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I feel awful. Just absolutely awful.

One of the girls who co-hosted my baby shower (let’s call her Liz) came over to our house to spend some time with Nina and us a couple of nights ago. We got to talking about how we are the first ones in our group of friends to have a baby and so we’re not really sure how the dynamic of the group and our involvement with our friends will change now that Nina’s in the picture. It’s not that we don’t want to hang out with our friends, it’s just that we don’t want to impose and bring her to events where she’s not welcome.

Liz pointed out that another couple in our extended group of friends is currently pregnant and while Mark and I aren’t very close with them (because they’re newer to our group and we just don’t know them well yet), at least it’s another couple that obviously is open to kids. Then she went on to mention another couple (we’ll call them Joe and Mary) in our group of friends and said something to the effect of “they’d have kids if they could.” I’d heard that this couple had some financial struggles a while back, so I asked for clarification on her statement, asking if she meant that finances were holding them back from having kids. She kind of stopped and looked guilty and said, “Oh, I thought that Mary had told you about it.” I could see the recognition in her face that she wasn’t really going to be able to get out of the situation without telling us what she meant, so she said “They’ve been working with a fertility doctor for the past two years. Mary seemed to give the impression that it’s an issue with Joe.”

At this point I could feel my face flushing. I haven’t told Liz, nor anyone else in this group of friends about our struggle to conceive. I realize that doesn’t necessarily mean that they don’t already know; our friends are pretty sharp people and it wouldn’t be unthinkable that one of them put two and two together and figured us out, but we haven’t told any of them.

I tried my best not to give anything away, but I’m sure that my increasingly red face probably said more than I did…it’s just a question of whether or not Liz noticed. And at this point, I’m not sure that I really care anymore if people know what we went through. My motivation for not telling people was mostly because I didn’t want to have to deal with people asking questions of us all of the time, asking for updates on treatment and cycles and what the terminology meant. Now that we are past that, I feel much less protective of the entire thing. But regardless of how I feel, it wasn’t the time to come out to Liz, certainly not without discussing it with Mark first. I tried to play it off nonchalantly by saying how awful it was that they were having difficulties and the subject was quickly changed to something else.

But it ate at me. Mary was one of the co-hosts of my baby shower, throwing it at her house. I cannot even begin to imagine how difficult that must have been for her. I can’t imagine how difficult it must have been for her to have me around the past 6 months in my pregnant state. I count myself extremely lucky in the fact that we were the first ones of our main group of friends to be pregnant, which meant that I didn’t have to deal with any of my friends getting pregnant before me. I can only imagine how difficult that was for her. In fact, we actually told all of our friends about the pregnancy at their house. It was a sports themed movie night and Mark and I put together a little photo slideshow of baseball games that we’d been to with our friends and at the end we had a slide that said “Baby L coming soon to a centerfield near you…anticipated draft date – February 2010.” As soon as that last slide came up, Mary whipped around in her seat with her jaw dropped and just stared at me. I thought her reaction was a bit strange at the time. While I figured that she was just surprised at the news, a small part of me wondered if there was more going on there than just surprise. She didn’t look hurt or upset or anything, so I assumed that I was just reading into things maybe a bit too much.

Over the course of my pregnancy she was always interested in what was going on with me and talked frequently about her cousin who was due around the same time as me. The fact that she seemed perfectly OK with both my and her cousin’s pregnancy had me pretty well convinced that I had completely projected my infertile feelings into her reaction to our pregnancy news. Even though her potential infertility had crossed my mind, it still completely took me by surprise when Liz said they’d been seeing a fertility doctor for two years. My heart broke for them, and specifically her. I wanted nothing more than to drive over to their house and give her a big hug and tell her that I understand. I wanted to take back my fantastic baby shower to spare her the pain of the experience. I wanted to take back all of the pregnancy talk that I did when I was around them. I want for her to know that she’s not alone and I’m there for her if she wants to talk to someone who can relate. I want to be there for her if she needs it.

The shock of finding out that they are dealing with infertility makes me realize just how common infertility is. And it made me realize that just because I always felt like we were the only ones in our group of friends that had to deal with the absolute hell that is infertility, I couldn’t possibly have been further from the truth. And it made me realize that unless people let you in, you may never know the pain that lies beneath.

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My closest friend from my support group is THAT girl. You know, the one who had some absolutely odd defying thing happen to her and people talk about her anecdotally like “My best friend’s, husband’s, sister’s cousin…” Yes, I know her.

I met Jill about a year and a half ago at my first support group meeting. She had been trying to get pregnant for a little over two years at that point and there was absolutely no explanation for why they weren’t succeeding. Her willingness to honestly and openly share her feelings about what she was going through and her ability to see the humor in something that, by definition, was anything BUT funny drew me in. While I love all of the girls in my support group, she was the one I was rooting for the most, she was the one I most wanted to see succeed. I could envision her as just the best mom that any child could ever want, and the thought of her not having that opportunity broke my heart.

As the group floundered through last summer, trying desperate last ditch attempts at IUI, or special diets or herbs, Jill and I were preparing for our first IVF cycles in October. October came and went, my IVF was cancelled due to poor response and I was devastated. Part of what helped me through the disappointment of my cancelled cycle was being able to follow along with Jill’s cycle and be a cheerleader for her. Her cycle went great, and though she ended up with a positive beta, it was low and didn’t double properly; she had a chemical pregnancy. While she was heartbroken at the outcome, she picked up the pieces and was looking forward to cycling again soon. She was part of a shared risk program and was happy to have two more fresh tries left.

As she and I were getting ready for our second attempts at IVF, we found out that another woman in our group would be trying her first IVF cycle at the same time. It was so exciting to have the support of real life people during that time and knowing that we could potentially be pregnant together and have kids right around the same age was fun to daydream about. Right before Jill was going to start her cycle, she got a call from her clinic telling her that her cycle would be a frozen one, not fresh, since she had one embryo frozen from her previous attempt and her shared risk contract required her to use her frozen embryos before doing another fresh cycle. She was beyond depressed about the news, thinking that her one little embryo couldn’t possibly have a chance and it would just be a waste of time and money. We did our best to cheer her up and give her hope for her one embryo and we all went through our two week waits together cheering each other on along the way. Though things didn’t work out for me or the other woman, we were ecstatic to find out that Jill’s one little embryo did indeed take and she was pregnant with a nice high beta.

