Monday, July 27, 2009

So... do I sound pregnant?

Thanks for all the good thoughts yesterday. The IUI went off perfectly.

As perfectly as having a catheter shoved up your hoo-ha can go, at least.

Isn't this fun?!

We showed up at 8:30 am for our *ahem* deposit. Then we had over an hour to kill before our IUI. I knew my brain was going to start bleeding if I heard another John Secada song piped into the waiting room, so we decided to bolt. Fortunately Jen had suggested beforehand that we go to Grand Central Bakery down the street. DH and I both got coffee (decaf for me -- not giving the pregnancy fairy another reason to pass me over) and bread pudding. Yum.

We got back around 9:45 am. DH and I read our books while we waited: "If you Deceive" for me and "Firestorm: Allied Airpower and the Destruction of Dresden" for him. I thought it would be funny if we sat down and started reading each other's books. You know, DH getting engrossed in a romance novel with two lovers on the front, their bodies passionately entwined under a Scottish tartan thing. Not that anyone there would have noticed. Infertiles are generally a serious bunch in these waiting rooms. The tension! Even my karaoke version of a Mariah Carey song went unappreciated.

The nurse who performed the IUI was friendly. It went smoothly, no problems. DH and I stayed another 15 minutes after our menage a trois so I could keep the old hips propped. Then it was off to our romantic anniversary brunch!

DH had made reservations for the two of us at Salty's on Alki Beach, which is famous for its amazing brunch buffet and views of Puget Sound and downtown Seattle. I was reminded yet again that although I have many talents, buffeting is not among them. There's just too much pressure when you have limited stomach space and an enormous spread of food that stretches around the room. How do you know you got the best combination? Plus, I generally don't like breakfast food or most seafood, and well... yeah, this was a seafood breakfast buffet. Didn't really think that one all the way through. Nevertheless, I did find some delish dishes to nosh, and the view really was spectacular. Not to mention the company.

Now I am 1 DPO. I feel like I've had this giant "1" following me around all day, like the "U" that followed Lionel Riche around on Sesame Street while he sang "Stuck on You." That totally freaked me out when I was little, it was all clinging to him and he looked upset trying to pry it off. I assume he got that thing off eventually, but as a kid I was worried! Anyway, yes, the TWW has begun, and I feel every second of it.

This wait will be different, as it's the first cycle I am on progesterone following ovulation. My blood test did not indicate that I have low progesterone, but Dr. Downtown's motto is, "Why not?" (My answer: "Umm... my time, effort, and money. Not to mention the lovely leakage. But you're the doc!") So anyway, this progesterone is going to throw off all my normal symptom analysis. And I was also looking forward to the shorter LP that comes with injectible cycles, but now I'm wondering if the progesterone supplements will lengthen it again? Time will tell.

Just because I'm a downer like that, I constantly remind myself that even under the best conditions, the most optimistic success rates for IUIs with injectibles is 20%. So a whopping 80% chance that I will have to do this again next month.

I'm exhausted already.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Happy anniversary to us!

If you'd like to read my tribute to my wonderful, amazing, and adorable husband, click here.

If you'd like to wish us luck on our IUI this morning, comment below.

But I won't hold it against you if you do neither.

I might, however, love you a little bit more if you do both.

Friday, July 24, 2009

A round of applause for my uterus, please *updated again*

My lining measured at more than 15 mm today. Wow! That sounds so comfy, even I would like to crawl in there and gestate for nine months.

Okay, not really.

I'd miss the last season of Monk.

I know, I could get the DVDs later.

But it's not the same.

Get on with it!

The follies are also looking great. One on the right ovary is 17 mm, then a 16 mm and 15 mm on the left. With the right being my "lucky" side, I'm thrilled with this outcome. Hoping for one -- ONE! -- perfect little baby.

I will trigger tonight right before bed, and if I can ever get through to the clinic to schedule the appointment, the IUI will be on Sunday morning.

T-minus two days.

Edited to add: HOLD YOUR APPLAUSE! I just learned from Dr. Google that when the lining is 15 mm or greater, it may be too thick for implantation. And could be related to my endo. Shite.

