Friday, March 31, 2006

Another party's over

Finally. And this time, it's a good thing because the last 2 weeks really sucked.

By the time you read this, I will have release the old entries and you'll know I was pregnant. A little bit, as it turnes out. I went for my first and final ultrasound today. Results: no evidence of pregnancy...anywhere. Believe it or not, this is a good thing because it means that that tricky little embryo didn't decide to cop a squat somewhere outside my uterus. That would be very bad and would mean taking methotrexate. For you unitiated ones, methotrexate is a chemotherapy drug used to kill fast-growing cells. As it happens, an embro falls into this category. I'm not big into cancer drugs and I'd rather avoid taking them thankyewverymuch. So they wanted to wait for bloodwork and scheduled another blood draw & ultrasound for Monday.

Turns out... not necessary. Beta fell to 353 today. Chemical for sure. They want me back for weekly betas until it's 0 but I suspect that means one or 2 more blood draws. Fortunately, I really love my clinic and adore pretty much everyone that works there. There are a couple of exceptions but after some of the horror stories I've heard, I've got ZIP to complain about.

Well, I'm off to social hour. Let me say that managers at work don't often invite the team out for drinks. I'm not one to turn that down.

Another party's begun.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Wanted: Realism

I've been the route of holding out all hope until there's none left. It hasn't worked yet. I've also been the route of not seeing the problem coming and being blindsided. That's hasn't worked out very well either.

For once, I'd just like to know the realistic picture. It's the most I can ask for right now. If I had my way, I'd get the truth. See? There's where I'm wrong. I already know the truth. The truth is that there's absolutely no way to know right now what's going to happen. I know what the odds are, but I also know that I've lived long enough to know that the odds are out the door when it comes to reality. Unfortunately, for the moment I live in reality. So I'm really still playing the waiting game. And I really made an appointment for this friday for an ultrasound.

As soon as it stops spinning, I'l be happy to get off this ride. In the meantime, you're waiting, too.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Final Beta's in: 418

That's after finally doubling on sunday to 338. For those of you not keeping score at home, that's bad. Very bad. Obligatory details follow:

Ultrasound scheduled for Monday to rule out ectopic. Was given ectopic warning signs and instructions.

Basically, it's just suckful. Well, and a certain amount of relieving. The truth is that if i'm certain about nothing, I know for sure that trying to actually deliver a child with my FSH level and age is close to impossible. Certainly doing it anytime soon. If I want to keep trying, I'm sure it could happen eventuallly (i'm not that dramatic) but that's not what I'm talking about. I'm talking about having a life with my family, including kids, while I still have a memory.

Having said that, I'm here to testify that this just plain sucks. Nobody can really understand it and the truth is that when you are going through an experience like this, you know in your soul that it's 100% unique. Just as you'll never know anyone's experience, no matter how similar the facts to your own, nobody could ever know mine. Most couldn't begin to know. Only those aforementioned (with similar facts) and those especially astoot and soul-sharing (hi K!) can even begin. But I digress..

Ok i just lost my train of thought because I saw CRACK on the kitchen counter -- C. just got home.

uh...well...I'm pregnant today, doncha know. gotta go!!

It's a good thing I have a plan

Because I'm really close to losing it.

Wait... first I should apologize. I've been holding out on you guys. Yeah, I'm a cheater. Before you click away, allow me to explain:

I've been holding posts because there's stuff I wanted to blog about but didn't want some people to know yet.

I'll be releasing my old posts that I've been keeping in DRAFTS status soon so when they pop up as old entries, you'll understand why. OK? ok. Don't ask any questions until you see them. Then feel free to blast away.

I appreciate your patience. Oh and in case you're curious, you'll probably see them early next week.

WHEW -- OK, about losing it. You'll figure it out soon enough!

man, i need a drink.

Saturday, March 25, 2006


OK, it's actually called The Original Pancake House, but it'll always be HUT! in my syrup-pumping heart and dutch baby-filled soul.

I called K. to see if they wanted to go tomorrow but it looks like it might be scrapped for something equally as yummy. I might propose breakfast at the house (ours or theirs -- they're only 20 minutes away) Hey, as long as there's good company and comfort food, I'm in.