Everything appeared to be going well and Jill’s first ultrasound showed her baby with a healthy heartbeat and her doctor told her that her chance of miscarriage dropped from 20% to 8%. She was feeling confident about things and was therefore absolutely shocked to find at the next ultrasound that her baby’s heart had stopped beating. She went through a horrible miscarriage and eventual D&C in the ER and came out of the whole situation as just a shell of Jill that I had known before. I felt absolutely awful in that I didn’t know what to do for her or how to support her best. I did the only thing that I could think of and reminded her of all of the really great things that she had in her life and what a fantastic partner her husband was through everything. She decided to focus on those things and scheduled a vacation for her and her husband in Mexico.

Meanwhile, she was having her betas checked with her OB to make sure that her HCG levels were dropping appropriately and also met with her RE to discuss the next steps. Her RE wanted to do an SHG to make sure that nothing was left in her uterus and then move forward with another IVF cycle, which Jill agreed to. Surprisingly, the SHG showed a polyp that hadn’t been seen previously, and the RE felt that it would be best to remove the polyp before going forward with the next IVF cycle. The hysteroscopy was scheduled for a Friday and on Thursday Jill had another check to make sure that her beta was still dropping from the miscarriage.

Amazingly, miraculously, her beta, which had been below 50 for a couple of weeks came back at nearly 600. The “polyp” that they found during the SHG was, in all likelihood, her baby implanting itself in her uterus. She and her husband had sex just once since the miscarriage, on Valentine’s day, no less, and now she was pregnant. Completely naturally.

In the early morning hours on Sunday, my friend Jill, who had been pregnant 3 times in less than 6 months and suffered through more heartache than any woman should ever have to endure, finally saw her deepest desires come true. She gave birth to her beautiful, healthy son. Her Facebook status says that she is in love with her little miracle, and I know that nothing could be more true. My heart could not be any happier for her right now.

Beyond my sheer joy for Jill and her family, her story gives me hope for all of the women who are struggling with infertility. We hear about women who conceive in the most unlikely scenarios, after years and years of trying. We want to believe that maybe, just maybe, one day we will be one of those women. While the women who get pregnant in such improbable ways are few and far between, they are out there. I know one of them. And that in itself gives me hope.

It’s a subject that nearly every infertility blogger writes about at some point. The reason why is simple: there is no avoiding it.

The positive that has come out of my struggle with fertility is that I have found myself surrounded by an amazing group of women, both on the internet though my buddy group and blog, and in my everyday life, through my real life support group. While all of the women who have been a part of my infertility journey have added something special and unique to the experience, it’s the women in my real life support group who have made the biggest impact on my life.

These are women who have been with me through thick and thin and can relate to the struggles that we’ve endured. We clicked as a group, in a way that I didn’t think was possible for a group of women brought together by one small common link. They were there to provide listening ears, arms for hugs and humor and invaluable laughs when I was down. They were there for me when I felt like there was no hope. There were there when it felt like no one else in the world could possibly understand. They provided hope and they understood. They picked me up when I was down and provided me with something to look forward to every two weeks. They became my friends. I always left our meetings feeling uplifted, refreshed, renewed and with the energy to face our next infertility battle.

And one by one, miracle by miracle, babies were conceived, grew for 9 months and were born. One by one, women realized the dream that they had been wishing for for months and sometimes even years. One by one the number of those still waiting for their miracle slowly decreased.

It seemed crude to compartmentalize the women into “haves” and “have nots,” but in reality there’s no other way to do it. The “haves” still wished and hoped for miracles, but this time for their friends, not themselves. The “have nots” desperately wished that it would be “their turn” next. Eventually the “haves” outnumbered the “have nots.”

Shortly before I became pregnant, I was discussing with one of the two remaining “have nots” how things were different with our group. While I knew that everyone was still rooting for us and I still felt supported, things just weren’t the same. I missed the common thread that we all had: trying to have a baby. We discussed potentially recruiting new members who could provide more of the “still in the thick of it” support. We discussed trying out a different local support group. We discussed meeting as just the three of us. In the end, we didn’t do any of those things. We agreed that our group, as it was in the past, as it was at that very moment, and as it would be in the future, was most important to us. The relationship that we had formed was unlike anything we thought that we could replicate with new members, a different group, or just as the three of us.

Eventually, and seemingly miraculously, I crossed over from the “have nots” to the “haves.” This meant that there we only two women left in our group still trying to become pregnant. Even though I never believed it would be possible, the pain and sorrow of the past two and a half years slowly started to fade away into the background. While I don’t think that I will ever forget how awful that time was for me, I can no longer feel with the same intensity what it was like to go through each and every day wanting and waiting. Unconsciously my heart has moved to a different place, a place that has forgotten the mire of infertility, a place where hope has replaced fear and dread. My heart aches for these women, but I can’t honestly say that my heart aches WITH them.

And that is what makes me feel so guilty. I always thought that if the day came that I was actually pregnant, that I would never forget. How could I? But now here I am. I’m finally on the other side, and everything that I thought would be true just isn’t. I feel like a traitor, like I abandoned my friends. It’s as though I traded what I wanted the most and sacrificed knowing, understanding and having the ability to support my friends who are still trying. And the part that makes me the saddest is that the two who are left are the two who have been trying the longest. One woman for the entirety of her marriage, nearly six years, and the other woman somewhere between four and five years. And both are nearing the end of their rope; ready to give up entirely on having children in any way. Sadly, none of the rest of the women in our group have ever been where these two women are now. Yes, we all dealt with the emotions of infertility, but none of us for as long as these two women, nor were any of us ever at the point of seriously considering a childless life. While I was never able to relate to the length of time that they’d been dealing with infertility, at least I was able to share in their emotions and feel the camaraderie of still being in the depths of infertility together. Now I can’t even provide them with that comfort.

I feel like a failure in that respect. I feel guilty that I have what they want, and even more than that, I feel as though I’m not able to bring them the comfort and support that they brought to me over the past year and a half, and that hurts. Every day it seems more and more apparent to me that the scars of infertility, while seemingly invisible, reach deeper than I could ever imagine.

I promised further details on Tuesday, but have since failed to provide them.

2:50 – I hear my boss’ cell phone ring. Remember how I mentioned that we both had our betas pretty much at the same time on Tuesday? Well she shuts the door to take the phone call. I assume that it’s our OB/GYN’s office calling with her beta results since they get all their lab work back around 2:30

3:08 – I send an e-mail to my husband letting him know how nervous the waiting is making me. He tries unsuccessfully to calm me down.

3:38 – I send another e-mail to my husband asking if they’ve called him with the news (In the past, I’ve had them call Mark instead of me because I was too afraid to get bad news at work). I told him that if they HAD called him and it was bad news, I didn’t want him to keep it from me, I just want to know what’s going on. He says he’s heard nothing.

