Wednesday, December 2, 2009

She's Here!!

Lyla Quinn was born on Friday, Nov. 27 (her exact due date!) at 2:46 p.m. At 22 inches long, she weighed a whopping 9 lbs., 3 oz.

I am more overcome with love than I ever thought imaginable. She is just amazing. L. took this picture right after he handed her to me, and I think it's my most favorite photograph in the world.

Simply put, she is a living, breathing miracle.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

She's Almost Here!

Yesterday we went in for an ultrasound as our little girl seems snug in her cocoon and is showing no definitive signs of arrival at almost 40 weeks.

According to the ultrasound, she is a very big girl, weighing in at almost 10 pounds. After consulting with our doctor, we've opted for a C-section, scheduled for Friday at 2:30. Of course, ultrasound weights tend to be a little off at this point in pregnancy, so she probably doesn't weigh that much in actuality. However, I'm not arguing the benefits of a C-section, and I just want her to enter the world as safely as possible.

I am so excited about seeing her that yesterday flew by in a blur, but as we get closer, I find that I am nervous and wrestling with the feelings I suppose any new parent grapples with: I can't believe we're going to have a newborn baby in our home in less than 48 hours.

Happy Thanksgiving.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Update: Full Term

Today is a major milestone - 37 weeks. We are officially full term.

After weeks and weeks of sitting on pins and needles, we are relieved to reach this point. Our baby is measuring in the 72nd percentile for growth, and the doctor is predicting she will be approximately 8.5 pounds. Unbelieveable!

Physically, I'm feeling good overall, just very tired. I think that fatigue has been far more of a factor for me in the 3rd trimester than any other - probably because I ran on adrenaline during the first two.

The nursery is complete, stroller purchased and the carseat is ready to go (I even know how to use it!).

I am feeling really reflective at this point in the pregnancy - I often wander into the nursery and sit there for a very long time, just thinking about where we've been and where we are now. I feel so grateful for every hiccup, every kick and every little movement. Somehow I don't think I would have been so gracious had this pregnancy come easily. I know I wouldn't.

I am apprehensive about labor, but not really about the pain. All I can think about is getting to that moment where our little girl cries for the first time and we know that everything is really okay with her.

And, I still can't believe the miracle of IVF and the fact that when we first saw her she was 7 or 8 cells. Now, she is a living, thriving little baby kicking inside of me.

It's the miracle of my lifetime.

Friday, July 10, 2009

20 Weeks

The halfway point. We're here.

I'm not sure why it's been nearly 10 weeks since I've posted - I know now from personal experience that getting pregnant does not erase the battle wounds of the last 2 1/2 years.

I originally wanted to post about every aspect of my pregnancy, but somehow it didn't seem appropriate to do so this in this forum because every time I did, I felt like I was evoking pain for someone else. I know that's presumptuous - I mean, in all likelihood if my posts caused pain for anyone out there, surely they'd just stop reading my blog. I know that, but it still felt like "that girl" who can't stop talking about her pregnancy, and my heart has been broken by that person so many times throughout this experience in my life.

Nonetheless, I am inspired to post today to commemorate the midpoint of our pregnancy.

Significant events of the last 9 weeks:
  • We've moved to a new city and are getting settled into a completely new life. I'm not currently working and probably won't for the next few months, which is a huge life transition for me. I've been a career girl for the last 11 years of my life, and taking time off is not something I ever planned - it's just that finding employment at 5 months pregnant in the (ailing) nonprofit world is probably not a great likelihood at this point. I think it's a God-given opportunity to take a break, be pregnant and re-evaluate my life. I feel very blessed (albeit somewhat displaced) to have this time.

  • We are having a little girl. We did not learn this in the way I thought we would - I didn't wake up one morning and think, "Today we'll find out the sex of our child." In fact, like many things in life (i.e. not being able to conceive at will), this fact did not reveal itself in at all the way I imagined that it would. I had a very scary spotting episode en route to vacation at 17 weeks, 4 days. It was the single scariest moment of my life. Unfortunately, I discovered this 1 hour into a two hour flight. We cancelled everything as soon as we landed and headed straight to an ER (which wasn't an easy task to accomplish in Newark, NJ). God led us to a wonderful ER in Somerville, NJ, and we received the care we needed. The spotting stopped as soon as it started and hasn't returned. There was no specific reason given for the episode other than it may have been a bursting capillary on my cervix or the result of a low lying placenta. We'll find out more about the low lying placenta in an ultrasound scheduled for next Friday. Interestingly, in the hour following the spotting discovery on the plane, my thoughts were not of needles, swollen ovaries and egg retrievals - all I could think about was the little face on the ultrasound and the most intense fear that our baby was in distress. It was a horrible moment.

  • My relationship with my IVF friend is officially over. Long story short, I attempted to graciously share the news of our pregnancy with her at 12 weeks before she heard of it from someone else, and subsequently received a nasty response in which I was told I was a "black cloud" that hung over her pregnancy because she had to "walk on eggshells" throughout it because of me. A disappointment, for certain, but a relationship I will never again question putting in my rearview mirror.

I don't know if I'll start posting again. I've noticed that sometimes people create new pregnancy blogs, which I can completely understand. But somehow, this doesn't feel like the right venue for me because I still feel like infertility is undeniably my shadow, even throughout pregnancy: in no way does it feel like a part of my life that's completely finished. I've considered creating a new family blog when our our baby makes her appearance, but that's still very much a dream for me.

Pregnancy post infertility is a moment in life that, to me, has been like a long drink of water after a prolonged drought. I cherish every single minute and revere my growing belly and all 12 pounds of my weight gain. I am still in awe of the whole process and can't quite get over the miracle growing inside me.

I still read your posts and pray regularly that there resolve is on the horizon. This journey is one that seems without ending, although pregnancy resulting from a treatment cycle is accompanied by a profound joy that is no comparison for the feelings experienced by someone who conceives after 2 months of trying.

And no one will ever convince me otherwise.

Monday, May 11, 2009

11 Wk 3 Day Ultrasound

Today my pregnancy felt real for the very first time. Laying there and looking at an ultrasound screen of MY UTERUS and seeing a little baby move around was nothing short of miraculous.

I can't stop looking at the pictures and marveling at the fact that I met this little baby at just 8 tiny cells, and he has now morphed into an actual being with arms and legs that move. (By the way, I'm using "he" here generally.)

Our baby has a little chin, a tiny nose and ears that are moving into place. His arms and legs are moving, and at one point in the ultrasound he arched his back. Our baby is measuring at 12 weeks, so he's growing well - approximately the size of a beautiful lime! Heartbeat increased to 162 beautiful beats per minute. My OB says our baby "looks great".

There is still a part of me that has to convince myself that the monitor was actually connected to my uterus and was not a television appearance of someone else's baby. It's all so surreal, still.