And again: I emailed Dr. Downtown about my concern over the thickness of my lining. He maintains that Dr. Google did not specialize in fertility and said that he is still optimistic. I am struggling to be the same.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Deja vu

(Or: When hope and hopelessness collide)

This morning was my first follicle check since starting the Follistim. For those of you who haven't needed a bunch of people in labcoats present when you conceive (but I highly recommend it... sexy!), the doc was looking at two main things during this ultrasound: the thickness of my lining, to make sure it is substantial enough to support implantation; and what size my follicles are. When the follicles are big enough, they will have me give myself a trigger shot of HcG in order to force ovulation. Then the IUI is timed 34ish hours later, which is when ovulation should be occurring based on the trigger shot timing. And then, wham bam thank-you-ma'am, I am with child.

Or that's the theory, anyway.

So on to the appointment. The doc was pleased to find that my lining is measuring 13.1 mm. This, my friends, is impressive. For reference, 10 mm is the point considered more than adequate by most REs, so clearly mine is kicking some major ass. I am thinking of having my uterus host a seminar on growing such an impressively cozy home for potential embryos. Just to help offset the cost of the medication.

Now, drumroll please.... the follicles.

Right side: 14 mm

Left side: 15 mm and 13 mm

Some of you are nodding appreciatively, while some of you are thinking that this makes about as much sense as that bizarre fog beast thing on Lost. For the latter, a bit more explanation. (About my follicles, of course. You are on your own with the fog beast.) The doc saw three dominant follicles doing their thang in my ovaries. One on the right side, two on the left. Those are their measurements.

On the generic clinic paperwork I have, it says that the doctor will have me take the ovulation trigger shot when a follie hits 17-18 mm. Which is right in line with what my previous RE had me do. However, Dr. Downtown has noted specifically that he wants me to trigger at 16 mm. Unfortunately I didn't see him today so I couldn't ask him why so early. But his partner (who read this in Dr. Downtown's notes) said that I should come back tomorrow for another check, and if we hit the magic number, it's trigger time.

It also means: the possibility of triplets. In fact, the doc specifically stopped to discuss with me that each follicle is a potential baby. I loved that he did this. One of my biggest pet peeves about infertility is when doctors DO NOT monitor the follicle development and DO NOT inform the couple of how many eggs could potentially be fertilized by the IUI. I find it extremely unethical and sloppy. (This is what I believe happened with Jon & Kate Plus Eight, by the way.) Before DH and I started injectible treatments two years ago, we sat down and discussed what our opinions were on this subject. Because we didn't want to face the possibility of higher order multiples -- and selective reduction is not an option we'd personally consider -- we agreed that if I had four or more follicles, we would not proceed with the IUI. I realize all too well that it is costly and inconvenient to have follicle checks during treatment, but the consequences are just too severe for the parents and the children when the "off chance" occurs and there is a basketball team in there. I'm sorry for going off like that, but it's obviously a subject that hits a nerve for me. (And yes, I realize that triplets would still be higher order multiples and a risky pregnancy. And yes, one embryo can split into identical twins naturally and unexpectedly anyway. I'm just talking about being informed and carefully weighing these life-sized decisions.)

*stepping off soapbox*

So we will be going ahead with the IUI. Personally I'd be surprised if all three follies make it to ovulation, especially based on this questionably early trigger. I have to go to the office tomorrow for another follicle check. The doc expects them to be big enough for a trigger shot late on Friday, with an IUI early on Sunday. Which happens to be our wedding anniversary. Harry Potter, out. Turkey baster, in. Romance, anyone?

And just for fun, let's remember our first Follistim + IUI cycle back in May 2007, shall we?

Outstanding lining, three ripe follies, Olympic Gold swimmers, a perfectly timed IUI.



Edited to add: I emailed Dr. Downtown as the brilliant Martha suggested. He explained he was concerned that waiting an extra day would give time for a fourth follicle to mature, which is definitely too many. Excellent point! Ideally I would like 2-3 follies between 16-18 mm tomorrow morning, then I would be happy to trigger tomorrow night.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009


When they say infertility is a rollercoaster, it's really quite true. One minute you are up -- buoyed by good news at the RE's office, a well-timed ovulation, or was that a twinge in my uterus? during your TWW. Then you are down. AF has come, insurance won't pay, the diagnosis is grim.

