Thursday, February 25, 2010

Ground Zero

I haven't really started child-free living yet. I'm child-free, but I'm not living.

My days consist of waking in the morning and going to work. Spending way too much time on the Internet while at work between doing what needs to be done in order to keep my job and appearing somewhat engaged. Coming home and changing clothes. Sitting on the sofa all night and alternating between watching TV, surfing the Internet, and playing Minesweeper. Then it's off to bed.

Sadness. Despair. Depression.

Sadness. Despair. Depression.

Lather. Rinse. Repeat.

Today I looked around at my life.

My marriage has been changed by this journey and not for the better. We have always been a happy, laid back, and fun loving couple. That was "our thing". We didn't take much seriously. I'm wondering what it will take for us to get that back. I feel more insecure in my marriage than I have ever felt.

I have not put much effort into my job for over a year now. People don't seem to have noticed much (except possibly a couple coworkers), but it has made me very paranoid about being laid off or fired. Since there have been layoffs and firings a plenty in my office lately, my work life basically sucks. Every rumor or piece of gossip sends me into a paranoid tailspin of checking my dwindling savings account and calculating how long we could survive without my salary.

I am not speaking to my family. My mother is quite frankly a mother. She could never understand what I am going through. She also has an uncanny ability to say the exact wrong thing at the exact wrong time. I can't risk that right now. My sister will most probably be a mother soon and most probably without much effort. Because, quite frankly...that just seems to be how my life works. I am preemptively not speaking to her because a pregnancy announcement would put me over the edge.

I am fatter than I have ever been. My clothes are not fitting. I gained an amazing amount of weight this last cycle, but I can't bear to step on the scale to tally it up. All I want to eat is McDonald's sausage egg and cheese biscuits and ice cream. I have been doing this frequently.

This is ground zero. This is my bottom. There is nowhere to go, but up.


I don't like to think of my life as tragic, but I have had enough tragedy in my life to know that only time will make things better. I will never be OK about this, but in time I will be better.

I think I will let myself continue to wallow until the weekend, then it will be time to pick myself up, dust myself off, and start moving on.

Here I come. I'm almost ready. Let's go. I just have to get off the couch...

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

If I Were To Interview Myself Today

Are you really done trying to have a child?

Before this cycle the answer was yes, we are done. Now the answer is maybe. We are definitely done trying to conceive a child with my eggs. I am OK with this and have been for a long time. I don’t think my genetic material is particularly special and I personally believe that nurture plays a bigger role than nature. We have only continued with my eggs for this long because it was the most cost effective option for us. I have had insurance to cover procedures up to this point (not that we haven’t spent tens of thousands of dollars of our own money.) If I could have applied that insurance to a donor eggs cycle I would have done so this last cycle.

However, even though we are very open to moving forward with donor eggs, we have decided to try child free living first. I feel very blessed that at age thirty two donor eggs are a viable option for me for several years. We are going to take advantage of that luxury and try child free living for a year or two. Then we will make a decision. If we are OK with it, we will continue on living sans bebe. If we are not OK with it then we will explore other treatment options like donor eggs.

What about adoption?

If someone would place a baby in my arms right now and ask me to raise it I would love and nurture that child like no one’s business. But I know it’s not that easy. We had a taste of the adoption experience when we started the process of becoming foster parents several months ago. At that time we realized that we could not continue cycling and become foster parents at the same time and dropped out. However, we went through enough of the home study experience to realize that adoption is freaking hard, just as hard as IVF cycling and I don’t think we have the strength right now.

Also, my husband’s heart is not open to open or international adoption which I know would make the process that much harder. I personally believe in open adoption. Since we are so far apart on this issue I think that adoption is not right for us right now.

Do you feel like a quitter?

Absolutely. I believe that if you really want a baby you will get there one way or another. I really want a baby, so why am I quitting? I struggle with this a lot. Part of the reason that I am quitting is that my husband no longer wants to continue, part of the reason is financial, part of the reason is that I feel in my gut that this is the right decision for me right now. However, for my own sanity I have to think of this as an extended year or two year long break. Right now I just can’t admit that I’m done.

We did not get our dream come true, but our nightmare has ended and that feels good.

So what is the plan?