Things are going well - still intermittent nausea that feels exactly like bad car sickness, insomnia (I finally fall asleep to the Golden Girls nearly every night, starting at about 1:30 a.m.) and fatigue when I get home from work. I'm hungry all the time and very emotional.

It was great seeing my OB today because she was so thrilled for us. As we were leaving, she said, "This baby is so lucky to have you two as parents."

We feel so blessed to have this baby. God is good.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Upcoming Ultrasound and Stuff

I haven't been doing too much blogging lately, and I don't really know why. Perhaps it's because the evenings are particularly rough for me - it's usually when nausea kicks in full force. I'm very fortunate that it rarely plagues me at work.

We are 11 weeks today, next ultrasound is Monday, and I have mixed feelings about it. I'm very excited about seeing how much our baby has grown, and I have no reason to believe that the news will be anything but positive. However, the infertility journey changes you...and there's still that nagging feeling that the other shoe is getting ready to drop...

Things have been going well overall. I vascillate between extreme excitement and fear all the time, which is interesting with the hormones running through my body.

I've been thinking a lot lately about how the infertility experience alters the pregnancy experience, like it or not. Every aspect, every successful day seems so much more precious. I literally thank God at the end of every day for getting us through another one.

I went to a party last weekend and was surprised that I felt the familiar lump in my throat when I saw a couple of women there with their infants. Those feelings don't just go away...there's still that odd, sickening mixture of jealousy accompanied by guilt for feeling anything negative at all.

I'm hoping that those feelings will start to dissolve at some point. It's ironic because after one of those moms left the party, I learned from a friend of mine that she and her husband went through 3 rounds of IVF to get their little girl. Amazing how I never even considered that when I first saw them there.

Also of note, my 40 year old boss is pregnant. It was a complete accident, and I think she's becoming more and more excited about it. It's been interesting working with someone whose experience is so opposite of my own in so many ways.

I'll post after Monday's ultrasound. Hope everyone has a wonderful weekend. I think I'm in the mood for some chocolate tonight (and I think I'm actually going to let myself have it - I've been religiously avoiding caffeine in any form - ugh).

Thursday, April 23, 2009

8 Weeks, 6 Days: Hope Re-enters

I love my life these days. I'm feeling stronger every day and am more convinced about the health of our baby.

Most recently, my typical glass is half empty/worry about everything attitude has been challenged by reading Emily's blog (which incidentally, is of a similar name to mine - "What to Expect When You're NOT Expecting"). She recently got her BFP, and has been awe-inspiringly hopeful since her beta. This is the kind of hope and attitude that I believe is best for our baby, and I'm working on embracing this moment instead of succumbing to worry and fear. I really appreciate her optimism and "enjoy-every-minute" mentality.

I think about this little life inside me from the moment I wake up until the moment I go to sleep, and many, many times in between.

Thusfar, our baby has given us no crazy, violent symptoms - just a quiet nausea, food cravings and aversions and most recently, a tasty case of metal mouth. It's just enough to know he/she is down there with a beating heart, and we're smiling through the whole thing: "Money in the bank", as my good friends T. & S. say.

I don't know how many times each day I smile to myself and say, "I can't believe this is actually happening to us."

We've received a few gifts here and there from several close friends and family, which has been a great reminder that this is all actually happening. My friend M. brought over a toy with a little pull cord that plays "Somewhere Over the Rainbow", a song from our wedding. It was so special and even more so because she bought it 2 years ago and has been waiting all this time to give it to us. My parents sent a special bear, our friends A & C sent some cute bibs and my friend S. sent an assortment of baby items "to get us started".

This outpouring of support has been amazing, and I cry every time I open a package with a card that reads "...And Baby Makes Three" - I still can't believe it is actually meant for our little family.

I am working on allowing myself to feel completely hopeful about this pregnancy. We are here, and it's an amazing moment in our lives. I have loved every minute of being pregnant, and believe that this is the most beautiful miracle God has ever created for us.

Hope is something that's been an alien (and inconsistent) concept to me over the last couple of years, and it feels good to feel it re-enter my life. I've missed it.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

8 Wks, 0 Days - Nausea is My Friend

I have a new best friend. Her name is Nausea. She pops up when I haven't eaten in 10 minutes or so, and she is a fabulous indication of a healthy hormonal cocktail flowing through my veins. She isn't overpowering (yet) or even annoying. She's just present.

I have never been so happy to feel like crap.

The beauty of infertility (if there is any beauty about infertility, that is) is that pregnancy symptoms are each small victories to be celebrated. My pants are a little tighter and I'm thrilled. My boobs look like a veiny spiderweb, and I think they're amazing. And, now, Nausea has arrived, and she is the ultimate reassurance.

I absolutely love her.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

We Have a Flicker!

Driving to the clinic yesterday was difficult. I cried as we got closer because I was so scared and excited, all at the same time (the hormones are also helping with this). When I saw my shrink last week, she told me that I really needed to work on letting myself feel some excitement about the first ultrasound of my life that didn't involve cysts, follicles and endometriomas. She was right, it was a brilliant moment.

L. (who can read ultrasounds) saw the baby before I did and smiled at me with a thumbs up. We've developed our own nonverbals for the ultrasound room because his expression always gives me the lowdown before the tech does. It was a relief to see how happy he was, and when the ultrasound tech moved the monitor toward us and showed us the flicker, I caught my breath. 140 beautiful beats per minute. Perfect. Priceless.

Our baby's heart is beating! It is a Divine Miracle.

The icing on the cake: Debbie, my favorite IVF RN came in to share the moment with us. I love that she was there after everything else she's been through with us.

Today I am excited and working on shedding a little of my past failures a little at a time. My shrink says that I have to start thinking about the success of this pregnancy rather than waiting for the other shoe to drop. It's so hard after 2 1/2 years of disappointment, but I'm trying. I want to feel hopeful and excited, and really, I do. It's just so hard to believe this is all actually happening, and I have to look at the ultrasound images on a regular basis to convince myself.

And, the lowgrade nausea I've developed is also helping with the reality check.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

To Tell or Not To Tell...

For those of you who haven't had the opportunity to stop by Baby Smiling in Back Seat's Thoughtful Thursdays, you really should. Cassandra has become one of my favorite fellow bloggers, and I make it a point to stop by every Thursday to read some of the most thought-provoking posts in the blogosphere. Today's Thoughtful Thursday was so relevant, in fact, that my comment is going to be in the form of my own post:

Today's Thoughtful Thursday question is about telling:

"When is it okay to make the pregnancy announcement?"

When L & I naively started trying to make a baby, we were resolute about the 12 week wait. We shook our heads at people who pompously announced their two pink lines before the pee stick even dried: How could they be so stupid??!!

