Friday, January 22, 2010

Welcome mat

Hi there!

I am rolling out the welcome mat for ICLW, so here's a little bit of a summary of who I am and what's going on:

me: 39.5 years old (and that 0.5 is starting to make me anxious), NYC-living who has been TTC unsuccessfully since Sep 2008 with 45-yo lovely husband. Both of us check out 99.5% fine (ok, maybe some of the sperm are a little funny looking, but not a huge deal) so the fact that we can't make this work is super frustrating.

our IF history:
- try naturally for a while. No dice.
- try with clomid for several months. Nope.
- try again naturally for a bit after I get a full blood workup, and before we steel ourselves to begin IVF. Still nothing.
- do first IVF cycle in Nov-Dec 2009. Start with agonist (lup.ron) protocol, but get functional cyst, so stop cycle and wait. Then begin antagonist (ganir.elix) protocol. Retrieve 18 eggs, fertilize 17, and end up with 3 pretty good looking day-5 blastocysts. Transfer 1 and freeze 2. You guessed it: nada. Happy new year to us!
- wait for day 21 and begin lup,ron again for FET cycle, with transfer date of mid-Feb. (wrote most of this while waiting for u/s to ensure no new cyst. All clear!)

So there you have it. Just two older folks trying to breed... nothing much interesting going on.


Tuesday, January 19, 2010


There. I wrote it out as a full word. And now I am going to use it in a sentence: I am infertile. I think I've been kind of kidding myself that this really had nothing to do with me, and that I was just the victim of statistics, but I don't think that's really reasonable any more. And also, because twice so far this week I have felt like screaming "I know it would be great to have kids, but I'm fucking infertile."

Since Sunday, two very nice men, one an old friend from college who I hadn't seen in years, and one my dentist who happens to be my age and the brother of a former work colleague (so we are friendlier than one normally is with one's dentist), have told me how much they enjoy parenthood in the city, and how great it really is, and how I should really consider having kids, since it's really just super fabulous and the best thing they have ever done. Sigh.

But what really got me is that my old college friend brought his 3 year old daughter with him to our coffee date Sunday, and she was adorable, and he told me that "I was a natural" with her, and the waitress told me I had an adorable little girl.

And this little girl had this habit of putting her hand on my cheek to get my attention whenever it was not on her, and that warm, soft little hand on my face was one of the most wonderful things ever, and I don't even know this girl. In fact, just recalling it makes me cry, because I want that so badly.

So I'm going to wipe my eyes and blow my nose and go shoot up another night of lup.ron. Because while I may be a natural with kids, I'm certainly no natural in getting pregnant.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Frustrated, part deux

Alas the clinic was closed today, so I couldn't reschedule the appointment for our RE, but yesterday (Sunday) I did get this message from patient services:

Hi! It says in your file we can leave confidential messages on your voicemail, so I just wanted to followup nurse K's call and tell you that since you need a sonohystogram, I've scheduled it right after your consult with the RE on Tuesday. Please call me with any questions."

So I admit, when I heard the annoying nurse's message Saturday afternoon, I deleted it after hearing my blood tests were good to go but before listening to the entire thing, so I missed the whole SHG requirement, so it's pretty good that patient services kindly followed up.

But, umm, isn't the point of the SHG to look at my uterus? Because Tuesday will be day 24 of my cycle, and I'm pretty sure it's not all that good looking in there right now. In fact, everything I see from Dr. is that the SHG should take place between the end of one's period and ovulation. And ladies, as you well know, Day 24 is not there. I was there earlier this month, and could have come in then, and I ostensibly will be there again, but now, well, now it's just kind of a hassle, especially b/c I'm starting a new job in one week, and would prefer not to take a lot of time off. So unless there is something in my Saturday bloodwork that has indicated an SHG is necessary, I'm just wondering why I didn't get asked to do it BEFORE now, and before I started the drugs again. Because what if they find something that will make this FET a bad idea? Then this waiting and lup.ron will have not been very useful, now, will it?

Sigh. I shall just call tomorrow. And be put on hold, and then talk to a nurse, who I hope is a lot nicer than nurse K.

Saturday, January 16, 2010


First, thanks to you for your many thoughtful comments on my last post - you gave me some good stuff to think about. In fact, I tool some of your very helpful questions with me yesterday morning when I went to the RE.

Pretty much the only thing that went right about the appt was that the bus came right as I got to the stop, so it was a quick commute at 700am on a Saturday. The rest, well, that was a shit show.