After the little whine-and-cheese party I threw in my last post, I'm feeling better this week. Which I'm sure is in no small part due to my hormones recovering from the AF swing. But today I'm going to be positive for a change and share the small blessings that have brought me back up from the most recent low.

* Yesterday, the mailman brought the giveaway package I won from Martha at A Sense of Humor is Essential. I am sipping coffee from the mug as I type this post, and if you were sitting next to me, you'd catch the light, summery scent of the body lotion.

* Speaking of the mailman, I also got two new cloth diapers in the mail yesterday. They are so adorable that I almost nibbled them to pieces right out of the bag. Even DH likes them, and he hates cloth diapering with a burning passion is not exactly the "poster husband" for cloth diapering.

* April of April Showers Blog Design finished the first draft of the new look for my other blog, which has outgrown its theme. It is WAY too cute. Coming soon!

* I am halfway through the second book of the MacCarrick Brothers series by my favoritest author, Kresley Cole. I was so giddy reading it last night that DH commented with a smile, "I think I'm going to have to commission more Kresley Cole books for you."

* Hubby is in a great mood, too. He says it's because I'm happy, which always makes him happy. But I'm thinking it might also be a bit of IF denial (He asked: "Is it just me, or does it seem like we are NOT in the middle of a treatment cycle right now?" Answer: "It's just you.") or even GASP! some of that elusive hope that I am so lacking (He asked with a grin and wide eyes: "Can you imagine, we could be holding a newborn baby in nine months!" Answer: "Only if one of our friends is getting knocked up this month.").

* I got an email from one of the moms in my preschool group. (I am "out of the IF closet" with them, and they have been so wonderful to me!) She said she's been thinking about me and wants to offer support any way she can, especially knowing that my family is far away. Totally, totally sweet.

* My calendar is jam packed for the next couple of weeks, and not just with doctor appointments! I will definitely need the distraction. Among the highlights, more outings with bloggy buddies! Involving two of my favorite things about Seattle, no less: the amazing cupcakes and the beautiful outdoors.

* DH and I are celebrating our wedding anniversary on Sunday. I have the babysitter coming over, we are going to see Harry Potter and then get dinner. I am so excited! For gifts, we got ourselves tickets to see the play Wicked in early September. I can't wait to go out on the town with my man.

* As I was leaving a MOMS Club activity yesterday, I felt especially grateful for the wonderful women I have met out here. I wasn't thrilled to move in the first place, especially to somewhere so far away and unknown to me as the Pacific Northwest. Of course I researched schools, housing prices, commute, amenities, etc. in picking exactly where to live in the Seattle area. But the one thing that is difficult to assess beforehand is how well you'll mesh with the locals. I had low expectations of fitting in, being a consummate Midwesterner myself. But wow, I would never have imagined how friendly and welcoming everyone has been to me.

* The pooch got a bath, she's super soft again. It's impossible to be too sad when there is a fluffy white creature lounging around your couch. You know, resting up after a three-hour nap.

* My happy little toddler loves his mama more than anything in life. Cuddles to prove it.

So what is making you happy today?

Sunday, July 19, 2009


This is a lot harder than I thought it would be.

Not the injection part. That was actually even easier than I remember. I found it incredibly empowering to give myself the first shot last night. As I've mentioned before, I used to have a terrible phobia of needles. I've known from a young age that a medical profession was not in my future. Generally they prefer if you don't pass out at the sight of your patient's blood.

But that was before infertility.

Now: I'm so BA (that's "badass," for those of you without an 18-year-old sister-in-law), I didn't even wait until the Follistim was room temp before shooting myself up. The most painful part was when the alcohol swab touched the cut on my finger. Yeouch.

Total badassness aside, I have been blindsided by how much this treatment cycle SUCKS. Partly financially, but mostly emotionally. I guess infertility treatment is like childbirth. You develop selective amnesia about the event, so that you'll do it again in the future when the time comes.

I thought -- having been there, done that, got the t-shirt -- that this would be a relative walk in the park. That the biggest challenge would be finding a babysitter for the munchkin on my endless trips to the doc.

Not so.

Putting this much time, energy, and money into the dream of growing our family... well, it's overwhelming. The pressure, the waiting. To know. Yes... or no?

I feel my defense mechanism kicking into place. I am now, at CD 4, one measly shot into the protocol, completely positive that I will NOT get pregnant this cycle. I just can't let myself hope it will work.