Enter Clomid after a year shrouded in secrecy: This was the point I called my mom, crying, scared that we would end up with 4 or 5 kids in the womb at once. In retrospect, what a joke.

As time wore on, we wrestled with a secret that became harder and harder to keep. Our closest friends had no idea what was going on, and our only support came from each other. While I believe that IF has intensified our relationship in ways I never dreamed possible, having such little outside support was becoming more and more difficult for us both. We began to think that letting a few people in on the situation might actually relieve some of the stress we were feeling so burdened with.

So, we decided to put it out there and we let our closest friends and family in on the most difficult journey of our lives. While it was a difficult decision to make, it was the right one because we could never have made it through IVF without the prayers and support of the people we decided to tell.

Now that we are pregnant, we have shared this joyous news with the same people who so graciously walked with us this far. I believe that if this ends in some unthinkable situation, these are the same people who would support us through the devastation. I can't imagine something like that being a part of my life story without these very same people knowing.

Truthfully, "coming out" to a few select people has been one of the biggest blessings in our lives, without a doubt. It was a risk, but it was worth taking.

As for the "outer circle" (i.e. people at work, more distant friends we don't talk to that often, etc), I won't feel okay telling them until the end of the first trimester - at least. While we are thrilled that we are pregnant, I don't exactly feel compelled to go out and shout it from the rooftop.

So, those of you who are my real life compadres, know that we love you and generally think that you all rock. We are so glad you're on this journey with us.

By the way, have I mentioned that I've eaten almost a whole jar of pickles in less than 24 hours?

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

5 Weeks, 5 Days

I am still waiting for a bunch of fabulous, definitive pregnancy symptoms to pop up, and for the most part, I feel the same physically as I did this time last month (with the exception of the bulging ovaries I had during stims). This is all so surreal: my husband tells me I'm pregnant, I have a good HCG level and then...nothing, or nothing I expected.

After 2 1/2 years of negative tests, I expected this change of mass proportion to take over my body when I was finally pregnant. Pregnancy seemed like a mystical state of being, and I never imagined it being so 'normal'. Frankly, I'm a little nervous about that and would almost prefer the "solace" of raging vomiting episodes.

I have wrestled all week with (my lack of) symptoms. I keep waiting for something magnificent to arise, and to date, it hasn't happened yet. Thusfar, I've experienced:

-Slight fatigue, but nothing overwhelming

-A couple of instances of low grade nausea, but nothing debilitating

-I'm really thirsty all the time, which leads to numerous trips to the bathroom

-Mild cramping (which is more and more intermittent)

-Insomnia - I go to sleep very easily and invariably wake up at about 2 or 3 and can't go back to sleep, and yes, this is a symptom of early pregnancy per Dr. Google.

-Sore breasts

-Vivid dreams (when I finally do sleep)

I am trying to refrain from believing the old wive's tale that a healthy pregnancy is a vomiting pregnancy. Hopefully, I'm just blessed with very few horrible symptoms or maybe it's just too early. After all the stims, hormonal injections and terrifying calls from the IVF nurses (whom I really miss these days, believe it or not!), things are pretty quiet on the pregnancy front.

On another note, I got to tell my dentist I'm pregnant on Monday. For 2 1/2 years, I've been awaiting the moment I could finally announce my pregnancy in response to the obligatory: "So...are there any changes to your health status?"

It's amazing sharing the news in the World of the Fertiles because no one questions anything at all - they seem to cherish a sweet, naive peace of mind that a beautiful baby will magically pop out in 9 months. I was met with high pitched congratulations followed by advice about baby shower gifts.

Ignorance really must be bliss.

One day closer to April 10: Ultrasound Day.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Blame the Hormones

I've sworn to myself through this whole thing that never, ever would I complain about anything "pregnancy related" if God would ever just grant me the opportunity to experience it. And, I'm sticking to that. I can tell you that if morning sickness is every my reality, I will vomit with a smile. Likewise, I will gladly gain weight, sport a pregnancy nose and swollen ankles and hands...all with a gracious laugh. Promise.

However, I didn't expect the anxiety I'm feeling right now because for the first time ever, it feels like there is so much to lose.

I remember when I was a kid, I absolutely couldn't wait until the day my parents trusted me to stay home alone. I imagined that I would be in charge of my two younger sisters, I would eat whatever I wanted, and watch anything I wanted on TV.

But when it finally happened, after the elation wore off, I felt a strange sense of fear. Creaks in the floor were just a little bit louder, and the dark was just a little bit darker. It was actually a little scary.

And, at the risk of sounding like a whinebox, I'm feeling pretty home alone right now. I am elated that we are pregnant. It's beyond thrilling to say to myself, "I'm 5 weeks pregnant on Saturday."

But there are no affirmations right now - no blood test results or ultrasounds, and I'm scared to death of what is (or isn't) going on in there. Yes, I've actually considered buying a few pregnancy tests just to convince myself that this is actually happening.

Enter yet another 2 week wait. Our first ultrasound is 2 weeks from tomorrow: April 10. The thought of an ultrasound that actually involves a baby instead of a follicle counts and and endometriomas is thrilling.

I know, I need to get a grip. Do you think I can blame the hormones?

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

It's a.....


I came home yesterday after working the most intense half day of my life to balloons, beautiful flowers and L. walking around the corner saying words I've longed to hear for 2 1/2 years:

"Congratulations, Babe, you're pregnant!"

The magic number: HCG=857

I am over the moon, thrilled beyond belief and scared to death, all at the same time.

But, mostly, I'm over the moon.

By the way, hearing that your pregnant from your beloved spouse: Priceless.

It's a memory a pee stick just can't possibly grant.

To all of you who have supported us, prayed for us and cheered us on, thank you. This cycle was truly a miracle, and I am completely convinced of the power of prayer and love.

You are all amazing.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Introducing Another IVF "Friend"....

After a great visit with my shrink yesterday afternoon, I walked out into the sunshine actually believing it was okay to feel hopeful about this cycle. She helped me understand that we'll be disappointed (okay, devastated) if this doesn't work, but there's nothing wrong with feeling some hope right now.

Essentially, it's going to suck either way if it's a negative.

After my appointment, I went to have coffee with an old friend I haven't seen in many months. I initiated this time with her because we will be moving in a few months, and I wanted to reconnect with her. She's a bit on the intense side, but I thought it would be a good diversion. She's one half of a couple with no kids, so I knew there would be no baby talk.

Well, I thought I knew.

We talked work for about 30 minutes, from which she launched into a discussion about her recent IVF cycle: "If you ever need a fertility specialist, I know a really good one. We just went through an IVF cycle. By the way, I'm 9 weeks pregnant."

She suggested the specialist in the same tone one would recommend a dentist or a hairstylist.

