Thursday, December 17, 2009

It's That Time of the Year Again

Yes, it's the holiday time. DH's work Christmas party is this evening and we have a 7am flight tomorrow to go back home for a week for Christmas and all that jazz. Our bed is full of my clothes because I can't get my act together to figure out what I want to pack. Any piece of clothing I wear in front of my Mother will be criticized and this year I don't care. What irks me is that the majority of my sweaters are tighter than they were a year ago thanks to hormones and the two pregnancy losses. Ughhhh. I really don't feel like dressing up and painting on a smile for the Christmas party...thinking about bailing.

A couple of weeks ago we got my bloodwork results and it turns out I am 'borderline' protein S deficient. In layman terms, this protein is a natural blood thinner and if you're deficient then your blood has a propensity to clotting. It runs in families and 'lucky' me got it (1 in 20,000), so I have an increased risk of deep vein thrombosis, pulmonary embolism and repeated pregnancy loss. I really wish I had known this when we were starting our trying to conceive journey, but because it is so rare -- and the tests are expensive -- it is only tested after repeated pregnancy loss. So, I'm just feeling a bit down about my genetics and why I have to have this. I'm really beginning to think that God does not want me to have children since I've been given so many obstacles to overcome. First it's crappy eggs and then it's a genetic 'mutation' that won't allow me to stay pregnant. Needless to mention I won't be setting foot inside a church this season because I just don't have that much faith left in me.

An old friend from back home sent me a facebook invitation to a high school reunion over Christmas. Thinking about being around all those old friends and their kids made my stomach churn. I had to send my regrets. I'm just not strong enough this year...not with everything that's happened. In fact, this year I just signed our names to our Christmas cards. No messages...just couldn't do it. Sent them two and a half weeks ago and so far we have received two. Guess the others are too busy trying to write their 'year in review' letters.

And it's the time of year of annoying jewelry store commercials on television. The Kay one with the husband and wife and newborn really offended me when the husband mentioned it was their first year as a 'family'. So, does that mean that DH and I are not a family since we don't have children? I can't watch it and have to turn the channel whenever it pops up.

Here's to all the Barren Babes out there as we bravely make our way to holiday festivities. Keep your head up, paint a smile on your face, and drink a toast to better days ahead.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Dark Days

For the past couple of weeks I have tried my best to be upbeat. The last week of October we discovered that an embryo had implanted and I was pregnant, but subsequent blood tests revealed that it had stopped growing. Within a matter of days I was jubilant and then devastated. I also had a birthday that week. Turning 41 in the midst of teary-eyed disappointment is not one of my best memories. That day I vowed not to cry and I didn't -- it took a lot of willpower, but not one tear dropped down my face.

That weekend DH and I took off to the countryside and had a lovely weekend. I dragged him into a few antique shops and we took our time and had fun. There were topics I wanted to discuss and didn't actually have the talk with him until we were home on Sunday. Basically, I wanted to know if DH is up for one final FET. His reply was, "You know how I feel about this." He doesn't want to do anymore embryo transfers, but I want to try one last time. Tears ensued and he relented. Basically, he told me that it kills him to see me devastated each time, but if I really want to try one last time he'll be supportive. I just want to know ahead of time that this is the final attempt.

I had lots of questions prepared for our doctor's appointment last week. What I didn't expect was the doctor's concern about why I've had four losses. The first two pregnancy losses were 'blamed' on my poor egg quality, but since we're using donor eggs he thinks there might me something else causing the embryos not to develop. He theorizes that it could be DH's chromosomes or something to do with me and a clotting factor, or thyroid, or lupus factor. When he was telling us this I kept thinking: why hasn't any doctor thought of doing these tests before? Hmmm...guess it's just easier to blame it on the woman's poor egg quality because she's in her late thirties. Then I thought: so it takes four pregnancy losses before doctors think there's a problem...four losses...four devastating losses.

DH and I have decided to try one last FET before calling it quits to the whole ART thing. I should be optimistic, right? But, instead I'm filled with a dark foreboding feeling that maybe it is DH's chromosomes and therefore there's not much we can do about it. I feel guilty that my desire to be pregnant and give birth has cost us dearly financially -- especially our retirement fund. Of course, if we had put the money in the stock market would we be better off now, or would we be in the same financial situation? These are dark days. I can't wait for November to end. Maybe I'll start playing Christmas music.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

It's An Embryo Transfer, Not An Implant!!!

Just need to vent a bit about the media's use of the term Embryo Implant instead of Embryo Transfer. The media was using Embryo Implant incorrectly around the time of octo-mom giving birth, but it was a bunch of journalists who did not do enough research and lacked the facts. If it actually were an embryo implant then the success rates would be quite higher than they actually are.

Last Thursday on ABC's 'Private Practice' they used the term Implant instead of Transfer and I was totally ticked off. Doesn't this medical drama have MDs who verify terminology? I'm still unsure about this show since they portrayed an insane woman who had a miscarriage cutting open a pregnant woman and taking her baby. As someone who's had four losses I can honestly tell you that no sane woman who's suffered a miscarriage would willingly place themselves in the same room as a very pregnant woman, or a baby for that matter. I've even crossed streets to avoid passing pregnant women or strollers on sidewalks.

