Monday, February 28, 2011

Pity Party Passed

Okay, so the pity party is officially over, and I'm moving on as of today...seriously!  I'm going to take my name off the dance group list, get over it and move on...this is for my unborn baby(ies) after all.

I had this epiphany during my warrior poses last night.  Damn those are some good yoga moves.  They are so much easier than the other moves so I feel really graceful and advanced when I'm doing them, plus they just make you feel so damn powerful and Xena-like! 

In other news, I'm starting to get nervous about starting the Lupron on Wednesday.  This is it, no backing out now.  Does anyone know if it matters if you take it in the am or pm?

I picked up a new pair of (clearance item!) yoga pants to wear basically throughout my stimming period. I bought them in black, hoping I can get away with wearing them at work...we'll see how that turns out.  I have a feeling I will wind up taking some time off towards the end though, if I can't even sit up without being in pain.  I guess we will see.

I wanted to say a quick congratulations to Aly over at the Infertility Overachievers.  She just found out she is pregnant with IVF baby number 2 after just one IVF cycle.  Her first baby only took one cycle too, so you can imagine she is my idol/inspiration right now.

Okay, off to work I go.  Happy Monday everyone.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Bearing the Brunt

So, this is basically going to be a pity party for 1...feel free to escape now while you still have a chance.

This is going to sound silly, but THIS is the recent news that has me feeling so down: a few days ago my nurse at the RE's office told me that I wouldn't be able to participate in an upcoming dance show that we do at my husband's school each year.  The rehearsal schedule will overlap with my IVF treatment, and the TWW, and apparently I'm not allowed any "bouncing on the uterus" during that time.  Now, not only have I been looking forward to this show since last year's show (which was a major highlight in an otherwise gloomy year), but I was also hoping that a) it would help keep my mind off things and keep me getting out of the house, and b) almost everyone I know here at school (minus the pregnant friend) is participating and will be uber busy with rehearsals in the coming weeks (this includes DH) and talking of little else.

Oh, and I almost forgot this little tidbit: Last year I told my friend and my DH that I hoped I wouldn't be able to be a part of this year's show because I would too pregnant by that yea...there is that wonderful reminder too; not only am I not pregnant, but I have since found out that I'm infertile and I'm about to go through IVF (that thing I never in a million years thought would happen to me)...happy day.

I'm worried about having to come up with a good excuse as to why I'm not participating (everyone knows I had planned to, so that will be awkward), and I'm upset because DH, aside from not having to be the one getting stuck with large needles every day, or loaded up on fertility drugs and experiencing their side effects, or doing constant meditations and yoga to keep from losing it completely, and basically every other thing he doesn't have to do as part of this process, still gets to participate.  I know that isn't fair, but the 3 yr old in my brain is still crying and stomping her feet wildly. 

It isn't fair that the money my husband and I might have saved for our home or our baby is going to IVF.  It isn't fair that even I if I even do get pregnant, I won't have any money left for a nursery or any of the other nice things I'd hope to buy for my baby.  It isn't fair that my friends who weren't even sure they were ready for kids got pregnant on their first or second try, and that I, who have been ready for about 5 years, may never get there at all.

DH reminded me that if I get pregnant at the end of this, I probably won't mind all this so much, but I think it is just one of those "final straw" moments where my nerves are shot to pieces and I just feel so put upon by everything that has happened that I just want to scream at everyone and everything.  Besides, what if we don't get pregnant?  What if it doesn't work?  Then what?  What happens to the time lost, and the money lost?  Where do I put my pain and my grief?  How do we I keep going?  Where does that leave us me?

Friday, February 25, 2011


I was looking around at some of the IComLeavWe bloggers, and came across these videos on the site: Baby on Mind.  Thought you ladies would get a kick out of them if you haven't already seen them.

and this one

All Clear!

The much dreaded hysteroscopy and mock embryo transfer is over, and the conclusion is - Fibroids not in uterine cavity, and, in fact my uterus looks smooth, pink and lovely.  That's right folks, we are go for IVF, do not pass go, do not collect and money whatsoever because the fertility doc has taken it all.

On to a complaint about insurance.  DH and I were so excited to find out that this last procedure would be covered by our insurance due to it being for fibroids and not just infertility.  It is such a shock to have anything covered at this point, so obviously there was rejoicing, a toast, and some loving smooches over the little bit of money we might not have to scrounge for.

Now, fast forward to the actual day of the procedure.  There we are having a lengthy argument with the office billing staff over the coding for the hysteroscopy.  She is insisting that they can't put it down as uterine fibroids because no fibroids were found in the uterus:

Me: But, the test was done because they couldn't determine how big the fibroids are or if they were pressing on the uterine wall.  So, the test should be covered.
Evil staff lady (ESL): But the conclusion of the test is that no fibroids were found, so we can no put down uterine fibroids as the purpose.
Me: But, we only had the test because of the fibroids, just because the outcome was that they aren't pressing on the uterus doesn't change that.
ESL: But, no fibroids were seen, so we can't put that down. 
Me: But, just because the test was negative, why does that change the purpose of the test?
ESL: We can't put that fibroids were found in the uterus when no fibroids were seen.
Me:  I don't think you are understanding me.  I 'm not asking you to say that fibroids were seen in the cavity today, I'm just asking you to report to the insurance company that the test was done to determine the extent of the uterine fibroids in my lining, so they will code it properly and cover it.  It shouldn't matter whether it was seen that they were pressing on the uterine cavity or not.
 ESL:  I'm sorry, no fibroids were seen today, so we can not bill for uterine fibroids, and we can not use "rule out" as a reason for the test.
DH: So, if my doctor thought I had pneumonia, and he did a test for pneumonia but it came back negative, you are saying your couldn't bill the test as having been for possible pneumonia?
ESL: Well, that test would probably take a day or two to come back, so on the day it was billed there would be no conclusion and you could bill it for pneumonia.
Me: (Hallucinating about the many ways I could cause bodily harm to this woman).  Please tell me you see how bizarre this all sounds...
ESL: Well, I'm sorry you feel that way, but as the conclusion today was that there are no fibroids in your uterine cavity, we can not put uterine fibroids on the bill to the insurance company.

It took every ounce of my power, and the fact that I was doped up on pain killers from the procedure, not to go completely ape sh*& at this point.  I really, didn't think DH would survive the conversation, but we paid and made it to car with no major outbursts or daggers thrown.

Needless to say, it was not a great morning.  Oh, and I don't care what they say, the test hurt like hell.  My doc, sweet as he is, says I must have a very sensitive cervix - my thoughts: I would like to know how he would feel if I stuck three metal probes and a camera up his bits without even local anesthesia .

Image for yesterday's efforts:

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

A Colbert Foux Pas

The Colbert ReportMon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
Cheating Death - Ablibalify & Bing Bongavax
Colbert Report Full EpisodesPolitical Humor & Satire BlogVideo Archive

So, I will preface this by expressing my genuine love of Stephen Colbert's comedy and his show in general, and adding that I in no way intend to stop watching and enjoying his Comedy Central antics.  That having been said, I was a little confused by this skit from Monday's show which looked at the Israel medical clown IVF study.

My chief complaints and defense of ART (assisted reproductive technologies):
1) Terminology Fail - "embryo transfer" is not a "surgical implantation".  I know it isn't a huge deal, but I feel that when these terms are confused it not only confuses the public about the nature of IVF and how it works, but it also implies some kind of major surgery to force the body into pregnancy.  IVF has enough bad press and confusion surrounding it (ex. "test tube babies", "unnatural", "insta-family" etc.).  I think it important to educate people that it is not't so "unnatural" a procedure as is commonly believed, and that the embryos find a home in the uterus the same way any other "naturally" conceived embryo would.

2) "Medical Clown" joke - okay this was pretty funny, and I'm sure most people do realize that "medical" clowns generally do go through at least some kind of special training in order to work and perform in the hospital environment.  You can even get a degree in it.

3) The Ovulation Clown Bing Bongovax - Sorry Stephen, it is obvious you and your wife have never gone through the pain, humiliation, discomfort, frustration, and misery of infertility.  This was just callous.  I wanted to laugh, I really did, but I think some part of it just hit too close to home; you know, the way in which your medical team does practically follow you into the bedroom, and the fact that as an infertile, your private, intimate time with you husband has already been openly discussed, analyzed, commented on, dissected, commented on again, and tested in a lab?  Anyway, I did not approve.  I wish someone had stopped them from airing this one. 

*As an aside, I plan to bring my own laughter therapy (some mp3s of Eddie Izzard's stand-up, and NPR's Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me), with me to my embryo transfer (if I get that far).  If there is any chance this study has merit, laughter therapy it is!


Monday, February 21, 2011

ICLW Welcome

Happy ICLW everyone and welcome to my blog about the big IF!

If you're interested in learning a little more about hubby, me and our journey so far, check out my About Me page and/or our TTC timeline. 

I love meeting new bloggers and I'm a loyal commenter, so please feel free to tell me little about yourself and your story, and to include a link to your blog.

Oh, and thank you to AP over at My Dusty Uterus for the following ICLW welcome idea:


1.  Age: 29
2.  Blog Title Inspiration: Alice in Wonderland.  Aside from the obvious themes of nonsensical, unsolvable life puzzles, and frustrated expectations, there is this one special moment between Alice and the Mock Turtle:   

"`Well, I never heard it before,' said the Mock Turtle; `but it sounds uncommon nonsense.' 
Alice said nothing; she had sat down with her face in her hands, wondering if anything would ever
happen in a natural way again."

    Yeah, that's kinda how I feel a lot of the time...     

