Thursday, December 31, 2009


We are taking a much needed break in California, where I intend to go to the gym like crazy, have several lovely massages-spa treatments, and eat and drink yumminess.

I'm in LA now, which is fun, but I'm super excited to go to one of our fave places and hear the ocean while we are drifing off to sleep. Somehow I believe that being at the ocean will help restore my slightly crushed spirit.

Since I am bberry only for a while, that means that I can read but not comment... So be well and know that I am rooting for all good things for all of you!

Happy new year, and may it bring peace and happiness to each of you.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Moving forward (not so much)

I've titled this post moving forward, but I'm not entirely sure that it's true.

Much though I try to not feel horrible about not succeeding on our very first IVF try (and a very conservative transfer of only 1 5day embryo), I do. I feel horrible, and I am not doing a very good job snapping out of it.

I guess I just thought that, statistics to the contrary, that all of the hard work of the shots and acupuncture, and changing my eating habits, etc, etc. would work. Because they HAD to work. Because I really really wanted it to work and am a nice person and would make a pretty decent parent.

But it didn't, and I am just miserably unhappy about it.

I've been trying to do things that make me feel better, but instead I am just lying about wallowing. And eating cake. While baking the cake was fun and therapeutic, eating the cake is making me feel like a cow, despite the fact that I have gone back to the gym twice since Thursday (and I swear I am going today, just not until I eat another piece of cake.)

And tonight we have a birthday dinner for a friend from college and I've just been told that she is likely to announce her pregnancy to the whole group (she's about to hit 12 weeks). I'm really happy for her, but now just sadder for me. And I'm not sure whether I feel happier or sadder that she got pregnant naturally, after having conceived her first child through IVF and then recently failing an IVF cycle with frozen embryos and having none left on ice to work with. Because while I do think it's amazing and wonderful for her, I'm not sure why a little of that luck can't come my way. Why can't I catch that break?

At least today I spoke to the RE and got the green light to move ahead on the FET... today is day 2 and on day 21 I will start Lu.pron (fun!) for a transfer in Feb. But February? That is eons away. I can't believe how long everything takes. Infuckingfuriating.

Oh yeah, and did I mention that I had a ridiculous fight with the Boy that I basically started because I was unhappy about the recent pregnancy news? So just when I need him to hug/ talk me back into feeling ok, he's out running errands and cooling down? Fuck. This sucks. I wish I could just be happy for people instead of feeling sorry for myself all the time. (I know -- I can do that, but right now it's just hard.)

Fuck. Fuck. Fuck.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Snake eyes

It didn't take.
Needless to say, we are pretty disappointed.

I'm trying not to wallow (although I just bought all of the ingredients to bake a cake tomorrow, so I guess that's sort of wallowing...) but I'm sad. And I feel sorry for myself. And generally resent the people who just get pregnant really easily.

The bright side?
- we have 2 5day blastocysts hanging out in the freezer
- we took a very conservative approach this time (only put one embryo back in) so statistically, this was more likely to not work than to work
- It was only our very first try with either IVF or IUI, so we learned something about how I respond to the stimulation drugs (and I responded pretty well, also a good thing).
- On our vacation over new year's, I can sit in the steam room/ sauna/ hot tub all I want, and I can drink.

That's all the bright side I can come up with. I'm sounding better than I feel, but I'm guessing that soon the effort will be too much and I will get all weepy again.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Back to CVS

Today is 7dp5dt.

I made a special snowy trip out to the drugstore because I am going nutty.
And when I got there, I stood in front of the home pregnancy test section for about 5 minutes today, debating to buy or not to buy.

I chose to not buy.

I am seriously frozen by fear by the possibility of knowing the outcome. I'd rather just get my period and find out that way.

I've googled every possible symptom I am having, and they are all related to progesterone, so there is no reason to believe that they are real and not due to the 200mg I am taking daily.

My gut says to be prepared for a negative on Wednesday.

On the plus side, I got a job. More on that another time, but I am pretty pleased!

Friday, December 18, 2009

Double Ouch

Ever since about 4 hours after the trigger shot, my boobs have been killing me. That's how I knew the HCG was in my bloodstream, because I got up from the sofa and immediately flung a protective arm across my chest.

This is not your average "I'm about to get my period" hurting, this is no shit "if I don't strap these down in a jogbra they may break off" hurting. And it's not getting better at all... And may be getting worse. Case in point, I am wearing my pajamas and my jogbra. To bed. Again. I would wear the bra in the shower if I could.

I wish I could say "ooh look, an early symptom that this worked" but since it's been going on since before ET, even at my most delusional I don't think that I would buy that logic.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Final count

Another one made it to freeze, so we have 2 5-day blastocysts on ice.

Not bad for an old girl, I guess. I'm just hoping that all of the attrition is done, and that each of the 3 left is good baby-making material.