Then today I read that Celine Dion lost her pregnancy after an Embryo Transfer. Of course the media called it an Embryo Transplant, but hopefully having someone famous be open about these trying situations will highlight the plight that many of us are struggling with. Just wish they would call it an Embryo Transfer.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

It's Always Good To Have A 'Plan B'

This was supposed to be a joyful post, but unfortunately it's not. Two days ago I went for blood work and the results were positive: my beta was 44 and, according to the nurse, anything above 30 was good. I was really expecting a negative so I was in shock for most of the day while walking around in a daze. By evening DH had convinced me that this was the had finally worked. I kept reminding him that we should wait for the second blood test, but DH was positive it was going to go up because...the embryo wasn't from my egg (thanks Honey!!!). He told his parents, and I phoned my Mother and told her but warned that we still had to wait for more bloodwork because it could go down.

Yesterday I went for a walk to get some fresh air and actually opened my heart to let in a bit of hope. I started thinking about a baby growing inside of me and whether I should breastfeed considering the micro-calcifications in one of my breasts. DH and I talked about what the next nine months to a year might bring. His optimism was contagious.

This morning I went for the second blood test and waited all morning for a phone call. I even took that phone with me to the bathroom because I was so afraid of missing the call. Well, I finally got the call just after lunch and it wasn't good news -- I could tell by the tone of the nurse's voice. My beta has dropped to 35 today, and they want to see if it goes up again so I'm scheduled to go back for more blood work in three days. The nurse said there's a small possibility of it going back up again. Has anyone heard of that happening? I couldn't ask many questions because my voice was cracking as I was holding back tears. After having a good cry I can't help but wonder why my body keeps rejecting embryos, and was there something I did to make it not want to stay in my uterus?

At this point I feel numb and can't concentrate enough to read or watch television. But, I am thankful that DH and I came up with a Plan B (to go away this weekend) just in case the results were negative . Thoughts of this getaway are getting me through my sadness. It's always good to have a Plan B.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Facebook Blues

Am I a glutton for pain, or what? For some strange reason I found myself lurking on Facebook and checking out profiles filled with baby/child photos. Arghhh! I must stop this madness. Dammit. Why do I do this to myself?

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

The Wait Continues

It's been six days and so far I don't really feel anything. With the ectopic last March my breasts were sore and hurt, and now I sometimes squeeze them just in case I've missed some kind of pain. No constipation, no tiredness, but I am bloated and feel very PMSy -- perhaps from the estrogen and progesterone in my system.

Update on life with my Mother. While talking on the phone with her today she asked: "Did you get that shot-thing yet?" I really had to hold myself back from laughing out loud while replying that I had it a week ago tomorrow. Hmmm, let's see, I told her a few days before it happened and a day after it happened and then I get this question. Either she's not listening, paying attention, or early stages of dementia have befallen her. For all I know she could have been referring to the H1N1flu vaccine, which hasn't arrived in our area yet.

Life goes on.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

The Wait Begins

Went for the FET yesterday, and I was annoyed by the 45 minute wait to sign in. On the drive there I had DH put in a relaxing CD of Pachelbel's Canon in D and I was so relaxed I thought I might nod off. After fifteen minutes sitting in the clinic's waiting room my relaxed state began wearing off. Maybe it had something to do with a patient having a conversation loud enough for us to hear, not to mention hearing someone at the front desk talk to a patient about their insurance coverage over the phone, which we could hear well enough to feel uncomfortable about knowing another patient's private information. Perhaps the clinic should invest in a reception area with clear glass to keep things private. After 25 minutes I could feel my blood pressure begin to rise and decided to wait outside the clinic as it was actually more quiet in the hallway.

I don't know why they were running so far behind, but I just wish they had phoned us to let us know not to come for another 30 minutes. Of course, my blood pressure was high when they initially took it because I was annoyed and impatient. The upside is that one of the embryos was 8 cells and the other 7 cells, which is higher than our last FET. So, apart from the long wait, the transfer went well.

For the past 24 hours I have been curious about every little 'pain' that I might feel down there. Of course, it's probably just gas but you never know. I'm trying to stay positive, but also trying to prepare myself in case it's a negative. And so the agonizing wait begins.

Friday, October 9, 2009

The Count Down Begins

Today DH and I paid a visit to the clinic for a 'pre-op' in preparation for next week's frozen embryo transfer (FET). Crazy, but the part I hate the most is getting on the scales to be weighed, so I kindly ask the nurse not to say the number, because if I don't hear it then it doesn't exist. Second part is the blood pressure, which was lower that it's been in weeks...perhaps it's because I closed my eyes and thought of waterfalls on the Road to Hana in Maui. The internal ultrasound was as enjoyable as any can be, but we did discover that my uterine lining is 1cm (and I'm usually a 7mm girl).