3.  Chore You Hate: cleaning out the cat's litter box
4.  Day at the Beach or Cozy Rainy Day? Beach.  I love a cozy rainy day as much as anyone, but it just can't top warm sun and the feeling of the waves. 
5.  Essential Start Your Day Item: Chai with biscuits - usually prepared by my husband and therefore brewed ridiculously dark and bitter
6.  Favorite Color: Royal Purple
7.  Gold or Silver?  Yes
8.  Height: 5'4"
9.  Instruments You Play: Used to play violin, and hoping to pick it up again 
10.  Job Title: Professional volunteer and temp till after we move back to Boston
11.  Kids: 1 fur baby - my adorable kitty
12.  Live:  Here and there, hence the job trouble
13.  Mom's Name: Michele (with one "L")
14.  Book Currently on Your Nightstand: Several infertility books, Soul of the Fire by Terry Goodkind, and my Nook which is currently set to Pride and Prejudice 
15.  Nicknames:  KerBear, Kerrila, Kerrith and Desi Girl (this is a joke among my Indian friends)
16.  Overnight Hospital Stays? No, happily.  I don't think I've ever spent more than a few hours in a hospital as patient or a visitor
17.  Pet Peeve: Knuckle cracking
18.  Quote from a Movie:  "Time conquered time (…) Sometimes time crept slowly onwards like an exhausted tortoise. Sometimes it tore through life like a vulture in search of prey. Time took no notice of death or life, decay or growth, and love, hate or jealousy.  It ignores all those things which are so important to us that we forget time." - Antonia's Line

19.  Right or Left Handed? Right.
20.  Siblings: one older sister
21.  Time You Wake Up? By 8:00/8:30 on most days
22.  Underwear: Cotton, low-rise
23.  Vegetable You Dislike: Eggplant
24.  What Makes You Run Late:  Everything.  I'm somewhat perpetually late
25.  Yummy Food You Make: Chana (an Indian curry with chickpeas) or Chicken Parmigiana
26.  Zoo, Favorite Animal: Elephants

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Day 6 BCP: Something has changed

I'm not sure what it is, but something is slowly changing within me.  I'm still nervous about the IVF cycle, and about my hysteroscopy this week, but I'm also feeling a little - dare I say it - excited...

I've been reading more, getting comfy with the idea of what is going to be happening to me and re-framing my perspective to allow my own medical curiosity to take over and just look at how cool all this stuff is that "they" are able to do.   I'm also determined to be calm and reasonably happy* (see below): I have been drinking chamomile tea (which I loathe), dosing myself with Rescue Remedy every 2 hours or so, working out regularly, and just generally being as nice to myself and to my hubby as I know how to be right now.  I've also watched about ten different videos on how to give both subcutaneous and intramuscular injections, so I guess, in short, I'm recovered from the shock, and ready to start shooting up my fertility meds. 
I'm ready to see lots of plump, happy follicles on that ultrasound and I can't wait to have a printed image of my own little 5 day blastocysts so I can show it to my husband and say, "look Love, that is you and me".   This is all of course extremely optimistic of me, but I'm hoping the whole positive thinking thing will push me right through to egg retrieval and beyond. 

Oh, and I am happy to say I made it through that mom/pregnancy party yesterday with reasonable ease; the one I've been dreading.  I started my day with booster - hanging out with one of my best friends (one who I don't see often, especially without husbands or her beautiful munchkin of a daughter in tow) - and worked myself up into a happy, playful mood.  I then arrived late to the party and left somewhat early (had made lovely post party plans with DH and some non-parent friends), and while there I actively avoided baby/pregnancy talk as much as possible - even starting side conversations on different topics just to get out of the line of fire.  It worked pretty beautifully, and I made it home reasonable unscathed. 

I was a little annoyed that my preggers friends STILL seems not to be exceedingly enthused about the prospect of having a baby at the end of all this.  Apparently, it is FINALLY starting to sink in, now that she is 18 weeks and feeling movement, that there is actually a baby in there and soon she will be a mom.  She is thrilled to no longer be vomiting, but now her complaints have moved on to shear terror of what is growing inside her distended belly.  The annoying part is - annoying merely because it reminds me that I'm being an overly harsh and not a very nice person, is that as much as she whines, she still rubs her belly with tenderness without really seeming to notice she's doing it and she shows increasing signs of intense protectiveness towards the little bean inside her.   I guess she will get there...I mean like it or not, a baby is definitely coming along and soon at that.

*In regard to being happy - I recently listened to this great podcast on happiness during infertility, where the guest, Dr. Alice Domar said something that really resonated with me.   In talking about one's level of happiness while fighting infertility, she said that though she doesn't expect her patients to say they are "happy" during this time she reminds them there are still small joys to be found in a day such as the taste of chocolate or a sudden warm day in the middle of winter (as we've just had here in the Midwest).  Basically, that though we might feel depressed, we can still feel joy in our daily lives by experiencing those things that give us pleasure and being mindful of those experiences.  I don't think I'm explaining this well at all, but hopefully you get the point.

So here's to mindfulness!

Oh, and here are some awesome sites and videos I have uncovered:

Lupron Demonstration

Follistim Pen Demo

Intramuscular Injection

Transvaginal aspiration of follicles (with sound)

My own doc's web page o' awesome amounts of information sometimes with video

Creating a Family Website and Podcast
Been listening to their radio show podcasts and they are great

Beautiful, short fertility yoga sequence compliments of Pulling Down the Moon:

Friday, February 18, 2011

Something fun

After yesterday's depressing post, I thought I would add something a little fun... 

I watched this movie the other day on the recommendation of a fellow IFer, and though it is actually a really lovely film, it probably wasn't the best thing to watch right before going into an IVF cycle.  All the same, this clip is kind of priceless.  It starts with our "heroine" Lucy, racing off to her doctor's office for a post-coital test.