I was astounded and couldn't help but stammer that we just gone through the same thing. It seemed like the natural thing to do given the circumstances - I mean, I don't typically have coffee with someone for the first time in months only to hear that they just underwent IVF.

Big Mistake.

Her response: "Well, if it doesn't work, I know this great specialist..."

The remainder of the conversation was me listening to her complain about her pregnancy symptoms and how awful being pregnant is - "I'm soooo tired of being sick, and all I want to do is eat. This is just awful."

Needless to say, after a few minutes, I thought of somewhere else I needed to be and abruptly ended this fiasco.

I am realizing that IVF has many faces, and amazingly, simply going through it doesn't mean that you have an ounce of empathy or compassion. I have now encountered two women who have ridden the IVF roller coaster, and I couldn't feel farther apart from either of them in terms of their emotional response to this experience.

Today, I'm moving on from this horrific coffee date. Frankly, a few more months of separation from this friend (if not a permanent arrangement) might definitely be in order.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Side Effects & Diversions

Current side effects of the 2 week wait:

1. Crazy Butt Pain. These progesterone shots are killer. It's not the shot itself, but the aftermath. Yesterday, I felt like a little old lady who needed help just to roll off the couch. In some weird, sadomasachistic way, I actually like these shots because they make me feel like I'm still doing something to keep those little cells viable. Maybe I just got addicted to giving myself shots every night - it sometimes feels like something is missing these days....

2. Cramps. I get nervous when I get them and nervous when I don't. I've read that they're normal and don't mean anything one way or the other, but that sure is hard to buy right now. Yes, I'm still avoiding Dr. Google - he'll be more of an issue next week, if I know me.

3. Anxiety. I'm dealing this by doing nice things for myself. I got a pedicure this afternoon and on the advice of a good friend, purchased a copy of Twilight this afternoon.

Here's to focusing on bloodthirsty vampires instead of dividing embryos.
Thanks, A.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Return to Real Life

I returned to real life today, and I made it through the day. I'm definitely not on my A-game at work, but I'm doing my best. There were several moments when I became so engrossed in work drama today that I realized afterward I hadn't questioned whether our embryos were still dividing in nearly ten minutes.

The highlight of my day was the welcome back I got from my staff - one of them approached me this morning: "Leslie, we're so glad you're back. I'm just going to tell you on the downlow that people have been talking about where you've been...some people thought that you've been out sick because you're pregnant."

UGH!!! Insert forced laugh here and change subject. Quickly.

Thanks to everyone for all your great comments and support yesterday.

Also of note, I was really moved by Cassandra's post today about Affirmations and thought that you might want to check it out, along with all the comments. Very encouraging. And, by the way, she just got a surprise BFP. Stop by and congratulate her and enjoy a very uplifting post.

One more day down....

P.S. Photo today is what I'm praying is happening in my uterus about now.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

This Is Crazy....

The Embryo High has evaporated.

I wasn't exactly expecting all this: the IVF Two-Week Wait is a new animal to me. Frankly, I didn't realize how emotionally difficult this was going to be.

In fact, I invested so much time and energy getting to this point that I never thought about what comes after. After all of the drama and Divine Intervention of the last few days, I feel like I've entered a desert of some kind - there's nothing for miles and miles and miles.

I am preoccupied with the fact that with Divine Assistance, we created life, and it was subsequently placed in my uterus. I am overwhelmed with this crazy emotional attachment to it, along with a sickening fear about whether or not it's still there.

I know I need to stay positive, keep hopeful, keep the faith.

I just never in a million years realized how hard this was going to be. I can't even fathom how I'm going to feel the night before that pregnancy test.

The IVF 2 week wait is the CROWN JEWEL of all 2 week waits. It doesn't get any more intense than this, at least not in my humble infertility experience.

Pales. In. Comparison.

Words of wisdom from those of you who have been through this would really be welcomed.

Really welcomed.

Praying. Praying. Praying.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Transfer Day

For anyone out there who is contemplating the pros and cons of IVF, making it to Transfer Day definitely goes in the priceless column. Regardless of the outcome of this whole experience, seeing your little embryos for the first time is a moving achievement in the IF journey.

The clinic staff did an amazing job of making this a very special experience for us, giving us pictures and the petri dish our embryos were growing in. (By the way, I want to post these pictures but am still trying to figure that out).

We were able to see the embryos magnified thousands of times on a television screen as they pulled them up through the catheter.

We put back two embryos - a 7 cell and an 8 cell. Dr. A. said that things looked good - and that the embryos actually looked like they had developed further by the time of transfer (which was later than scheduled originally yesterday).
No word on the other embryos other than they are still growing. We'll find out later as to whether or not they'll make it to freeze.

Today, I'm on bedrest and trying to take it easy. I'm watching my favorite shows and praying at regular intervals that this is going to work.

It's a leap of faith, I know. I feel so much better knowing that we were able to get this far, and I'm just focusing on that right now. I'm trying not to focus too much on the risk we have taken and the fear of failure.

Right now, I'm just enjoying my embryo high.

Thanks again to everyone for your unfailing support and prayers throughout this crazy cycle. You make the experience so much more easy to live through.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

We Have Embryos!!!

Today we are celebrating that this is the absolute closest we've come!! After almost 2 1/2 years and absolutely NO positive pregnancy tests, we have embryos!!!

No matter what happens with this process, I have a renewed hope that I have never experienced before.

The report:

All 9 of our fertilized eggs have divided. The lab says they like to see them at 2-4 cell at this point.

2 are at 4 cell.

1 is a 3 cell.

6 are at 2 cell

One of the 2 cells has a little more fragmentation than they would like.

Transfer is a 3-day - and is scheduled for tomorrow at 2:15.

Please continue to pray for us as we move forward. We are thrilled to have the opportunity to move further into this process with the knowledge that we have what it takes to make these little marvels, which is a tremendous relief to me - no matter what the outcome (Make sure you remind me of that in the 2 week wait - ha ha).

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Fertilization Report

The call finally came around 10 this morning.

Of the 15, 11 were mature, and 9 fertilized. They'll call tomorrow with another update.

We are ecstatic and so blessed this morning.

Update tomorrow.

Friday, March 6, 2009


As I came out of my retrieval haze this morning, the first word I heard L. say was, "15". I absolutely couldn't believe it and apparently retorted, "No, that can't be right. They must mean 1.5."

After this, I asked the nurse for a glass of Pinot Grigio.

They retrieved 15 eggs today. I don't know if my ovaries went into overdrive these last couple of days or what, but I am still shaking my head in disbelief at this number.

Fertilization report will be around 9 a.m. tomorrow. The lab met with us before we left and explained everything they'll be doing with our eggs and sperm today. This is an amazing process, and I am awe-struck by everything they're doing to help us.

