Thursday, April 30, 2015

Penultimate cycle Day 1

Cycle Day One.

Penultimate cycle.

I'm really pulling out all the stops this go-round. This is (very likely) my second-to-last cycle actively TTC. I mentioned this here, but I thought I would give the dirty details.

My clinic has mentioned that they do 3 cycles TI, 2 cycles IUI and then discuss IVF. We have decided that, at least for now, IVF is not something we are going to pursue. This means that unless they are opening to doing additional IUIs if these next two cycles fail- we’re done.

This isn't because of a moral or ethical dilemma (though there is some of that), it isn't because I'm afraid of needles, scans, time out of work or all the joys of IF treatment (though there is certainly some of that), it isn't because I don't want another (we all know that isn't true).

So what IS it? Why am I stopping short of IVF?

I don't really know. May be it is a combination of the first two: the easier one- I don't know that I am ready to sacrifice so much for the hope of a baby. Injections, drugs, appointments, oh my. My termination really threw my body off, as did 4 medicated cycles. I'd like to feel normal again. I'd like to not see a doctor once a week and get things shoved inside me (unless I'm 36+ weeks pregnant). I would LOVE to lose these 7 new pounds.

The deeper issue is a component of an ethical dilemma for me. We would do PGS if we did IVF. I wouldn’t transfer an embryo with the fatal issues, obviously. I think I'd like to donate them to science, is that is a thing? I don't know. But what about a condition which I wouldn't terminate for, would I transfer that embryo? Defacto choosing that condition for my child? Hard, hard question, right? I don't think I would want to know the sex of those embryos to avoid gender selection, but would I in a moment of weakness ask to know and choose one over the other? (I don't have a preference at this point, but if I ever tried for a third and had two boys- I would like the chance to parent a girl). Then the big one:

What if there were more embryos than transfers? What to do with them? Donate? Destroy? Have a bigger family than anticipated?

I feel like this is a bit of the termination all over again. I hate the feeling I get thinking about my (imaginary) embryos waiting for me- never to be chosen. I ultimately make the decision to carry them or let them go. In that situation though, there is nothing “wrong” with them.  Yet the decision is the same- to carry or not. I don't want to be in that situation ever again. I am trying to prevent that.

I could donate them to another person trying to build their family, but I still need to make the decision of which I will try to carry and which I won’t. I’m not sure hub would go for the idea of donation (though we never discussed it).

I should add here, before I get hate mail, these feelings are my own. I would never expect someone to go through an FET when their feelings are complete. I don’t actually equate not transferring embryos with a termination. But the choice for me is teetering on the same type of feelings. 

*It's actually day 2. 

Monday, April 27, 2015

It's Dragging me Under #microbloggingMonday


That felt good.

As I'm sure you can guess, I am expecting medicated BFN 3 and overall BFN 9 (since restarting TTC).

I stopped testing again (on day 10), because I am tired of seeing negatives. I know 10DPO is "early" but I've always shown a BFP early and I always have known when I'm pregnant. I'm not feeling it. Today is 11DPO.

The beta is Thursday (and hopefully I will start before them so they can check for cysts then, too). Then we'll be starting our penultimate cycle (unless it is a BFP of course). Barring a clinic change of plans, we're doing at most 2 IUIs and that's it. Our clinic recommends 3 TI, 2 IUI and then IVF. I'm not open to IVF at this point (though I'm not counting it out in the future).

Over the next 7 weeks hub and I are eating right and working out. Our hope is dropping a few pounds, shedding some stress and an IUI or 2 will give us a sibling for bub. If not..

Well we'll have ONE very spoiled little boy.

Took him on a Fenway tour this weekend so his first ballpark tour is at home, Colorado next month!*

In the mean time, anyone actually have success stories from 11DPO negatives (with no symptoms) or last/ second to last cycle successes?

*Yes, he's already been to a Red Sox game, and will be going to the Rockies game and tour on our Colorado trip. Spoiled Child.