*Side note, I recommend following the clip link rather than watching it here, as the quality is really diminished on the blog. 

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Debbie Downer learns to keep breathing

Things have moved so fast on this whole IVF thing, that my brain is really taking some time to recover from the whiplash.  I seem to caught in this cycle of, "I'm fine, really, everything's going to be fine" to...crap, no, panic attack, crying fit, "breath, just breath,"..."f*&k breathing.  I can't handle this, I'm falling apart, my husband must think he married a crazy woman," and on it goes.  

Today I received my anticipated call from our fertility meds pharmacy, charged everything to a credit card (luckily one with Hilton hotel points, so maybe we'll at least get that out of this if all else fails), and then tried to relax with an art project (my fertility therapist thinks it will help or something).  I did receive one nice bit of RE's office has an extra Lupron kit lying around that is going to expire, so they are donating it to us for our cycle.  Hooray, one less medicine to worry about paying for.

***Speaking of which, I have either a five day supply of 100mg Clomid or a 10 day supply of 50mg Clomid (it is dosed in 50mg tablets) in my medicine cabinet that was bought last month but we aren't going to use it.  Anyone want them?  The package isn't open or anything, and I would love for it to go to good use.  Let me know and I will mail it out to you.****

I know I need to find a Zen mental place, especially before starting the real meds (BCPs don't count), but I just can't seem to squelch the fluttery creatures in my stomach and chest or prevent all these extreme emotional outbursts.
I stayed home from work today to get some rest and try to relax.  It only half worked: I slept late, watched a nice movie, colored a pretty picture, freaked out and had a tantrum around lunchtime, showered and colored some more, got stuck with needles in the evening, felt a little better, and now I'm just sort of in a sleepy but still nervous and excitable state.  I really do think I'm losing it. Oh, and did I mention I didn't take any of my 30 daily pills and supplements except the BCP.  I just couldn't stomach swallowing them down, not today. 

I realized yesterday that I have been more depressed this past year, dealing with all this, than I have been ever before; I have been in some kind of therapy for depression on and off since childhood.  I stopped taking the anti-depressants I was on because a) I wanted to see is if I could, and b) I wanted my body to be "clean" of all that when I got pregnant.  I don't regret that decision, but I do wonder sometimes if this would be any easier at all if I were still on them.

This is a different kind of depression than before; it comes in waves, and there are times where for days I feel almost completely normal.  Then, usually as I get to the end of my cycle, the world collapses around me once more.  I sit in despair and mourning, till hope reignites something in me and I start counting the days again.

This is my life now, and I hate it.  I'm tired, I'm hurting, and I can't escape.  I can only hope, and through that keep breathing. 

Tuesday, February 15, 2011


 That's right, you heard it here first.  Hubby came home early, and we had the talk.  I expressed my powerful wish that we start this cycle, and sang the praises of my doctor and of IVF, and just like that he said, "okay, why don't you start that pill tonight?"  So yea, we are starting!  Ready, set, go!

It is hard to believe how I had sunk down to such a horribly low place just a few hours ago, almost breaking down into tears when my boss had the audacity to say, "Hi".  I'm serious.  It was a rough morning with DH suddenly getting IVF cold feet, and then finding out that more family members had been told about the situation than I had hoped.  It was all spiraling out of control, and that miserable feeling of dread and gloom began re-emerging from my already irritable stomach. 

I admit to being surprised that our news had gotten out.  I really thought we could keep it contained, even within our "noisy" families, but alas, I was wrong.  The biggest problem with this is that some of the people who were told are those kinds of people who a) don't understand that keeping this a secret also applies to not telling other relatives, and b) will make comments and ask questions, that no matter how well meant will undoubtedly upset me.  

Case in point, when I was 12/13 and was visited by AF for the first time, I told my mom, who told my grandma, who told her sisters (because you know, it's just family), and by dinner (we just happened to be meeting them all for dinner that night, lucky me) I had my great aunts and uncles and their grown up children all congratulating me on being a woman now, explaining what a beautiful thing it was, and making jokes about my lack of cheerfulness that night. 

Anyway, back to the BCPs.  It was so odd opening that little blister pack and swallowing down a pill.  For years, it was the norm, but now it just feels odd and wrong.  I got it down though, and I'm not looking back.  I'm still worried about our hysteroscopy - which will basically knock us out of the running till Boston if it comes back that I need surgery to remove the fibroids - but I think for now I need to find a way to let it all go.  Nothing to be done for the next two weeks, no OPKs, no timed intercourse, no nothing.

Quick update: thoughts a-jumble

Just got back from my Day three (or really 4 in my case) blood draw.  I've secured our financing, signed the paperwork for the IVF and received a prescription for BCPs, though this morning DH started second guessing our decision to go ahead with IVF.  We are going to have another long chat when he gets home, but I really think this is the best decision for us right now, and I'm hoping he agrees and I can start popping those pills.

If all goes well...
We are having a hysterscopy in a couple of weeks, so as long as we get the green light after that, I would be starting Lupron the first week of March, and have egg retrieval, etc. the week of March 20th.  I want to do this.  I am terrified, but it just doesn't matter.  I want to try. 
It's all moving so fast...fingers crossed that things keep moving ahead and I don't turn out to need surgery to remove a fibroid.  So much will ride on that hysterscopy. 