The doctor gave us an informal lecture on the importance of getting a flu shot at this time due to the prevalence of the H1N1 strain, and stressed how it negatively affects pregnant women. I really hadn't planned on getting one as I was going to wait and see if the FET worked, but he emphasized that I should get a regular flu shot and then one for H1N1 and that they shouldn't be given at the same time. So, DH and I promptly paid a visit to Safeway pharmacy and each got a shot. After all the needles put into my body this year I was an old-pro, but I did have to coach DH who was never vaccinated as a child (honest -- MIL claims he was allergic). As of this time he's had no adverse reaction, meanwhile I felt a bit dopey afterwards...hmm, or maybe that's because of all the estrogen in my body.

Today I also decided to tell my Mother that we're doing another FET and that I got a flu shot. I got more of a response from her about the flu shot than I did about the FET. Not surprising coming from the woman who told me, "I don't know why you bother trying anymore," after our last (unsucessful) FET last July. Oh, well, just thought I'd keep her up-to-date with my life. Thank God there are hundreds of miles between us.

The date is set for next Wednesday. So, here's hoping I can remain relaxed, and 'loosey goosey' as DH calls it, for the next two weeks so my blood pressure doesn't spike.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Where Did My Optimism Go?

Last night I began my Lupron shots. At this point in time I am an old pro and was surprised by my lack of nervousness. In the past I had been freaked out, but now it's nothing. Oh, by now you've probably guessed that DH and I are preparing for another frozen embryo transfer (FET).

This year we've had three embryo transfers, and for the first I was overflowing with optimism. I was postive that it was going to take. Hours were spent on the internet looking at nurseries, strollers, thinking of names. The second transfer I was still optimistic but not to the extent of the first one -- I did not look up baby stuff on the internet.

For this next FET my optimism walked out the door. It snuck out one night last month while I was sleeping. I can't pinpoint the exact date, but I know it's not there anymore. It's not that I don't welcome getting pregnant, it's just that I feel it's not within my grasp anymore. Maybe it's when we were at the clinic signing the consent forms and I noticed that we only have a 25% chance of it working. That hit me like a ton of bricks, and ever since that time I feel blah.

There is a sliver of optimism somewhere in my spirit that pushes me forward and compels me to try another FET. But, the reality of our situation is sinking in and I find myself starting to make plans for our life without a baby (our Plan B) and also trying to justfiy another FET if this next one doesn't stick. Wish I could shake the blahs and get my happy, optimistic side back.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Movie Warning: Time Traveler's Wife

The past couple of weeks have been relaxing. DH and I went away to the mountains the weekend before last and explored meadows and brooks -- and now I have an inexplicable urge to take-up fly fishing. Maybe it's a strange desire to stand in the middle of a mountain creek wearing those big boots and taking in nature. It seems like such a serene sport...although, I would probably release any fish that I might catch.

This past weekend we were back home and taking it easy. I persuaded long-suffering DH to see 'The Time Traveler's Wife' with me at a local theater. It seemed like a chick flick from the television advertisements and I like Rachel McAdams, both good reasons to see it in my opinion. Perhaps now I should mention that I have not yet read the novel on which the movie is based, which in hindsight maybe I should do from now on. Here is the warning, and also SPOILERS, because if you've had a miscarriage you should be forewarned about seeing this movie. I was blindsided when the main character suffers a miscarriage, and then another one! It would have been good to go into the theater knowing that this was going to be portrayed onscreen. Needless to mention the tears were rolling down my face and my eyes got all red and puffy in the theater. So, if you've had a miscarriage be aware that you will get to relive it onscreen through 'The Time Traveler's Wife.'

Sunday, July 26, 2009

It's a Negative

Went in for bloodwork a week ago and discovered that the FET was not successful. For some strange reason these embryos did not want to stick around in my uterus...and now I'm beginning to take it personally. What is so wrong with my uterus? Sure, I've only seen it on ultrasound, but it seems like a nice spot to burrow in and stay for nine months. Yes, I'm beginning to get a complex as to why embryos do not want to stick around inside my body.

Emotionally it's been a roller coaster this past week after going off the hormones. I have energy again, which is amazing, but I cry when reading or watching something sentimental or sad. Then I had this obsession with buying a red handbag. Strange, but I had to have a red one and I did find one at Macy's. I'm just now clueing into the fact that perhaps this red bag symbolizes my uterus...maybe I would like a new one that is more welcoming to embryos...hmmmm.

The other emotional thing is that DH found out on Friday that he needs to be in the UK for meetings this upcoming week. He flew out this morning and I'm feeling sad. Sad because he's gone and also because I would have loved to have joined him on this trip. Unfortunately, booking airplane tickets at the last minute means the fares are astronomical, and since we are planning another FET within the next six weeks that means we have no extra cash to spend for airfare. I'm ticked off that we didn't know about it sooner and therefore may have been able to purchase cheaper tickets or been able to use points. It would have been cool to hang in London this week and take my mind off my 'hostile' uterus.