Since I am pretty quantitative, here's the final rundown, with numbers:

18 eggs retrieved
17 fertilized via ICSI (94% retained)
10 fertilized on day 1 (59% retained, 55% of retrieved total)
8 still going on day 3 (80% retained, 44% of retrieved total)
5 blastocysts on day 5 (62% retained, 28% of retrieved total)
3 good enough to freeze/ use (60% retained, 17% of retrieved total)

So our percentage attrition from retrieval to "good enough at 5 days enough to possibly become a baby"? 83%.

(incidentally, as I was re-reading this, I had a "12 days of Christmas" moment. So now I am humming that to myself with the words replaced. Oy.)

I wish like hell there was some place where I could compare these numbers to some sort of averages and then see associated live birth rates based on numbers of embryos transferred. Because I am in the throes of an obsessive Google-a-thon, and that sort of data, or an article that talks all about regressions and correlations is just what I need to keep occupied.

(If any of you know of such data, please let me know where I can find it!!)

I think I am going to step away from the keyboard and bake something. Seriously, my fingers are going to start to bleed soon from too much typing.

Monday, December 14, 2009

I'm weirdly calm about today's transfer. Actually, aside from some low-grade anxiety yesterday about how the embryos were doing, I have kind of enjoyed this process the last few days. Because there is nothing I can do at this point, and so stressing out is only going to make things worse. Mostly I am just focusing on creating a warm, comfy nest for the embryo to snug into.

So here's the deets:
As of this morning there were 2 blastocysts grade 4bb and 3 others that were also that same grade, but didn't quite look as good. So we went with our gut and transfered the best looking one. We definitely have one on ice, and the three others were going to be looked at again late today to make a decision on whether they are good enough to also freeze.

I'd be lying if I said I wasn't a little bit worried this morning when they told us that the embryos weren't super high quality, but like I said, there's nothing I can do at this point, and so today I've been lying around all day thinking about how I am going to keep busy during the next 9 days.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

And now we are 8

As of yesterday morning, our 10 embryos had gone to 8, and all of them looked pretty good. Good enough that they waved me off of a three day transfer and we are going in tomorrow morning for a 5-day version.

Things I am anxious about, but can do nothing to control:

- I have no idea what they looked like on Saturday am (were they 4, 6, 8 cell??) because I was awakened from a fairly deep sleep by the call from the RE's office to tell us to not show up and, well, I'm not at my best at that time. All I know is that the RE who called said that there were still 8 embryos still in the game, and they all looked alike enough that it would be hard to choose which ones to select at this stage, therefore waiting until 5 days would allow the better embryos to present themselves. Which is all good, and makes sense. But I wish I had asked where they were in their splitting. And unless you have an emergency, it's pretty much impossible to get anyone to talk to you on the weekend. So I know nada about where they were on Saturday.

- I know that there will be more attrition between Saturday and tomorrow, and that is what is supposed to happen, but what if they ALL are gone by the time I get there? I made a lot of eggs, and I know that number of eggs produced and age are the two most important prognostic indicators of ivf success, but AAARGH it makes me sort of anxious that they all might suck, since I am now 39.6 years old.

What has really taken up most of our time thinking about is how many to transfer. We have a strong bias against multiples. That's just our personal perspective, and its informed by our own situation and experiences, so we have been thinking through all of our options for this round. We're also really lucky in that a relative is a RE at a big clinic in Boston, and he was in town and we were able to spend a lot of time with him today asking questions and discussing our options.

So it really all comes down to what the little guys look like tomorrow. Nothing to do at this point but take my progesterone and wait....

Thursday, December 10, 2009

10 little indians

As of this afternoon, we have 10 fertilized embryos hanging out in a dish in the lab. Apparently they did ICSI on 17 eggs, and 10 took. Not a bad batting average.

We are scheduled for a transfer Saturday (3rd day), but they will call us early Saturday am if they want us to wait until Monday. I guess they schedule everyone for 3 day transfer, and then take a look at what is happening on the morning of Day 3 and make a decision.

It's kind of bizarre to think that little clumps of cells that could one day be a child are sitting in a lab right now. The Boy refuses to get emotionally invested and thinks its all some combination of hocus pocus and scientific theory until I'm officially pregnant, but I can't help be sort of excited that the cellular building blocks of our potential offspring officially exist already.

On the more prosaic matter of how I'm feeling, well, I'm feeling much less crampy than yesterday (there were a couple of moments that made my eyes water), but still am all swollen and bloated. I'm really starting to miss the gym (which I think is actually shocking, and I deserve a medal for even writing that). I'd love to get back there, but the RE and nurses made me promise to wait a few more days.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Retrieval day - updated

18 eggs were retrieved today, which I am feeling very positive about. I'm sure that there will be attrition in fertilization, etc, but it makes me pretty psyched that we are starting with a large number.

The drama this morning came when, as I was sitting in the recovery room.... Long story short, but all worked out, and its a good thing we live only 10min by car from the RE :-).

And now? Lovely husband made me brunch and I am parked on the sofa with a heating pad and a whole lot of liquids. There is definitely a nap and a movie in my near future. So far, I feel pretty ok, but have had a couple brief episodes of rather spectacular cramping. Somehow, I didn't expect that. But I'm just pleased that now my grapefruit-sized ovaries can shrink back down and stop being so uncomfortable.

