Friday, March 30, 2007

she's here

Well, af has arrived.

I want to thank everyone for their supportive comments. I appreciate it.

We are doing okay. I won't say good, but we are living our daily lives. We are both sad, especially T, but I have mostly been pissed. I'm pissed because I feel like this cycle was a waste. We have three precious tries to have a biological child, and one of them was wasted. My estrogen level at my first blood test was somewhat low. I knew the whole time that it wasn't going to be a successful cycle. Why didn't they up my meds? I know OHSS is a real risk, and they gave me the dose they did to avoid it, but it clearly wasn't happening for me. What would have been the hurt in upping my dose just a little? I was being monitored every 48 hours. My RE always talks about the next time, about how we have plenty of time, etc. To him this was a "learning" cycle, I think. But to us, it's one less try. He thinks we'll do more tries after these three. Well, I know of 2 people with balanced translocations in my state who were not awarded coverage by their insurance recently (even though coverage is mandated in my state) and we will not apply for more tries -- at least not right away. We will pursue another route first. So one of our precious tries is gone, and I'm kind of angry about it.

So we're supposed to have a follow up appointment with the RE post-failure. Of course he's away until April 18, so we have an appointment with the nurse practitioner. I will demand a follow up phone conversation with the RE himself. Since I started spotting today, I called my PGD coordinator, as I am supposed to. There is exactly ZERO information about my next cycle in my chart! Hurray! She doesn't even really know if I'm supposed to even start the pill for my next cycle. The RE said I should start at my next period after the egg retrieval (since we knew it would fail even then), so I feel confident it is part of my protocol. But since the good doctor (ha) is away, we may be delayed a week or so until I have an actual protocol in my chart. Since we know my protocol will be different, we have no choice but to wait for Dr. Genius's guidance.

Yes, you do note a hint of sarcasm. It's just annoying that our own instincts about our bodies do not trump the "facts" of medicine. Modern medicine is great, but it does have its limitations. My mother asked if we should go see a different doctor -- but that would entail getting a new PGD probe made and getting a new referral -- there is no way this is happening. My only question is if both of these cycles fail (note I did say if) then do we go to him for the donor iuis or do we go somewhere else. But we'll cross that bridge if and when we get there.

So we're surviving. My job has been crappy lately, and that isn't helping much. T's work has been insanely busy, so that's not too great either. We both need a nice vacation -- our last one was related to his work and I miscarried while we were away -- so it wasn't the most relaxing vacation ever. But it's just not happening at this time.

So thanks for your supportive comments. I'm still not feeling super positive (I'm sure you got that idea) but I'm going to work and things are moving forward. AF is here --early, I know, but my PGD coordinator says that can happen when you suddenly stop all meds. I will start the pill tomorrow.

Monday, March 26, 2007


Both embryos were unbalanced. My transfer was canceled.

I kept waiting and waiting for a phone call this morning. I knew I would have to leave my office around 10:30 to get there for the 11:15 appointment. At 10:15 time started going so slowly. I had butterflies in my stomach. Then I simply started getting nauseous. It was 10:30. I called T and said I hadn't heard anything. We discussed that I should call to check. I called and was transferred twice, but the results hadn't come in yet. That made sense. Otherwise they would have called to cancel already -- but it still allowed me a tiny bit of hope. I got into the car and started driving. As soon as I left the parking lot, my cell rang. It was some doctor. Both embryos were unbalanced. My transfer was canceled.

I called T. We met in a parking lot for a few minutes. We talked. We talked about how we really think that this won't work for us, but that we will try again. We will try again, and if it doesn't work we will do something else.

T is extremely sad. I am sad too, but I think just slightly less so than he. The only thing we can do is try again.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

embryos still alive

As far as I know, both embryos are still alive. The embryo biopsy, as far as I know, was successful and the chromosomes from each embryo are on slides and on their way to New Jersey. My supposed transfer is scheduled for Monday at 11:15. If both embryos are unbalanced, I should be contacted on Monday morning so that I won't have to go to the clinic if there is no transfer.

I am quite doubtful that one of them will be healthy, but I know it's possible, and I suppose I have the tiniest bit of hope: a tiny little glimmer of hope that is pushed way down to the bottom of my chest. But I think that it's there.

Back in reality, I'm thinking much more about my next cycle, when it will start, and what kind of protocol I will be on next time so that we have more than two dismal eggs the next time. The more eggs, the greater our chances, so I want to have lots.

It's weird how I felt this cycle was a bust right from the beginning. Well, not right at the beginning, but from the first ultrasound. I just didn't have a good feeling about this cycle right then.

Meanwhile, the progesterone suppositories are going okay, if a little gooey. I still think it's better than those shots in the ass, though. But the progesterone is making my b00bs KILL! Does this stuff make your body think you're pregnant? Is that the point? Because the only times my b00bs have hurt this much was when I was pregnant.