We had a fantastic experience with the nursing staff as well - we were the only retrieval this morning so they were able to give us lots of attention, which was very reassuring.

This has been a thrilling day, and I'm trying to stay focused on my faith here. Everything will work out just as it is supposed to, and that's exactly what I'm praying for.

This is uncharted territory for me, however, and I find myself worrying about what's going on in that lab tonight.

This is such an amazing odyssey to share with L., and I feel so close to him right now. Last night when we arrived at our hotel, he gave me a letter he had written about how much he loved my strength through this process and an "IVF present" - a necklace I was admiring the other day.

God has blessed me with an amazing husband.

Thank you to everyone who has been praying for us and sending us so much support.

Looks like we're moving on to the next IVF Funhouse room tomorrow.

It's going to be a long night.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Ovarian Update

We're headed to retrieval.

The Nurse said that things have developed really well over the last 2 days, and that my ovaries seem to be "getting the message".

Final Count: 4 maturing follicles, 2 hopefuls

E2=2125 (promising!)

Trigger: Wednesday night

Appointment with shrink: Thursday

Retrieval: Friday

I am so relieved that we're finally going through with this.

Thank you to everyone who has encouraged me through phone calls, texts, comments, and e-mails these last few days. Your support has been uplifting and much appreciated. I sincerely believe your prayers made all the difference.

I'll keep you posted.

Sunday, March 1, 2009


If I had one wish today (aside from the obvious cuddly, beautiful infant), it would be that, just once, infertility could be a tiny bit clearer, less murky and generally more cut and dry.

Basically, I'm clamoring to get the hell out of this Funhouse.

Ultrasound results: 6 follicles - 16.5, 13, 12, 11.5, 9.5 and 9.5.


My favorite nurse actually came in on a Sunday just to talk things over with us, which brought tears to my eyes (and, no, it's not just the massive amounts of estrogen flowing through my body).

She said that in no way do any of my test results indicate perimenopause. However, this low follicle count likely means that we are always going to have less to work with in an IVF cycle as it is similar to what we had last cycle on the Lupron (long) protocol. Gulp.

In other words, we're probably never going to skip down the hall after an ultrasound basking in the glow of multitudes of follies. Not going to happen. These are the ovaries I have, and like it or not, this is what they're putting out.

So, it's a matter of rolling the dice - do we want to take the leap of faith with 4 follicles (which might be the best case scenario, given that the 9.5ers probably will not catch up in time)?

We are torn.

On one hand, we know that it takes one egg, one sperm to make an embryo. And, one embryo is all we need.

On the other hand, L. is a medical professional, and we realize that the statitstics aren't good here.

But, let's face it, things probably aren't going to get better in subsequent cycles.

The Plan: In a classic sequence of events I will have to recount later, we began Cetrotide today in an attempt to save the Big Girl (the 16.5er). Continue Menopur and Gonal-F.

Sunday night: Pray.

Monday - Pray. Pray. Pray.

Next ultrasound: Tuesday morning and Pray.

Tuesday afternoon: Deliberation/Decision Time.

Damn, IF really sucks.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Entering the IVF Funhouse

The IVF Funhouse is a place where there are no answers - not until you finally get out, anyway. One stumbles in, wanders from one room to the next hoping for some direction, some "straightening out", only to be pushed to the next room where things are just as warped as they were in the room before.

It never fails, every time I go into these ultrasounds, I still believe somewhere deep down that I'm going to walk out with something definitive...which never happens in the Funhouse. You're perpetually told by Nurse Nightingales and Ultrasound Techs that you'll need to wait for the next phone call, the next bloodwork, the next ultrasound, etc., etc.

Our ultrasound today wasn't as bad as I thought. L., who has read an ultrasound or two in his time, said that my ovaries looked good - there were numerous follicles, just not big enough to measure yet. I feel a little better because per his medical opinion, my ovaries are nowhere near prunes yet (admittedly, I wonder if he would tell me if they were....).

In fact, I have two measurable follicles - both around 10.5 mm, with about 6-8 close in size, right behind them. E2=381. Not a huge number of follicles, but promising nonetheless. And, certainly more promising than the dark room I wandered out of on Monday.

So, the plan: another ultrasound on Sunday because Dr. A. is concerned about those 10.5'ers growing into the magic 13, which is when Cetrotide becomes a part of the med regimine. She doesn't want for me to ovulate early and wants to catch the magic window as soon as it gets here. Gee, I appreciate her attention to detail here.

Of course, in typical Funhouse Fashion, I am a little confused about whether this is good or bad - I mean at least we have two follicles who look like they're taking off, but I'm worried about them taking over and keeping the others from growing - which seems to be my pattern.

Who can tell?

No choice but to sit back and see what Funhouse Fun awaits us in the next room. Stay tuned.

Monday, February 23, 2009


Why this is all happening is a question I ask myself countless times a day. I know there are many people in my life who believe L. and I are "too preoccupied" with having a baby and that if only we would destress, slow down and relax, a baby would magically appear.

Of course, I know this isn't the case, and I also know damn well that the scientific odds are stacking up against us every day.

Especially today.

Today, I got the go ahead from Dr. A. to start stimming tomorrow morning. When I asked the RN about my antral follicle count, she paused, took a deep breath and barreled forward. I could tell it was a question she didn't want to answer.

She said that I have "3 or 4" follicles on each ovary, a number well below the average for my age. This was also the case last month, something that I didn't want to look at or think about, so I just didn't.

I suppose IVF is sort of like Pandora's Box that way - one learns things that might have been best unsaid, unknown. We are proceeding with this cycle, come what may because Dr. A. doesn't think the numbers are going to get any better, and we're moving forward under much less than ideal circumstances.

I can't say I'm looking forward to this, and I can't say I'm even hopeful. I don't understand how we got here. I had convinced myself that my ovaries were okay, but today I learned that they are "sluggish" and "working really hard to produce a small number of follicles".

Not a good sign.

Menopur every morning; Gonal-F injections every night. First ultrasound: Friday.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Close Encounters of the Jackass Kind

On Friday I started spotting and called the Clinic, fearing that we might miss our window if I actually waited for red blood flow like a normal person. Thus, Dr. A. wanted me to drive up for an ultrasound on Saturday.

Fortunately, my sister came into town on Friday afternoon and since L. was working, we made the drive together on Saturday morning.

I lost track of the speed limit somewhere between discussing her latest male conquest and the injustice of her friend who got a girl pregnant during their 2 month relationship which has subsequently ended in paternity testing and attorneys (EERRGGHH!! Stories like that drive me mad!!!).

When (20-something) Mr. Cop Jackass pulled us over, I began inwardly perseverating over how long he was going to detain us and whether or not I would make the appointment on time.