The yarn store is also on the agenda. If I don't start a blanket soon for my neice that's due in June, it'll be a birthday gift for a toddler. I'm thinking.... pink. But the plan always changes when I get into the store, unfortunately.

Research is my middle name

So I spent the entire day on google looking trying to calculate the chances of a viable pregnancy. It seems to be a complete toss-up. Not to mention that there's ZIPOLA I can do about it now. This is either going to happen, or it's not and there's nothing I can do about it. Oh, except agonize. Believe me, I've got that one covered. I've made plans to do 3948 things tomorrow so I can try to pretend to be distracted while I wait for lab results.

Sonofabitch, it's been a long day and I've managed to waste the entire thing. I'm nothing if not thorough.

Friday, March 24, 2006

There's a reason they call it beta hell

It is so not a nice place to be.

Monday (12dpo) 53

Wednesday (14dpo) 97
Friday (16dpo) 167

This is true limbo for sure. I've scheduled another beta Sunday and Tuesday. At this point, I'd rather just know. For some reason though, infertility and infertility treatment doesn't work that way. it's all a big, huge, mutherfucking waiting game. Just once I'd like to be in the middle of the bell curve. Just once, I'd like to have the "worry-free" results. Just once, I'd like to get a phone call from the RE and not be compelled to do 6 hours worth of googling. It's just such bullshit.

I'll know more Sunday, it's true. I guess I'm pretending until then. Which isn't difficult really, considering I'm tired as hell, constantly starving, and get sick if I try to combine fatigue and hunger. Cruel joke. Even for me.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

So Tired

I can't believe how tired I am. I think that if spring would ever find us here in Seattle, I'd feel much better. Unfortunately, that's going to remain one of those rhetorical questions for the near future. The forcast is pretty much "RAIN" for... oh I guess it's FOREVER. *sigh*

We've been watching the new HBO show Big Family. God love HBO. They do such a fabulous job. I was a fan of Six Feet Under and Carnivale as well. I never watched Sex in the City or The Sopranos though, but not because they aren't good shows. We simply have only so much time to watch television these days. Besides, there's a new season of DOG! The Bounty Hunter on. Who wouldn't drop what they're doing for that show?

Going to bed before my head drops onto my keyboard.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Holy Crap -- I'm pregnant

Why is it that just when you think you have a great plan, something comes along to wreck it? It seems that's exactly what happened to me this weekend.

Saturday, K. convinced me to do a pregnancy test. I dug under the counter in the bathroom and grabbed one, knowing it was way too early and besides, an IUI would never work for me anyway. That's why we're doing IVF, right? So imagine my surprise when I found out that I wasn't ovulating! You read that right..I peed on the wrong stick.

Flash foward to Sunday. I did another HPT but this time it was in the middle of the day and I could only wait 2 hours before I had to go. BFN of course. I mean, again with the IUIs and not working for me. Monday, I got up to get ready to go to the gym and did another HPT just for fun (hey they come in packs of 3 for a reason, right?) and when I glanced at it a few moments later, i saw it clearly "PREGNANT" w0w!

On Monday (12 dpo-days post ovulation) beta was 53. I went back for beta #2 today. It's 97.3. didn't quite double. I did some quick calculations and discovered that the doubling time is 51.61 hours. The consensus is that it should be 48-72 hours. The increase from Monday was 81.1% and it should be over 66%. So far so good.
So why am I not happy? I guess I've been stung with the btdt bug. You know.. been there done that. I'll be happy when I'm holding my new baby. I'm not sure there's anything in between right now.
Stay tuned -- next beta is Friday.

Saturday, March 18, 2006

Saturday ramblings

Sometimes I just can't bring myself to get up. For example, almost every Saturday. Like today. I generally get up with C., or shortly thereafter and go downstairs get my computer and go back to bed. Our bed is so cozy with the window opened just a tiny bit and our heavy down comforter over me. I sit here in bed sometimes for an hour and can still be up and moving by 8 or 9. It's one of my favorite times. I catch up on my email and whatever else I've been neglecting because truthfully, I'm generally allergic to my computer on weeknights.

My brother T. and his wife are finally expecting their first child after many years of infertility. It's so exciting. I'm sure it's too early to ask but I'm wondering if they've talked about siblings. C. and I were talking last night about it and I said that it would be especially great to get pregnant this year because then they won't be the only ones in the family that have little ones. And neither will we!