And I've already seized on The Why, because this helps my defense mechanism sell this inevitable failure to the rest of my mind. It's because my dose of 75 ius is lower than the 100 ius that I was on when I got pregnant with our son. Too low.

It doesn't matter that this dose was recommended by our doc, and was entirely what DH and I wanted at our consultation meeting. To lower the risk of multiples, which scares the beejezus out of me almost as much as another BFN.

It is The Why. No sale, do not Pass Go, do not collect $200.

End of story.

I'm already planning to email Dr. Downtown and asking him to up the dose to 100 ius -- or even 125 ius -- for next cycle.

Which is also the last IUI treatment cycle that we can afford.

I will say this about secondary infertility, though. There is certainly a comfort in knowing that no matter what the outcome this time around, I am a mother. That role is not in question. DH and I will be raising our son together, God willing. It may not be the family as I've always pictured it, but my darkest fears are not even remotely as dark as they were with primary infertility.

In the meantime, my Frank's Big Ones cookies have arrived. I've heard them described as larger than a baby's head, and I wanted to see how they compared to my toddler's ginormous noggin.

Pretty damn well, I'd say.

And also?


Thursday, July 16, 2009

It's on like Donkey Kong

My Follistim has arrived, on time.

My AF has arrived, blessedly on time. (Taking pity, perhaps?)

And now the time has arrived for pinching, poking, pinching, poking, praying, pinching, poking, pinching, poking, praying, pinching, poking, prodding, pinching, poking, pinching, poking, prodding, final poking, inseminating, more praying, inserting, praying, inserting, hoping, fearing, inserting, praying, inserting, fearing, hoping, inserting, worrying, inserting...

You know, conception.

One of my friends asked that I explain my protocol as I go along, remembering that not all of my readers have been initiated into the World of IF. So here's the low-down, it's pretty simple.

Starting on the Saturday, I will inject myself with 75 ius (units) of Follistim once a day. Follistim is an FSH (follicle stimulating hormone) drug that works directly on the ovaries to produce more/better follicles. It mimicks the natural FSH that women's bodies produce. A follicle, by the way, is the little house that the egg grows in while awaiting ovulation. We can't see the eggs in ultrasounds, so we just have to trust that there is a good one in every follicle. Normally, a woman produces one mature follicle each month, it releases the egg at ovulation, and when the egg gets fertilized and implants in the uterus, you have a baby. On Follistim and other drugs, you often end up with more than one mature follie (and thus egg), which explains the increased risk for multiples.

After five days of injections (so that's next Thursday morning), I will go in for blood work and an ultrasound. This is to prevent me and DH from ending up with our own TLC show in which the entire world is witness to the end of our marriage and a haircut so horrendous I would be mortified in like ten years when I looked back on the show and really SAW my hair with fresh eyes. Cute kids, though. Anyway, if I have too many follicles ready to pop, we will find an agent cancel the cycle. If the follies are lagging, we can up the dose. Hopefully we will find one or two that are almost ripe for the picking. In any case, the treatment from that point forward is determined by the results of the ultrasound and blood work... so stay tuned!

How is Follistim different than Clomid, which is taken orally? Clomid blocks estrogen receptors in your brain, fooling your body into thinking you aren't producing enough, so it spurs more natural FSH production. The ideal result, like Follistim then, is more/better follicles. However, Clomid works indirectly on the ovaries (through it's trickery) as opposed to directly on the ovaries like the FSH drugs. So Follistim is a heavy hitter in the ovulation-inducing category, with a greater chance of success.

When my friend Mary was going through her IVF, she kept her FSH drugs in the fridge next to a carton of eggs for good luck. (Did I mention the meds need to be refrigerated? In case you were thinking Mary was nuts or something.) Considering the intent of the medication, I thought this was very clever! And it obviously worked, as she now has two beautiful children as a result of that IVF. Unfortunately, we only have fake eggs in our fridge right now. But I'm hoping for the same bit of luck.

ETA: Dr. Downtown just let me know that my prolactin level came back at 12. The normal range for women in general is 20 or less. So it's perfect! Gee, heard that one before... Cynicism aside, he's given us the green light for this treatment cycle. Barring any scary discovery tomorrow during my baseline ultrasound and bloodwork, of course. (cue dramatic music)

Monday, July 13, 2009

Winning and losing

Let's start with the losing, shall we?