Mr. Cop Jackass: "Good Morning. Where are you ladies headed this morning?"

Me: "We're going to the Clinic."

Mr. Cop Jackass: "Oh, well, what takes you to the Clinic?"

Me (Seriously consider telling him it was none of his damn business, before my fear of a $200 ticket in addition to the $300+ for today's ultrasound overtook me, making me a bit of a pansy ass.): "Ummmm, infertility treatment."

Mr. Cop Jackass: "Oh, so nothing emergent."

Me (Uhhh, dude, I turn 35 less than 3 months, so it sure feels emergent to me): "Well...actually, it is pretty emergent."

Mr. Cop Jackass (with only the faintest flash of embarrassment): "Well, I'm going to let you off with a warning this time, but you need to slow it down."


I'm sure Mr. Cop Jackass was inwardly applauding his own virility, thinking IF would never happen to him and his super masculine sperm, but at least he found it in his heart to let me get to my appointment, without adding another $200 to the debt pile.

The ultrasound showed that my lining (12) is too thick for meds, and it needs to shed.

A.F. swooshed in around 11 p.m. last night.

I'll call for next steps today, but I'm sensing re-entry into the IVF Funhouse.

Monday, February 16, 2009

IVF: The Hard Sell?

On Monday I called IVF Clinic #3, an operation that just opened in town. The Clinic is new, an offshoot of a larger clinic about an hour away, poised to take over this City because the clinic here (IVF Clinic #1, whom we fired long ago) truly sucks. (Our Clinic is 2 hours away, and going there was a very calculated decision after much consternation and research).

I called the office manager simply to ask if this new Clinic would be willing to take care of my monitoring. My empty uterus is tiring of hanging out in the OB waiting room alongside at least 20 pregnant bellies, all belonging to starry-eyed fertiles anticipating their magical moment ahead with the vagina cam.

Clinic #3's office manager, Michelle, was more than happy to respond to my request.

Before I knew it, Michelle spawned into a female version of Herb of WKRP fame, trying to sell me a used car. She proceeded to insult my current doctor, insisting that it would be "so easy" to fire Clinic #2 and use her clinic instead for our IVF cycle.

Me: Well, I'm not sure how we feel about switching at this point in the game, and our Clinic has a really renowned reputation.

Michelle/Herb: You know, Leslie, you all have dealt with a lot of setbacks with this. Maybe it was all meant to be - we're up and running and would be much closer to you. Maybe you were meant to go through IVF with us.

Me: Again, I just wanted to talk about ultrasounds and bloodwork. And, my husband is working late tonight. I'm not going to make any decisions without him.

Michelle/Herb: Really, Leslie, I can get you in with one of our docs first thing in the morning. Let me go over our price list with you.

Me: Goodbye.

I hung up the phone feeling violated. What kind of an idiot do you think I am? We spent months researching Clinic #2, and yes, Nurse Nightingale made a critical mistake last cycle. But, how stupid (and vulnerable) do you think I am?

Okay, I may be vulnerable and infertile, but I'm not an idiot.

Needless to say, looks like we're sticking with the OB-GYN.

Seeing the shrink tomorrow, and looking forward to it.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Weekly Highlights

1. I received an e-vite to a former coworker's baby shower. Ummm, no.

2. The obligatory work baby shower: I supervise a girl who is pregnant and was asked by another staff I supervise when we were going to start planning the shower.

My response: "Thanks for volunteering."

3. A former staff decided to pop in to show off her newborn baby. I pasted a smile on my face and forced myself out of my office to ooh and ahh about how wonderful she looks and how beautiful the baby is. As talk turned to the great tax break she got for her newborn child (apparently, the government loves fertiles too), she said, "Hey, do you girls mind if I breast feed?"

Ummmm, seriously?

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Officially Lapped

Back in November, I went to coffee with a good friend of mine who I was sure was going to confirm what I already knew - that she was pregnant with #2.

The confirmation didn't come that night.

The evening was uneventful, and in the days that followed, before I knew it, two months had passed since we had spoken. This was previously a very close relationship, - we just seem to have less and less in common lately. It just feels like we don't fit anymore.

Nonetheless, I received the following e-mail from her last week:

Dear Leslie,

First of all, I apologize that I am writing you this in an email - please don't misunderstand it as impersonal or a lack of courage. I know that I can only try to imagine how you are feeling right now, but I think that I would prefer to receive these news in a way where I get a chance to digest it and do not have to make a happy face to my friend's bittersweet news. I guess, in the end, there is no perfect way to say this...

I am writing you today to tell you that I am pregnant. I know how hard it must be for you to hear yet another pregnancy announcement right now and how much it must hurt you. But not telling you wouldn't be fair either. Please do not feel like you have to react to this email right away. I am also not expecting you to sound excited when we do talk. I understand. I just want you to be yourself and say what you're feeling. Let's get together for coffee soon. Just let me know when is good for you.

I'm sorry, Leslie.

I have been so pained by this that I haven't responded, and I'm struggling with what to do here. Yes, I realize that it was incredibly thoughtful of her, and she is a very special person. I do not want to lose this relationship.

However, I don't feel like I can handle this right now. "Not talking about it" would be like ignoring the elephant in the living room, and sitting there across from her at coffee would be so painful for me. I remember when she told me she was pregnant with #1 - we had just gotten married and were getting ready to start trying ourselves. It's amazing to me that here we are, almost three years later and we're still running in place.

I'm interested in your thoughts and opinions about this before I respond.

Is it possible to take a Friendship Holiday?

Thursday, February 5, 2009

The Gremlins in My Back Seat

Approximately 10 minutes into my session with the Infertility Shrink today, she stopped me and said, "You've already given up on this, haven't you?"

I sat there in disbelief that this woman deciphered my soul in all of a few minutes. (Damn, I'm one complex chick.)

And, I admitted it: "Yes, I've decided that IVF isn't going to work for us."

She responded by saying, "You're not ready for this then."

Then she broke it down for me: I have "befriended" all of the painful disappointments over the last 27 months: Every month of negatives, every failed treatment cycle, every pain at someone else being pregnant (again), every moment of utter hell this experience has catalyzed. These failings are all sitting right behind me. And, I spend a lot of time nurturing these little "friends", feeding them, caring for them and in general, feeling sorry for myself (which I absolutely will not deny).

In turn, they're holding me back and prohibiting me from looking forward.

I argued with her at first, telling her that I'm not into this positive thinking stuff because, come on, IVF is anything but a rainbows and butterflies kind of experience.

And, she agreed with that. However, she said that IVF is moving forward, and it's the movement toward our dream of becoming parents that we want. Meanwhile, the Gremlins in my backseat are tugging at me, begging me to stay back with them and have a few drinks. And, frankly, I find the Gremlins hard to resist - the pain of infertility sucks, and there's just nothing like a little self pity to take the edge off.