And it's good that I'm not angry
Well I need to get over
I'm not angry
It's dragging me under
I'm not angry

Matchbox 20, Angry

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Struggling with the feeling that your IF is punishment? You Are Not Alone- NIAW 2015

You are not alone- in struggling with the feeling that infertility is a punishment. 

I sometimes feel like my infertility is a punishment. 

I know that this is not a unique feeling.

It is one we as a community need to let go of.

Religious or not, Spiritual or not, there are very few people who truly believe infertility is a punishment (probably the Westboro Baptist Church does, and internet trolls and a whole host of other unsavory characters). That said, there are more than a few of us who tell ourselves, at one time or another, "this happening to me because ______"

Because I said I never wanted children
Because I was horrible to my own parents
Because I had an abortion
Because I said I only wanted a girl/ a boy/ a red-head/ an athlete)
Because I am devoted to my career/ my family/ my spouse/ my pets/ my workout/ my whatever
Because I don't have a house/ enough money/ an education
Because I did drugs
Because I used birth control

Whatever your "thing" is, it is not a reason for you to be punished. Barring actual, physical issues that may have resulted from some of the non-exhaustive list above Infertility just happens. (And if, for example, your lady parts were damaged by some previous action, it's still not a punishment, it's a side-effect and a bad-luck result)

You did nothing to deserve the heartbreak of infertility.


This is hard to remember though, right? Asking "why me" and coming up with something  is human.

I think it helps to remember though, it's the same instinct that makes people believe that the worst can't happen. And they are wrong, too. unfortunately. It is rare to hear someone say "I knew I was going to have _____ happen to me." With the blank being some awful thing: major illness, fire, divorce, homelessness, baby loss. Infertility.

Even worse, other people experience something terrible in their circle and think "well, they were the one, so I'm not going to be". (I know that isn't just me).

You know what? I like myself. I think I'm a good person. I donate my time and money to people who need it. I will drop anything for someone who needs me. I devoted my career to supporting research for some awful conditions (currently one that presents in young kids and tragically is fatal right around legal drinking age). I think I'm a good mom, friend, spouse and daughter. Have I made mistakes, obviously. Am I perfect, of course not. What did all this get me?

A diagnosis of a fatal birth defect in my first

I wracked my brain to come up with a reason. There was no medical cause other than the dreaded "fluke".

My friend had just lost her daughter at 20 weeks pregnant, how could two of us have horrible, rare pregnancies months apart? There goes "she was the one, so I won't be".

At least, I thought, that was my big, bad, awful event. And then?


As month after month passed trying to conceive baby number 2 (take home #1) I kept coming back to "I am being punished with this for terminating" and "Blue Sunday was my one shot at a child". Some might believe that, I don't.

I don't believe any of you deserve the crappy lot of infertility or loss or whatever big, bad, awful event is your reality. ALL of us have something, and if you don't now, you will. That's the way life goes.

So, you blame yourself for your infertility? You're not alone, but you are wrong. 

Monday, April 20, 2015

Do you know Tatyana McFadden?

In my experience, this community- those who faced serious or fatal prenatal conditions- has is a soft spot for children who are born and live with serious conditions. This comes from personal conversations, other BLM blogs and comments on blogs of those with kids with serious conditions. I am truly inspired by people who are born with mental or physical limitations and refuse to be labeled or treated'disabled'. Those who reach the full potential of their personal ability. I find this inspiring in all people. For this reason, one of my favorite athletes (para or otherwise) is Tatyana McFadden. 

Don't know who she is? For shame.

She is a wheelchair racer- a track and field phenom. She is 25 years old. In 2013 she won 4 marathons in a row (Boston, London, Chicago and New York) and has 10 Olympic medals to her name. She entered high school with Olympic medals to her name. High school. Makes me feel unaccomplished.

Her mother adopted her from Russia, where Tatyana was born with Spina Bifida. In Russia, a child who dies before the age of 21 days is not considered born and so doesn't count towards fatality statistics. Expecting her to die, they waited until she was 22 days old to close her spine. Her legs withered away and when her mother adopted her at age 6, she had never had a wheelchair and walked on her hands. All this adversity, and she still managed to change the world.