We are very committed to giving child free living a try. Our four-bedroom-perfect-for-kids house is officially on the market and we are looking for smaller homes in a historic district in a bad school district. Once we move, Bo will get a brother, which is something that my extremely social dog needs desperately. I have also looked at this as an opportunity to really examine my life and choices. Am I in the right career? How will I leave a legacy if I don’t have children? What opportunities are open to me that might not be open if I had children? How soon can I retire?

I’m actually somewhat excited about answering these questions.

You sound so upbeat and together about this. What is your secret?

Don’t believe a word of it. I am a mess inside. I’m sad. I’m angry. I cry. I emailed my family telling them that I didn’t want to speak to anyone right now, possibly for a few months. Tony thinks I need to be on antidepressants and I don’t necessarily disagree. I just refuse to let this ruin my life so I am trying to find something-anything good and positive to hang on to. My attitude changes minute by minute. I’m totally in the grief cycle and hanging on for dear life.

Are you still going to blog?

Yep. I think that my story still has merit. It’s a different story now and it won’t be the right story for everyone, but I hope some folks will still be interested.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Insult, Meet Injury

So after the negative pregnancy test on Friday, I started bleeding. Not spotting…bleeding. Not just bleeding, but bleeding more than I have in months and months. In a perverse way I’m almost proud of how much my body does not want to be pregnant; expelling uterine lining and embryos a full three days before my beta.

I didn’t really know what to do when the bleeding started so quickly and violently, so I kept up with my Prometrium and Endometrium suppositories. I kept telling myself that if the bleeding doesn’t stop by *insert time* I’ll stop taking the medicine. But I just couldn’t stop myself.

I wasn’t going to go to my blood draw this morning, sort of a final middle finger to the whole medical establishment. However, last night I started having stabbing abdominal pains that made me wonder if I might have gone ectopic. So I went. They are calling Tony with the results and I know he won’t tell me while I’m at work. He’s currently not answering his office line.

I can’t believe that the closest we ever got to being parents was after four months of trying on our own. For four blissful weeks we thought we were going to be a family with a mommy, daddy, and baby not knowing that the mass of baby-like cells that caused the pregnancy test to turn positive had stopped developing weeks earlier.

We’ve spent almost three years chasing that high and never got any closer, never even got that close again.

We found out last week that we had nothing to freeze.


Update: I'm officially negative.

Friday, February 19, 2010

I Need A Miracle

7dp5dt and I tested negative.

I don't understand why this is not meant to work for us.

We are good people.

We would make good parents.

My husband and I are falling apart.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

The Ladybug Story

My father passed away when I was twenty-one. We were close, or as close as you can get to an extreme workaholic with a really screwed up upbringing.

Several years after he passed on I had a dream about him. He was sitting on a park bench and I sat beside him. He told me that everything was going to be OK. I forget now why I needed to be told that everything was going to be OK, but I remember waking up and knowing that he was right.

The next morning there was a steel penny on my front table. (Pennies are generally made of copper, but during one of the World Wars they needed the copper for wartime production and made pennies out of steel.) I have no idea where this steel penny came from. I knew it was a sign from my father. He was a coin collector.

This weekend I had a conversation with my dad. I don't do this often, but I asked him if he had any sort of influence over things like conception could he please make sure that this cycle worked. (I talked to Tony's dad too, who I never met and who also has passed away).

This morning I woke up and went downstairs. On my kitchen counter next to my prometrium bottle there was a ladybug, a sign of good luck.

I hope my dad sent it. I hope it's his way of telling me that it will be OK.

I guess in a way it will be OK, no matter what.

Friday, February 12, 2010


We transferred three early blasts today.

We thought about transferring four, but Tony was too chicken (or the voice of reason?)

It's out of our hands and into my womb.

Hoping for the best.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Wanna See A Picture of My Kids?

. . . . . . . . . .

aren't they cute?

Plans for "wasted" vacation day #2:

  • I'm taking Bo to daycamp today so he can get a break from protecting me from his own reflection in the glass front of the fireplace. Bo HATES fireplace puppy.
  • I scheduled a massage to use the gift certificate Tony got me for Christmas.
  • Sewing, sewing, sewing

As the wife of an educator I just LOVE staying home while my husband goes to work, usually it is the other way around.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Day 3 Report

No transfer today.

