to have an ablation done. They do a routine ultrasound before they start the procedure, and found the tumor.

She goes for surgery the 21st of December to remove it. The Dr. does not think it is cancerous, but it could be. He blood pressure is so high that they cannot even think about doing the surgery before that. I think normal is 120/80 and hers is 190/106, possibly due to the meds she is on to prevent ear infections. Which raises another concern- if she goes off the meds to get her blood pressure down, then what happens to her ear infections? UGH!

There goes my backup plan of having my mom be my surrogate.


What I am going through pales in comparison to what my mom has on her plate. Just praying that it is not cancer.

I feel so bad for her because she really takes on the brunt of what I am going through as well. When your child hurts, you hurt. She has shed many tears with me in the past week, which can't be helpful for her blood pressure issue.

I cannot live without my mom. I rely on her so much. Trusting God tonight to carry me through these next two months.


I swear this process goes up and down more than a yo-yo.

My E2 levels look right on track, so who the heck knows what is going to happen?

I am not good with Math, but let me see if I can explain this.

The dominant follicle should be at 18-20mm before trigger. They grow around 2mm a day. My E2 levels double every two days, and I am trying to trigger before they get to 3000 pm/ml.

Day 5 462
Day 7 1077

If my dominant follie is 16mm tomorrow, then it should be 20mm by Monday. According to E2 numbers (if they maintain the same doubling rate), my E2 would be 4-5000 on Monday. Too high. What they can do is "coast" me. Withdraw the Menopur/Bravelle and then wait for my E2 levels to come down below 3,500. It has been shown that coasting for less than 3 days does not negatively affect the quality of the egg, while helping to reduce the onset of severe OHSS.

I will obviously NOT be doing a fresh transfer, but I am starting to wonder if I will get cancelled this time around or not.

Sheesh. It is so hard to decide.

The BEST case scenario is to have a few frosties to transfer in January. Maybe then I can buy a My baby is "cooler" than yours onesie. A girl can dream.

I am trying my hardest to trust God in the process, knowing that He has and will take care of me.


I am getting frustrated!

The machine to monitor my E2 levels is broken. They sent the bloodwork out to another office, but it is so frustrating to not have them.

They provide the information to complete this crazy puzzle I am in- will I get moderate or severe OHSS?

I am just hoping I will get some answers tomorrow, although I was told that I will not see my regular doctor since he does not work on Saturdays.

To cancel or not to cancel...I cannot stop thinking about it!

Thursday, November 11, 2010


I am debating cancellation.

Going to see what my E2 levels are tomorrow from the past two blood draws.

Really worried about OHSS and would rather lose $4000 in meds/office visits than be seriously ill.


Sometimes, having information at the stroke of a keyboard is good...sometimes not so good.

I went today for my Day 7 (? cannot remember) ultrasound. I still have 20 eggs in each side. The good news is that they are growing equally, and a fair amount of them should make it to egg retrieval. Whether they will be of great quality or not remains to be seen.

I asked what the chances were I could avoid moderate to severe OHSS, and Dr. S said that he can pretty much guarantee I will get it.

That is where the google finger is not so great.

Reading horror stories of OHSS tonight is making me sick to my stomach.

I am just hoping and praying that it doesn't get bad enough that I need hospitalization. I really do not want to be in the hospital over Thanksgiving.

I hope that I will get SOMETHING out of all this hard work. My biggest fear is to go through all of this and then have nothing to freeze or have everything die in the unfreeze.

SO thankful tonight that I bought the two cycle package. Seeing the train wreck this cycle has been, I would be even more nervous if this was my only shot.

That being said, I am hoping I do not have to go through this again. The driving back and forth by myself all the time gets old.

Here we go...

Off to my Day 7 appointment. I have just been praying that God will remove the worry from me. There is nothing much I can do to control any of this.

The last two appointments I have left in tears, though, so I guess a little bit of dread is understandable.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

A little update

Numbers did not come in for my estrogen levels yesterday. Apparently the machine malfunctioned, so they will have them tomorrow morning. I was kind of hoping they would come in and my meds dose would be lowered.

Thankfully, I am not yet feeling the massive amounts of eggs. I have heard it can be really uncomfortable when they start to get larger and ready for withdrawal.

On another note, I did cry less as the day went on. Going about the business of cleaning my house and taking care of Brycer really helped keep my mind off things.

That is, until I got the nicest surprise from Kristi. She gave a card to Josh to give to me tonight. It was supportive and thoughtful, and I am so touched by the gesture. I had not yet even talked to her about what we are going through. She knew the general plan was to try and have another baby. Yesterday when she asked me how I was and I started bawling, I am sure she figured out it is not going as well as I'd hoped.