Enough of my pity party. First I'll track DH's flight on and then it's time for some housecleaning therapy, because later I have a date with Mad Men season one.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

One Week Down

Today marked one week since the FET. I was so positive it worked last week, but now I'm not sure. Maybe it's because I don't 'feel' anything down there; no cramping, spotting, or anything else that might resemble implantation. There has been a 'fluttering' sensation down there, but that could have been just gas. I am really tired and want to sleep, but that could be a side-effect from the progesterone. My tummy is bloated, but again that could be an effect from the hormones or gas. Of course books are full of stories about women who are pregnant and don't know, so maybe this will be a good sign. At least I haven't had any sharp pains on my side. I'm going to try and stay hopeful until the test results on Saturday.

Monday, July 13, 2009

To Exercise, or Not to Exercise

It will be a week tomorrow since the FET and I'm wondering if it's okay to exercise. I am really torn over this one. Doing the treadmill is out of the question since I'm always tempted to increase the resistance and up my heart rate, but I'm really thinking about walking around the neighborhood. Saturday is the day I find out whether the FET 'took'...maybe I should still lay low until that time...Anyone have suggestions? Until then, I have an overflowing laundry hamper awaiting my arrival.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Crossed Fingers

Yesterday Hubby and I went in for the frozen embryo transfer. Nothing out of the ordinary: my blood pressure was high going in thanks to nerves and the speculum was excruciatingly painful. It's always a thrill viewing the embryos under the microscope just prior to the procedure; amazing that those cells may become a baby.

Only after signing papers before the FET did I really take note of the date: the seventh day of the seventh month. Hope that this is a lucky sign for us.

Today I am tired and craving potato chips. Hanging out on the sofa and watching movies. Yesterday it was the Michael Jackson memorial and the tears poured down my face listening to Brooke Shields and MJ's daughter Paris.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Last of the Lupron

Five hours ago was my last shot of Lupron. Woohoo!! Very happy to have that over with. Hubby and I had a good talk tonight about our upcoming visitor and he's okay with doing most of the entertaining, maybe even leaving me alone for an afteroon or a few hours. These hormones are making me so crazy and I'm starting progesterone and something else for the assisted hatching this weekend. Thank God I'm off the progesterone shots and taking it the 'other way' -- as much as I love Hubby, I think he enjoyed giving me the shots on my bottom a bit too much. I must try to calm down and relax for the upcoming FET.

Lupron Land Meltdown


I am having one of those days. Thank God it's my last day of Lupron because I am so ready to lose it with anyone.

Hubby is driving me nuts. Why? Because he seems to be lacking all compassion for what I'm going through right now. He can't understand why I need the ac down, it's because of the hot flashes. Plus he's invited a buddy from out of town to stay with us this weekend. Not a good time for me as the FET is scheduled for Tuesday. So, I'm busy cleaning getting the apartment ready and Hubby can't understand why I'm in a bad mood...and I had a meltdown.

Why couldn't he have seen that I was only being polite when I said it was okay for his friend to stay this weekend? So, I have decided that I'm going to leave the entertaining of the friend up to Hubby. He can take him out to do things and I'm staying home to relax, although I'll probably join them for dinner.

Dear God, please help me make it through this weekend without having a meltdown in front of Hubby's friend.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Mammograms & Hot Flashes

Yikes! I totally forgot about an upcoming mammogram in July. It wouldn't be a problem except there is a possibility that I may be pregnant for it, which is not good since one really shouldn't have x-rays at that point. Hubby's been on my back to move it up, but all I can think about are the lupron injections and the upcoming FET. Crap, I really should have listened to Hubby, but I have a nasty habit of procrastinating. I just phoned trying to re-schedule but all I got was an answering machine. What are the odds that I can get one within the next week?

Actually the odds must be good as I just tried phoning again and they can take me the day before the FET. Yay! Can't believe I'm excited about going for a mammogram. It's a six-month follow-up to check on some 'micro-calcifications' so let's hope and pray that nothing has changed. Perhaps my 'micro-calcification' is an anomaly much like the fibroid on the backside of my uterus -- a unique identifier. Everytime I go for an ultrasound it's always "do you know you have a fibroid?" or "there's your little fibroid back there."

Now for the hot flashes. Whew! The worst part about lupron are the hot flashes. They sneak up on me. One minute I'm fine and the next it's like someone turned up the furnace and I'm drenched in sweat. Yesterday, I was perusing the sales racks for shoes at Macy's (big 50% off sale) when the hot flash happened, but I carried on and ignored it, and soon enough it cooled down again. Much easier when they happen at home and I can park myself in front of the air conditioning vent and wait it out. Guess I have this to look forward to in the not-so-distant-future. Lucky me!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Lupron Land

Tonight I enter Lupron land. Yes, it's the night for my first lupron shot and I'm feeling slightly anxious. I know it's just a tiny insulin needle, but it still freaks me out to put a needle through my skin. The first time is the hardest and then it gets easier as it is for most things in life. I just want to go do it now and get it over with.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Facebook Torture

Although I had vowed to stay away from Facebook, I found myself logging on as I had received a friend request from a cousin and didn't want to appear the snob by not accepting. But, I made the fatal error by checking that first page that pops up and tells you what your facebook friends have been up to. Grrrr. I still hate that re-design they made last fall. It appears that someone who had a baby last fall now has a Mommy Blog. The reason I know this is because she's promoting it via facebook: she's telling everyone to check it out. In fact, this appears everytime she does an update. I'm gagging just thinking about it. Hmmm...wonder if I should promote my infertility blog on facebook?