There was a nap, and 2 fluffy movies, and the boy made dinner and bought me an enourmous cupcake. Yippee!

Monday, December 7, 2009

34 - Update

34 is the number of needles that will be inserted into me by the time I go to bed this evening. Here's the breakdown:
-1 blood draw
- 30 acupuncture needles to keep energy happily circulating
- 1 pre-filled gan.irelix syringe (and does anyone else find those needles not as sharp as you might wish?)
- 1 and meno.pur cocktail
- 1 ovidr.el shot later tonight

Yep -- tonight is the night and I would be lying if I said I wasn't somewhat nervous about the monster needle. I'm also somewhat nervous about the Boy wielding said needle, since he has done exactly zero of my injections and keeps talking about the syringe like it's a javelin or something. So if you hear screaming at 9.35 EST, that will be me after my husband takes a running stab at my rear.

After an anxiety-producing slow start, it looks like there are about 10 follicles over 15mm on the right (largest are at 19mm) and about 6 on the left (largest also around 19mm), but some are smaller and likely won't catch up. Honestly, I kind of lost count, since there was a certain amount of discomfort from the vagicam required to get those numbers. But whatever it is, it's more than zero, and that makes me happy.

I'm just trying to relax and feel part of the process and not obsess. I think I might watch a movie or two just to keep my mind off of things...

We're on our way!

Updated: shot wasn't that big a deal! The Boy was so nervous that I actually ended up doing most of it -- he was in charge of the plunger and then pulling it out. I have to admit that I watched about 10 online videos before he came home to prep, so was mostly prepared.

Yay for us!

Friday, December 4, 2009

My walk home

This is an older photo from earlier this year when the leaves were still on the trees, but I took the same walk home today and this was my view. (This photo has pretty cruddy resolution since it was taken from my bberry, but you generally get it.)

Today was my official last day at work, and even though I don't know what's coming next, I am at peace with my decision to leave.

Perfect evening.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Mind over matter

Last night I went to dinner and a play with my MIL. We saw Let Me Down Easy by Anna Deveare Smith, which was really excellent. Depressing, but excellent. And while it did address the inequities in our health care system, as well death and dying, it wasn't a total downer, and in some ways was very empowering. So if you can, go see it.

Today, when I woke up, what was in my head was the Ann Richards character saying "It's all in my head, whether I have a good day or not." And so today I was determined to have a good day, because if she can have a good day even while fighting a losing battle with cancer, I should be able to get my whiny act together and have a good day too.

And so it was a good day, and is still a good day, and hopefully I will go to sleep and still feel content.

The follicles will be what they are, and this cycle will be what it is, and I'm doing everything I can (acupuncture, no caffeine, lots of sleep, lots of water, moderate exercise, blah blah blah) and so worrying about it isn't actually helping.

I really want to hold on to this sense of peace, even just for a couple of days.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009


I'm feeling a bit sad and wistful today. Couple of things going on, I think, and so I'm sure I will just ride this out, but I can't exactly say I am enjoying it.

My formal last day of work is Friday. That means I have to give back the laptop and bberry. Also, since we use lotus notes, that means that if I want to save an email, I have to forward it to my personal account. Hence, I have spent the last several hours reading through over 5 years of old emails and choosing especially important ones to forward on and save. There's a lot of history in there, and I'm so sentimental that even making a decision to delete some of these is hard. Basically, I am shutting a door on part of my life, and that always makes me sad. I'm very happy to be leaving, and am essentially already gone, but it's just weird to say goodbye to a place that, for all of its challenges, was one of the best places I could have ever hoped to work.

Other reason for sadness? Aside from the gloomy grey weather? Had a talk with one of the REs today in response to my concern about the low follicle count. She agrees it isn't the response that they expected, given my numbers, etc., but is still pretty comfortable that we could get a few good quality embryos out of this cycle, assuming the little guys catch up to the bigger follicles. I guess we will know a lot more tomorrow, but I don't exactly feel a whole lot better about things. So I am just trying not to obsess about what my ovaries are doing.

I guess through all of this, what provided some comfort was that all of my numbers were very good and that I appeared to respond well to at least some of the drugs. And now that things are a little less positive? I am not sure what to think any more about the likelihood that this will work. I guess I'm just becoming convinced that this won't be easy at all (yeah -- that was clearly naivete on my part) and that I may not be one of those women who get lucky on their first cycle.

Breathe in. Breathe out. This will work. Maybe not on the first time, but it will work.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

First stim check

Things appear to be moving along, which is pretty good. From this morning's US (after 5 days of and men.opur) here's what we see:
-right ovary: 2 follicles < 10mm
- left ovary: 1 at 13mm, 1 at 12mm, 1 at 11mm, 2 < 10mm
- lining 6mm

I know it's early, and I'm sure I'm just being my annoying overacheiver self, but wtf is with the right ovary? Seriously, this isn't all that great, and it makes me worried about this cycle.

Trying to relax, and went to acupuncture and had a good sleep, but still not entirely sanguine about these numbers.