Archives

Square One

Not sure really where to begin, but here goes…

In the fall I did my last IVF hurrah.  IVF#5.  I threw EVERYTHING into it and resolved to question every one of my doctor’s decisions.   I recorded every follicle measurement and hormone level.  A few hours before I was supposed to trigger, I called the RE in an impassioned state and asked her to make sure, like REALLY sure, that our timings were spot on– and she noticed THREE errors related to our trigger/retrieval protocol, which she corrected, thank heavens.

After all that, we got 8 eggs, and only 1 fertilized.  We decided not to risk traumatizing it by doing PGD so we transferred a really beautiful embryo, the most beautiful we have ever produced, really early on Day 3.

Alas, no baby.  We left no stone unturned, and there were no babies under any stones.

The RE said that my egg quality is so poor that, from now on, our results will just continue to get worse.  “You have the eggs of a 43-year-old,” she said off-handedly.

In some ways, I feel we’re back to Square One.  (Loved that TV show as a kid.  Mathnet rocked!)  Have 4+ years of TTC been wasted?  Maybe, maybe not.

And where ARE we now?  Gathering information.  Deciding whether to adopt or to choose an egg donor.  On the egg donation front, I’ve been browsing the profiles of egg donors on several different websites, feeling guilty for dismissing perfectly nice girls because their noses are too big, or because they have the wrong color eyes, or because they lack something else similarly superficial that suddenly becomes embarrassingly important.

On the adoption front, I called the state adoption office today and talked with a very nice, smart lady who explained the process of adoption from foster care.  I know we can adopt infants or international children too, but right now I feel a pull towards foster kids, probably because their photos/pictures/videos are posted online and I can actually see some of those kids fitting into our lives.  Kyle feels a pull toward international.

My feelings are definitely mixed about all this.  As I heard recently on a TED talk about making decisions, THERE IS NO PERFECT DECISION.  I look forward to getting past this scary decision-making part so that we can welcome a child, of any variety, into our family.

❤ -H

 

 

 

Advertisements

Evanescence

OK, so the title has nothing to do with my post today, but I couldn’t think of a title, so I asked K to name a random word and ‘evanescence’ is what he chose. If you feel so inclined to look it up, it is absolutely something that I experienced with my first miscarriage, and it’s totally worth exploring in the future.

Anyway…

I’ve been working on a draft FOR EVER, but it seems that I have so much to say and way too little time to organize my thoughts. That big post is going to have to digest for a while longer before I figure out a palatable way to present it to the world. 🙂

Meanwhile, our poor girl kitty Bernstein leapt off the loft railing in pursuit of a moth, fell to the lower level, and injured her hind leg. The x-rays show no fractures, but she is still in pain 10 days later. The vet refilled her pain prescription today and she is a bit more comfortable but still limping everywhere and sometimes growling if another cat gets too close. Overall, though, I must say she’s been a great patient. She put herself on kitty bed rest and has never lashed out at us when we’ve tried to help. Here she is, looking sad while waiting for the vet:.

20140528-003335-2015251.jpg

In the fertility world, I’m SURE I had implantation spotting one week ago, but after 6 days in a row of negative pee sticks, AF finally arrived today. I might try a Clomid cycle this month. Fingers crossed.

Thinking of you all. ❤

More RAM, please

Well, my kitty Bing just curled up in my lap with a vengeance, so I’m taking it as a sign that I should take a moment to write.

This week has been extremely tough for me. Several big work projects piled up for May and I just can’t seem to keep up mentally or physically. I’ve tried to carve out a little bit of relaxation time, but then I just end up feeling MORE anxious about getting everything done and MORE guilty that I’m not doing it. My mental CPU has so many things to process that everything in my head is running slowly and burning out the motor. Infertility always runs in the background, making me less capable of functioning well when presented with other stressors. I need more RAM!