3:50 – I call my OB/GYN’s office to make sure that they’ve faxed the results over to my clinic. I talk to the lady in the lab and she say she faxed them shortly before 3, so they should definitely have them. I didn’t have the balls to just ask her directly what the results were.

3:50 – 4:40 – Sit at my desk trying to work, but not getting a damn thing done.

4:45 – Mark stops by my desk and asks if I’ve heard anything. Ummmm….no. Don’t you think if they had called I would have told you immediately? He offers to call the clinic to see what’s going on and I give him the contact info.

4:47 – I give up pretending to work and go home because I can’t take the stress and pressure anymore. I lay on the couch moping about what could have been because I’m absolutely convinced it’s bad news.

5:00 – Mark arrives home and finds me on the couch. He asks what’s wrong and I tell him I’m pouting and moping. He asks why I’m not happy and I ask him why in the world I should be happy. He responds with “Because we’re having a baby!” Holy cow. Honestly, the relief that I felt when he told me my beta was perfect was unlike any I’ve ever experience before.

He pulled out his sheet of notes with all of the details on it and shared it with me.

revised notes

The part that I’ve cropped out at the bottom has a list of names on it. They were suggestions from our clinic of names that we could name our baby. The list included our RE’s last name, which I think would make an absolutely adorable little boy’s name, our nurse’s first name, and also a variation on her last name, which would also make a cute boy’s or girl’s name. The list made me laugh and also made me feel good. It made me feel like this was as big of a victory for them as it was for us, which meant a lot to me. It also made me laugh that Mark wrote down the list…and that he wrote down my name at the top of the notes too. Like he might later be confused whose beta results he was writing down.

As you can see on the notes, they wanted me to have my first ultrasound in two to two-and-a-half weeks. I’m as about impatient as they come, so of course I went for two weeks and our first ultrasound will be on June 29th at my local OB/GYN. I will be six weeks and four days then, so we should be able to see the heartbeat then (fingers crossed). We have another ultrasound scheduled two weeks after that as well, at which point we would be “released” from our RE, which is kind of a silly term since we aren’t even seeing them at all from here on out.

Anyway, there’s the recap for you. I’ve been able to just relax and enjoy myself the past couple of days, which has been really nice.

Oh, and for those who have been wondering, my boss hasn’t asked anything yet. I’m not sure if she will or not, but Mark and I decided that it would be OK to tell her if she does ask. I’m not exactly thrilled about having her be the first non-infertile to find out, but it’s also not the end of the world either. I know she’s trustworthy (as far as I know, she’s kept our yearlong “we’re starting fertility treatments” statement a secret) and like I said before, it could help my non-professional relationship with her.

So there’s my life in a nutshell. Just hanging in there and trying to enjoy every moment.

So my boss called me into her office again today. Her boss had spent a significant amount of time in her office with the door shut about an hour or so prior to that, so as always happens when she calls me into her office, my stomach sank just a little bit.

I should have known that she didn’t want to discuss work. The second the door closed she started the conversation by saying “You know how I was going to test on Friday? I couldn’t wait and tested this morning and I’m pregnant!”

Holy cow. Really? Really?!? Inside my head I’m just absolutely flabberghasted. REALLY?!?!?

I was genuinely happy for her though and smiled and told her congrats. I asked her what her next step was and she said that she was going in for her blood test tomorrow, so I asked her what OB/GYN she went to. Turns out she goes to the same one I do, at which point I launched into my history with Dr. Ass Clown. She asked if I was doing my fertility treatments with him, which made me laugh. I explained that I pretty much only do my blood work there now when I have to have tests done.

She asked me about some details about our treatment and I explained to her that we were, in fact, doing IVF and that this was the last chance at a biological baby for us. She asked again when I would know if the cycle was successful and I lied and told her the blood test was on Friday. She asked if I had tested at all and I lied again told her no. She asked if I had symptoms and I lied yet again. I couldn’t stop the lies from spewing from my mouth, but this is too private for me to share with my boss just yet. Our parents don’t even know yet.

Anyway, eventually the conversation ended though not before my boss reiterated how much she hopes she has a girl since she has two boys already. I told her that if she ended up with a boy, we’d be more than happy to take the little boy off her hands so she could try for a girl. Nice. Really classy, I tell ya, but I couldn’t help it…I meant it. Anyway, she asked me to keep her up to date as to what happens on Friday.

Eventually I went upstairs to tell my husband that she was pregnant. As I was walking up the stairs, it occurred to me how dramatically different the entire conversation would have been for me if I were not already pregnant. I can’t even imagine having that conversation if I hadn’t already had a good beta. I know that pesky lump would have formed in the back of my throat and tears would have sprung to my eyes, which I would have desperately tried to fight back.

I found my husband in the kitchen getting some water and told him the news. I told him how while I think that us being pregnant together would be a good opportunity for us to bond, it also absolutely scares the shit out of me. To have my very own boss be due only a week and a half behind me would cause so much heartache for me if something were to happen to this pregnancy. To have to watch her growing belly and hear her talk about her pregnancy would absolutely kill me. He reassured me and told me not to get ahead of myself, that we’re just taking things one day at a time. That’s all that we can do at this point.

In other news, I caved this evening and tested again. The line was definitely darker than the last one, but once again I was disappointed by how “not dark” it was. I’m not concerned that there is anything wrong, I was just hoping that maybe it’s be closer to the same shade as the control line. Through lots of thorough research (which translates to frequent visits to this webpage, I’ve convinced myself that my particular package of tests must be pretty weak on dye. For example, there are more than a few tests where the beta was around 150, just like mine, and the test line was nearly as dark as the control line. Mine was absolutely no where near as dark as the control line. In fact, based off of those tests, I fully expected Friday’s beta to be somewhere in the 50-75 range. I guess all that it proves is that you really can’t base anything off of the darkness of the tests and that’s a nice consolation for me. In fact, I’m only slightly nervous about tomorrow’s beta. I feel good about it and maybe that’s just because I have absolutley no control over it. What will be will be.

It’s going to be a long day tomorrow…

First of all, I wanted to thank everyone for the sweet comments yesterday. Thank you to all of my blog friends and my ODC friends for taking the time to comment. They meant so much to me and were so much fun to read. It was pretty surreal though, reading all of them and feeling like they should be for someone else, not me. It has been such a long time that we’ve been trying for this…to finally have it actually happen just does not feel real at all. I’m not sure when it will feel real. Right now it feels so delicate, like if I move the wrong way, eat the wrong thing or get too far ahead of myself emotionally, it will all be taken away in the blink of an eye. It’s such a strange place to be, mentally.