Friday, May 29, 2009

Looking Forward

Just survived a week at home with my parents. Love them dearly, but they have never been that great with the empathy/sensitivity thing. Perhaps it is because both are the 'babies' of their families and used to getting lots of attention and focus and not familiar with giving it. Guess it's a bit harsh but it is what it is and it's taken me a long time to realize this, accept it and let it be.

An example would be the fact that my Mother knows the loss I've recently gone through with the ectopic preganancy, and yet there is photo of my cousin's newborn baby sitting on the table in the middle of the living room. I tried to ignore it the first day I was home, but the second day I made a comment to get it out of my head. There it was day after day and it really got to me, but I did not want my parents to know that it hurt me. When I would come close to breaking down I would focus on the baby's wonky eyes: one is round and the other is almond-shaped. That poor child will grow up with uneven eyes like Tina Fey -- still haven't forgiven her for the 'miracle' pregancy ending of 'Baby Mama'.

I did let my Mother in on the fact that DH and I are going to be trying a FET this month. Not much reaction on her side and there's no surprise there. I am trying to be positive and look forward while forgetting the past, because you can't move ahead if you keep looking back.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Another Mother's Day Down

Whew! I made it through another Mother's Day unscathed. DH and I avoided malls and restaurants on Sunday. Instead, we slept in and stayed in our jammies until almost noon. The night before we went to a tiny sushi restaurant -- where I proceeded to partake of the cold sake. For lunch we made pancakes with maple syrup and watched HGTV. We have learned to stay away from any major restaurant chain, or one that advertises a Mother's Day buffet, on the M Day. It was a lazy day for us, although we did drag ourselves to Borders as DH was searching for some book for work.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Song to Help You Survive Pregnant Friends/Co-Workers

I found this awesome video on a blog last week and it makes me smile each time I watch it on Youtube. It's called 'Pregnant Women are Smug' by two women called 'Garfunkel & Oates' (great name). I've been trying to get pregnant for the past six and a half years and have encountered plenty of smug pregnant women in that time. Admit it, we've all thought it but no one likes to say it because...well, they're pregnant. If this upcoming FET does work, and I find myslef pregnant, I know how NOT to act around others.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Sarah Jessica Parker Using a Surrogate

A couple of days ago I heard on the radio (while I was on my way to the clinic for bloodwork) that Sarah Jessica Parker and Matthew Broderick (forever Ferris Bueller) are expecting twins via a surrogate. They also mentioned that the two had tried to conceive for several years with no luck and so they decided to use a surrogate.

I would like to thank Sarah Jessica Parker for being open and honest about her struggle to conceive a second child, and for being public about their use of a surrogate. They wanted to add to their family and chose the surrogacy route. Who cares whose genetic material was used because it's really none of our business. (Honestly, if I had all the money in the world I think I would have tried using a surrogate.) Hopefully this will help people to begin to accept surrogacy and tear off the stigma attached to it.

Still not sure if I can forgive her for spreading the 'if you adopt you will get pregnant' urban myth that was seen in the Charlotte storyline of the 'Sex and the City' movie.

I'm No Longer Pregnant

I am no longer pregnant. Yay! Never thought I would ever be so happy to write that statement. The ET was the week after Valentine's Day and I have been "pregnant" for the last two months...but not 'really' pregnant. Very confusing and difficult to explain to family and friends, so we only told our parents, my sister and a really close friend. Happily I am no longer hormonal (crying at sad tv commercials and if DH looked at me the wrong way), my tummy is no longer swollen (ironoically I looked pregnant), and the cravings have vanished (no more milkshakes, cheeseburgers, or dairy products). I feel great and we are crazy enough to start thinking about an FET, although I must wait for AF -- which will probably take about six weeks as it did four years ago. A new month and a new clean slate.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009


I want to send a special thank you to all who commented on the Quest posting. Now I realize that I am not the only one who has been treated poorly by their staff. Thanks for the support.

This ectopic pregnancy was a surprise and while I am feeling better physically (my hcg was down to 60 on Friday), emotionally I am fragile. My family doesn't understand and is not really 'there' to support me. Meanwhile, I've lost touch with old friends who've had children -- because it pains me to hear them talk about their babies, or they avoid me because I've opened up to them about my infertility (maybe they think it's contagious).