A good friend pointed out that I have a tendency to take on new projects without letting something else go. I do this with work projects, of course, but also with big life changes. For example, getting married and moving into a bigger house requires more housework. Making appointments to try new violas takes time. My new chamber music concert series takes planning. Blogging takes mental capacity. And TTC takes A LOT of time, energy, money, and headspace. I had shaved some things off my schedule, but as evidenced by the way I’ve felt this week, it’s not nearly enough. In the absence of more RAM, I must delete some programs from my system.

Part of my problem is that, since I work mostly from home, my work follows me wherever I go, even when I think I’m relaxing.

Next steps to internal zen: Take less work. Separate work from pleasure! ❤

P.S. I'm sorely disappointed in the NCIS show for what they did with Palmer's infertility storyline. Poof, there is a bun in the oven! Grrrrr.

Expecting A Miracle (Barf!)

The mountains of clean laundry to be folded and stowed were beginning to suffocate me, so I flipped on the TV while I worked in the bedroom.

The first program that came up was a movie called Expecting A Miracle, starring Jason Priestly. The movie sucked me in before I realized it was about infertility. I changed the channel, pronto, but for some reason, the movie kept pulling me back.

The story: Rather than pay for yet another round of IVF, an infertile couple decides to use their remaining IVF savings for a needy little boy’s health care. A few weeks later, POOF, they’re pregnant. Cut to the closing credits.

See, they just relaxed, and it happened! Like magic. Because they DESERVED it for being selfless.

Well, Mr. Movie Producer, I would like to inform you that:

1. Whether or not a woman gets pregnant has NOTHING to do with how relaxed she is.
2. As much as I really, really wish it were so, Being A Good Person doesn’t help you, either.
3. Just because a previously infertile woman gets a positive result on an HPT does not mean her infertility journey is suddenly over.
4. The nobility of making an after-school-special-style movie about infertility is negated when you oversimplify the topic.

That is all! ❤

Feline Mental Health Break :)

Back in mid-February when the nurses told us that our 3rd beta indicated a non viable pregnancy (Poof), we put in an application to adopt a 3rd cat (mentioned briefly in Go In Peace.)  A week later, we welcomed Bing into our home.

 

Bing

 

Bing has been such a loving addition to our fur baby family.  He’s sweet, cuddly and playful and he follows us wherever we go. He and our other male cat, Debussy, get along famously:

 

image

 

…and Bing can often be observed cleaning Debussy:

image

 

Our third kitty, Bernstein, who is actually a very sweet female calico/tortoiseshell under normal conditions, felt very threatened at first but is finally STARTING to warm up to Bing.  Her hissing is down to about once every other day.  🙂

image

 

So happy to have our little cuddle balls.  There’s nothing like unconditional love to make our fertility struggle a little more tolerable!  ❤

A House, A Child, And A Viola: Two Out Of Three Ain’t Bad

Well, after my last post about Moving Forward, it appears that throwing away all those empty vials of medicine really did give me some respite from the otherwise constant stress of infertility. There have been days I haven’t thought about it at all. There have also been moments when the idea of taking care of a kid totally exhausts me and I start wondering if we should just count our blessings and scrap the baby-making entirely.

AF arrived and now we’re back to TTC naturally, but without thinking about it too much. I finally got my new insurance card in the mail yesterday, so it’s time to set up my next appointment with the RE to start IVF #5.

With some of my mental capacity freed up from infertility, I made a huge decision: I am upgrading my viola. This might not sound like such a big deal, but fine instruments are so expensive that most professionals have to choose between a viola and a house. No joke. We are talking about going from the viola I bought in college for $10k (by scraping together scholarship money and working every summer in a crappy office job) to an instrument costing possibly TEN TIMES that or more. (If you think that’s expensive, check out this article about a $45 million Stradivarius viola coming up for auction this. June). With all the fertility business going on, it has always seemed like the wrong time for a nice viola, but with the help of my therapist, a good friend, our financial advisor, and of course K (and his new better-paying job), I finally admitted that a new viola is not just something I want, it’s something I NEED and more importantly, DESERVE for both my career and my soul. (More on these thoughts at a later date.) We’ll probably take out a 30-year loan for musicians and pay anywhere from $300 to $550/month after a down payment. It’s a major commitment.