When she entered high school (as a medal winning Olympic athlete) she was denied membership to the track and field team. She and her mother took the fight to the courts- schools cannot deny a student education or the ability to be fully included in school. They won and got a law passed "Tatyana's Law". Her mother happens to be one of the authors of the Americans with Disabilities Act, not a bad person to have on your side.

She won her first Boston Marathon in 2013. Right, she WON her FIRST Boston. Then she won London SIX DAYS later- and she dedicated that win to those effected by the Boston Marathon Bombings. She won Boston the next year in 2014 and again just now in 2015.

Monday, April 13, 2015

Secrets, Secrets #MicroBloggingMonday

My life is like a loop of de'ja vu, but so far it's been working out in a less awesome way than the first go round.

In 2009, my college hockey team won the National Championship, they lost it in a heartbreaking fashion exactly 6 years later (Saturday).

My follicle scan two years ago today showed 2 mature follicles 22 and 24. My follicle scan today showed one at 20, with a 13mm lining. (I know this sounds ok, but I have done some research which puts me at a 27% chance of pregnancy this cycle- it was 42% cycle one (CP).

And again, same as 2 years ago my favorite work friend Ray is pregnant and totally hiding it. **My guess would be about 14-15 weeks, though it could be a little less- she is a small person. I figured it over a month ago now. She asked me out of the office this morning and I thought she was going to tell me then but didn't. I know she is waiting for me to call her out (which is what I did last time and we laugh over quite often- but I'm not going to. I'm so much saner now?)

It is MUCH less hard this go-round to hear of people who get pregnant quickly and easily. But still, it's been EIGHT months since we started TTC (with 1 month off). My first month EDD was in May- the same month JAM is due with number 2.

I hate being the person no one wants to tell they are pregnant.

Secrets, secrets
They're no fun
Secrets, secrets
Hurt someone

** In case you're wondering, yes, I've changed jobs since 2 years ago. I pulled Ray into my new company. 

Friday, April 3, 2015


Second Femera cycle was a bust. These BFNs are getting miserable.

There were a few days that I thought I was going to be positive, the test was definitely darker one day compared to the ones before. I even showed hub and he had a few moments of excitement. Note to self: be sure before sharing. By 9, 10 and 11 DPO though, I knew it was negative. I’m glad I was testing because I have been emotional and heavy-chested and would have thought I was going to be positive.

I had my beta this morning- because they make you do it even when on CD2 (probably because of people like me who have a chemical withoutknowing)- and managed to get the ultrasound as well. Last month, this was an issue- since I started overnight the night before the beta and couldn’t call the nurse before my blood test. (Dramatic story here) This time my cycle was kind enough to start about 4pm- just in time to call the nurse and get on the u/s schedule. Be thankful when you can find something to be thankful for, right?

Anyway, the timing of this cycle is crazy- since 2 years ago to the day I started the cycle I conceived Bub on. I’d have the same due date if we were successful- which is the same date as Blue Sunday’s termination. Weird. I hated having a January due date, I was huge and uncomfortable for the holidays (food was a no-go, no very, very limited wine, on-line shopping only) and then bub and I were stuck in the house until the week before my maternity leave ended because of the cold/ice/snow. But, beggars can’t be choosers.

If this cycle (#3 on Femera) is a failure as well, we’ll be moving on to IUI. It was offered to me this cycle (though the doc’s suggestion was one more time on our own) but the timing would be MISERABLE. I was considering taking this month off because of other pressures (exam, huge work deadline, Frozen Four) but in the end, want a baby more than sanity.

At my mid-month check in appointment, I was told they: “have to do at least 2 IUIs before attempting IVF per insurance”. First time those 3 letters were uttered to me.  Also, I got the impression they expected me to be sad over last month’s chemical. I am not sad. So I feel bad about that.