1) At my clinic, which is more and more reminiscent of the DMV, morning monitoring is done on a first-come, first-served basis. So you get there, fill out a little slip of why you are there, and then wait to be called by first name only (for privacy, of course). I checked the box "starting a frozen embryo transfer cycle." Then the crack receptionist looked at it and asked me why I was there, to which I responded "I'm starting a frozen transfer cycle today." And then, instead of sending me to billing to make sure I was all paid up (still no copay, people!), she told me to wait. While waiting, about 1000 people arrived. Then a nurse called me and said "why are you here?" to which I responded "I'm here to start an FET cycle, just like I checked on the sign in sheet." And then the receptionist wheeled around and yelled "You said you were here for your transfer." Ummm, no sweetie, that's not what I said, and I also checked off the fucking correct box on the stupid ass piece of paper you gave me, so if you bothered to read it, that should have prevented this misunderstanding before we started.

So then they sent me to billing. Behind the hordes who had arrived while I was waiting. Then the nurse calls me to do b/w, but I'm still in the billing line, so it's a whole big ordeal to get me to the front of the line before I go back, and it all sounds really petty and small, but it's 730am on a Saturday, and I am at a damn cattle call and I don't like it.

2) After b/w they sent me back to the waiting room to wait for an u/s room. And in walks a couple with their stroller and they park next to me. Yep. They brought in a small child (around 9 months, or so maybe) and that child immediately started screaming, so then was picked up and bounced on the lap of the woman next to me. Because that's what I want at the RE -- to sit next to a woman bouncing a baby on her lap.

3) I had my U/S (all clear) and then had to wait AGAIN to speak to a nurse to go over the protocol. By the time they called me, it was 830am. I got there at 720. I've been sitting next to a woman with a baby, and I'm not even going to talk about the couple across from me (it will make me seem mean and petty, so I won't share. But just let me say, it made it feel more and more like a bloody circus there. And not a good circus, but a kind where the clowns are all scary and you feel like you need to wash your hands.) So I get instructions that say "take lu.pron for 2 week and then come back and we will check up on you."

I thought it would be pretty reasonable to ask about the full protocol, just so I knew the dates, etc. The nurse gave me such attitude about how they really didn't need to do that now since nothing will happen until 2 weeks from now, etc. etc., that I was practically stunned into silence. But only practically, because I have a lot of questions, and I used this opportunity to share them all:
- I need to know the dates for monitoring and transfer, so that I can plan the rest of my life (including my new job) around this process
- why put me on a lup.ron protocol since it gave me a cyst last time?
- if we stay on this protocol, can I come in for monitoring before 2 weeks to check on cysts, so I lose less time if there is one?
- does this FET process really need to take a full 4.5 weeks? And why didn't we start on Day 2? I thought we were going as quickly as possible?
- Can you tell me the grading of the embryos that we have on ice? Can you be specific?

Now, I know that a lot of these questions are more appropriately for the RE herself (and the nurse was able to answer only the first), but was sort of at wit's end yesterday since I've tried to get the RE on the phone and couldn't do better than trading messages, so when the nurse refused to show me the embryology report, I pretty much lost my patience. I then waited more time to speak to "patient services" who really are just there to prevent people like me from publicly losing their shit.

So after unloading on patient services, I set up an appointment with the next avail RE in the practice for Tuesday. Alas, the Boy would rather speak to our RE, since aside from all of the BS, we really do quite like her. So tomorrow I will reschedule for my RE, and in the meantime, still take the lu.pron, and wait for transfer in mid-Feb.

Is it bad that the crazy has already come back to visit before I even started the lu.pron? That's probably not a good omen for the next few weeks....

Friday, January 15, 2010


I'm going in tomorrow morning for my baseline monitoring, and to get the full schedule for the FET. Hopefully everything will look just lovely in the nether regions (ovaries nice and calm, uterus doing, I dunno, what ever it is supposed to) and I will begin lup.ron tomorrow night.

Right now, the Boy and are having a discussion over how many of the embryos to transfer, and I fear that we are never going to agree.

Here's the situation: we really really don't want twins, and we really really don't want to have to "reduce" a multiple pregnancy. (Please please bear in mind that this is totally based on our personal situation, and has nothing whatsoever to do with anyone else's choices, current pregnancies, etc., but is just a discussion about what is right for us as a family.)

Now, as you may recall, we chose to transfer only 1 day 5 blast after our first IVF in Nov/ Dec. Obviously, it didn't take. We have two more on ice. The Boy is more anti-twin than I am , and is leaning very strongly towards transferring only 1 again. My perspective is different -- we have 2 on ice, and I'd like to use them both.