She referenced two versus in there that she has held onto this year:

Jeremiah 29:11 "For I know the plans I have for you", declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."

Romans 8:28 "And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to His purpose."

Here I am crying my eyes out again. I am just going to try and cling onto those promises as I go into tomorrow's ultrasound.
I am not even sure what I am crying about.....but I just cannot stop crying.

This morning, a friend asked me how I was doing, and I just started bawling. And not a pretty, one tear slipping down my cheek sort of crying. An all out, mouth curling, hysterical cry.

I am guessing it is from all the hormones.

It just feels like I have lost one of my two chances at this, and I am so sad about that.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

One more thing

Just to add to my thoughts for today, I think the suckiest part (and the part that is making me cry) is that I cannot get back to that 70% success rate. We purposely sought out this doctor, who is 2 hours away, partly because of his excellent success rates.

The absolute most that the DR will transfer right now is 1, which is around a 50% success rate. He does not know if he will even do that, and I am kind of thinking it wouldn't be best to go forward and transfer. I have googled and googled tonight, and it looks like a lot of people think they will not get OHSS, and then they get pregnant and the symptoms come in spades.

Which also means that I just paid for one transfer that I will not even use.

Oh well, I am guessing that is a drop in the bucket in this whole process.

I can say one thing for sure- I am staying off facebook (too many pregnant people) and going into "hiding". This crying at the drop of a hat is not great for living everyday life. I went to Josh's basketball game tonight. Someone asked me how I was doing and I just started bawling.

Oh, and Josh is a gem. Thank God I have a husband so good with words- he knows exactly the right thing to say to make me feel better.

OHSS risk

I was super worried I would not have eggs.

Good Lord, I have eggs.

Around 20 in each ovary.

Which seems like it would be a good thing, right? Just the opposite.

The short of it is that we probably will be out this month, which is terribly disappointing. I run the risk of OHSS, a life threatening condition.

Josh and I are still trying to decide if we are going to try and retrieve these eggs for freezing, or start over in January. With this many eggs, the quality can be really poor.

Tomorrow's E2 numbers and Thursday's ultrasound might help me decide where to go from here. The biggest disappointment is thinking of freezing. Transferring 2 fresh embryos have a success rate of around 70%. With a FET, the success rate goes down to 40%. This is not even counting all the people I know whose embryos have not made the thaw.

So disappointed, honestly.

Monday, November 8, 2010


I think if I had to put my finger on what I really miss about getting pregnant naturally, it would be the simplicity of it all.

With Kayden, we literally had sex...and were pregnant.

There weren't doctors and shots and pills and ultrasounds and bloodwork. The list is never ending, and all stressful.

To get pregnant, and then just BE pregnant, is what I miss the most about doing it this way.

Don't get me wrong, I am thankful for the technology. If it did not exist, I am positive we would have only one child.

But, it was so nice to do it the old fashioned way.

A rough day

Today has been a rough day. I just found out two more people I work really closely with are pregnant.

I know it shouldn't matter. I have two beautiful kids.

It is just hard.

Because I have two kids, I know what I am missing.

Tomorrow is weighing heavily on my mind.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Getting Better

with mixing shots, that is.

The first night, it took me almost fourty minutes to get each medicine diluted and mixed. Tonight, I did it in eight. The last vial is the one where I get most worried, seeing that ALL the medicine is in there and I would hate to screw it up!

I am supposed to take them every night at the same time, but that did present a problem with the time change last night:-) I ended up just doing it at the same time, even though technically it was an hour later.

The last two nights I have done leg shots. Although they hurt more going in, I think I prefer them because my stomach has been really sore.

Two more days to the five day ultrasound. Hoping and praying that I am a good responder.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Another Round of Meds

I thought it would be interesting to take a picture of my nightly med routine.

See those five vials?

One is water, and four are dissolving tablets. You shoot the water with the long needle into one of the dissolving tablets.

You then suck up the water and shoot it into the next one. The tops are designed so that even when you tip it, nothing comes out. It actually is pretty cool...if I did not have to stick myself with it, that is.

I get nervous when I get to dissolving #4, because all the meds are in that one little vial- $700 ($350 out of my pocket, $350 from insurance) by the time I am finished.

I don't even own a coat that costs as much as ONE vial.