Apologies for the stream-of-conscious writing.  My head is basically spinning off, and I just drank a large cup of coffee (my first one in weeks).  Hope all is well with you ladies.

Monday, February 14, 2011

To My Funny Valentine

Some of the ladies of the If-osphere have been posting their wedding photos, and other fun pictures, and I thought I would join in.

I truly loved everything about my wedding day, but by far the best part was just getting to marry the love of my life.  My husband is my rock and my happiness, my partner and lover, and of course, my sweet, funny valentine.   Here is a little photographic trip down memory lane of our wedding and build up to it.

This is the amazing cake my sister and one of my best friends made for my bridal shower.  I happen to be a huge Jane Austen fan, so my sister had the brilliant idea of surprising me with an Austen themed afternoon tea party/bridal shower.  I loved it!

P.S.  The cake was delicious!

Wedding #1 - Somerville City Hall 2008.  This photo should have chronologically been first, but it just didn't seem like the right opener.  We, like many before us, were married before we were married.  We did this mainly for legal/timing reasons pertaining to the filing of DH's green card papers.  It was supposed be "no big deal" wasn't our real wedding after all, just a piece of paper.  I wasn't even wearing white (in fact I was dressed for work which I went to afterward).  
It was a perfect spring day and the nice justice of peace who performed the ceremony invited us to tie the knot outside rather than in the cramped little room at the back of City Hall.  We found a perfect spot under a blossoming tree.  We both cried.  It was magical.
Later that day my mom insisted we do something to celebrate.  She sent us out to dinner, on her, so we went to the fanciest place we could find.  One of the steak and cigar places in Boston that has been around since the city was founded.  It was wonderful and delicious.

Here I am, drunk off my ass at my bachelorette party.  I admit to having no memory of this photo being take, though I'm grateful you can't see the fuzzy, sequined tiara on my head.

Mehendi - The Friday of our wedding weekend extravaganza, I had a henna artist come and paint me.  It took about 6 hours, but the design was so beautiful.  Here is one arm finished.  I especially loved the elephant up on top, and the bride design on my palm (there was a groom on the other side).

Wedding #2 Long Island, NY June 2009 - We had two beautiful ceremonies, one Jewish and one Hindu.  So in total, that's right, we've been married 3 times!  I have much nicer professional shots, but I always liked this photo.  It was taken by a family member, at the tail end of the wedding when everyone was heading home and I love how tired and unpolished but happy we look.

I was actually sick as a dog the weekend of my wedding (and I lost my voice the day before at our Mehendi/Sangeet), but I had the greatest bridal attendants.  Every few hours they would magically appear at my side with DayQuil and glass of water, and I hardly had to talk except to say "I do" and "Thank you for coming".

After the whole affair was over, and our stuff packed up into the hired car, we were whisked away to the Big Apple to the Waldorf Astoria.  We didn't actually take our full honeymoon till the following December, but those two days in NYC were unforgettable.

This shot was taken by my hubby at a restaurant near our hotel.  I had refused to wash off my wedding make up or completely take down my hair even though I was a kind of a mess.  I just wanted to basque in the glory of the day a little while longer. :)

Valentine’s Photo List:
1. Elphaba at Yolk
2. Mo at Mommyodyssey
3. Heather at Survive and Thrive
4. Bridget at Our Stork Got Lost
5. Aramelle at One Wheeler’s World
6. jjraffe at Too Many Fish to Fry
7. Jen at Violetta Margarita
8. AP at My Dusty Uterus
9. Christina at Two’s Company, Three’s a Family
10. Steel Lotus at Jagged Steel Lotus
11. Marie at Bakery Closed Until Further Notice
12. KKasun at The Road Less Traveled
13. Amy at Maternal Hope
14. Ashley at Traditionally Non Traditional
15. Hope at Invisible Mother
16. Bodega Bliss at bodega bliss
17. Artist Mouse at Artistmouse’s Blog
18. Metholic at Metholic’s Blog
19. Sarah at Fertility Frustration

Friday, February 11, 2011

The Morning After

Good morning everyone.  Today is a definitely better, though expecting my period at any moment does tend to take the a little of the bloom off the rose.  My temp finally starting going down, so now I'm just wasting pads, waiting for the fun to start. 

Last night, I had one of those truly low infertile moments.  One of those fits of crying where you feel the bile of all the anger, frustration, pain, loss and hatred at the world come rumbling up from your insides and you just wish you could somehow purge it all from body but instead you cry just enough to settle it all back down for a short sleep - till the next time when it will have grown and festered even more.  It was awful, and scary, but I think it is over for now. 
I'll pass this period of PMS, regain my composure, continue my Zen activities (yoga, acupuncture, meditation, exercise) and just keep going.

As a side note, there is a grim job to be done soon.  My friend, the one who I've often mentioned because after getting pregnant after just having her husband look at her for a particularly long moment, then went on to complain about being pregnant for the next 16 weeks.  She finally seems to be past that stage, and is happy and content to be becoming a mother, and now she is coming home to us and throwing a party next week.  There will be many mothers at this party, many babies, one pregnant lady at least, and a lot of discussion on pregnancy, birth, baby showers and parenting.  Just thinking about it now, I feel like I might throw up.  It is hard to believe there was a time I could just relax and hang out with these ladies...I want that back.

