Sunday, April 29, 2007

CD 3

The new medication isn't as easy to administer as the medication in my last cycle. Lu*veris comes in a powder with another vial of water and I have to suck out the water, put it in the powder, dial up the Folli*stim, stick that into the Lu*veris vial, change from the big IM needle to the little needle, suck up all the liquid out of the vial and then inject it. I find that there are suction issues and it drips. Or, there are suction issues and not all of the medicine will go into the syringe. I'm wondering if it would be easier to stick myself twice. I'm not sure. I hope I've only lost a few drips, which shouldn't affect my dosage, but it freaks me out a little.

Went in for my first E2 blood draw today. I'll hear back later this afternoon and get instructions about my next doses. I'm sure I will have to go in for a blood draw/ultrasound on Tuesday.

My friend E (the one with the baby) called yesterday. She asked about the cycle, and I'm trying to give other people less specific information about what's going on. I told her I was starting meds this week. I suppose that's not a total lie. It's very difficult to navigate through. Her work is insane, and she's going to Chicago for a few days. Her baby isn't weaned and this is her first time away from him. She's working weekends right now and is just totally stressed out. I totally understand. But it's weird to talk to her, and I don't feel like we have anything in common right now. It's so sad to me. She's one of my best friends. I've known her for about 10 years. But sometimes when I talk to her, I don't feel like I have anything to say. The only things going on in my life are my insane job and infertility.

We are having the house painted in about a month, and I talked about that for a while. I have my garden. And crocheting. And knitting. But it's just weird. I still remember while hanging out with her and her husband that things will never be the same again. And here they are -- not the same. It's funny how I knew at the time that we would never hang out like that again. I remember it making me sad. We already know about T's bt at that time.

We did the MS Walk yesterday with my family. I was talking to her on the phone, and she was talking about a birthday present she was going to buy me. I said that I'd rather have something else aside from a present, like a party or going out or something. Somehow, this turned into my mother making me feel guilty about not spending enough time with her. I see my family about twice a month, and I talk to my parents about 5 days a week. This seems like plenty. But apparently my aunt sees her children 3 or 4 times a week. So my poor mother is deprived of seeing her children. I just don't get it. I see and talk to my family more than anybody else I know. I'm the child that calls just to say hi and who does almost everything she asks. What the hell?!? I see my parents plenty. I have a lot of crap going on in my life. My work is chaotic, my home life is chaotic. Why does she do that? I'm still pretty annoyed with her. We usually get along so well. I'm not sure what's going on. I think she must not truly understand the stress of infertility. I try to remind her, but she must just not get it.

Oh, and I had a meeting at the main hospital where I work (I work in a satellite office) and where was the conference room where the meeting was? On an OB/GYN floor. I saw at least 5 infants and 4 pregnant women. Whee!

And did I mention the two pregnant women at a knitting group I went to? I think I did, but I'm mentioning it again.

I have about one more week of meds. I can do this. Especially without the Lu*pron.

Update: The clinic called. My E2 is 328. I'm to decrease the Folli*stim to 300 and keep the Lu*veris at 75. So far, so good.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

on your mark, get set

Injections start tomorrow. Again, that's 375 u Folli*stim and 75 u Lu*veris. First blood test on Sunday.

T and I had dinner with ultimatejourney and her her hubby last night. Good people. It's so nice to be able to have a conversation and casually mix in things like, 'Well, right before the second miscarriage,' and know that they won't think twice about it. It's a weird comfort, but sharing a meal face to face with someone who really understands the pain that you're going through is so helpful. I hope we can do it again soon.

Had acupuncture again. It was good. My acupuncturist was proud of me for 'letting go' at work today.

I suppose that's news too. I have decided to let go of work. I didn't quit. I simply quit caring how f*cked up (this is for you, C in Aus) it is there. I spent hours figuring out how to set up a grant transfer. I even cried over the pressure of getting it done. Twice. It was supposed to happen for May 1. Well, my boss freaked out about it and told everyone to stop working on it. It may happen, it may not. But this is so ridiculous that I decided I can't care about it anymore. I will watch this roller coaster turn into a train wreck, and then I won't work there any more. But until then, I will do whatever it is I have to do, and then when they tell me to switch gears in the middle, I will. I will voice and opinion here and there, but overall, none of this is my responsibility, and they're clearly running this program into the ground, so I'm just going to watch it happen. I can't change these people. I've reached the breaking point. Sure, I will be annoyed sometimes, but I'm not going to let it make me crazy.