However, my IF Shrink says that I need to be in a better place if we're going to proceed with this cycle. And if I keep looking backward, hanging out with my Gremlin pals, I'm not going to be able to move onward.

I knew last week that I needed to get a grip on my perspective. My Shrink says that I have to accept that this is our experience, and that it is independent of everyone else's pregnancies, babies and children.

She said that I also have to accept the timing element of this thing (and the lack of control I have over it). If we haven't come through an IVF cycle yet, then the timing wasn't right, and when it is, we will move through.

And, I need to learn to squash those dumbasses in the backseat.

Monday, February 2, 2009


I had the privilege of overhearing these "gemstone conversations" at work this week:

1. Girls at Work: "Yes, my sister had her baby this weekend. They're planning to have another one in 2010 because they've had one in 2008 and 2009. Isn't that funny?"

In My Head: Ummm, Ha. Ha. I can't believe people (i.e. bunny rabbits) actually plan this baby thing like planning a vacation or buying a new car and that it actually comes to fruition.

Cannot identify on any level.

2. Girl at Work (who incidentally happens to be aware of my situation): "My husband and I are going to try and start getting pregnant this year. I'm telling you, I don't dread labor and delivery - I dread that first 3 months of pregnancy. I just don't even know how I'll make it through all the morning sickness that my mother had."

In My Head: Ummm, excuse me while I throw up at the grotesque superficiality and naivity of this little gemstone of a comment. This statement is from a girl who is totally aware that I am begging my doctor to allow me to inject my belly with a hormonal cocktail. Need I say more?

Again, cannot identify on any level.

It's amazing how IF has changed my perspective. I suppose these are things I would have laughed at or commented on three years ago. Now, I just shake my head and get the hell out of the room as quickly as possible.

And, if I hear one more thing about the octuplets...

Damn good thing therapy is scheduled for Thursday.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Back to the (in)Fertility Shrink

I made an appointment with the (in)Fertility Shrink for next Thursday. I haven't seen her in several months, but I am going to have get some perspective on all of this - I'm not doing very well with it at all.

I've been asking myself a very difficult question since yesterday, and it keeps going through my head over and over again: Why didn't I call earlier? Why did I wait until 10 days after I stopped the pill to call those nurses?

I am not blaming myself for this. I am, however, questioning the fact that I am not a lackadaisical person about these kinds of things. I am the overly worried, neurotic, anal-retentive patient who begs the ultrasound tech to tell me everything she's seeing as she sees it. I carry a green three ring binder to all my appointments. I am the patient who drives these nurses crazy with question after question.

My sister called me Monday evening and asked, "So, has it started yet?"

My response was, "No, and I'm not really worried about it. It'll start when it starts."

That's not like me because I really was feeling a sense of apathy. Obviously. I waited 10 whole days to do anything about it.

I think a part of me is so tired that I don't even want to think about it anymore. I've enjoyed my break, and I'm not overly enthused about getting back into the game.

So tell me, have you ever just felt like enough is enough, and how in the hell did you find it in yourself to keep trudging through this?

By the way, this is not a rhetorical question - I would really like your feedback. I need some momentum. Badly.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

I Am So Over This Whole Thing

I've really had it.

Apparently, Nurse Nightingale forgot to explain to me that I should be looking for a little spotting and not a full blown period. So, I missed it.


I called the Clinic today, and they said that I have to wait for my next period (which is probably about 3 weeks away) because I somehow should have known that a little spotting was my period this cycle. I've been sitting around waiting for the real thing. Then, it's baseline all over again, and I guess stims - I'm waiting to hear back from them about that part.

I am furious with her for not explaining that for me. I am furious with myself for not being more proactive by calling sooner. And I am most furious with the fact that we even have to go through this crazy madness.

This is getting ridiculous.

I am beginning to think that we aren't supposed to do this. It's like we can't even get past the starting line, and I'm so tired of going through this again and again.

So, I'm feeling sorry for myself because I don't understand why this is happening or what I've done in my life to deserve this misery (must have been something pretty damned bad). It just keeps happening over and over again, and I'm just exhausted of dealing with all the pregnant people, the fact that my 35th birthday is about 4 months away and the fact that practically everyone I know is well into their child bearing/having experience.

So, if we go forward (and I guess we don't have a choice since the money is already out there), we're looking at yet another month away.

I'm so tired.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Aunt Flo is an Ugly Trog!

Well, Auntie (Bitchass) Flo is taking her sweet time...still sitting here waiting for something to happen.

I've been a little crampy here and there - I'm guessing it will be Monday or so before she finally decides to ride into town. Our 2K worth of meds will have to refrigerate until she gets here.

On a positive note (and I have to think of something positive these days), I will admit I have enjoyed my extra week of lattes.

Monday, January 19, 2009

It's a Go...Today, Anyway

I'm still on the bandwagon, as of today. This cycle I am just realistic - my goal is just to hold onto the wagon and remain in the process as long as I can. Vanished is my idealistic self who used to believe that a girl could give herself a few shots, go through an egg retrieval and end up with a few embryos. I get it now - it's an accomplishment just to make it from one step to the next.

Baseline ultrasound and E2 levels indicate that we can move ahead, per Nurse Nightingale. The cyst is still present on my left ovary, but is the same size. No worries about it presently.

Now, I'm just waiting for Aunt Flo to appear. Meds will start on Day #3.

As is typical in IF Land, I am now waiting again and mentally preparing for the numerous (additional) questions that will no doubt arise in the next few days.


Saturday, January 17, 2009

Facebook Finer Points and The Plan

When my friend A. talked me into this Facebook thing, I joined with some hesitation. I was expecting lots of questions from the people of my past about how many kids we have and/or why the hell we haven't popped one out.

That's hasn't exactly been the case.

While most of the time I find Facebook rather amusing, I am astounded when I see someone much, much younger than me with kids who look like they're about to enter high school. At those moments, I force myself to push forward (without torturing myself with their photos), reminding myself that I thank God every day I did not procreate with the "Men of My 20s".

Moving onward with The Plan -

We have our baseline ultrasound scheduled for Monday at 11 a.m. L. has been educated in the finer points of mixing Menopur via phone. Nurse Nightingale was a little hesitant about this initially, insinuating that we may have to drive the 2 hours to the clinic to learn this "IVF skill". However, L. talked her into a phone course, and she ultimately said he did a "great job".

It's moments like these when I realize how far I have come - I would have been PETRIFIED about this kind of thing a few months ago, and my confidence has now grown to the point that surely if I can give myself injections, surely I can mix up some powder and saline with L's tutelage.

If all goes well with the ultrasound, we'll start stimming on Day 3 of my upcoming cycle.