Okay, on to the details from yesterday (sorry I know this is already becoming a book):

I arrived at the appointment ridiculously early, but there was plenty of paperwork to keep me busy.  I was a bit annoyed to see the walls and tables covered in Parenting, Pregnancy and Baby magazines (I mean, isn't this an office for couples who can't get pregnant? WTF?), but I decided just to focus on my paperwork and not throwing up from nerves. 

Nurse D came to get me, took my vitals (hello blood pressure - I normally have pretty low blood pressure and I was shocked to see my nerves had driven it up all the way to a normal number 114/65)!  She took me in to the ultrasound room, where I watched her put a condom on the probe (I've usually seen them use some kind of disposable medical cover and I embarrassed myself by giggling at the application of the condom). 
Nurse T then came in to do my ultrasound.  This was the wonderful nurse I had spoken to on the phone, and I liked her just as much in person.  She was incredibly gentle though she did have to hurt me a little to get to my left ovary (apparently my ovary had repositioned itself above my uterus and she had to coax it back down - I didn't know they could do that and was a little freaked out by it). 

Nurse T: "Did anyone ever mention to you that you have a couple of fibroids in your uterus?"
Me: "Um...No" (momentary terror)
Nurse T: "Oh, don't worry, I don't think it will be a big issue.  They are not in a place we usually are too concerned about when it comes to fertility, I just thought you might like to know.  Here let me show you them on the screen."
Me: "Um, okay" (inner sadness at one more thing to worry about and anger that no one had ever told me before)

After a little clean up, I was upright, dressed and sitting across from Dr. Fox in his comfortable, naturally lit office.   Imagine a kind of Anderson Cooper looking guy (with a stronger chin) in scrubs - silver hair, handsome, smile dimples - flanked by two school photos of smiling teenagers (his own I'm guessing).  He started out by asking me my interpretation of everything that had been happening so far.  We then went over what he could see in my medical records and ultrasound, and what we might want to try for the best chance at conceiving a healthy baby. 
We talked quite a bit about my lining and agreed that with my move coming up in July, it probably doesn't make sense to attempt a Femara/IUI cycle (Clomid is definitely out).  Apparently a thin lining like this is really not common, and he was a little skeptical to call it definite problem without seeing the width of it at peak time during a normal cycle for a few cycles in row, but all the same things just don't look promising for a Clomid or Femara cycle. 

Other options: Injectibles with sex or IUI, IVF with one embryo transferred or IVF with 2 embyos transferred.  DH and I have talked about it a lot and we have almost ruled out and injectible cycle with IUI/sex.  The risk of triplets or more is low but still there (about 10% with my antral follicle count), and we both know that I would never be able to accept terminating my pregnancy if we became pregnant with that many babies but we also don't think it would be a healthy decision of us or the babies to try to have all those babies.  Basically, it would be an impossible situation, and we just don't want to open it up as a possibility.

We are starting to think about financing options for IVF, and how to order prescription drugs online (anyone know some reputable ones?).  We are also hoping, based on what the doc said, that we would have lots and lots of healthy eggs from one cycle, and be able to freeze a bunch of embryos for FETs if the first cycle doesn't work.  My blood tests all look good, and with my age (29) and high antral follicle count, this is a definite possibility that could save us lots of money by not having to do fresh eggs each cycle.  Obviously there is no guarantee of this, but it is a little ray of hope to think my eggs might still be young and lovely, just stymied by my mischievous and sometimes evil ovaries. 

Anyway, I hope I didn't bore you all with all those details.  Oh, crap, I need to get to work!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Long Day

Hey Ladies,

First, thank you so much for all the words of support and well wishes.  I can't tell you how much I appreciated reading them all.

It's been a very long, emotional day, and I will probably save most of my report to tomorrow, when I have my head on a little straighter.

The Highlights:
1) New RE - awesome...loved him.  I will call him Dr. Fox as he is actually quite foxy on top of being a great doctor.  The man spent over an hour with me answering all my questions, gave me tissues to wipe my tears and told me that when it comes to whatever treatment we decide to pursue, I'm "the boss" (his words). 

2) DH and I are trying to decide what will be the best treatment plan for us (and what we can afford), and right now we are just too overwhelmed, confused and bewildered to make a decision; maybe some sleep and a look through our finances will make the picture a little clearer.

3) The nurses (Ms. T and Ms. D) in the office - lovely.  I can't say enough good things about this place really, and the drive really wasn't so terrible outside of the usual Chicago traffic.  This was just what I was hoping for.

4) We are leaning heavily in the direction of IVF.  I am freaked out just having written that sentence.  I never thought it would come to IVF, and somehow something about that statement seems very real and very final.  Soon I will have to face the question: if this doesn't work, then what?  For now, I'm just going to try and make peace with the possibility that I could be the mother of multiples, and that for us that would actually be a wonderful, blessed thing.