Now I have to not let this cycle make me crazy.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

they're here

Well, they both arrived today. AF is here and the meds are here. There are many more meds than last cycle. Hopefully that's a good thing.

The Lu*veris is a powder that comes with sterile water. I am told that I can inject my other meds into the Lu*veris thingy and then suck it all into a syringe and then stick myself all at once. So, I won't have to do multiple sticks. So I guess that's good. I have to call the needle nurse and figure out how much water I have to put in. I was told I don't have to do the whole thing, but I need to make sure. Has anyone ever done this?

I didn't call my PGD coordinator today, but I'll call her tomorrow. I imagine I'll start the injections tomorrow. Possibly Thursday.

I'm cranky as hell. My job is really annoying and it frustrates me, and I really wish I could have a job that I could just do and then go home. But it just doesn't seem to work that way for me. I have severe job problems. I don't mean now, specifically, I just mean I have problems with jobs in general. I just never like my job. I'm really focused on this fact right now, which is really stupid since I probably should be focusing on the cycle. But I just can't help it. Work stresses me out and I don't like it, but I don't know what else to do. Should I quit? Should I stay? Should I suck it up and deal? How do I cope while staying? How much do I try to tell my boss how much it sucks? How do I stop complaining to coworkers?

I've tried to tell my boss that I'm unhappy, but she hasn't gotten it yet. She blames everybody and everything else but herself.

If I quit, how do I explain that my last two jobs were for 6 months or less? If I decide to take a shit job, how do I explain my hiatus from real work? What is it, exactly, that I should do?

I know, great time for this crisis. But I'm miserable at work and I'm miserable at home and I just need some space where I feel like what I'm doing is accomplishing something.


Monday, April 23, 2007


No sign of any bleeding yet. My meds will arrive tomorrow and they will sit in my fridge for a few days. Then I will start injecting them. I can't believe I am going to be doing this again. I can't believe that I had to do it before, and I can't believe I'm doing it again. I can't imagine that this might work. I also can't imagine that this might not work.

It's funny how when a cycle is coming up I feel the sadness more acutely. I have been thinking of my friend E's baby and all it makes me think of are our losses. He is 9 1/2 months. I see him and I see the 6 month old we don't have. I try to push these thoughts out of my mind, but it's difficult. I know they're not productive. I'm trying to be calm, but I can't seem to be calm. I try to keep busy, but my heart isn't in anything. Though, my crafting does help. I do love that.

Anyway, I asked about the no baseline thing, and my PGD coordinator said that they do them with some cycles, but with most cycles that involve either birth control pills or Lu*pron, the chances of having anything in the baseline that cancels the cycle is quite small. If a patient requests a baseline they will do one, but I'm not sure I feel the need. Should do one?

So, we're just waiting for my period and my meds to show up, and then we're a go. Here comes the roller coaster.

Friday, April 20, 2007

moving right along

Tonight is my last birth control pill. I called my clinic and left a message asking about the deal around no baseline, but of course my PGD coordinator is away until Monday. I do think it's because I've been on bcps for a month, and they just don't see the point. But we'll see what they say. We signed the PGD paperwork and sent it back to the clinic. (Robin, I explained PGD in a comment on my last post.) Now I just have to call Repro*genetics and pay for it so that it can happen. I meant to call today, but I totally forgot. It's important to not forget. It's important to remember. Especially this.

I had acupuncture again today. I definitely think it really helps and I'm glad I am doing it. I love the woman that does it. She wants some information on T's bt, so I have to go look it up again and print out literature to give to her. She's trying to reconcile the diagnosis with traditional Chinese medicine, and she's having trouble. That's understandable. So I'll go dig up some stuff and bring it to her to help her figure us out. She says I am still young and I have a lot of chi and that is good.