Your words of encouragement soothe my soul, lift my spirit, and remind me that I am not alone on this journey. Thanks.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Quest Diagnostics Sucks

Thanks to the ectopic pregnancy, and the resulting methotrexate shots, I am required to get bloodwork twice a week. So far, I have been going to the Quest Diagnostics clinic in the medical building where the fertility clinic is situated. As of today's experience I will be either incurring the extra cost of bloodwork at the fertility clinic, or attempting to experience another Quest clinic.

Yes, the Quest Diagnostics I have been going to has never been known for its customer service, but I have a 'stat' order and get through quickly with no problem. No problem until today. The doctor's nurse was supposed to fax the requisition to Quest, so when I arrived I signed in but there was no one at the desk for me to talk to about the fax. When someone appeared I approached the desk to mention the requisition/fax and was bluntly told: "I'm busy. I don't have time for that." Wow. I didn't even have time to squeeze in that it's a 'stat' order. Went back to my seat to read a magazine. A few minutes later I hear her yelling across the room at me: "What's the last name on the requisition?". Since I don't like yelling, I approached the desk and asked what last name she was referring to (not sure if she meant mine or the doctor's). This is the reply I received: "What? You don't know your last name?" I was absolutely shocked by her callous rudeness. I gave her my last name and sat down again. Then came another shout from across the room: "What date was it faxed?" I couldn't take it, so I yelled back: " I don't know!!" Then she told me not to yell at her!!! Oh, my God!!! When she yelled back that they didn't have it I got up and left vowing never to return. Luckily DH was there because the tears started flowing as soon as I left.

In a cloud of tears I ended up going up to the fertility clinic to get another requisition and my bloodwork drawn there incurring an extra cost.

What is wrong with Quest Diagnostics??? Why is there no compassion? Do you think that I'm going to let a woman who is rude to me put a needle in my vein? I did not ask for this ectopic to happen to me, and I really do not enjoy getting bloodwork drawn. I am only there because I am under a doctor's order to get bloodwork. Why belittle me in front of a waiting room full of people? What happened to a little kindness and compassion? Quest Diagnostics sucks for hiring such bitchy people to draw blood.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Methotrexate Days, Part II

This morning I had yet another shot of methotrexate as the beta numbers were not going down fast enough. It is all unnerving and I kept it all together until I had to wait a half hour for a two minute shot -- which DH could probably do considering all the times he injected me with progesterone. You see, we raced to the pharmacy late yesterday afternoon to get the medication so we could get an early appointment, but by the time we actually saw the nurse we could have gone to get it this morning.

Yes, I am used to waiting for doctors, but I started getting upset when I saw a handful of people come and go from the waiting room and my name had yet to be called...and we had been waiting for a half hour. So, I went back to the receptionist and enquired as to what was going on. By the time she got back to us tears had started rolling down my face, so they really got busy trying to find an examination room for us...and even then the nurse kept us waiting. When she finally arrived she apologized, but I had a meltdown and let her know why I was so upset. Unfortunately, we had a communication failure as she could barely speak English and she kept asking me to repeat myself, and I really could not understand her, so I just asked that she give me the shot already. Ughhhhhh!!! %$#%$^%$&$^%#!!!!! This experience makes me not want to go back for a long, long time.

Now I must deal with nausea and stomach cramps. Dear God, please let the beta numbers drop dramatically so I do not have to deal with this nurse again.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Methotrexate Days

My bloodwork from Monday showed that my beta grew to 287, and since I started have a funny pain on my side, the doctor recommended that I have a shot of methotrexate. So, we waited until Tuesday afternoon to go back and get the shot -- after another blood panel showed that my liver enzymes were functioning properly.

Perhaps we could have waited it out, but after having a scary ectopic experience from our first IUI I wasn't about to wait until the bleeding started. Plus, the doctor advised that it could go on for up to 12 weeks with the beta rising and falling. DH and I are frustrated by having to wait a couple of cycles after this shot to try a frozen cycle, but at least we don't have to worry about me bleeding out.

The worst part about the methotrexate is the nausea, but the silver lining is that it has taken away my appetite. Here's hoping that my beta will start falling.

Monday, March 30, 2009

The Saga Continues

Today I am going to the clinic to have one of those fun internal sonograms to check if I have an ectopic pregnancy because my beta from Friday was 200. I am full of so many emotions. When I went for blood work this morning they didn't have my requisition and asked me what I was there for...yeah, I was close to tears but I didn't let one salty wet one fall down my cheek. I cried Saturday when I discovered the beta number, but I really do not want to cry again over this. Through with tears. I want this whole thing to be finished and, crazy enough, I am hoping for a shot of methotrexate -- even though I have no pain or spotting, just a beta that went from 30 to 200 in a week. DH and I joked last night that maybe I have a rogue embryo that will not go down without a fight. Please let my beta fall...

Thursday, March 26, 2009


It's funny that when I'm feeling down about stuff I completely let our place get messy. For the past few weeks I've let the dust stay on furniture, magazines and newspapers are piled all over the living room, and I've forgotten where the Hoover is located. Perhaps it's good to just take a break from these household chores and focus on myself. Sometimes it's okay to hurt and be sad, but today I am going to clean and prepare for the next round of ivf. We go to the clinic tomorrow to see if the hcg is at zero and try and schedule the whole "show".