None of the 3 blasts (the one we used or the two frozen) are "excellent" quality; the way our lab rates them, they were all "good", but that wasn't too troubling, since our clinic only grades 10% of all blasts as "excellent".

And I know that, whether the embryos are going to work or not is essentially already determined, so whether we do the two at the same time or one after another, we have essentially the same likelihood of getting pregnant, but it just takes longer.

But I'm getting older by the day, and I think that (a) I'm getting older and while I responded well, my fertile years are not unlimited and (b) I could make a lot of really crap eggs, and we aren't going to get that diagnostic information very quickly if we only transfer one at a time, and (c) there is a physical and emotional toll that this takes on me/ us that I'd prefer to avoid repeating unnecessarily.

Any one have any ideas here? To be honest, we are sort of deadlocked, which is very rare for us.

(Note how evenhanded I am being in the presentation of this argument... turns out the Boy loves reading the blog, so it seems imprudent to call him a stubborn pain in the rear... :-) )

Tuesday, January 12, 2010


I went back to acupuncture today for the first time since right after the transfer of Dec. While I was really really really looking forward to the relaxation, I have to admit I was kind of dreading telling them that the cycle didn't work, and that I was starting on a FET cycle later this week.

For some reason, I just felt embarrassed it didn't work, as if it was something I didn't do right. Now, I know that's kinda crazy, and that I really am doing all that I can, but, well, there it was anyway. I guess part of the way I am dealing with it not working is by creating a logic by which it was significantly more likely NOT to work. Like "no, it's not that I'm old and have old eggs, but just that we only transferred one blastocyst, so we knew it might not work this first time. It has nothing to do with my inability to make a decent egg or provide a hospitable environment for the embryo to grow. Really, we were just doing a test run."

Which is of course only partially true -- there was nothing "test" about it, and I really did believe and hope like hell that it would work. But I feel better if I spin it to myself as if it were destined not to have worked.

But they were lovely about it, and said nice supportive things, and then we got on with it. She got to work on my lower back, which has been KILLING me, and has been "blocking energy to my abdomen" or some such thing. All I know is that a few of the needles in my but/ hips were really quite, well, something. It was clear that they were hitting some sort of sensitive spots. And yet even with all of the initial discomfort, and feeling like I had a porcupine sitting on my rear, I fell sound asleep, which was awesome. And I feel better. It's a marginal improvement, but I'll take it.

To top off an overall good afternoon, I wandered across the street to grab a decaf at the star.bucks. And guess what? They still had eggnog lattes on the menu! I seriously have asked at every single 'bucks in NYC, and there it was, right across from the acupuncturist! So even though it's a small triumph, I am still (6 hours later) quite happy about it.

So more loosening of the back/ abdomen on Thursday, in anticipation for the commencement of the FET... going in for initial monitoring on Saturday, and hoping to start lu.pron (did I just say that? That shit made me *crazy*) that night!

It's been a long few weeks of waiting since the negative right before Christmas. Honestly, I'm just beyond excited to get started again.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Heroic effort

I should get a gold star for today. Seriously, I am patting myself on the back. Because today I not only entered a toy store/children's clothing store, but I bought a gift and then took an hour-long subway ride to visit a friend's new baby.

So yeah, send that gold star my way any time now, because holding someone else's 7 week old baby? Yeah, that stung a bit.

And for extra special bonus points, the friend with the baby is the same one who had high FSH and was so worried that she couldn't get pregnant, and talked talked talked about it even though she had a 1-year old daughter. But apparently, one round of clo.mid and an IUI was all it took for baby number 2.

So why, when I have rock-star FSH levels am I visiting her and her two kids? What's going on with that?

Anyway, I hung out for a couple of hours and then high-tailed it to the gym. I would have loved a kickboxing class, but made do with the elliptical machine. No one seemed to mind my muttering under my breath about life not being fair; good thing everyone was wearing headphones.

I'm actually viewing the gym as a gift. Crazy, but I think I earned a good workout after this rather trying day.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010


We are back. We had a ton of fun, so that was good.

But now? It unbearably cold here, and it's a bit of a shock since it was 70 and sunny Sunday in Laguna Beach.

I'm not feeling very much like writing much, but am pleased to see that loads of people are doing well and moving forward with transfers, BFPs, etc -- all very exciting!

Me, though? I'm waiting 11 days to start lu.pron and trying to get back on the workout/ eat right bandwangon. But I'm feeling sort of blah about things, so don't have that much to share.

That pretty much how I feel about nearly everything. Just blah.