Friday, July 31, 2009

Spontaneous Hope

I find myself at the bottom of IVF Mountain again, preparing to start climbing to Base Camp One.

This being my fourth attempt I know the base of this mountain well, but I can only dream of the view from the top.

Each time I attempt to crest this mountain I feel a little less optimistic, a little less confident, a little more unsure.

But every once in awhile, I have a flash of spontaneous hope. Just for a few seconds I think, "This could be it. I could do it this time. One last climb and this could all could be over."

The thought stops me in my tracks and takes my breath away.

I force the thought out of my mind. I must not lose focus. I must focus on the climb, one stage at a time.

(And thanks for climbing with me.)

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

The Plan...Ta Da!!!

After a week and a half of sometimes not so patiently waiting, I finally have my protocol for September. I have been scouring the Internet obsessively looking for sample Estrogen Priming Protocols and have found none, so I am posting mine here for the next obsessive Googler. (Note: on 9/08 I start getting daily instructions regarding meds. Also, my doctor likes to change things after each ultrasound, so I doubt this will be the *exact* plan.)

So let's not pick apart the nice doctor's plan. I do enough of that on my own, I don't need help second guessing him.

General Impressions:

  • That's a lot of meds. With the exception of Follistim and Dexamethasone I have never taken any of these meds before. I wanted something different and I guess I got it. Anyone want to give me a side effects heads up?
  • Can you believe that I have made it all this time without an intramuscular injection? I sense that is going to change. I think those E2V shots are IM, not sure about Luveris.
  • I've already been taking Estrace for about a week. I take it twice a day and it gives me a mild to moderate headache that lasts about an hour each time I take it. Also, I am bloated to the point of being uncomfortable.

So that's it. That's the big plan.

By the way, if you haven't read it already Monica had some great insights on planning that I really related to. Definately an interesting read.

Sunday, July 26, 2009


I've been spending the weeks since my canceled transfer reading and thinking and changing. After all, don't they say that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result?

My RE has his plans for change (estrogen priming protocol), but I have spent the last seven weeks changing things in my life all in an effort to improve my egg quality and change my IVF results.

Diet: I have been slowly moving toward eating more organic foods. My attitude toward organic food is similar to my attitude toward recycling. I think it's a good thing, but I don't go too far out of my way to do it. I have also been eating more whole grains. I've eliminated all caffeine and I avoid alcohol. I was doing these things to some extent before, but now my diet has gotten more focus.

Exercise: I'm more dedicated to working out each day. I've even started using the gym at work and have found it to be a great mid-day stress reliever. I'd like to start doing yoga geared toward improving fertility. I've never done much yoga before and I haven't done any for years. Does anyone have any DVD suggestions?

Acupuncture: I go once a week. I think I will start going twice a week once I start stims.

Supplements: I have started taking wheatgrass and l-arginine at the suggestion of my acupuncturist. I've been taking the wheatgrass pills for the last seven weeks. Now that I have started my IVF prep and I am also drinking two cubes of frozen wheatgrass each day. I take a multi-vitamin as well as some extra folic acid.

Meditation: I've not done a lot of meditation before. OK, I've not done any except for once in a college course about Hinduism with a very strange professor. I purchased this guided meditation CD. It's OK. I've only done it a few times and I usually fall asleep. I think this CD will become invaluable when I get into the stressful part of the cycle.

My RE is not terribly supportive of these efforts. He doesn't disagree with any of these changes, but he also doesn't believe that they will improve my results. I don't know if I totally believe in all of this either, but I don't think that Western medicine has all the answers. If they did, I would have a child by now.

I do feel different...healthier. I have more energy. I sleep better. I am more..ahem...digestively regular.

I've read blogs about women making these types of changes to improve their fertility in the past. Then I was at a point in my journey where it all sounded a little desperate. Now making these changes in my life seems like the next logical step. I guess I have learned that lesson once again that you should not judge others until you have been in their shoes. (I wonder if that lesson will ever fully sink in.)
I'm hoping for some beautiful butterfly eggs in September.

Friday, July 24, 2009

An Ode to Wheatgrass

I started taking you by pill
Hoping my FSH would chill

Swallowing you was less than fun
But I want to have a little one

My egg quality needs to get better
Before I can wear a maternity sweater

Now I thaw you and drink you too
The first time chunks almost flew

But what’s that in the toilet I see
My poop is now as green as thee!!!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Thoughts From The Acupuncture Table

Does anyone else have a difficult time quieting their mind during acupuncture appointments? Let me take you through my thoughts today...

Did she put one in the top of my head this time? [Feels head.]


I just love these heated beds.

Are the beds heated at my massage place?

Ahhh, a massage, I should call and see if they can get me in this weekend.

Should I spend that money? We seem to be spending a lot this month; new carpet in that one room, concert tickets, vacation, Tony's speeding ticket.

Shit, if I get a massage Tony will want one too. That will be $150 before tip.

You know really this acupuncture lady isn't that expensive. It's cheaper than a massage, especially once you consider tip.

Oh my God. Am I supposed to be tipping the acupuncture lady? I never thought of that.

Surely I'm not supposed to tip her. Isn't she supposed to be like a doctor. You don't tip a doctor.

Crap, she's probably out there right now talking to her receptionist about how I'm the lady that never tips.

I need to blog about this and ask if I'm supposed to tip the acupuncture lady.

Did she put one between my eyes this time? [Feels nose.]


OK, focus on your breathing now...

Monday, July 20, 2009

Not To Put Too Fine A Point On It

My period introduced itself yesterday with some pretty strong cramps. Like all of my cycles I secretly thought I might still be pregnant right up until my period started.