Once you suck up all the water, I wipe my skin with alcohol, switch to the smaller needle and hope I don't hit a vein:-)

Thursday, November 4, 2010

First Injection

Injections went well tonight. I must have thick skin (or a really fat stomach!), because they do not hurt at all. I thought I would have to get Josh to do it, but he was busy so I quick did it. The needle is so small. Honestly, Bryce biting me in my stomach during playtime hurt far worse.

The hardest thing is learning how to mix them correctly. You have to take .5cc of liquid and mix it with four vials of powder.

Of course when the nurse showed me what to do, it all appeared so easy. Tonight, when I had to do it myself, it was much more difficult. Largely because I wanted to make sure every last drop of medicine was injected and there was still a tiny bit in one of the vials.

There are two ways you can pull medicine out of vials- with a Q-CAP and a needle. The Q-CAP works as a needle and simply screws onto the syringe, allowing you to then pull back the syringe and drain the liquid.

When using a straight needle, you insert it through the top, and then pull back the medicine. The tricky part is that if you get too many air bubbles, you lose a small portion of medicine when getting those bubbles out of the needle before injection.

I was messing around with both the Q-CAP and the needle tonight, and I can't decide which one is better. I think I can get a more accurate pull with the needle, with fewer air bubbles.

The only side effect I have noticed is, since starting birth control, I have had headaches on and off.

Scratch that.

Since starting Flagyl (for the parasite), I have had headaches.

Someone once told me that they thought the needles and mixing and ultrasounds would be the worst part, but that paled in comparison to the emotional side of this all. I am early in my journey, but I know just what she is talking about. When I faced possible cancellation because of the cyst, I realized I am already SO invested in this, it will be hard if it doesn't work.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Good news! An answer to prayer!

The cyst is non-functional, and my estrogen levels look good. I got the all clear to start tomorrow.

Shots, here we come!

Flu...stay away!

Eggs...please respond to meds!

My Goals: at least 10-12 eggs fertilized
2 good hatching blasts to transfer

Realistically, my biggest goal is to make it to transfer. Grow, eggs, grow!


My son has the flu.

And you know what happens when kids have the flu- they give it to parents.

Why does this all have to be so hard?

Now I am worried about getting the flu, as I want to be in the best shape possible (and the healthiest possible) for what is to come.

This whole sickness/parasite/cyst stuff is seriously stressing me out.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Thwarted before I even begin!?!

Went for my baseline ultrasound today- and I have a leftover cyst from a previous ovulation. They took blood work today, and they will be able to tell by my estrogen level if it is functional or not. I am praying and praying it is non-functional so I can begin on Thursday.

If not, I think I have to wait a week. Which doesn't seem like the end of the world- it just would be a wasted trip to Ypsilanti today. Since it takes me five hours round trip, I would rather not go just to chew the fat with the nurses:-)

Honestly, part of me wonders--will this whole cycle be bad? If it is starting off sucky, will I regret even starting? The thing is, I would hate to wait until after Christmas. Seems so far away.

I am just praying, honestly, that I can start on Thursday. I have been waiting so long, and just want to get on with it already.

This is going to be hard.

Really hard.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Short $4000

I need to let it go, but I just can't.

We went into this not wanting to pick up debt, we worked at it for over two years to save cash, and here we are--picking up debt.

It is so dissapointing and frustrating.

I know we will eventually be able to pay it just never comes off as easy as it goes on the old CC.

And that is just if it works the first time. If not, we will have to pay for meds again- around $3000 for another cycle if we have to repeat in Janurary.

I know I need to take this one step at a time, but the money part is so hard for me.

Sign Your Life Away Here, Please

Finishing the mass amounts of paperwork this weekend. It is due by Tuesday.


I am not sure which had more- this or closing the loan to my home!

Dropping some cash

Picked up the two most expensive meds yesterday- Bravelle and Menopur. Each one cost me around $1123. My insurance covered half.

I added it up, and it will cost me around $500 a day in meds for ten days. That is just crazy to me.

The pharmacist actually though the computer added it wrong. He said, "Is that supposed to be $24.11?"

Nope, sir. I wish.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Oh, one thing I forgot

I also ordered meds tonight. Bravelle, Menopur, and hcg.

Crazy, crazy, crazy. This stuff is SO expensive.

The flutter of activity has made my Discover card sizzle the last few days.

Lupron Injection today

We have officially begun. Lupron in the butt today. It honestly did not even hurt. I have no idea what is going to happen when I have to start injecting myself, but for now....we are on the path.

Lupron, I was told, is a "temporary menopause". Meaning my body will not ovulate on it's own without hcG. The next two weeks seem so busy and overwhelming. I think I just need to focus on one day at a time.

