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!