Friday, March 20, 2009

Retail Therapy & Venting

Last weekend Darling Husband and I went away for a couple of nights to the big city. It was just what I needed. In fact, I asked my RE if it was okay to have a glass of wine since this was a chemical pregnancy coming down, and he said, "Sure! Have three or four if you feel like it." Have I mentioned he's the best (and my favorite) doctor I have ever gone to?

Nothing like a bit of retail therapy to fix up a woman feeling low. Since DH and I have decided to try a 'frozen' cycle* next month, I showed restraint and shopped only the sales racks and picked up jeans and a couple of pretty tops for spring. Unfortunately, my luck struck out when it came to finding shoes. It always feels good to get new clothes that aren't tainted with sad memories. You know, when you see a shirt and it reminds you of old doctors appointments etc.

With spirts high, DH and I decided to go to a small French restaurant for dinner. We ordered a bottle of Burgundy (can't remember the name, but it was very good) and as we were enjoying the wine I spotted the baby. A couple came in with a baby in a carrier. The hostess tried seating them away in a corner far from the other tables, but the couple didn't like the table and insisted on moving closer to everyone else. Of course, the baby was directly in my view from where I was sitting. I thought I was going to lose it...luckily DH offered to switch seats with me and after a few swigs of wine I was alright...until the baby started crying. I must admit that I hate when couples bring small babies to fine restaurants. If DH and I are ever lucky enough to have a baby we will avoid finer dining establishments and stick with the ones where children out-number adults. Besides, a baby in a French restaurant???

Monday, March 9, 2009

Can't Win For Losing

Last weekend I was a walking zombie. Darling Husband and I took a daytrip which helped alleviate my spirit, but I couldn't shake the numbness. I would stare into space while my eyes glazed over. It took a while to absorb the fact that maybe I am really not meant to be pregnant. Perhaps my body rejects anything that tries to live in my uterus. Maybe it's sending 'embryos not welcome here' vibes. For the past few years I have been blaming my worn out/past date eggs, when it might have been my unwelcoming uterus.

Today I decided to shake the funky mood and be happy for what I have. So, I went for a walk and soaked in some vitamin D from the sunshine, played upbeat music, and embraced life. I was so over the top happy when DH came home from work that I think I shocked him. Then, perhaps because I was so upbeat, he mentioned talking to some friends from back home who are looking at buying a big home. Hmmmm...why do they want a huge house when they've got a funky loft? Of course, it came out that they are expecting a child. Tears were shed, but I didn't feel as devastated as I usually do in these situations. It just goes to show you how when you think you've kicked the funky blues, something comes along to shoot you back down again.

(Here's the chorus to the Brooks & Dunn song 'Cowgirls Don't Cry' that I downloaded from itunes -- yeah, a country song -- that helped me today:
Cowgirls don't cry, ride, baby, ride
Lessons in life are gonna show you in time
Soon enough you gonna know why
It's gonna hurt every now and then
If you fall get back on again
Cowgirls don't cry.)

Friday, March 6, 2009

Over Now

Just got a call from the clinic today and my hcg is 54. Although it has just about doubled in 48hrs, apparently it is not growing fast enough for the doctor and we are to stop the medication tonight. It hasn't hit me yet as I am still confused how two days ago the doctor thought it might be rising slowly and today the number is not viable. DH and I are very confused. I am to go in for more bloodwork in four days. Is there any miracle that this could survive without progesterone? Sadness is hitting me. Think I need some retail therapy as a distraction. Although, if we are doing a frozen cycle after this one I'm not sure if I can afford to buy anything outside the sales racks...

Thursday, March 5, 2009


Yesterday I went for another blood test and my hcg was 28 and the doctor suspects that it could be a 'slow riser'. So, we're continuing with the medication and DH and I are living in limbo as to whether it will indeed continue growing. I'm trying to chill out and not think about it because there is nothing I can do about it.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Just a Little Pregnant...But, Not Enough

Just got the call from the clinic regarding my blood work this morning as it has been 11 days since the embryo transfer. So, it seems that my HCG level is only at 17when it should be at least 50. Let's see...that means I am technically pregnant but not enough.

Yes, it's the dreaded biochemical pregnancy. I've had one before after my first IUI that started as a 'biochemical' and then scarily evolved into an ectopic as the HCG numbers climbed erratically and I had light bleeding and pain. A shot of methotrexate ended that one.

I am praying that this 'not quite' pregnancy does NOT become an ectopic pregnancy. Crazy as it sounds, I really would like to start another IVF with a couple of the frozen embryos.

But, until we get the lab results from Wednesday's blood test, it's back to the progesterone shots.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009


We heard back from the clinic today and 29 fertilized donor eggs have become embryos (out of 50 donor eggs--more than ten-times the eggs that I ever had with medical help). Not sure if they will all make it to Thursday for the embryo transfer, but at this point all we need are two embryos who will hopefully make themselves at home in my uterus for nine months. Please say a prayer for us.