We also went over what all is entailed with IVF. My main goal right now is to make it to transfer. Give this process a fighting chance.

Parasite Update: I also took a test today to make sure that is completely gone, so I should know Monday or Tuesday what the results are of that.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Up in the Air

Been planning this since February. I am a mix of emotions these days.

I cannot succeed without trying, but I am so scared to try. I wish so badly I knew the outcome of this before I attempted it.

Add on top of that the plaguing issue of whether or not I kicked this parasite out of my system, and it adds even more uncertainty.

Thing is, if I get pregnant- will I have to treat giardia? What if the meds used for it are harmful for the baby? What if I do not get pregnant because of it?

I am supposed to go Thursday for my first Lupron shot, and I have been waiting the last week to see if giardia has returned or not. I am so unsure. I might get tested tomorrow, just to see if it has in fact cleared my system.

Waiting another month is an option...I just kind of want to get it over with, though. This in limbo stuff is really difficult.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Bill Front

Oh, and Thursday is the day.

First shot, complete $19,545 payment.

I feel unprepared, to say the least. Most of all for the emotional journey I am about to embark on.

I am worried about the parasite, and if it is fullly gone from our family.

I am praying tonight that it is, because I will not want to start if there is a chance I still have it.

I think I should know in a few days if I was reinfected by Bryce. Praying, praying, praying that I do not have it anymore!

A realization

I realized something today. It's not pretty.

I have been afraid to ask God for a baby, because I feel like if He says No, I will have less reason to be mad since I never asked in the first place.

Sounds confusing, huh?

My reasoning is that the less I rely on God, the less bitter I will be if this doesn't work.

I know, I know, that I need to give this over.

It is just hard because I do not want bitterness to creep in like last time.

Sunday, October 17, 2010


I just started reading the book Fearless by Max Lucado, and I think I really am going to like it.

My favorite line from this week is that Fear corrodes our perception of God's Goodness.

I know God has been with me during this journey. I feel His presence so much more than I did when trying to get pregnant last time.

It just doesn't help with the worry, though. That still creeps in often.

Will I get pregnant?
What will we do if I don't?
Will that really be the end of our "baby" years?

Even that line of thinking is hard for me to comprehend.

Tonight, I need to hitch my star to God's goodness and remember HE has a plan in all of this.

Friday, October 8, 2010


I am a glutton for punishment.

Really, I am.

Otherwise, there would be no need for me to purposely seek out the facebook pages of my friends that have just had babies.

The road seems so long from where I currently am to (hopefully) the end result.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Random Ramblings

It is getting hard not to be consumed with all of this. The fear of it not working is tangible these days.

Although we prepared for two cycles with a partial money back guarantee, it is still my biggest desire to achieve pregnancy. At the end of this, there is always a baby. It is never about the money back.

I am trying hard to have a heart of faith and hope, without fear. But it is hard. And I am a work in progress.

In regards to money, God has shown his provision again and again. I am thrilled that God has helped us raise this much money. I look back and still have no idea how that happened. All I can say is that it is a God thing, for sure.


One of the most confusing things for me this week is drug pricing. If I use my insurance (which covers about half of the cost of my meds), the price for each drug is higher. So, for example, the drug Menopur is around $70 a vial. I need 28 vials. When I called to order it, the price per vial changed to $93. Apparently, each drug has a contract price that is different with each pharmacy. So every pharmacy I ask will have a different price per vial.

Here is the really hard and confusing part when trying to plan how much to save for meds. The pharmacies will not give you the contracted price unless you physically come in and run a trial insurance approval. It is making it quite difficult to do comparison shopping, that is for sure.


I work with babygear. I love my job. I love seeing my customer's new babies. In times like these, I have a hard time with my job.

I am constantly reminded of the newness of life, how cute and cuddly babies are, and whether or not we will ever have another one.

Don't get me wrong. I am so grateful I already have two kids. They are the joy of my life, and if we never have another, they are more than enough.

We just have to go through IVF to know. And if God answers with a no- we are not meant to have another baby- at the end of it all I have to be okay with the two I have. I love them to the moon and back and am so appreciative I have two healthy little boys that are the center of my world. And they are enough. More than enough.

Ok, I am now rambling. Good think no one actually reads this! Ha!

Monday, October 4, 2010

Providence, Part Two

My goal going into this was to incur as little debt as possible.

This last month, I have really prayed that God would help with this, because we were about $5000 short of our $18,000 goal.