I’m not going to lie. Yesterday was a tough day for me. As I mentioned before, I took another test yesterday, and it looked the same darkness as the first test I took, if not maybe even a little bit lighter. I know that HCG levels are supposed to double every two days, so I assumed that it would be at least a tad bit darker. The fact that it was definitely no darker and perhaps even a tiny bit lighter had me on edge. All day long I just kept telling myself that the darkness of the test likely has nothing to do with how things are progressing, that’s just how tests are. I kept telling myself that, but had a hard time believing it.

Then, right after I made the big e-mail announcement to my real life support group girls, I went to the bathroom and found that I had started spotting. As a chronic spotter, I feared the worst. I can’t remember a cycle within the past two years where I haven’t spotted during my LP, so naturally spotting to me equals no baby. The perhaps-lighter-than-yesterday’s-test along with the spotting had me really, really worried that things were not going well. But I can’t do anything at this point…what will be, will be and it is 100% out of my control. I did my best to keep myself occupied so as not to think about it at all.

I also tried to formulate a game plan for keeping sane until my beta. I made the decision that I would not take another test until the morning of my beta, which is tomorrow. If I were to test today, seeing the darkness of today’s line would do nothing to help my situation and would likely only stress me out. However, I do want to test tomorrow morning so that I have an idea of what to expect when the clinic calls. If something bad were to happen, I would want to know about it beforehand so that I could prepare myself. When I woke up this morning, I was very, very tempted to throw my game plan out the window and just take the test anyway. Fortunately a stroke of sanity hit me and I resisted. Score one point for my sanity.

Then, this morning my boss pulled me into her office and told me to close the door behind me. There’s been a lot of turmoil at the workplace lately and many of my coworkers (including my husband) will be losing their jobs due to the fact that part of our company is relocating to a different state. Yet again, I feared the worst. Amazingly, the conversation had absolutely nothing to do with work.

Boss lady: I was just wondering how things were going on the pregnancy front?

I had told her last summer that we were going to be starting fertility treatments (I didn’t provide any specifics, though I’m sure by now she’s figured it out) and that I would need time off for that. I didn’t want her to get the wrong idea, thinking I was interviewing for jobs or anything. Plus she’s a family lady who had to try a while for her second kid and I knew she would understand. She was excited for us and told me that she and her husband were going to start trying for their third in the spring.

Me: Oh, I don’t know yet.

At this point the light bulb goes on and I think “Maybe she’s already pregnant and is going to do the unbelievably sensitive thing and give me the heads up about her pregnancy before announcing it to the whole group.” So I ask.

Me: How are things going for you in that department?
Boss lady: Oh, I don’t know, but I think I may be pregnant. I won’t know for sure for a couple of weeks, but I really think I’m pregnant.

At this point I was really confused. If she won’t know for a couple of weeks, how in the world could she be pregnant already? After a bit of digging, I found that the reason she thought she was pregnant was because they had timed sex around ovulation using OPK’s. Like I said before, she struggled to conceive her second kid because she has irregular cycles and couldn’t pinpoint ovulation. The first month they tried OPK’s, she got pregnant. I guess she must just be assuming that if you have sex around the time you ovulate, you’ll get pregnant. Which is how it works for some women, I suppose.

Anyway, there was a bunch more fluff in the conversation and more details than I probably needed to know about my boss’ cycle, but here’s how the conversation ended.

Me: Well good luck with the test next week! That’s so exciting!
Boss lady: Yeah, good luck to you too! When will you know?
Me: (trying to quickly figure out how to answer this) Umm…it will probably be 8-10 days before I know.

I don’t know where the 8-10 days came from…it was the first thing to come to my mind, I guess. I was really only trying to buy myself some time. Ideally I would have liked to have told her that it would be 2-3 weeks, but that just doesn’t make any sense since she knows when I’ve been away from work for appointments. So then she got all excited because it would be around the same timeframe she would be finding out. It was really a very strange conversation for me to have with my boss. I didn’t want to have to lie to her, but at the same time I do feel the need to keep this very personal thing to myself for as long as I can.

Anyway, while it was an unexpected conversation, it got me thinking. It would be pretty cool to be pregnant at the same time as my boss. It would certainly help our relationship, and that would definitely be a bonus. I like my boss, she’s a great person, but we’re really not that close on a personal level. My husband keeps telling me that I need to make more of an effort to talk to her socially, but I just haven’t, for whatever reason. If we were so lucky as to be pregnant together, it would be a good opportunity to make a closer connection with her.

Beta is tomorrow. My stomach turns every time I think about it. But everything will be just fine, right?

For yesterday and today, at the very least, I can count myself as pregnant.

After the longest two and a half years of my life, I finally saw two pink lines on my test yesterday morning. To be quite honest, I would have been shocked, utterly shocked, if my test had been negative. Unlike every other two week wait that I’ve been through along this road, this time I’ve actually had real symptoms. I’ve been having a lot of pain in my right ovary, exactly like ovulation pain. I’ve also had very mild cramps on and off for the past few days, along with a “pulled muscle” feeling every time I rolled over in bed this weekend. To go from never experiencing these symptoms to all of them happening at once had me convinced that I must be pregnant.

I actually tested on Monday night after my acupuncturist stated that my pulses “couldn’t decide if they wanted to be slippery or not.” In TCM, a slippery pulse is a sign of pregnancy, so that coupled with my other symptoms drove me to testing. I used a crappy Equate test (one of those plus/minus ones) and there was definitely a line. Faint, but definitely there. I couldn’t tell if there was color or not though. I chalked it up as an evap, was slightly disappointed, and hoped for better results the next morning.

Yesterday morning I got up and tested right away and was really disappointed when a second line did not show up immediately. It took a while for the line to faintly begin to appear. Eventually it was to the point where I could definitely see it and was indisputably there, but was still what I would consider faint. Even though I knew better, I decided to pull out the big guns and do a digital. I really, really wanted to tell my husband that night if I were indeed pregnant, but given my horse’s ass performance the last time I thought I had a positive test, I wanted to be able to reassure him that I really, really was actually, for real this time, pregnant. The line on my Answer test was pretty faint, so I was pretty convinced that the digital would be negative, but I just couldn’t stop myself. I dipped the test and a few minutes later it read “PREGNANT.”