So it looks like our "Hail Mary" pass fell a little short. The clock has run out, no more downs, blow the whistle, game OVER. Thanks for playing, it was a team effort.


Technically, the cycle isn't quite over yet... AF is due on Thursday, and hopefully that's when she'll come, so we don't have to redo our beautiful medication / IUI calendar. But although the axe hasn't fallen, the AF lumberjack has buttoned his red-and-gray flannel shirt, rolled up his sleeves, and he's sharpening the blade with my name on it.

(Apparently I could have also titled this post, "Convoluted Infertility Metaphors." AF lumberjack? Really?)

Bizarre imagery aside, indeed this cycle was not the miracle we've been hoping for. I'm surprised at how depressed it's made me... I didn't expect to get so emotionally invested in a last-ditch natural attempt. I guess because everything was lined up perfectly this month -- from ovulation to timing to progesterone. When it will stop surprising me that we can't pull this off on our own, I have no idea.

But with that being said, let's move on to the winning.

So waking up to the knowledge that I am not in the early stages of gestation obviously put me in a foul mood. (Aside: When first I typed that last sentenced, I accidentally wrote "fowl mood." Which I guess means I was craving chicken, and as anyone whose ever been with child knows, pregnancy hormones and chicken do NOT mix. Which is another obvious sign I am not knocked up.) With my grumpiness polluting the house, I think DH was only too happy to hop in the car and go to work this morning -- although he'd never say so, God bless him. So I did the only thing that a reasonable woman WOULD do in my situation.

I got on the computer, and I ordered some chocolate.

Not just any chocolate. I've been hearing the buzz around the IF blogosphere about Frank's Big Ones Bakery. It's a new shop on Etsy, recently opened by Kymberli's husband Frank. As soon as I read about them and saw pictures of their delicious goodness, I knew -- if AF cometh, so do those ginormous cookies. And alas, the wheels are in motion. The silver lining on my dark cloud.

Then I got a note from Martha at A Sense of Humor is Essential. Guess what, you will never believe this...

... I totally won her Pay it Forward Giveaway!

How's that for turning my mood around? So generous of Martha, I can't wait to get it in the mail. And making it all even sweeter, she is sending a special package to Michelle at TO BABY AND BEYOND, whom I nominated because I thought she could use an extra pick-me-up right now. How frickin' awesome is that?


But, the winning doesn't end there. This morning Bean and I had the pleasure of meeting Coffeegrl and her beautiful daughter for cupcakes and coffee. The only thing better than enjoying cupcakes and coffee is doing so with a bloggy buddy you are meeting in person for the first time! It is so neat to see the people behind the computer screen, it brings a whole new level to sharing their slice of life. Blogging rocks, people. But I don't have to tell you, of course.

And last but not least. I strapped Bean in the car seat to head home after our fun excursion, and I searched the backseat to find something to occupy him. I found an old CD flip-book thingy. I unzipped it so he could play with it... and what do I discover...

My Sarah Brightman Dive CD!!

I thought it was loooong gone, and I've been meaning to replace it from iTunes for ages. Saved myself $10! I listened to it as we drove, I still remember all the words. It totally reminds me of high school, and my friend Sarah. I think she first introduced me to Sarah Brightman, which could be why I have the association. Or because they both have the same first name. I'm not really sure.

So the lesson of today: You win some, and you lose some. But if there's chocolate involved, you're always a winner.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

The diagnosis conundrum

As many infertiles can attest, waiting for test results during the "well, let's see what's wrong here" phase of problematic TTC is tense for many reasons. After you've welcomed a team of highly trained, specialized medical professionals to take a stroll around your internal girlie parts -- please pass the hor d'ouevres! -- you anxiously await their word on what they find.

Is it good news, doc?

But it's not as simple as that. Because there are two main outcomes, and neither one really helps you sleep better at night.