All the sudden, and completely unexpectedly, today I received a check for $3,800. Which means, for this cycle, I will need to come up with around $3000 more out of pocket to be free anc clear.

I can attribute this to none other than God's provision.

I call Monday to start Birth Control Pills, and I can hardly believe the time is here to start this journey!

Friday, September 24, 2010

Tonight, I am just sad

There really is nothing more to say.

It is late, the house is quiet.

The uncertainty of what lies ahead is crushing, overwhelming, and frightening.

The thought of it not working is pressing on all sides tonight.

And I am sad.

Friday, September 17, 2010

God's providence

Throughout this journey, one of the things I really struggle with is whether or not we are messing with destiny.

I struggled with it last time around, and wonder if I always will.

Are we forcing God's hand? If God wanted us to have another baby, couldn't He readily do it without IVF?

Ultimately, I fall on the side of modern technology. If something was wrong with my kidney, I would use any means possible to get well. God still is the ultimate decider of whether we will get pregnant or not.

Lately, I have been really praying for peace with this, and I wanted to share a few ways that I believe God is leading us and helping us.

The price for the shared risk plan initially was $25,000. From the time we met with the doctor to the time we signed the contract, it was lowered $7,000.

Our insurance company told me they would cover half of the sonohysterogram, which was $695. I got the bill and our portion was $145.

I was put on prescription multi-vitamins, which would be around $65 a month. Meijers told me they had a very similar substitute for free.

My car was broken, and I was given an estimate of $4500 to fix it, It ended up being around $700.

The dentist decided to charge me insurance only for my two cavities I need filled because I helped her with some business stuff. It would have cost me around $300.

All these things are not coincidence. Whether God allows us to become pregnant or not hangs on my shoulders like a cloak of uncertainty, but I am thankful right now for God's providence.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Why is it hard to be around other pregnant people

Sometimes I am asked why it is so hard to have friends that are pregnant. It seems like the two should not be connected.

I am thrilled for the pregnant person. It is just a constant reminder of what I am missing.

The excitement in sharing the news and having people share in the joy.

Dreaming of whether it is a boy or a girl.

Hearing that wonderful whish-whish sound of a heartbeat. There is nothing better.

Thinking up names, and picturing whether the baby will have daddy's eyes or mommy's nose.

Feeling those flutters in your belly for the first time.

Getting to eat pretty much whatever you want, and having a great excuse for gaining weight.

Believe it or not, maternity clothes. I usually am of them by the end...but in the beginning, when you first have to switch to maternity shirts because of a protruding belly, it is so wonderful.

The excitement of preparing- the nursery, washing clothes, buying new burp cloths or a new stroller.

Knowing that soon you will have this amazing new being in your life, that you wondered how you ever lived without.

All these magical moments that I long for, can almost taste...and cannot experience. For the most part, I try to put it in the back of my mind and forget about it. But when I hear the good news of someone's impending birth, or see a beautiful pregnant belly, it is hard not to ache with longing.

It is much easier to hide, to be honest. To avoid at all costs, for self-preservation.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Bills, Bills, Bills

Sonohysterogram: $695
Sperm Analysis: $55

Thank GOD I have insurance. My portion is $148 and $16.50.

I am thankful, and I will take it!

Facebook is not my friend

I hate Facebook.

I really need to just stay off there. It seems like it has become the posting ground for every last person to announce their pregnancy or baby's gender.

Tonight, I am just sick of it all.

Friday, August 27, 2010

One more thought about my meds

I am considered a good responder (at this point, since I have not cycled yet).

If, during the cycle, I am not responding how I should and the protocol needs to be changed- more skyrocketing med prices. I know of someone who spent $7,000 on menopur alone.

Praying right now that I am a good responder!


I went for a sonohysterogram today. For those of you unfamiliar, it is a procedure where they check three things: the ovaries, uterus for polys and fibroids, and my cervix.

Dr. S said I passed with flying colors.

It is a good reminder of how up and down this journey is. Yesterday, upon hearing the great news that all looks well to go forward with the shared risk plan, I was thrilled.

Then today, I started checking on med prices.

Want to guess how much the total is right now? $4600 for ONE round of IVF.

I swear this stuff is just crack disguised as meds.

Thankfully, my insurance should cover somewhere around $2,000 of it. Thank you, infertility rider!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

On the road again

Well, here we are. On the road again with infertility.

To say it doesn't suck, even with it being the second go around, would be an understatement.

Watching friend after friend get pregnant with ease, thinking of the hundreds of dollars it will cost with no guarantee at the end....all of that is tough.

Really tough.