Even though I know a line is a line and two lines means you’re pregnant, I was still shocked to see those words. After everything that we’ve been through it just didn’t even seem possible that it could actually happen. Even with IVF, the holy grail of reproductive technology, I still felt that we’d end up on the wrong side of the stats. And I know that it is so early and there are no guarantees. For now I’m trying my best to enjoy being pregnant and not spaz out about everything, though I’ve already stupidly tested again and began to freak out about the fact that it is no darker than yesterday’s test. The coming and going of the symptoms also has me on edge and I begin to worry if I haven’t had any pain or cramps for more than a few hours. Rationally I know that tests can vary and don’t necessarily have any bearing on what’s actually going on, and I know that symptoms are bound to come and go, but sometimes it’s hard to believe that in your heart. I am trying to remind myself that what will be will be and I have absolutely no control over anything that happens from here on out.

And the waiting continues. Beta is on Friday, so if you can, please think strong beta numbers for me.

31 – Number of calendar months we’ve been trying to get pregnant
91 – Approximate number of eggs I’ve produced in those 31 months
22 – Approximate number of eggs that MIGHT have been decent enough to be fertilized and keep growing
0 – Number of eggs that fertilized and implanted in my uterus, to date
38 – Vials of Repronex injected into my belly
7,900 – IU’s of Follistim injected into my belly
6 – Number of X’s drawn in permanent marker on my ass
Way too many to count – Needles thrust into my body over the last year
3.5 – Number of IVF cycles we’ve been through
61.8 – Percentage of transfers resulting in live births at my clinic in 2007
94 – Percent chance I should have had to get pregnant after three complete IVF cycles

So which part do I fall into? The 94% of women my age who statistically SHOULD have a live birth after three IVF cycles or the 6% who won’t?

I have no idea, but I am absolutely terrified to find out.

OK, so maybe not three of a kind, but three in total. I was shocked when we walked into the transfer room this morning and the doctor told us that we had three to transfer this morning. Shocked. I was in no way prepared for that. He handed us a picture of the one blast and two morulas that we would be transferring. I took a quick look and made a comment about how we couldn’t get away from the morulas. He said something that I didn’t really pay attention to, but then mentioned how the blast was a perfect 4AA and looked absolutely great. Having three to transfer with one of them deemed “perfect” definitely lifted my spirits.

Transfer went smoothly for the first time ever, I think mostly because I told them that I wanted them to use the stiffer catheter right off the bat. I laid on the table for a half hour and then off we went.

Let the waiting begin,

Five is all we have, once again. Over the past six months I’ve had 53 eggs sucked out of me, and only 13 of them made it to the next day. That’s not even a 25% fertilization rate. Typical rates are 60%-70%. I’m not even at HALF of what’s typical.

What is wrong with my body? Honestly. I’ve done everything right. I’ve spent thousands of dollars on acupuncture, changed my entire diet and am otherwise a healthy young woman. I’ve never smoked or done drugs and didn’t wait too long to try to have kids. I can’t possibly fathom what I could have done to have made this go any better. Why is my body betraying me like this?

I tried really hard to not set myself up for disappointment, but my reaction to this news clearly shows that I failed at that. I knew that based on the past two cycles that we probably wouldn’t get a whole bunch of embryos, but I still hoped that the five months of DHEA that I’ve been doing along with my diet modifications would have made a slight difference. Apparently not. It was all just a big waste of time, effort and money.

And I know that anything can happen, but right now I’m just not in that frame of mind, so please don’t tell me that things could still work out. I’m well aware of that and know that crazier things have happened, but for right now I just want to mope and complain and whine. This is the same crappy, disappointing news that I’ve gotten every other time and I’m just so sick of it. For once I just wanted it to be good news. GOOD good news. News that brings a smile to my face instead of tears to my eyes.

Don’t I deserve better than this?

I’m so looking forward to this being over and done with so that we can move on. I’m so over all of this and ready to move on.

We got 16 eggs today, which is a number I’m completely happy with. Of course 16 eggs today means absolutely nothing in the grand scheme of things. What matters is tomorrow’s phone call, telling us how many fertilized and are growing. This is without a doubt my least favorite part of all of this and I’m absolutely dreading the call. My stomach starts turning even thinking about it.

But it is whatever it is and only time will tell. I hate waiting.

This morning I took my last stim shot ever. I will never again give myself a shot to stimulate my ovaries to make loads of eggs. It’s a strange feeling since IVF has pretty much been my life over the past year. Now we’re at the end of that road, and it’s been interesting for me to look back over the past year and see exactly where we came from and where we’ve been since.

About a year ago we started having serious discussions regarding next steps should our final IUI’s not be successful. I was surprised how quickly Mark was willing to jump on the IVF bandwagon, in fact, he was the one who convinced me that we should do it. I was hemming and hawing over the costs and how we couldn’t afford it and he’s the one who said “Screw it, let’s just do it. It’s only money and we can always make more. Having a family is more important.” His steadfast commitment to the process made it all that much easier for me to say yes to the whole thing. Had he not felt so passionately about going forward with IVF, I’m not sure where we would be now.

To be certain, I never expected us to be where we are now. There are so many women out there who can honestly say that they knew they would have issues trying to conceive, but I’m not one of them. Not once did I ever envision us having problems as I’ve always had regular cycles and I’m still “young.” Even after we started seeing an RE, I really thought it was just a matter of time before we were successful. A bit too optimistic perhaps, but I felt like if we kept trying, eventually it would be our turn. Surely IUI would be as far as we would have to go down the ART road. Maybe in my subconscious I knew it wouldn’t work for us because even as I was certain we would get pregnant from IUI, I was still busy researching IVF, just in case.

When our last IUI wasn’t successful, the transition to IVF was surprisingly easy, given the huge emotional, physical, time and financial commitment that IVF actually is. Mentally I was completely prepared for IVF and to be honest, the physical aspects of IVF have been so much less intensive for me than I ever thought they would be.

So it wasn’t until last week that I realized what a big deal IVF actually is. I was fantasizing about how great it would be to get to tell people if I’m fortunate enough to become pregnant from this cycle. I’m sure that some people will ask if the pregnancy was planned. It’s my initial reaction to want to tell people everything that we had to go through, if for nothing else than to be a resource for someone else who may be going through the same thing. I imagined myself saying “yes, this pregnancy is the result of two and a half years of trying with three rounds of IVF” and as soon as I imagined saying those words, the enormity of everything that we’ve been through hit me.

I think I’ve become so entrenched in the world of infertility and ART that IVF has somehow become normal and unremarkable to me. I talk about IVF as if it’s no big deal, because for the most part it is no big deal to me. It’s my current normal. It’s what we have to deal with in an attempt to get what we want. And I’ve managed to make that so OK inside my head that I don’t even realize what a HUGE deal it actually is. THREE IVF cycles. That’s what we’ll have been through by the time this is all over and done with. And I know that there are loads of women out there who go through so much more and our history is nothing in comparison to many others, but it’s still so very much more than I ever thought we’d have to deal with. And it IS a big deal, no matter what I’ve convinced myself over time. We’ve somehow managed to make it through without too much damage to our marriage and overall well-being and for that I’m very thankful.