The first, which is what DH and I have heard most of the time: "Wow, those are some good looking internal girlie parts." My ovaries have gotten more compliments than all the rest of my parts put together. (And, fortunately, they are all put together. And they will hopefully stay that way for a long, long time.) This would initially seem like the ideal outcome, right? Ones reproductive organs being lavished with such praise as beautiful and gorgeous? Hormone levels being so spot-on that they are textbook? Well, sure... if you don't mind undergoing MORE tests... because sorry ma'am, you are still not pregnant, and we still don't know why not.

In the second scenario, you hear the words you've been dreading: we found a problem. And it's PCOS/endometriosis/high FSH/blood clotting disorder/MFI/*insert fun term here*. Which I don't deny is usually crushing news. But on the (small) positive side, you now know the enemy. You (hopefully) won't waste time on IUIs if both your tubes are blocked. It is easier -- although not on an emotional level -- to plan treatment when you can point to something and say, This is the culprit.

When we were undergoing testing with Dr. Lou (this is the nickname I'm giving our St. Louis doctor -- am I clever or what? Wait, don't answer that), as I said above, he was thrilled with all of our test results. Except the laparoscopy, where my OB/GYN who did the surgery found a small amount of endo. However, both of these doctors agreed completely that due to the location of the endo and its mildness (fortunately neither said this while I was sucking down Motrin on the couch, moaning and clutching my heating pad for dear life, or they both might have been rendered infertile as well), that it was NOT a factor in my infertility.

The best explanation that Dr. Lou could offer me as to why I was not pregnant was: "Nature is inefficient."

Yes, I partially wanted to kick him in the shin for saying that. But truly he is a great doctor and a very nice man, so of course I didn't. That and I have never kicked anyone in the shin in my entire life and can't really imagine myself ever having the nerve. So basically DH and I fell under the category of "unexplained infertility." But I always personally considered us more "suspected female factor." Which is not to be confused with "suspected Fear Factor," which is when you find out that you may have accidentally eaten some pickled bull testicles.

So I hid behind that "Nature is inefficient" explanation for a long time. Even as I did, though, I was obviously conflicted. I would tell people, "I suspect the endo is causing harm." But then, against my usual modus operandi, I didn't do much research on endo or connect with it emotionally as a diagnosis.

When we made the appointment with Dr. Downtown (thanks to Liv for this nickname, I like the suggestion) here in Seattle, I was dying to hear what he would say about the endometriosis.

Or so I thought.

As I mentioned in my post about the consultation, he agreed with what I'd suspected deep down inside -- that it was likely the endo causing my uterus to become a hostile environment for the poor sweet, innocent potential babies.

Which is really too bad, because otherwise my uterus is so loving and compassionate.

I thought this would be a relief. Because seriously, how can the reproductive systems of two healthy individuals be so totally kick-ass yet NOT produce offspring without medical intervention? I finally had affirmation that Something Is Wrong, and This is It.

But you know what? It didn't bring the sense of relief I expected.

I'm angry now.

I'm angry that something inside ME is actively sabotaging my efforts at conception. As I go about my daily activities, washing my hair, getting dressed, eating Frosted Mini Wheats, watching Judge Milian rock The People's Court -- there is this endometriosis inside my OWN BODY that is PLOTTING how to ruin my day/week/year/20s/hopefully not 30s.

I feel betrayed by my body. When before I could simply curse Nature for being a lazy bitch, now I have to point the figure right back at myself. Of course I can intellectually understand that it's out of my control. I can't simply command my endometriosis to Play Nice, Now. I repeat it as a mantra when I start feeling broken: I am NOT defined by my body's ability to get pregnant.

But that's easier to say than to believe.

Do you mind if I crawl back into "Nature is inefficient"?

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Sisterhood of the Traveling... Award

Recently, I was honored by Alana with another award! Clearly she has awesome taste in bloggers. Thanks Alana, I truly appreciate it.

Infertility is the ultimate sisterhood, in my eyes. We come from all walks of life, all ages and circumstances. None of us want to be in this group, and none of us would wish this on the others. But I am so grateful for the women I've met, who have shared their stories, their wisdom, and their encouragement. It's become hard to imagine life without them.

The guidelines for this award are:

1. Put the logo on your blog or post.

2. Nominate at least 10 blogs with great attitude and/or gratitude. Be sure to link to your nominees in your post.

3. Let your nominees know they have received the award by leaving them a comment on their blog.

4. Be sure to link this post to the person who nominated you for the award.

Without further ado...