Progesterone Land

Early Sunday evening Darling Husband and I entered Progesterone Land and we will never be the same again. My bottom will now be seen as a dartboard for needles by DH. Hopefully he will eventually view my naked butt as something sensual again, but that may take some time. Must admit that I love teasing him and saying that he actually has become a pain in the butt.

By this part of the whole IVF game I thought I had overcome my fear of needles. Each evening I had expertly given myself lupron injections using ever so fine insulin needles. But, when I took a look at the needle for the progesterone shot I freaked out and shouted that the pharmacy must have made a mistake and given us the wrong size of needles. We dug out the original prescription and they gave us what was prescribed. So, DH phoned the clinic and we got through to someone who confirmed that yes, this very long needle was indeed the one to be used to inject the progesterone as it needed to be injected into a muscle. At that point in time I covered my eyes, gained my composure and asked DH to give me the shot. We iced the area prior to the needle, which meant that I didn't feel a thing. The big thing for me is that I could never do this to myself, so I made DH promise to not travel for work during the time that injections are required -- even if he has to tell his boss about it.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Dealing With Octuplet Backlash

As a barren babe currently undergoing fertility treatment I have received a backlash of sorts from my Mother. Honestly, I love her so much and yet I can't get her to see the world through my eyes or experience. Ever since this crazy lady gave birth to eight babies thanks to a questionable RE who transferred six embryos, my Mother has been suspect to what DH and I are doing.

About a week from now (fingers crossed) I will have two embryos transferred. I am excited, scared, optimistic, and yet I still haven't decided whether to tell my Mother when it takes place. Do I need her judgement? No, just want her approval. But, I want to be relaxed and stress-free and I think if I tell her then I will be unable to achieve that place where no-worry exists.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Sleepy Head

Last weekend I started taking Estrace twice a day. Apart from the occasional nauseated tummy and headaches (which has the added benefit of drying up my appetite) I have become a big sleepy-head. In the morning I sleep late and am embarrassed to admit that I must will myself to roll out of bed before DH leaves for work. This afternoon I am completely zonked after forty minutes on the treadmill. As the evening wears on I will start nodding off after ten. This is not me at all. Perhaps I just got used to the ever increasing insomnia that began creeping into my life about the same time that my fsh levels began to climb. Just wish I could get motivated to write in the other blog I have...

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Lupron Madness

Not sure if this is a side-effect of the lupron I started taking last week, but I am feeling incredibly irritable. Okay, maybe it's more likely that AF is due today or tomorrow. What's really strange about this cycle is that the doctor is in total control of my hormones. As a result, I feel out of control...I've been using the lupron as an excuse for my crabby behavior to long-suffering Darling Husband.

There is a glimmer of hope and that is the fact that we are using DE this cycle. We really didn't think my two follies could produce enough viable eggs for IVF...and the follicle count for the DE this cycle is twenty. So, my fingers are crossed and I am trying to maintain an optimistic outlook. Just wish I could shake my current lupron-induced grumpiness.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Good News

Last week was crazy with lots of doctors appointments.

First, I had another mammogram on a particular area on my right breast. Lots of anxious moments until I was told that they didn't find any masses, but did see some microcalcifications on a certain angle. So, I am to go back in six months so they can have another look and see if there has been any change.

Second, I had my blood pressure checked and it's down to 110/74. Cutting out salt has definitely had an impact, although I do still crave it every now and again.

Third, I had a sonohisterography and everything looks great according to my RE. Just wish the same could be said for my ovaries...

I'm starting Lupron tonight and I'm feeling a bit anxious about the needle. Aside from being scared of needles, I am full of hope. So crazy optimistic (or, perhaps just delusional) am I that I bought one of those pregnancy mags at the supermarket. I want to stay focused on a positive outcome. Am I nuts? Yes, probably, but it makes this process easier to deal with.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Crossing Fingers

Finally heard back from my GP yesterday afternoon. She said that there is an area in my right breast that 'most likely is glandular tissue' but is 'asymmetrical in an area' so the mammogram gurus want to check it out again. Guess there is a way to zoom in on certain areas. So, this weekend I am crossing my fingers, hoping and praying that this 'asymmetrical area' in my breast is merely glandular tissue and nothing more. I've been so full of hope about the next couple of months and this is just something I did not expect.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Going Nuts

I am going nuts at the moment. Yesterday I had my first mammography and this morning I got a phone call telling me that I need to come in for another one. When I asked why the person would not tell me, but she did tell me to phone my doctor (who was sent the results). So, I made an appointment for next Monday (the earliest I could get), and have been playing telephone tag with my GP. Cripes, I just started the bcp protocol two days ago...Of course, all I can think of is the worst case scenario: that I have breast cancer. Visions of 'Love Story' are playing over in my head. Remember, she found out she was dying when she went to the doctor to find out why she couldn't get pregnant. This sucks big time. The timing is horrible. Will we have to cancel the whole ivf thing?