Tonight's GAME NIGHT at friends' house. They've got a pre-schooler who's just starting to be able to play big girl games and we try to get together about once a month to have dinner and some evening family fun. It's really a great way to slow life down and live in the moment. Tonight's dinner is (of course) Irish-themed but I think we'll skip the after-dinner jig in favor of Candyland or something.

Sunday, March 12, 2006

I found the mop, and I plan to use it

I have almost 12 weeks until we get back on the IVF horse. Yesterday was spent catching up on laundry and clothes organizing. I got my bureau and closet cleaned out, started getting winter clothes put away and managed to get a pile of stuff for charity. Today's mission: cleaning the spare room that I purged last weekend and getting the holiday stuff organized and put away. Yeah, I know it's March, but:
  1. My dishes have more of a "winter" theme than a "Christmas" one. At least in my mind because usually I get them out at Thanksgiving and put them away in February.
  2. This year was uber stressful as it was the first holiday after my miscarriage, my due date was supposed to be early January, and I was a complete wreck.
  3. Time tends to really cruise by these days

If I get on enough of a roll, I'll make C. stop by the plant pots store (yes, they really have a store dedicated to pots for plants) on his way to walking the dogs and buy some pots for the poor rootbound spiders in the garden window. If I'm still motivated, I think I'll make a trip to one of those organization stores and buy some cool stuff today after I'm finished.

How exciting am I?

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Spring has sprung!

Spring has sprung! Well, not quite. The meteorologists are calling for snow this week. Will this winter ever end?

I'm feeling a bit melancholy today. I went into the Dr's office for the last IUI. As always, I'm cautiously optimistic about the chances, but at the same time quite realistic. The most difficult part was looking at all the leftover stim meds and realizing that for the first time in almost 4 years, I didn't need to "save them for the next cycle". It was far more difficult that the decision to stop...although maybe that's because I hadn't really finalized the decison after all. Now that I've done it, though, I do feel much better. Interestingly enough, they didn't give me the "you're at high risk for multiples" speech this time. At first it was funny, but as time goes by, it gets just plain irritating. It's been over a year since I've heard it. I guess they've figured out that I'm just not in a high risk group for pregnancy, let alone any kind of multiple.

C. and I have already made a few plans for our time off this spring but as usual he's holding out hope that this IUI cycle will work and we'll have to modify the plans anyway. God love him -- he's always so optimistic and hopeful about our future.

I guess I should go dig out the list of things I've committed to doing. Where's my mop?

Sunday, March 05, 2006

Scattered pictures, Of the smiles we left behind...

I found a card today that C. gave me last year after mother's day. The only thing he wrote on the blank card was "I love you, babies." As grim as it sounds, I've kept several things from my pregnancy last year: the positive pregnancy tests, a print-out I made of milestone dates (due date, when I'll first feel the baby, when I can see heartbeat, gender, etc.), cards from C., pictures of the embryos prior to transfer, and a couple of other things. I know that someday I won't need them anymore and I hope it's because I'm busy with a new pregnancy. For now, though, it's somehow very important that I have them close to me. Sometimes -- especially when I'm particularly sad or melancholy, I dig the box out of my closet and I wonder if that's as close as I'll ever get to having a baby. If it is, those things will be so important to me to have kept. Either way, I'm looking forward to being able to let go of them in time.

The cycle that wouldn't end.. gracefully

Last scan of the cycle today -- One follicle at 20mm 2 at 15 and one at 12. No more stims, Lupron again tomorrow and trigger tomorrow night. IUI pushed back to wednesday since I'm on the lupron anyway.

While we were there, I asked him about the success rates of injectible/IUI since this is my first after a zillion clomid/IUI. He said that injectible is a much better success rate than clomid so i'm a bit more optimistic about this cycle than i've been for the last few IUIs. And of course, we're moving forward with a DE IVF cycle anyway. That can't come soon enough for me.