As I rode my bike to work this morning with every single bump in the road making me acutely aware of the swollen condition of my ovaries, I realized that this is indeed the end of an era for us. No matter the outcome of this cycle, we are definitely closing a very specific chapter in our lives. It’s been quite a ride for us, with lots of heartache, bad news and pain, but at the same time filled with so many good memories and bonding between us. I have no idea how this chapter will close, but I have great hope for our future regardless. You could even say I’m optimistically hopeful.

Today’s appointment showed that I have a couple of follicles around 17-17.5mm, and my clinic looks for 18mm before scheduling trigger. I told my nurse that I’d really like to hold out for one more day because last time my follicles were around the same size and we triggered anyway. That resulted in 18 retrieved and only 8 mature. I’m hoping that the extra day of stims will make all of the difference. So one more Follistim shot and then I trigger tomorrow night. Retrieval will be Thursday and transfer next Tuesday. Please oh please let this one be the one.

We had our second monitoring appointment today and everything continues to look good. Particularly exciting to me is that my largest follicle is now over 14mm, so I begin my Cetrotide shots tonight. I know, not something that excites most people, but the past two cycles I haven’t started my Cetrotide until Monday night, so this time we’re a day ahead of schedule. At this point, after having two cycles that were pretty much identical in schedule and outcome, any bit of a difference is appreciated. We go back tomorrow for another scan and hopefully can return home tomorrow with retrieval scheduled for later next week.

We are enjoying our time away from home and managed to score a hotel room on the 31st floor of a downtown hotel for super cheap. We’re loving the location and wandering around enjoying the city. It’s a great way to relax and keep everything very mellow. All in all, everything’s going well and I’m feeling optimistic again.

So as I’ve previously documented, my acupuncturist wants me on a very strict diet. If she had her way, I’d eat nothing more than organic fruits, veggies and meats, but I’m a cheese eating carboholic sugar freak, so that just ain’t happening. But I decided to compromise with her and give up certain things, namely dairy and sugar, which she thought were the two most important things to eliminate. Sugar because the body spends so much time and energy to process it (plus some other stuff that didn’t really make sense to me, so I don’t remember it). Dairy because it can create a mucous lining on your endometrium that makes implantation difficult (and she believes that dairy is harmful in general).

As I mentioned before, giving up dairy was not something that I thought I could do and remain a vegetarian, so I threw 16 years of vegetarianism out the window and became a full fledged carnivore. Strangely enough, I believe that it’s a lot easier to be a vegetarian than a non-dairy consumer. There is cheese in EVERYTHING it seems, and while it’s usually pretty easy to have cheese removed from food, it takes away a lot of the enjoyment of certain dishes. Burgers, for example, are nothing without a slice of pepper jack or cheddar laid nicely on top. I’m trying to make it work by adding things like bacon or onions, but it’s still not the same. I crave nachos (and had to watch my husband devour two orders of them at the Brewers/Cardinals games this weekend), pizza and grilled cheese sandwiches. I just want to eat cheese in general. Cut me off a nice big hunk of Colby and I’ll be a happy camper. I’m making do with rice milk, so I can still have things like cereal or recipes with milk in them, but I really do miss my cheese. Sigh.

Then there’s the sugar. I have a sweet tooth. A big one. I REALLY like sugar. Like a lot. They say that the first week without sugar is the worst and once you get past that week, it’s not so bad. And I can agree with that statement, it’s really not that bad. But I still do miss sugar. Cupcakes, brownies, cookies, candy…it all makes my mouth water. And for all the shit that I’m going through and putting my body through, it’d really be nice to have some dessert as a small pick me up. I’ve managed to find a sugar free honey sweetened pumpkin muffin recipe that I find to be quite good. They taste like pumpkin bars without the cream cheese frosting (which I never liked anyway), so those are a nice way to add a little “sugar” to my day. I also found a lemon cake recipe that is passable as dessert. But I miss my chocolate. A lot.

I’d heard that they make grain sweetened chocolate chips, so the other day I went on a mission to find them. I found myself at Whole Foods, hoping that I could find some there, and they had them! I opened up the bag when I got home and they taste almost exactly like the real thing! YAY! I also bought some cocoa powder which I can use to make chocolate cakes or cookies and I also found some already ready dessert…ICE CREAM! OK, so it’s not really cream, but it’s delicious! It’s called Coconut Bliss and as you could probably guess from the name, it’s made from coconut milk. There’s no sugar in the flavor I picked (chocolate hazelnut fudge), but you would never know if from eating it. Yum, yum, yum. This stuff ain’t cheap…$5.99 for a pint, but it is well worth it for some chocolate ice cream.

So although it stinks to have to give up a lot of my favorite foods during a time when I want them most, I’m slowly finding ways to get by with substitutions. When I asked my acupuncturist how long she wanted me to follow the no dairy, no sugar diet, she said “through the first trimester at least,” so here’s hoping I get to suffer through another 11 weeks of this!

Let me start by saying that I’d consider myself to be an experienced Repronex user. My first experience with Repronex was quite painful, but I thought I’d figured it all out after that. Turns out I was wrong. Check out the damage I managed to inflict on myself tonight.

P1000380

See that little pooch sticking out of my belly? Yup…that’s Repronex. It’s just sitting there. Doing nothing. Nothing other than making my belly stick out. Lovely.

P1000389

These shots were taken about a minute after I finished the injection…you can see a beautiful bruise already developing. So it turns out that I can’t even manage to inject myself without leaving a black and blue knot sticking out of my stomach. It feels like a rock and though it’s painless right now, I’m not convinced that’s how it’s going to feel tomorrow. Here’s hoping that this is just a fluke and not indicative of how the rest of the cycle will go.

Welcome to IVF version 3.5…enjoy your stay.

UPDATE: Just had to share the shiner I’ve developed overnight…isn’t it a beauty? Ah the things we’ll do for a baby.P1000393

It seems I’m not the only one who’s been quiet lately. It feels like the entire blog world, or the corner of the blog world that I visit at least, has had less to say in recent weeks. This is probably due in part to the fact that many of the women who write the blogs I read are now mommies and likely don’t have the time that they once had to spend blogging. I’m guessing that the increasingly more frequent beautiful weather is playing a small part in the lack of blog updates as well. But whatever the reason, my reader has been less active than usual.