I made a delicious chicken for dinner with asparagus and fresh bread. There is something about roasted chicken that I just love. If you cook it right it is so juicy and delicious. It must be some type of comfort food for me or something. I ate tons of it and now I'm stuffed. Super yummy.

Tomorrow I'm going to a knitting group, which I hope will be fun. I have to decide which project to bring. I'm making a second sock, a felted "paper" bag and a baby blanket. I stopped the baby blanked a while ago because it made me too sad to knit it. I love this yarn, and it sort of matches the back bedroom we have upstairs that would become a nursery, so I always wanted the blanket to be for us, but after a while I couldn't bear to make it any more. I feel slightly better about it now, but I also bought yarn to make a cardigan sweater for myself, and I need the needle that the blanket is on to start the sweater. So I want to finish the blanket. I'm pretty close. So I think I will bring the sock and the blanket, but not the bag because it's too easy and boring. I can finish that on my own time.

Thursday, March 22, 2007


In somewhat good news, both eggs fertilized over night. We're not terribly surprised with this news, but it is good news for what it's worth, and we will take it. If it doesn't bode well for this cycle, it bodes well for future cycles.

I will be called on Saturday for more info and to be told when to arrive Monday for the transfer. PGD results do not come in until Monday morning, so I think we won't know whether the transfer will actually happen until we're physically at the clinic. There is a chance that we will get there for transfer and will be told, "Sorry, they are both unbalanced." I think they will try to call with results before we actually drive there, but sometimes the timing just doesn't work out.

I have started the progesterone suppositories. So far, not too bad. It's way better than sticking a needle in my butt in my opinion. It hasn't been too messy yet, but I've only done one. It feels kind of moot to do this, but I guess with two embryos, you never know.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007


Well, they only got two eggs. The doctor says they'll still do the PGD, though. So most likely I won't be having an embryo transfer on Monday. We're clearly disappointed.

On the upside, we don't have to wait to start our second cycle. With no transfer, I should be getting my period in about 2 weeks from now, and I should start the pill right away. They will be much more aggressive with my medications the next time.

I'm going to take it easy for now.

Monday, March 19, 2007

count number three

I'm still at 7. Two of my follicles are over 20 mm, but one or two is still around 15. They want to get those little ones bigger so we have enough eggs. I was told by the ultrasound tech that if I were on a different protocol (i.e. not having PGD) I would have triggered already. This just boosts my feeling that this cycle has been a bust. I am not responding as well as they had hoped, and we're just clinging to some lofty follicle number goals. I know that it isn't impossible for this cycle to work. It could. However, I will be shocked if we have even one embryo to transfer this cycle. Don't get me wrong, I would love to be shocked with that information. However, I am not holding out much hope that this cycle will work out.

I still have yet to be called for instruction, but I can't imagine that I won't be triggered. Two of my follicles are getting too big and won't have usable eggs soon. This is a balancing act, and I think it's starting to tip. I wonder if the RE is caught up in surgery or something and that is why I haven't heard back. I heard pretty early the past two ultrasound days. I mean, I'm assuming they consult with the doctor before they call me.

After this cycle is over, even if there is a healthy embryo, I want to talk to the doctor about this whole cycle, I think.

Update: Trigger is indeed tonight. Retrieval is Wednesday morning. Here we go....

Sunday, March 18, 2007

count number two

Not much of an improvement at this ultrasound. I had 7 follicles -- still just 2 on the left and 5 on the right. Two of them were over 20 mm, so I'm not sure if we're just going to trigger with only 7 or if we're going to hope for some more or what. I will hear from a nurse later.

I'm not feeling great about this number, but I'm not freaking out as much as I was Friday. I'm still extremely disappointed, and I wonder if this means that I have a low ovarian reserve -- not too surprising since I'm going to be 35 in two months. I just thought I would respond better than this. I've gotten pregnant 3 times on our own, and my fertility goes up right after I stop taking the pill, so I thought I would respond to the medication better. I never expected 20 eggs. But I thought I would at least have 10 or 12. Seven is close to ten, I guess. Maybe I'll get three more follicles before retrieval. Who knows. But I can't help but feel slightly bummed out. If this cycle doesn't work, I'm definitely going to demand a slightly different protocol next time. I need to have a better response than this.

One last question. I have cm. Is that normal? I thought my system was suppressed, so I thought I shouldn't do any sort of cycle stuff on my own. Are the shots triggering it? I'm worried about ovulating on my own. I will ask the nurse when she calls with my results, but have any of you had pre-fertile or fertile cm during an injections cycle?

I'll probably update after the nurse calls. E and baby S are coming over this afternoon. I hope I'm not too bummed out to hang out in any sort of normal way.