I've decided to crochet and afghan, but when I tried to practice the pattern I want to use, I totally screwed up. So I have to pull it out and try again. It's easier to knit since I know what I'm doing when I knit, but I like this new challenge of crocheting.

I have a dentist appointment tomorrow. I absolutely hate the dentist. I'd rather do almost anything than go to the dentist. And I remember making this appointment 6 or 8 months ago and thinking how I would be pregnant by this appointment. And here I am, not pregnant. So not only do I have to go to the dentist, but I have to go while not pregnant. That is actually probably a good thing (x-rays are fine, I can have Novocaine without worry), but I don't have to like it.

The weather is supposed to be beautiful this weekend and the Yankees are in town. T has worked late every night this week. We're definitely drinking tonight. We'll see what this weekend brings.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007


So, my clinic does not do baselines. No wanding, no blood levels, nothing. This is starting to make me nervous. Why do they not do baselines? Any ideas?

Monday, April 16, 2007


I spoke with the PGD coordinator today. I now have my meds schedule for our next cycle.

I take my last birth control pill on Friday. I wait for my period to come. On cd2 or 3 I start my stims -- approximately April 27. This means that retrieval will be around May 7. This will be a big week. My mother-in-law is coming to stay with us for a week on May 9, my dreaded 35th birthday is May 12, and the dreaded mother's day is May 13. So, this means that if we have any transferable embryos, they will be transfered right around my birthday. (Remember, we do a day 5 transfer with PGD.) What a week that's going to be.

My mother-in-law is a bit of a handful, but only because she likes to talk a lot about everything, all the time. She kind of trails off at the end of whatever it was she was babbling about and I'm never sure if I'm supposed to be paying attention to what she is saying or not. But she has a wonderful heart, and she will be supportive of us. She isn't too nosy or apt to make insensitive comments, so I think it should be okay. Plus, it seems like my injections will (hopefully) be over by the time she gets here, so that will be good, too. Only my lovely suppositories will be there in all their glory for her to look at.

In crafting news, my sister-in-law taught me how to crochet this weekend, so now I have a whole new craft to obsess about. It's great! I'm not making anything yet, just practicing making my stitches even and not picking up or losing any. It's great fun. I wish I could find a way to make money crafting. That would be ideal.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

new protocol

I spoke with the nurse practitioner. She spoke to our RE and the head of the egg donor program. I have an entirely new and aggressive protocol. The first weird thing -- no Lu*pron. I'm as shocked as you on this one. I'm instead using an antagonist, which is a Lu*pron alternative. So, I'm to continue on the pill. I will stop, and then get my period. On cd1, I will start stimming. I am using Folli*stim again, but this time at 375, plus they are going to add 75 of LH. On cd 3 I will go in for blood work. If my E2<150, then they will increase my LH.

Then, when my largest follicle is 13mm or my E2>500, I will start the antagonist. I will continue to be monitored until I am ready to trigger.

Our RE came up with this protocol on his own, and the nurse practitioner checked with the head of the donor egg program, and the protocol matched pretty well. This is a very aggressive cycle. So, I feel like I'm being proactive and am definitely allowing myself a tiny bit of optimism for this next cycle.

In addition, thanks to the lovely Serenity, I am doing acupuncture. I was there for two hours yesterday and left feeling really relaxed. I'm definitely going to be doing it once or twice a week during this hectic 2-3 week portion of the cycle. I want to be more proactive this cycle. I'm not just going to sit back. Though, part of the proactive part is me calming down a little. That's where the acupuncture fits in. So I am doing a little something for myself, and it feels good.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007


We had our follow up meeting at our RE's office. We met with the nurse practitioner. It was okay.