I know it sounds awful, but I never thought of myself as the mother of multiples and the idea terrifies me.  I also know, however, that if I actually do became pregnant with and deliver two healthy babies, I will never question our decision to do this.  I will do what I always do: I will read every book on twins there is, research parenting multiples till my eyelids are drooping and my husband is yelling at me to turn out the light and go to bed, buy the best, fastest breast pump on the market (certified by Consumer Reports), and most importantly I will stop fearing that there is not enough of me to go around and I will just love those two blessings with every ounce of my being. 

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Quick hello

Just dropping in with a quick hello. 

Tomorrow is the big day - the meeting with the new RE.  I'm getting increasingly nervous as the time draws nearer, and I'm sure by tomorrow I'll be an irritable, jittery mess.  Also, tomorrow is the day AF is supposed to rear her ugly head (today's test was an expected by still saddening BFN), so for now I'm just hoping the doctor doesn't give me any additional reasons to cry though I'm imaging it will take very little to bring on the waterworks.   

I also wanted to make a little shout out to Lisa L over at TTC Fatty.  After the excitement of the last few days, she just found out she is experiencing her second early loss/chemical pregnancy, so please stop by her blog and send her some love.


Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Chidren of a Lesser god

I wanted to take a break from my infertility ramblings to talk about an experience I had the other night volunteering at a domestic violence shelter near my home.  I can't discuss the details, as DV shelters have very strict confidentiality clauses, but I will try to still set the stage.

I have worked quite a bit with women survivors of domestic violence over the last year and half, but this was actually my first experience volunteering with their children.  As part of a group, I visited the shelter to basically spend some "quality time" with the kids and to do an art project; giving them some much needed positive attention.  I didn't know what to expect going in, but perhaps any expectations would have been shattered by what I actually saw.

In our group, the children were far from the toddlers I had anticipated, and I was immediately worried the projects I had planned for them might be too infantile.  They took a little while to warm up and trust that they could smile in front of me, and ask questions, but once they felt comfortable enough they dove right into the projects with enthusiasm and creativity.  Seeing the scared, shy young girl in front of me change from withdrawn and unresponsive to playful and joyous, nearly brought me to tears.  At one point, her mom came in to see what she and her siblings were up to, and they playfully shooed her away, lest she see what they had made for her before it was ready to be revealed.  I actually hated to leave at the end of our time together, but I have every intention of returning to the shelter as a volunteer next month. 

In writing about this, I was hoping to encourage some other ladies out their in the blogosphere, to look into what they can do for DV survivors in their communities.  The children, most especially, need grown ups they can feel safe with, who acknowledge them as individuals and will sit with them while they do their homework, read with them, tutor them, rock them to sleep or play a game.  They have been through so much trauma, and now they are far from home, sometimes arriving with their mom at shelter with only the clothes on their back.  One hour of your time, could literally change the way one of these children sees the world around them.  It can teach them to trust again, and to know there are people out their who don't use violence or harsh words, and who care enough about them to just sit with them for a time with no agenda of their own. 

Thanks for reading.

- Kerri

Monday, February 7, 2011


DH is now suggesting we hold off doing this cycle with them, and just find someone I feel comfortable with first...think DH may be wise.

UPDATE to the Addendum
Talked to a couple of other clinics already today, and I'm in love with one I found that is over 40 minutes from my house (a shlep compared to the other places but not terrible and well worth it I think).  Within seconds of calling, I was transferred over to a nurse who patiently listened to me, and talked to me for about 10-15 minutes before we decided to set up an appointment for a consult with the doc.  She was so nice, and she actually listened to me and answered my questions with full explanations of the different possibilities and options and reasons she felt the doctor would probably discuss with me later on - including the fact that though they also shy away from injectibles for women with PCOS, they would be open to trying it with me so long as I'm aware of all the risks and potential for over-stimulation and willing to cancel the cycle if necessary.  I seriously choked back tears while thanking her for being so honest and chatting with me do so long.  I couldn't help be treated like a human being, and a grown-up one at that; it brought me to tears.  She even explained to me something I hadn't heard before, which is that Metformin can often be used to reduce the number of antral follicles in women with PCO prior to stimulation.  Being a relatively "lean" PCOS woman without evidence of insulin resistance, I hadn't really thought of using it, but now I'm intrigued.

They had a cancellation for Thursday, and I snatched it up.  DH won't be able to make it, but I didn't want to miss out, especially as Thursday is supposed to be Day 1 of my next cycle (according to Fertility Friend, and FF is rarely wrong about that in my case).  My hope beacon is shining brightly once more!

Pushing Aginst the Wall

Just called my RE, and asked my RE's nurse about setting up our baseline ultrasound for our first monitored Clomid cycle.  She said, “don’t worry, we have till day 5 to get you in for that.”  I replied that I am supposed to start on Day 3 (which is what I had started on before, and still didn't ovulate till Day 17, and no one had informed me we would be changing it this time around).  Her answer, with attitude, “well Kerri, if we are going to do a monitored cycle HERE, WE are going to follow OUR protocol, and Dr. C starts everyone on day 5”.  All this said as if I had been arguing with her - jeez.  
My actual feeling on all this, a) not everyone is the same, so why would you start everyone on the same day regardless of diagnosis?  and b) What a B*&^h!  Man, I can't wait to find new RE!