Because..."there are too many good ones to chose from."

So here are the stats for all you math nerds out there (my clinic grades embryos 1 through 3 with 1 being the best):

12 cell, grade 2
9 cell, grade 1
9 cell, grade 2
9 cell, grade 2
8 cell, grade 2
8 cell, grade 2
7 cell, grade 1
7 cell, grade 1
7 cell, grade 2
6 cell, grade 3
2 arrested

Wow. Good stuff.

So transfer will be Friday if these little guys keep growing. I feel mixed about delaying the transfer to a day 5. I'd feel more confident if I had some more grade 1 embryos. (I apologize to my fellow poor responders for that statement.) However, I still feel like hell from my retrieval so I am happy to have a couple more days to recover.

The bad news: I already took today, Thursday, and Friday off work. I decided not to tell my boss about this cycle (I haven't told anyone IRL this time and now I am too superstitious to say anything). There is just too much going on at work for me to drop everything and run out the door without a little planning. Instead of stressing about how I was going to make my getaway I decided to just take the days off and worst case scenario I would burn a few vacation days.

So I'm off to the fabric store and the book store and the dog park. areyoukiddingme asked what I have been sewing. Well, I have sewn a couple pillow covers, some bags, and I am finishing up endlessly hand stitching the binding on a quilt. Since I'll have a lot of time on my hands maybe I'll post some pictures in the next couple days.

PS. I am overwhelmed by the support I have been receiving. Thank you so much.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Fertilization Report

Of the 32 eggs...

26 were mature...

and 12 fertilized normally...

Go twelve go!

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Prepare to Have Your Minds Blown

[I just woke up from my post anesthesia coma and my husband has confirmed all these facts].

I awoke to the nurse telling me that they retrieved twenty six eggs.

I didn't believe them. I asked them to double check.

Then they came back and told me that they retrieved thirty two eggs.

They asked Tony to go rub one out again to make sure they had enough good sperm.

I got to drink some Sprite while I waited.

If this were my first IVF I would be super excited right now, but this is my fifth attempt. I can only assume that something will go wrong.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Some Quick Updates

  • My US went well today. Still lots of follicles and they are growing. I may stim one more day depending on my E2 levels as there are some follicles that we still want to grow a bit. Retreival will most likely be on Sunday.
  • My RE and I had a "come to Jesus" meeting where I told him that I wanted to make sure I transferred something. I said, "I know that you think that if embryos don't make it to day five they are crap, but I don't care. I might want to put some back on day three anyway and I want to make sure I'll have that option." His solution...consecutive transfers. He wants to put back two on day three and another one or two on day five (if we have it). Then he gave me some articles which basically said that consecutive transfer might help and can't hurt. Has anyone ever done such a thing? What do you think?
  • This is one reason I've grown to love my RE. He is always so optimistic, always willing to try new things, and let's me call the shots within reason. He's a real gem.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010


I am feeling very uncomfortable.

I couldn't stay asleep last night.

Is this how I always feel at this point?

Have I forgotten?

Or is this how you feel when you have more than five or six follicles growing?

Maybe they are growing too big.

And my ovaries will explode like the Death Star.

Or maybe they are fizzling away.

I hate this time between ultrasounds.

I hate not knowing what is going on inside me.

Guessing at symptoms.

Or lack of symptoms.

Good news or bad news?

I guess I will find out tomorrow.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Holy Follicles, Batman!

I could set this post up by saying that I started getting nervous last night. I started to prepare myself for the possibility that everything could all be over at today’s ultrasound. I could be cancelled. It could all be over. It’s happened before.

But I won’t do that. Instead I will cut to the chase and let you know the results of today’s CD9 ultrasound.

Holy Crap. I’ve never seen so many follicles before. My left ovary had three measurable follicles with three or four to hopefully catch up. My right ovary (always the overachiever) had seven or eight measurable follicles.

I can’t believe it.

I’ve learned the hard way that with IVF you have to take it one day at a time. Each milestone passed is just another hurdle crossed and no indication of future success. I’ve read that sometimes ladies get more follicles with HGH, but the quality is still not improved. Quantity means nothing without quality.

But all that being said, this is the best response I’ve had at this point in the game so I can’t help but feel somewhat optimistic.

If anything, it beats being cancelled.
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