1. Allison at The Second Time Around. As far as friends go, she's as good as they come. Better than I deserve, that's for sure!

2. Mary at Our Crazy Life with Twins After IVF. What would I have done without Mary when I was going through IF the first time. No really -- WHAT WOULD I HAVE DONE?

3. Holly at Seriously Holly. Like Mary, she was there to pick me up each time I fell to the floor during treatments to conceive the Bean. And she's frickin' hilarious.

4. Jen at Despite the Best Laid Plans.... My guide for all things infertile in Seattle. But more importantly, a sympathetic ear over coffee and bagels.

5. Coffeegrl at Okaasan Mommy and More. Raising her daughter in a bilingual household, doing her best (and a great job at that!) to balance cultures and languages.

6. Liv at The Life of Liv. She has been through a LONG wait to be a mother, and her turn is finally coming. Hooray Liv and your Spanish-word-for-bean (frijole?)!

7. IF Optimist, then... at IF Optimist, then.... She introduced me to cold banana cinnamon smoothies and gave me the heads up on the new Wallace and Gromit movie, for which I will be forever grateful.

8. Furrow at Out the Kitchen Window. She and I are in very similar places right now... hoping what worked with #1 will do the trick for #2. Prayers up for both of us!

9. Nicky at Grad Ovaries. She's currently juggling new motherhood and her career/education. Here's hoping the funding comes through that she needs for her brilliant graduate work!

10. Michelle at TO BABY AND BEYOND. She is struggling to keep the faith during a layoff and her 9th year of infertility. I am holding great hope -- she is going to be a wonderful mother.

Wow, I'm feeling pretty emotional after going through that. *sniff sniff* You ladies are all so wonderful, I appreciate you and pray that all your dreams come true!

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Talk about pressure

So this is it... our "Hail Mary" cycle. The 40-yard pass to the end zone in the final seconds of the game when we are down by four points.

I am now 3 DPO. AF is due next Thursday, July 16. And DH and I know that if we don't get our BFP naturally this time, the next cycle will have a huge price tag. Financially, emotionally, and physically.

It feels good to know that we have a plan, a more proactive approach if and when AF shows her ugly mug. But we secretly hope to be one of "those people" who end up pregnant right before starting treatment. The pressure of $1000+ riding on this month's conception.... it gives you pause, I'll say that much.

In the meantime, I got a nice email from our nurse. First the awesome news -- she has a coupon for a free vial of Follistim, and she's letting us use it! That will save us $250 in meds next month. Hooray! She also attached a calendar of my injections and appointments. At my old clinic, only the IVFers got their own calendars, so I was feeling pretty frickin' sweet when I opened it.

Here are the major dates as determined so far, for posterity. (No, there won't be a quiz. Unless you're really an overachiever and would like one. In that case I'm happy to write one for you. Just speak up.)

July 16 - Day 1 - AF arrives
July 17 - Day 2 - Bloodwork and baseline ultrasound
July 18 - Day 3 - 75 IUs of Follistim (25 IUs less than before to lower risk of multiples)
July 19 - Day 4 - 75 IUs of Follistim
July 20 - Day 5 - 75 IUs of Follistim
July 21 - Day 6 - 75 IUs of Follisitm
July 22 - Day 7 - 75 IUs of Follstim
July 23 - Day 8 - Bloodwork and ultrasound to check follicle growth
(future protocol determined based on results of Day 8)

I can't really say how I'm feeling about all of this. My initial reaction would be to say I'm handling it really well, not bitter (at the moment) about having to go through this instead of just buying a bottle of wine and getting knocked up the easy way. It's a huge relief to be getting the help we (I) obviously need to conceive, and I'm both grateful and excited. But I've also been rather grumpy lately. It's either because I have a lot of repressed IF anxiety, or because I've run out of M&Ms.

Your guess is as good as mine.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Oh, the irony

There are a couple of tests we want to have done before starting our IUI + Follistim cycle later this month.

To schedule them, I called the number for the nurse that our RE gave to us.

Turns out it was the wrong number, which I found out when I dialed it.

I had reached a cruise agency instead.

So now apparently even the Universe is telling me, "What you need to do is to go on a vacation, then you'll get pregnant."

Very funny, Universe. Hope you got a nice giggle out of that one.