Update: So I'm to go in for another blood draw and ultrasound tomorrow. The nurse said that I'll probably trigger tomorrow night, so my retrieval would be Wednesday (if I understand this process correctly). She thinks that it will just be the 7 follicles for retrieval. The minimum number of follicles for PGD is 5 or 6, so we're just over the minimum. This does not feel good. I'm no longer holding out much hope for this cycle.

Friday, March 16, 2007

follicle count

I only had 6 measurable follicles, 2 on the left and 4 on the right. I have to admit I am a bit underwhelmed by this number. I know it is early, and things could change, but I feel like I really need to have at least 10 eggs for any hope of getting a transferrable embryo. I know it's not impossible for 6 eggs to work, but the more eggs, the more likely we will have something potentially viable. But I also know that just because I have only 6 measurable right now that I'll end up with 6 eggs. It's bound to change. But I still can't help but be a little disappointed. I will get a call later this afternoon with further instruction.

Update: I am really trying to shake these negative feelings, but I just can't seem to. We can only expect 1 out of every 8 embryos to be normal/balanced, and that is a generous percentage. It could be as low as 1 out of every 16 or even worse. Either way, the eggs need to be fertilized and survive biopsy and survive until day 5. I need lots of eggs to do this. With all these hormones making me nuts, I'm ready to write off this cycle as a learning experience. I know this is premature, but I can't help it. I know things could turn around in an instant, but I just have this feeling in my heart that this isn't going to work. And if this doesn't work, my next cycle will start after my 35th birthday. I know I have to calm down about this. I'm trying to visualize calm and force myself to smile. It helps a little, but I tend to obsess and worry. And this is my designated place to vent my obsessions and worry, so there it is.

I'm trying to hold it in check. I am. I am trying to visualize my happy place. Thank goodness it's Friday.

Update #2: I spoke to my PGD coordinator, and she assured me that things were fine. My E2 was up above 400, which made me happy, and she said they saw several smaller, unmeasurable follicles and that I'd keep taking my dose of medication and that things look good. I told her I was worried about just having the 6, but she managed to calm me down. So I'm a bit more calm. I will be able to sleep tonight.

Now I have to deal with all the snow.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

emotional rollercoaster

I talked to my boss at work. She thought that the situation was horrible, and we're going to try and work it out that I can become part of the subcontract that is going to be created between the new institution and the current institution I work for. That would mean that I wouldn't have to change employers. That would mean that everything would remain the same, and I think I would be fine. Plus there is childcare services through my current employer. But that's something to worry about another day.

It was amazing how 'nothing' the conversation I had with her was. She was much more interested in what medications I was taking (she's an MD) and was sympathetic with my emotions when I teared up because she knows how crazy Lu*pron makes folks. She even told me that it has been considered for treatment in autism to calm boys down and decrease testosterone and aggression. Interesting.

After doing some research, I've learned that my estrogen level was a little lower than is hoped for. It's not something where I need an exact number -- what we see on the ultrasound tomorrow and noting how my levels are rising is more important -- but I was a little disappointed by my number. Oh, and I remembered it wrong. It was actually 142. So that's somewhat low. I'm trying not to let it get me too down, because it's early. But in the morning we'll see if we can see any follicles yet.

All of this is making me notice how disappointed I'm going to be if this cycle doesn't work. I keep telling myself that it might not work. I keep trying to remind myself that this is not the smoking gun, that it fails all the time, that there might not be any transferrable embryos. But I can't help but be a little too hopeful and know that I will be crushed if this doesn't work. I know there is a good chance that it won't work -- in fact, it's more likely to not work than to work. But I just know I will be devastated if it doesn't. We will try again if this round doesn't work, and second rounds happen much faster than first rounds, so I'm keeping that in mind. We probably will do a third round, too, unless we have zero transferrable embryos both times. If that happens we will probably move on to discussion adoption or donor sperm. But I can feel myself investing in this process and really hoping for success.

I hope there are a bunch of follicles tomorrow.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

first blood test

My estrogen level was 147 today. I have no idea what that means, but I am to stay on my 5 units of Lu*pron and 200 units of Folli*stim. I am to go in again Friday morning and have more blood taken and an ultrasound for (hopefully) a follicle count. It's dildo-cam time for me, I guess.

I think I am starting to feel my ovaries. I feel like this seems soon, but I feel like I can tell something is going on down there. I'm not in pain or even in discomfort. I'm just -- aware. But maybe I'm making all of this up in my head. I have been known to do stranger things.

Things aren't looking good on the FMLA front. I am finding more stories of people where the same thing happened -- and people who lost 5 years or more of seniority due to circumstances similar to mine. So, if I get pg that will be my prize, and if it takes a few more months and I earn enough seniority, then that will be the prize I get for dealing with failure. I just have to deal. But I just can't help but feel like I'm being screwed. And I'm going to tell my boss what this change is costing me.