I also asked about the Estrogen therapy - recommended by one of you lovely ladies to aid with my terribly thin lining.  She told me that this is just not something they do (feel like I'm hearing that a lot from them) with Clomid cycles, but she will talk to the doctor about it tomorrow when she's in.  Well, gee-whiz lady, don't do me any's just my body and my infertility diagnosis after all. 

I don't get it.  I have been nothing by sweet, simpering and polite to these people, but they are treating me like the worst, craziest, most non-compliant patient in the history of patients.  I have made a couple of small suggestions and requests regarding my treatment, and all have been shot down with comments like, "Well (eye roll), if you are really pushing against the wall to do that, we will, but..." 

Gaaah! How do I always pick such winners for doctors?  I have the worst medical karma ever.  I try to pick people based on their qualifications and online patient reviews, and yet I almost always wind up picking someone who makes me cry and overlooks my medical records while throwing out diagnoses and pills.  Since this all started, in fact, I have had several secondary or tertiary doctors look over what the previous one had done or not done, and be astonished at how that doc could have missed something so obvious and why on earth did they prescribe X?  My response, I don't know, I just did what they told me to do.  

So much for being my own advocate and taking charge of my fertility...I'm trying to do both this time around (especially considering the stakes at this point) and still be a well-behaved patient, and apparently that means I'm "pushing against the wall."  Well, why hasn't it gotten me anywhere?

Friday, February 4, 2011


Confused, bewildered, and ready to leave... That is how I feel after my latest appointment with the RE.

The latest DX information: Some kind of autoimmune clotting situation going on - not sure of exact details as they weren't explained to me.  Instead I was just told to start taking baby aspirin.

Furthermore, I apparently have a  resistance to Folic Acid, so I'm to start taking prescription level Folic Acid.

The craziest part of all, it wasn't till I brought up that my endometrial lining seemed thin, that my doc agreed with me and we started to discuss this.

The option she gave us - IVF.  I was stunned...wait, no more testing, no IUIs, no stops along the way, just straight to the big guns?  What about a post-coital test* or even just cycle monitoring to see what's actually happening with my lining and my ovaries, etc.  Why not start simply?  
* As a side note, I asked about the post-coital test, and the nurse said something like, "I don't think the doctor would do that, no.  It's not really necessary, and we just don't do that test anymore." - WTF! Post-coital testing is now somehow outdated?

I asked about injectibles, to boost my lining and help with ovulation (rather than the Clomid we are about to try again which destroys your lining).  Her answer was that with my poly-cystic ovaries this would lead to too great a risk of multiples or hyperstimulation, and that we are better off with IVF if we try injectibles and being able to control the number of embryos put in the uterus; plus we can then look at the embryos and see if there is anything wrong with them.

I understand her logic, but haven't tons of you ladies out there tried Gonadatropins with PCOS and been fine?  I need and want a second opinion.  I don't feel at all comfortable with the options before me.  I don't think we are understanding the whole picture just yet.  I mean, she hasn't even considered doing an MRI of my potentially septate uterus - even my OB/Gyne wants me to do that much. 

What if the only issue is just my lining and late ovulation?  Why is IVF my only option?  Why aren't we investigating everything; leaving no stone unturned?  Am I cynical enough to believe that I'm being rushed to IVF because it makes the most money for the clinic?  I don't think I am, but the thought has certainly crossed my mind. 

I feel pushed, and most of all not-supported.  Even if we pursue IVF, it will not be with this clinic, no matter how good their "rates" are, because I just don't feel comfortable there.  The doctor is having us try another cycle on Clomid (50, instead of the 100 the Gyne wanted to put me on), and I asked if we could do monitoring, so at least we can get an idea of what is happening during my medicated cycles.  That's the only plan right now.

I need advice more than anything right now.  Also, if anyone knows an amazing RE in the greater Chicago area that they can recommend who might be able to offer me another opinion, I would be really grateful.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Take two herbs, jab yourself in the foot here, and call me in the morning

With time allotted me on this glorious snow day, I decided to delve with more energy into the world of Chinese Medicine, and I have to say I'm more confused now then ever...

I can't tell if I have a Kidney Yin deficiency or a Yang Deficiency...if my Estrogen is too low, or my LH too high?  Is it both or neither?  Perhaps I should start treating myself for "Dampness" and Liver Qi Deficiency, or maybe I should just return the book to the library and leave the the diagnosis and treatment to the proper authorities.  Then again this author, Randine Lewis, is supposed to have helped hundreds of women to have healthy babies with or without the use of ART and she is quoted and showed great reverence by Dr. William Schoolcraft, author of another book I'm reading, and head of one of the best fertility clinics in the country

Maybe I will win the lotto, and can go spend a few months at Dr. Lewis' clinic in Houston Texas...oh wait, I don't play the lotto...oh well.

Anyway, my next and possibly last (for awhile) RE appt. is on Friday.  We are going to find out if those crazy expensive tests have provided us with ANY new information, and then we will make a decision about a) treatment, b) changing doctors, and c) waiting till the move to pursue things further.  I can't tell if I'm excited or miserable, but I guess all with be revealed in due course.