I suppose a period is called a period because it happens periodically. We all know that it is also an ending, like the end of a sentence (period). As in, you are definitely NOT pregnant (period).

In all cycles an ending is also a beginning. I emailed my RE today to tell him my news so that we could start planning our next steps.

Hopefully this ending will be the beginning of something good.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Beating a Dead Horse

Two more pregnancy tests. One with first morning urine, both negative.

The pity party rages on!

I think I cried more yesterday over this positive pregnancy test than I did over my cancelled IVF transfer.

For an hour yesterday I thought this nightmare was all over.

A person's mind can do a lot of planning in an hour.

Tony and I are going for a picnic today followed by a long hike. I'm going to find my center again in nature.

Friday, July 17, 2009


16 days past "ovulation".

My day that started like this...

I have had some headaches, some backaches, some cramps, but no sore boobs and I have been feeling more energetic than ever lately. I debated about testing...I even debated this morning while my bladder felt like it was going to explode.

But I haven't had my period and last night on our walk through the neighborhood I needed to take the shortcut because I was so tired and then I almost fell asleep on the sofa. I had an old Clearblue Easy Digital test in the linen closet...what the hell.

I woke my husband, showed him the positive test, started crying, and begged him to go buy more tests. While he was gone I drank a glass of water. I could barely pee on the First Response test when he returned. It was clearly negative. If I tilted the test in the light and crossed my eyes I could almost convince myself that there was a very faint line, but realistically it was negative.

I went to work and started Googling. I've learned that lots of people have had false positives with Clearblue Easy Digital Pregnancy Tests. I alternated between telling myself that I wasn't pregnant and telling myself that I was pregnant because surely the universe would not fuck with my mind like this...

I took the newly purchased Clearblue Easy Digital Test I brought with me to work in my purse and got this...

I take more pregnancy tests before 9 am than most people take all day. I'm disappointed. I'm numb. I'm angry. I'm upset.

I feel like the mean popular girl at school asked me to sit with her at lunch today and then started a nasty rumor about me.

Welcome to my pity party. I'm experiencing a serious case of "why me?" this morning.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

The Joys of Being Childless: Part One

Yes, you read that right...the JOYS of being childless. There is nothing I enjoy about being infertile, but there is (at least?) one byproduct of infertility that is good...the child free vacation. All this past week as I was relaxing, renewing, and rejuvenating I was reminded how different our vacation would be if we were toting along a toddler.

We drove to our vacation destination this year. This is something I would not chose to do, but we did it for reasons my husband has forbidden me to tell the Internet. (e-hay ates-hay o-tay ly-fay). It was difficult for me to entertain myself for eleven hours in the car, but imagine driving eleven hours with a restless, "I gotta go pee", "are we there yet?" child in the backseat. I did manage to spot the license plates for 40 different states and 3 Canadian provinces.

The adult pool. Enough said. The children's pool at our hotel was crowded to the point of resembling tot stew. It was a bubbling cauldron of children high on soda, sugar, and a break from their overly structured lives filled with organized sports and music lessons. In contrast, the adult pool was quiet, serene, and the drinks were flowing.

We did not eat at restaurants with children's menus on paper place mats with mazes and word searches printed on the opposite side. Instead we ate at fancy restaurants that would not be tolerated by any self respecting french fries and chicken nuggets eating child (although some parents tried).

I started to feel almost satisfied with my life as I floated in the ocean without a care or worry while parents chased children on the beach with sunscreen in hand. I started to feel like maybe I was the lucky one, enjoying my child free vacation. Maybe I could enjoy a child free life too?

Then my husband caught a starfish while we were swimming and gave it to a little boy to examine. The boy was so excited to see it and touch it and feel it. The boy proudly rushed off to show it to his dad.

Child free vacations are great, but I'd rather have a child.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Give a Girl a Chance

It’s been a busy week. I’ve been putting in extra time at work in order to get caught up before going on vacation next week. I’ve been cleaning the house since my mother will be coming for a visit the very day we return from vacation. Tony and I have been reestablishing our gym routine. And for the first time since September of 2008 we had sex for the purpose of making a baby.

This has been my first totally medication free cycle in ten months. I found an almost expired ovulation kit in my linen closet and it made me feel nostalgic for days of old, days when I thought that having sex might actually lead to a baby.

I peed through the whole box of sticks and nothing, nada, no go. Then I found a half empty box of ovulation tests and peed on those…goose egg. Then I went to the drug store and bought a new box of ovulation tests and peed through half of those until I finally got the smiley face on day 23 of my cycle.

In days of yore my cycle lasted between 26 and 28 days, so obviously I am still out of whack from my last IVF cycle. Or this is the new infertile me that was discovered last IVF cycle. (I don’t even know if it is possible to get pregnant the month after a failed IVF cycle, but if it’s not possible don’t tell me…just live in my fantasy world with me.)

Last night we lit the candles, put on some soft music, and tried to make a baby. (Don’t believe it…really I was perched on the edge of the bed on all fours, telling my husband to hurry up so that I could watch The Messiest Home in the Country on TV. Anyone else watch that? Hoarding is so sad.)

But before all the action started, as if my bad eggs and hubby’s less than stellar sperm aren’t obstacles enough to us conceiving our own child, Tony says to me, “I probably shouldn’t have gotten into the hot tub at the gym tonight.” Ya think?

We have a snow ball’s chance in hell of conceiving a baby, but I don’t care. I have done for myself what my medical staff has not been able to do for ten months. I have given myself a possibility (although slim) of being pregnant. I will have a two week wait this month. I will wonder if I could be, might be, maybe, possibly pregnant.

And maybe, just maybe I might get a miracle.
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