As such, I went on the hunt for some more blogs to read. Google reader has a nice little bit in the upper right hand corner called “Top Recommendations” and Google states that “Recommendations for new feeds are generated by comparing your interests with the feeds of users similar to you.” Upon further investigation I found that Google “takes into account the feeds you’re already subscribed to, as well as information from your Web History, including your location.” I can say that Google is no idiot. Google is so smart, it has figured out that I like to read infertility related blogs.

However, most of the infertility blogs that Google is offering up to me are pregnancy after infertility blogs. While I do love to follow an infertile’s journey to pregnancy and beyond, I can honestly say that I’m not too interested in picking up someone’s story mid-pregnancy. Additionally, Google apparently thinks that I am just dying to read blogs about parenting multiples, as is evidenced by the inclusion of “4tunate – A blog to document our journey in raising quadruplets” and “Multiple Baby Pileup,” just two name a couple. The fact that Google recommends these blogs to me strikes me as funny since I don’t frequently browse websites about multiples or parenting. Maybe it’s because several of the blogs I read are those of women who have or are having twins? Who knows. Anyway the same theory applies with the multiples blogs…while it makes me happy to read about women who’ve prevailed over infertility, right now I’m less interested in the destination (having kids) and more interested in the journey (getting pregnant and staying pregnant). It only makes sense; people like to hang out with people who are like them, or at the very least people that they can relate to, right?

Since I’m not pregnant, and never have been and because I’m still trying to become pregnant, I’m looking for blogs of those who are where I am…still trying. It doesn’t have to be women who are going through IVF or even doing any fertility treatments at all. I’m just looking for blogs of women (or men) who have been dealing with infertility that I could relate to. Since Google can’t seem to figure out exactly what I’m interested in, I’m going to take a peek at the amazingly long list of infertility blogs at Stirrup Queens to see what I can find. However, I’d also love to know of some of your favorite blogs to read, so feel free to comment with suggestions. I’m hoping for a few good blogs to add to the fantastic list of blogs that I already follow.

So I’ve been pretty quiet lately as there really just isn’t much to say anymore. I’m in the dreaded waiting phase in between cycles and I’m having a really hard time even feeling interested in this upcoming cycle at all. I know that there are a lot of women out there who need three IVF cycles to get pregnant, but it’s still impossible for me to believe that this cycle could possibly have an outcome that is any different than the previous two.

We’re reaching the end of the “biological children” road and while I’ve said before that I’d be perfectly happy with a non-biological child (and I still stand by that), the thought of it makes me sad nonetheless. And if this cycle doesn’t work, then we’re headed into uncharted waters…not having a plan of what to do next. We discussed our options a couple of weeks ago on our way to Easter, but didn’t really come to any conclusions. While it was good to talk through things and I learned some new information from my husband, I still don’t know what’s going to happen if this doesn’t work. But that’s a different subject for a different day, I guess. For now we’ll just continue to wait and hope for the best.

If you’ll recall, during my last phone conversation with my nurse, she mentioned that I shouldn’t be discouraged because my RE has lots of tricks up his sleeve. When she said tricks, I was thinking fancy and unconventional protocols (EPP), co-culture, different med combinations, etc. As it turns out, my RE appears to have no tricks up his sleeve for me for our third and final IVF with this clinic.

Our WTF consult started out as it always has in the past, with him saying how he’s so sorry that things didn’t work out. It’s nice that he cares and expresses that emotion, but it kind of feels a bit hollow at this point. Anyway, he went on to say that I stim great, we just need to get some better results with the embryos. Obviously my concerns are that from 19 and 18 eggs retrieved, we’ve only ever ended up with one blast and one morula on day five. He mentioned that on average 4 out of 5 human eggs are “junk,” so my results aren’t too far from the norm. That stat really shocked me because it just doesn’t really mesh with how I see so many other women’s cycles go (not to mention all of the women who get pregnant the first month they try). But I guess it’s irrelevant, it doesn’t really matter what the stats are, just how things go for us.

So given that I had a good response to the last cycle, he plans to do the exact same antagonist protocol again. I was somewhat disappointed when I heard this because in the back of my mind I was hoping that he’d have some special “high quality” protocol that would be just perfect for me. To hear that we’ll be doing the exact same thing that we’ve already done was kind of a letdown.

OK, so no tricks up his sleeves with the protocol. The tricks must be in the details of the cycle. And here’s where I should give you some info on my doctor. He’s super technical and really seems to know his stuff (as he should for what we’re paying him) and he is very opinionated. If you bring up something that he doesn’t believe is useful in treating infertility, he will let you know, and in no uncertain terms, that he thinks it’s all a bunch of hooey. So without further ado, here’s the list of “tricks” that I came up with that were pretty much all shot down by him.

• Three day transfer – this was shot down since they believe that a five day is really the way to go. Never mind that the uterus is really the best place for those embryos to be while they’re trying to grow up nice and strong. But, in all fairness, I can’t really argue with this one too much since they do have a phenomenal pregnancy rate of 61.8% per transfer for my age group and 90% of their transfer are day five.

• Embryo glue – Many people have mentioned this, and it seems that my clinic already uses this, though I was completely unaware that they did. This is another one of those things that my doctor doesn’t really buy into and he even said that they’re going to discontinue using it in the future because it doesn’t really seem to make a difference in success rates.

• Assisted hatching – I remember from our consult many months ago that he said the clinic only does AH on day three embryos, not on blasts. He said once they get to day five most of them are already starting to hatch on their own, and if they aren’t, the blast can actually be damaged by scoring it at that stage. I knew this, but I thougth I’d question him on it again anyway. He stated that the hole that is made during the ICSI process usually works just like AH does. The blast tends to expand out of that hold just like it would if AH had be performed on the embryo. So I asked him if my two blasts had been hatching when they were transferred and he took a quick look at the photos and said that yes, both of them were starting to hatch. I looked, and for the life of me can’t see anywhere on either of the two blasts where they might have been starting to hatch, but I guess he’s the expert, not me.

• Co-culture – Many women have attributed their eventual success to co-culture, so I thought I’d ask if they even offered it at my clinic. He said that yes they did, but again it’s one of those things that he doesn’t believe actually increases pregnancy rates. He actually told me that it’s a pain in the ass and the lab people hate doing it and it’s more hassle than it’s worth. Wow. Just wow.

• Additional testing – I asked about additional testing like antibodies, thyroid, karyotyping, etc. He said we could if we wanted to, but the results are often hard to interpret and even more difficult to treat. Not sure I really understood this one, but he seems to think that the testing we’ve already done is sufficient. Since this is an area that I really don’t know a whole lot about, and because this testing can be really, really expensive, I was willing to take his half-assed response to this line of questioning as is.