First, a few of the bad things. There was no new protocol in the chart -- which we expected. She didn't look over our chart closely enough to realize they only got two eggs -- she assumed that only two embryos survived. Their attention to detail is kind of lacking. We had to set her straight on that. Lastly, she has no idea why they were only able to get 2 eggs from the 7 follicles. She said 6 our of the 7 should have produced an egg. She didn't know if it was due to ovulation, which would mean I would need more Lu*pron, or if it was because the eggs were simply too difficult to remove. Again, there was no notation in the chart. This means the doctor has to "remember" what happened. He has a lot of patients, and I don't have a lot of faith in this method. I just feel like getting things right is not a priority at this place.

The slightly better things are that she thinks we should be really aggressive this new cycle. She said that I need to be treated like an egg donor -- that the maximum number of eggs is what is important. I thought that was a great analogy. It's a numbers game, and the only way to get a healthy embryo is to have lots and lots of eggs. She is going to try to contact our RE and get a new protocol. If she can't reach him, she's going to contact the doctor in charge of the donor egg program to get me a protocol. This isn't too bad. It's the kind of effort we were looking for.

She also said that the lack of parity in my follicles might have been the problem. I need to find some way to get the follicles to grow at the same rate. She said they may have me stay on the pill a bit longer to try and get that to happen. I wonder if I should have a pre-Lu*pron scan to see if there are any follicles before I even start. I forgot to mention that to her. I could call. But of course, that might just cancel my cycle. But I also don't want to waste one again.

We went to an infertility support group last night. We have never gone to one before and didn't know what to expect. I went thinking there wouldn't be many men, but there were two couples and one woman there. The woman had come last month and there were only women there, so she didn't bring her husband. I think she would have liked for him to have been there. I think it's really great that there were men there. T hasn't had any interaction with men dealing with infertility yet, so I think it was a real positive. We talked about donor insemination/eggs, adoption, and just generally living with infertility. I'm glad we went. I will go again.

The other thing we talked about was acupuncture. I need to do it. It may help the follicles grow more evenly, even. So I need to look to find a place close by. The places the other women had been are a bit far away from me. But I live in (or near) a progressive area, and there has to be someplace near by. I'm going to look into it this week. I should start asap if our cycle is starting soon.

I'm feeling a little bit better now that I have all this information. I don't feel great, but talking about all this stuff out loud for 2 hours last night did help a bunch. I didn't even feel like crying much while there. It was so nice to be surrounded by people who are going through similar things. The online community is great too, but there is just something about sitting in a room of real people and talking to them face to face.

Sunday, April 08, 2007

lots of thinking

Still feeling lazy and unmotivated. T and I had a kind of explosion of emotion on Saturday night about the IF thing. We saw this movie, Pan's Labyrinth, and was just so dark and stirred up such emotion that we ended up letting it all out, I guess. We went out for a nice dinner beforehand, but both of us got a little sad during dinner too. This journey is just so difficult, and it's so difficult for us to hold out any hope. The more I look at the statistics, the more convinced I am that our attempts at treatment won't work. I've said before that I know that they could work -- that's why we're trying. But I'm really not hopeful about it. That being said, while I'm going through treatment there might be times that I have hope. And that doesn't make the failures any less disappointing. Trust me, if these cycles fail I will be extremely disappointed. But the logical place in my head is telling me to be prepared for it.

T and I haven't talked much about what we're going to do if these cycles fail. Personally, I would like to try donor insemination first. It is less expensive than adoption, and you have more control over the genetics of your baby. Plus I would get to experience pregnancy, etc. Since I have been pregnant three times, I have no reason to believe that this alternative wouldn't work for us.

But T feels extremely left out of that process. He feels the loss of the biological connection to his potential children quite acutely. I just don't know how he will handle it. And he doesn't want to try to work through these feelings until we actually are facing it as reality. I need to think about these things in advance, but he doesn't want to deal until they are happening. This leaves me feeling a lot of anxiety.

When we found out about T's bt, he asked me if I resented him for it. Of course I don't because he had no control over this. He didn't choose to have a bt. I said that the only thing I would resent is never having children. I want to raise children. I have known this for as long as I can remember. Before I met T, I was planning on having children on my own if I never got married. Having a family is the most important thing to me.