Interestingly, making a financial decision like this is based a whole lot on faith that our fertility journey is going to work itself out without any more giant expenses. But I feel surprisingly fine about that. We can still handle some additional financial curveballs, but this is my very brave way of saying that my life goes on -happily!- without children. I am allowed to make a major business decision without my kids, and I don’t have to choose between them and a viola. ❤

Moving Forward (Not Moving On!)

During my first IVF cycle, I decided that my child’s baby book should TOTALLY have a photo of all those empty vials of medicine.  “Look at what we went through to have you,” I imagined us saying.  Of course I also fantasized that there would be little to no reaction from our young ‘un, and that, years later, we’d be lucky just to get an eye roll from our teen.  But when my adult child was having children -our grandchildren, think of that!- THAT’s when our effort would be truly appreciated.  Maybe they’d even say, “Wow, Mom, I can’t believe how barbaric the reproductive technology was back then!  Now we use hyposprays!  Medicine has come such a long way!”

When the first cycle failed and we started our second one, I thought, “This is going to be such a GREAT picture!  So dramatic!”  And I kept saving all those little bottles and pens.

During the third cycle, I went to the Dollar Store and bought special Tupperware for all the vials.  The fourth cycle filled ’em all to the brim.  This photo was getting expensive.  And f*cking annoying.

Containers of empty medicine bottles stayed on my bathroom shelf for two years.  Every time I sat on the toilet, four failed IVF cycles glared back at me, directly at eye level.

Until yesterday.

Yesterday I realized that I’ve passed the point where a photo is impressive or funny; it is now depressing.  Looking at the vials is depressing.  Waiting to take the photo is depressing.  Wondering what our guests must think is depressing.

I thought of moving them to the garage, but I knew they’d be there, lurking in a dark corner, waiting to jump out and surprise me at any moment.

So I chucked ’em.  Didn’t even recycle (gasp).  Except for the Gonal-F pens; they still have a little medication inside, so they’ll go to Town Hall for unused medication collection.

Call me a masochist, but I couldn’t help counting everything first.  I used little hatch marks on two pages of a mini memo pad, which took me 1/2 hour.  Every container seemed like it just HAD to be the last one.  I sat on the floor in the exact spot of my first miscarriage in 2011.

Here’s my list:

  • 4 HCG trigger shots
  • 4 Bacteriostatic water
  • 12 bottles Cetrotide
  • 1 multidose Progesterone-in-Oil
  • 1 multidose Lupron
  • 11 boxes of Ganarelix
  • 2 bottles Methylprednisone
  • 2 bottles Doxycycline
  • 2 bottles Estrace
  • 58 bottles of Sodium Chloride
  • TWO HUNDRED bottles of Menopur
  • 19 Gonal-F pens (a.k.a. Liquid Gold)
  • 4 filled sharps containers (to be brought to Medical Sharps Collection Day next week)
  • (That disgusting Crinone stuff was never on my radar because I coudn’t wait to forget about it.)

Already a great weight has been lifted off my heart.  Next Monday when the trash truck rolls through, I’ll wave good riddance to my previous failures.

I’m moving forward to the next part of our plan, which is an IVF cycle WITHOUT the embryo-killing PGD.  My new health insurance kicks in today.  AF had better get here soon so we can get this show on the road!  ❤

—AND—

A great big THANK YOU goes to The Stirrup Queen for including my blog in her index of fertility blogs, which you can find here:

The Stirrup Queen’s Completely Anal List of Blogs That Proves That She Really Missed Her Calling as a Personal Organizer

You can ask to have your blog added, too, or you can go to the Lost & Found section where you can simply give support to someone who needs it.  (I’ll be posting her website address more prominently on my blog.)