Saturday, March 04, 2006

click your heels together and say "there's no place like home"

If i could will it to happen, I'd SO be pregnant by now. So now the question is: How do I stop spinning the wheels of wishing and willing? Letting go of this is by far the hardest life choice I've made. Or going to make, as is the case. To this end, I'm determined to:

  • keep the floors clean - As spring is rapidly approaching, there is less need to worry about a constant trail of mud from the back yard.
  • brush the dogs - Well, Jack is especially raggedy looking. (mental note: brush him outside)
  • catch up on some reading - At least the 3 partially read books on top of the bedside table and 2 of the yet unread ones in the middle drawer.
  • clean windows - Spring's here. 'nuff said.
  • organize the mail and file the needful - This alone could take all spring.
  • clean out at least one of the spare rooms -- what good is a spare room if you can't walk in and turn around?

It may not get me closer to home but look at all I will have accomplished :)

Here's your thread.. Hang on!

Well, the scan yesterday revealed that baby follicle #4 has caught up. We're working with 2 follicles on each side, each between 11 and 15 mm. Scan tomorrow and we're expecting hCG trigger with IUI on Tuesday. This will the first injectible/IUI cycle for us and there's a certain suppressed optimism on my part about it. It's not outside the realm of possibility that it will work and if we don't finish the cycle we know for sure it won't work.

Tuesday morning is also a meeting with the donor coordinator at our clinic. I'm really looking forward to the meeting as I hope it will fill in some of the blanks about this process. Mostly, I'm curious about timelines? How long will it take to match us? How soon after a match will the cycle start? As usual, now that the final decision is made, I'm in a huge hurry to make it happen. Now.

But first: the dreaded 2ww. Hang in there with me.

Friday, March 03, 2006

Move it along, please

All glamour aside, infertility is truly a roller coaster ride. I woke up this morning and looked out the bedroom window to see that our Japanese plum tree is blooming already. I cried. At this time last year, I was heading into my first IVF cycle with such anticipation and hope.

Truth be told, the last couple of days have been the best days I've had since last June. I could have predicted that it wouldn't last long. I cried until I fell asleep last night for no discernible reason. It just gets overwhelming sometimes and I don't have the energy to try to figure out why so I can fix it. Not to mention -- if I've learned anything through this process, I've learned that sometimes there's no figuring it out. Things just happen because they happen.

I'm determined to get up and get moving today. I know that it won't necessarily help but it can't hurt, right?

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

On Strike

Went Monday for day 6 scan. My ovaries have gone on serious strike: 3 equal-sized follicles on each ovary (8-10mm) but e2 level in the toilet -- 61. For reference, last cycle on day 6 my e2 was over 350. So I stayed on meds and went back today expecting cancellation with a slim chance of IUI conversion. We had a brief discussion Monday morning about whether to try the antagon protocol (if i can get e2 down without lupron) or just fuggit the whole thing and wait for donor eggs. I figured I'd talk to the RE and see what he thinks. If he thinks the antagon is worth trying, I'd likely let him talk me into it if (and only if) he agrees to treat any corpus luteal cysts agressively. I will not wait another 8 months to start another cycle. Good Lord, I don't have that kind of time or energy.

None of this is surprising to me, so it didn't actually upset me that much... well except all the $$ it cost to find this out. But hey, there's always the Intertility Black Market, right? So the good news is that I made it to the top of the donor list!!! I'm being matched as we speak. So i've got that going for me. In case you're wondering, that was the form that I actually returned. Well, except I actually put our full names. And kept the real name of the clinic on the header.

I returned today and I must say: when my ovaries quit, they don't mess around. Today's scan showed 3 equal-sized follicles (10-12mm) and a smaller one that might or might not catch up. We've lost 2 altogether. We're definately converting to IUI and I think I'm going to call it quits with my eggs. This is so silly to keep trying. The truth is, I think I'd rather not be pregnant than be pregnant with my eggs and worrying so much about quality and miscarriage again. That was the worst thing that's ever happened to me and I don't know if i could make it through another one. Besides, I know that my chances of success are so much better with donor eggs. So we're going to try to convert this cycle. I've dropped meds to only lupron 5 units and Gonal-F 225IU AM. No PM meds. He thinks this is enough to keep these 3 going without wasting meds. That Gonal is so expensive! the 900IU pen is between $570 and $900, depending on where you shop. Yikes!

Hopefully I'll be matched in a few weeks and from there, it's only a couple of months before I'm in the DE cycle. The e2 level today was the last blood draw of the cycle. After this, we're just focusing on IUI. They called this afternoon -- it's up to 150 which may indicate there's at least one egg in one of those follicles. *sigh* it only takes one, right?