When I met T, I thought we were all set with this. I had thought through adopting or artificial insemination while still single. But when we got married I thought, as most people do, that we would move forward the old fashioned way, which we thought actually worked at first. Two miscarriages and a diagnosis later, we realized it wouldn't be so easy. But now that we've had another miscarriage and a failed IVF cycle since the diagnosis, things feel different. I have thought about having a child without a biological connection to me. I have thought it through that I want to raise a child no matter what. I'm not sure T has done that. T is an only child and his father is gone. He feels a great loss over this and I don't know what it's going to take for him to overcome it.

I know that he wants to have children no matter what. I know that he loves me and wants me to be happy. He knows that kids no matter what is what I need and he will support that. But there are emotions that go along with it, and I worry that he won't be able to work through all of them before we take steps. My 35th birthday is in one month, and I don't think we should wait before moving forward. I would like to have 2 kids someday.

It's just so much to handle, emotionally. The fertile world is everywhere. Animals have babies, other people have babies, commercials feature families and children. The films we see have pregnant women and children in them. A stupid TV show I watched one day had a pregnancy 'scare'. Everything I do and everything I see reminds me of what I feel like I cannot have. I know all you if-ers out there feel exactly the same way I do about this. It is inevitable if you are struggling to have a child. It's just frustrating that it feels so impossible to get away from it. I need a vacation from this. I just don't know how to find it.

I have been on bcps for a week. I have a follow-up appointment on Tuesday, and am supposedly supposed to start Lu*pron on Saturday or so. So I'm going to have to go through that most difficult part again -- well, aside from the failure part that is. All these feelings are worse on the hormones.

I know I just have to keep my chin up and know that some day, some way we will have a family. But it can be so difficult to keep that goal in mind when everything around you reminds you of what is not. I am trying to relax and keep myself somewhat busy, but I don't find it that helpful. My therapist wants me to join and IF mind/body group, but it meets at a bad time, far away. Maybe I should just get some acupuncture or something. I don't know.

Stop the world, I want to get off.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

where's spring?

It was opening day for my beloved Red Sox on Monday. They did terribly. It was difficult to watch. The second game of the season is tonight and I'm hoping they redeem themselves. It's difficult to believe that baseball is here while the weather is the way it is. It's overcast and chilly. It's the kind of cold that goes through you jacket and seeps into your bones. It's gross. I don't like it. I want sun. I don't mind if it stays cool, but I would like it to be sunny.

I did some gardening and cleaning up of our yard this weekend. It was nice to be out there and digging in the dirt. My perennials are definitely starting to come up, which is nice. The crocuses are in full bloom and our daffodils and tulips are coming up. Our rhododendron is looking particularly sad, so I fertilized it and I hope it will perk up. It looked sad after last winter and that helped it, but it looks even worse than last year. I wonder if we'll have to get a new one. The lilac is budding. We have gravel in our yard that we would like to replace with grass, but somehow I doubt that will happen. I will need help, and it can be difficult to light a fire under T's butt to take care of things. He's a major procrastinator.

It's still a week from my failed cycle visit with the nurse practitioner. In the mean time I feel like I'm spending lots of time with my therapist. I definitely am depressed. It's difficult to light a fire under my butt lately. But last night I did make dinner (a real dinner, not some thrown together crap) and some matzah brickle. It's bad for you, but man is it yummy. That's big for me. I've barely been motivating the last week or so. I keep meaning to use our elliptical, but I haven't. When it's warmer I have been walking, but it's been a few days now. I need to exercise to elevate my mood.

I keep thinking of wanting to get away, but we're so busy I can't find the time. I have a seder with my family (even though it's near the end of Passover) on Saturday. Next Saturday I have a dentist appointment. The Saturday after that is the MS Walk I'm doing with my family (my grandfather had MS and my sister-in-law was diagnosed 5 years ago). Then my mil is coming soon after that and we have to get the house ready for her. The guest bedroom is in shambles and we have a couple of projects to complete in order to make the house livable. This is taking us to the end of May before we'll have any time to get away. And I have a cycle going on somewhere in there. So here we stay. I've got to find some way to get out of the house that isn't work, though. And my knitting group won't meet this week because of Easter.

Please, oh please let the sun come out!