Trying to stay the way, today's image is my attempt at positive visualization. This is our beautiful goal ahead!!!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Silver Linings and Ship Jumpers

This weekend, my sisters, mom, aunt and cousin came to help me paint a wall in my home as we are getting ready to put our house on the market. They all know what a stressor this house-selling thing is for me, and they wanted to alleviate as much of my anxiety as possible in hopes of helping with our upcoming IVF cycle.

I marveled at the love I felt at being so "taken care of" by these phenomenal women who support me implicitly.

Over my 34 years (10 of which have been spent in the counseling profession), I've been exposed to many stories of human adversity and the way it often leads to the scattering of so-called friends.

I never believed it, really. The truth is, I never believed it would happen to me, that is.

Until now, I didn't realize that life's storms are often more than some people can handle. I could have never predicted who would earnestly hang with me and who would run for cover (or jump off the Titanic, as my sister puts it so eloquently).

Perhaps the silver lining of these ship-jumpers is the renewed appreciation in those people in your life who continually cheer you on, who listen and who even let you get by with a bad attitude here and there because of the adversity.

So, if you're reading this, thank you. It undoubtedly means that you are part of the silver lining of another otherwise perilous journey.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Protocol Is In...

Nurse Nightingale called this afternoon with my brand new protocol.
Here's the plan:
  1. Birth control pills until 1/18/09

  2. Call Nurse Nightingale THE MINUTE Aunt Flo swooshes in

  3. Baseline on cycle day 2 or 3

  4. Begin 150 mg. Gonal F in the morning

  5. Begin 150 mg. of Menopur at night

  6. When follicles reach 13 mm, begin using Cetrocide

If everything goes according to plan (and I am based in reality this cycle, so that's a big IF), egg retrieval and transfer should be sometime early February.

I know very little about Menopur and Cetrocide other than that I am being fed no drugs which directly suppress ovarian function. Per Nightingale, my brain will be doing the work.

Hmmm..that sounds eerily reminiscent of Clomid, my scary drug.

I'm actually feeling fortunate that Dr. A. doesn't want to do "more of the same". When you're playing around with this kind of money, it's nice to know there's a little variety in the gamble, particularly when last time was such a flop.

Here's to a very expensive rendezvous with the pharmacy....

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Ready for Reality

Call me crazy, but I'm ready to return to work tomorrow. I'm really ready to focus on something other than my vacant uterus.

I knew I was ready to return to work when I felt angry, annoyed and irritated with every mommy at the grocery store today. I kept looking at these blissfully happy women and wondering to myself, "What the hell does your uterus have that mine doesn't?"

Definitely time to return to the grind. 8 a.m. can't get here quickly enough.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Let the Roller Coaster Ride Begin! (With a Twist of Irony, Of Course)

Yesterday I called the Clinic and left a message that my cycle start date was 12/31 and that I wanted to see about getting orders from Dr. A. so we could start moving forward. I presumed I wouldn't start anything until Lupron around the 20th of Jan.

Couple of hours later I received a voicemail (I missed the call - UGH!) from the nurse saying that Dr. A. has written our orders and that since she's changing our protocol for this cycle (which I didn't know until I received this message), we just missed the "window of opportunity" for this month but would have "plenty of time" to get things started with my next cycle.

Ummm, no, waiting is not an option.

She said that if we had questions, we could call back. Due to their reduced Holiday hours, they would be leaving at 4:30, and would return to full hours on Monday.

It was 4:26 when I received this message. So, I called back, no answer.

I freaked out for the next few minutes and then decided to call back again. It was 4:32.

The nurse answered (for which I'm convinced she deserves the Nurse Nightingale Award).

She said that Dr. A. wants to change my protocol, which means birth control pills beginning on cycle day 3. Since we connected, we're going to be able to proceed this month, and the nurse agreed to call in my birth control pills.

But, birth control pills? Seriously?

I've read that this is a standard sort of thing for IVF, but in my mind, it is the ultimate irony. I can't believe I'm officially back on the pill. I popped my first one last night.

So, I'm 34 years old, have been trying to conceive for 26 cycles and I'm taking the pill again. This roller coaster sucks.

We still have some kinks to work out on Monday about the stims she wants to use, but IVF attempt #2 is officially in motion.

Will keep you posted.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Hello, 2009!

I've always loved the New Year because it affords me an opportunity to be a little sentimental and philosophical about the passing year. Last year, I created a Top Ten list for our Christmas cards, reflecting back over the events occurring in our family over the course of 2007.

This year, I didn't have the creative energy to put it together (along with the energy to do much of anything "Holiday-related"), but now that it's Jan. 2 (IT'S FINALLY HERE!!), I have developed a new energy to document 2008's highlights, so here goes:

10. I ran a minimarathon with my good friend Angela. It was an amazing experience, and I loved every minute of it. I'm excited about doing it again someday.

9. Vacations to Boston and Washington D.C. Great trips, and according to everyone I know with kids, someday I'll be even more grateful for these "pre-kid" memories.

8. Starting a new job. It wasn't something I expected out of the year, but it was a tremendous gift all in all.

7. Discovering the blog world. This is certainly one of the best things that happened to me this year. Blogging has become an incredible, invaluable therapy for me through this infertility experience.

6. Progress in Infertility-ville: We endured half of an IVF cycle and 3 IUIs in 2008. Sure, none of them were successful, but we made it anyway (i.e. we're still alive).

5. L. started interviewing for jobs. This is a major hurdle in our lives as he's been in school for a very long time, and hopefully, life is going to settle down a little in 2009.

4. Significant family events: My sister broke up with her commitment-phobic boyfriend (this time, it's for good) and L.'s brother got married (my new sister-in-law and are far from what I would call "best friends", but we've managed to find some common ground with each other because, after all, what choice do we have?).

3. I endured IF and it's impact on my friendships. Some of this has been a disappointing (and harrowing) experience, but I've moved on nonetheless and am learning the merits of self-care.

2. I am learning that maybe unexplained infertility is a decent diagnosis if you have to have a diagnosis at all. I'm still working on this one, but L. almost has me convinced.

1. I feel closer than ever to my wonderful, amazing, committed, loyal husband. And, it just doesn't get better than that. No, I can't say that my #1 2008 is a positive pregnancy test, or the birth of a child. What I can say with absolute certainty, however, is that I am married to the most wonderful person for me on Earth.

So, that's my Top Ten List for the year. I'm going to dive back into the blogging world - I've missed you all, and I'm ready to start plugging along with you again.

Happy 2009. I hope it's "The Year" for us all.

By the way, we had a great kid-free New Year's, and it really rocked!! :)

Also, to celebrate the long-awaited arrival of January 2, I called the Clinic to let them know that we're ready to get started on the IVF thing again. Looks like Lupron will start around the 20th.