It's 70 degrees today, so I have to go take a walk. It's not going to stay like this here.

Monday, March 12, 2007


Did my first stim injection last night. It went smoothly, though it bled more than the Lu*pron has, maybe because of the pause before removing the needle? Not sure. It's amazing how immune I am to needles these days. I mean, I was never nervous around needles before, but when I first started I was like, "Two shots in one night!" but it just is really nothing.

I feel really tired, which may have to do with the time change, but maybe the meds too. I have heard other women say that these meds make them tired.

I'm still feeling emotional, though it's difficult to separate stuff in my life from stuff from hormones.

I am paid off of a grant, and the grant is going to be transferred from one institution to another. The new institution is going to consider me a new employee. The three months of seniority I have earned is going to go down the tubes. Since FMLA is not given to employees until they've been employed for a year, if this cycle works, I will not qualify for FMLA anymore. In order to get disability, you have to invoke FMLA, so if we get pregnant, I will not be able to have a (partially) paid maternity leave.

This sucks. I'm lucky in that we could survive this with just T's salary for a while -- probably a long while if we made some simple lifestyle changes -- but it's just frustrating that this is happening outside of what seems reasonable. If I had stayed pregnant with pg #3, I would have missed out, but that would have been my own doing. I got a job and got pregnant immediately. I would have lived with that timing. But this timing is being forced on me and it feels terribly unfair. I need to check the local laws to see if this is actually legal. Any ideas, anyone?

My blood test is still scheduled for Wednesday morning. There's not much else to report.

Thursday, March 08, 2007


I am to decrease my Lu*pron to 5 units starting tonight. No baseline ultrasound for me -- don't know why. Didn't ask. I'm not going to ask for a vaginal ultrasound if they don't think I need one. On Sunday I start stims -- 200 units of Folli*stim. I do that for 3 days and I go in for bloodwork on Wednesday morning. This is when I get my further instructions.

It's funny how time goes by both so quickly and so slowly while this is going on.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

she arrives

Late this afternoon, my period arrived. I had hoped it would be on the early side as it doesn't usually take long after I start the pill, but you never know. Happily, I was right! It was too late to call my PGD coordinator, so I'll do that first thing tomorrow morning. Tomorrow is also my mom's birthday.

So looks like I'll be starting stims soon. Don't know if I'll need a baseline ultrasound first or anything. We shall see.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

comfort food

I think I'm eating to make myself feel better. I have been eating like shit lately. I mean, it's all been extremely yummy, but extremely bad for me. I'm eating home made shortbread. Oh yeah, I've been baking too. Last night I made a curry with coconut milk. Coconut milk! And I had the leftovers for lunch! (Well, at least it was light coconut milk?) This weekend I made my Nana's special butter cookies. Happily, most of those made it to the freezer to give to my family, but I still had some.

I did elliptical yesterday, but I still think I'm going to bet getting even fatter with all this comforting. I mean, I've gained 15 lbs in the past year with all this being pregnant and then not pregnant and then not losing the weight and then eating more to comfort myself. But I can't stop myself. I'm an eating machine. I feel like I need these foods. I almost feel like I melt on the inside when I take a bite. There's something about these delicious foods that relax me. I'm trying to not eat too much, but I think I am. And I'm not really motivated to stop. I don't want to stop. I want to eat. I don't want to exercise more. I'm still eating fruits and vegetables.

My pants keep getting tighter. What do I do? (I know -- stop eating!)

Saturday, March 03, 2007


I think the hormones are starting to affect me. My mood swings feel like they're a little bit nuts. I get manic and lovey-dovey and cranky and hyper in a matter of minutes. I had a really stressful week at work, so I'm sure that's contributing factor, but when I got to work yesterday I couldn't focus and felt like I was about to freak out. It's so hard to know.

Tonight I take my last bcp. That means I'll be starting stims within a week.

Last night we went out for super yummy sushi (we hope for the last time in a long time) and knew we'd be out late, so I put my syringe, alcohol wipe and vial of Lu*pron with an ice pack in a little sack and stuck it in my purse. I surreptitiously stuck myself when I had to pee. It was a little bit awkward, but luckily the top of the toilet paper dispenser was flat and I could pile stuff on there so that I could handle all of the stuff. I'm glad I brought it because we didn't get home until about 11:30 and that is way too late for me (my target time is between 9 and 10). I think we're going out again tonight, but this time to someone's house for a party, and I'll have to decide if I need to bring my meds along again. This will be a little bit more difficult, I think. It's easy to bring your purse to the bathroom in a restaurant, but it's more weird at a person's house, I think. Maybe I'm just being paranoid.

We'll see how the hormones treat me this weekend. I'm going to make some cookies.