So that’s the list of things that he essentially shot down. Here’s my list of consolation prizes…things he was willing to compromise with me on.

• ICSI – When we originally met with this doctor, he stated that it was possible that Mark could have developed anti-sperm antibodies due to two hernia surgeries. He told us that we could test for it, but if the test came back positive, the way to get around it is to just do ICSI. So to save the time and money involved in testing, he suggested just doing ICSI to avoid the whole issue. OK, fine. That’s what we did the first two times. Now I’ve heard experiences from women who have split their batch of eggs in half and done ICSI on half and let the rest fertilize naturally, and the ones that fertilized naturally have developed better than those that were ICSI’ed. I mentioned this to him and he said that he thinks those situations are ones where the ICSI is just not performed well and that’s what causes the embryos to not do as well. Again my clinic has great success rates, so I’m inclined to think that the embryologists are very skilled at what they do, but I’m still curious. I told him that if we were to get a decent number of eggs, I would like to do ICSI on most, but leave a few out to fertilize naturally just to see what happens. Even with his opinion, he was willing to do this, which makes me feel better. Plus, I’d still really like to know if fertilization is our issue, and this would be a great way to find out.

• P4 follow up – This last cycle I was spotting heavily for a few days before my negative beta. Now I’ve always been a chronic spotter, but I really thought that doing PIO would mean that I wouldn’t spot (and this was true with my first IVF). The fact that I was spotting for 3 days before my beta makes me really wonder if my body has issues absorbing the progesterone. He said he didn’t think that was the case because I’m taking so much progesterone. I asked him if I could have my P4 checked 7 days after retrieval just for my peace of mind. He said sure, that they have their local patients come in for a progesterone check mid-lueteal phase. Ummm…what? Why would you have a different protocol for in town patients versus out of town patients? I know it’s very unlikely that there is anything wrong with my P4 levels, but I still want to know.

• Stim dosages – I mentioned that I was concerned that maybe the stim dose was burning out my eggs and that’s why we were having such quality issues. I told him that I would gladly trade a smaller number of eggs for better eggs if he thought that would help. He said that we could definitely do that and thought it might help. As opposed to the 225 Follistim and 150 Repronex daily, he threw out 150 Follistim and 75 Repronex as options. I’m not sure if that will be my final dose once we actually get around to starting the cycle or not, but it’s on the table at least. On one hand I’m really hoping that this will be the key to better quality, and on the other hand, I’m absolutely terrified that the lower dose won’t work at all and I’ll be cancelled again. I guess I just have to suck it up and hope for the best.

• 3 embryo transfer – For fun, not thinking that he would ever agree since my clinic has what I thought was a strict “only two embryos in women under 35” rule, I asked him if, by some miracle, we ended up with three embryos on day five of this next cycle, if we could transfer them all. The words had barely escaped my mouth and he was already replying “absolutely.” I looked over at Mark and he gave a big smile and a thumbs up to me. Of course having the option to transfer three means nothing if we don’t have three to transfer. Past history would indicate that the chances of getting three are not so hot, but I’m still happy to know that we can do it if we have enough embryos.

When we hung up the phone I turned to Mark and said “well that was horseshit.” It’s not that anything went particularly badly, I guess I was just expecting more than “we’re doing the exact same thing” as his plan. The changes that we’re making are because of my doing, not because he thought it would be best. And part of me isn’t satisfied with his answers to some of the questions, but I honestly don’t have the energy or desire to really push the issues. I really just want this next cycle to be over so that we can move on in some way.

So there. That’s probably a lot more reading than you were expecting on a Thursday. In fact, that’s a lot more typing then I had planned to do. But there it is. Accordingly my fertility signs (which no matter how hard I try, I can’t ignore), I am about half way through my “break” cycle now, so I should be starting BCP’s for our final IVF sometime the week of the 20th. Good times.

Ok, so maybe I was a bit melodramatic with my last post. Really, the pregnancy announcement wasn’t nearly as bad as I had expected it to be. I think that suspecting she was going to announce her pregnancy allowed me to deal with it on my own terms beforehand and I wasn’t at all caught off guard when she told us. It’s like GI Joe said: “knowing is half the battle” and knowing in advance (or thinking I knew at least) really helped to soften the blow. Plus I’m sure the wine helped too.

So when I arrived home Mark asked if there was any news to which I replied “yes.” He asked if she was pregnant and I said “yes.” I decided to take the dogs for a quick walk to the library to return a book and get some fresh air. After I got back, I noticed that there was a new jigsaw puzzle and a bag of jelly beans sitting on the couch waiting for me. My fantastic husband bought them for me during his lunch break since he knew I would probably be upset once I got back from dinner with the girls. As insignificant in cost as these two items were, they were priceless to me as a symbol of how much Mark cares about me and wants me to be happy. The puzzle and jelly beans absolutely made everything better at that moment because it was just another reminder of what a great husband Mark is and how fortunate I am to have him as the father of our children. He is so great, and I am so very lucky to have him.

So fast forward to last night, when I had arranged yet another Girls Night Out at the Melting Pot, this time with my support group. Oh my gosh. I literally cannot remember the last time I had so much fun and laughed so hard. I honestly cannot imagine where I would be without these girls, probably in the depths of despair. The amazing support and understanding that they bring to my life is such a wonderful gift and I am so thankful that I found them. What I find interesting about our little group is that it’s nothing like what I thought it would be, or even what I picture other support groups to be like. When I think of support groups I think of a dark, depressing space and lots of sad discussions, crying and “why me’s?” Our meetings are anything but that. And while there are definitely times when there are tears and questioning, I find that laughing and smiling far outweighs those sad moments.

My support group really is like therapy for me. I always leave in a better mood, with a clearer mindset and a happy heart, and for that I am eternally thankful.

Our History

Dec 2006 - Started trying to conceive
Summer 2007 - Semen analysis (great), progesterone test (normal)
Dec 2007 - SHG normal
Jan 2008 - 1st RE appointment
Feb - Mar 2008 - Diagnosed with elevated FSH levels, 2 rounds of IUI with 5mg of Femara
Apr - Jun 2008 - Seeing a new RE. 3 rounds of IUI with 12.5mg of Femara, all busts. HSG normal
July 2008 - Moving on to IVF at a new clinic
Aug/Sep 2008 - 1st IVF cycle - cancelled due to poor response
Nov/Dec 2008 - Retry IVF, transferred one blast and one morula, negative beta
Feb/Mar 2009 - 2nd IVF cycle - Antagonist protocol
May 2009 - 3rd and final attempt at IVF - Antagonist protocol
Feb 18th, 2010 - our One Small Wish comes true: Nina Adele is born.

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