Monday, November 30, 2015

I've Got The Blues #MicroBloggingMonday

I am blue. Very blue.
Unshakably blue.
This is not my personality. I spent most of the (long, holiday) weekend moping. I sobbed over a too-aggressive haircut for Kins. I briefly snapped out of my funk after going for a run and taking kins to the (indoor, salt) pool at the gym. I plunged back into it when he got pizza sauce all over my favorite shirt of his (and then looked at the stain, said uh-oh and tried to wipe it clean with a napkin).
We got some scary test results for him 1.5 weeks ago. Hub is sure that it's a false positive, his specialists seem to think it's a false positive. One went so far to tear down the test and list off all the reasons she thinks he's fine. But-- well no one wants bad news for their kid-  and when you're getting bad news for your kid AND you've already been an actual positive, after being assured by the specialists and having the test derided in front of you -- I don't buy it.
This isn't a crisis, he'll be fine- even if it's a real positive. I just want him to have a happy, easy life. I think he can be happy, but I don't think things will be easy for him if this is real. We'll know more Friday.

Read more micro-posts here!

Tuesday, November 17, 2015


I had a very emotional commute this morning. In addition to traffic so bad it could bring tears to your eyes, I listened to Beat Infertility and The Story Collider. I usually find Beat Infertility very good and hopeful but today it just sent me into a cry. It’s just too close to the epic failure that was IVF #3. The woman featured as a success story had 4 embryos at the time of her transfer of only 5 mature eggs retrieved. She went on to transfer 2 and had twins. It isn’t that I am unhappy with her success, it just rubs in my failure today.

After that, iTunes began to auto-play the next new episode in my queue. It was the newest episode of The Story Collider. For those of you who don’t know it, it’s a really good podcast featuring personal stories about science and medicine. This particular story was from a woman who had a normal MaterniT 21 screening and then found out at 18 weeks that it was likely that her child had lethal skeletal dysplasia. The diagnosis was confirmed and she went on to end the pregnancy. Hearing the emotion in her voice and the tragedy of her story brought it all back for me. She says that when she told her husband that she couldn't go through with the pregnancy he replied that of course they couldn't and that it would be cruel.  My hub and I had the same conversation all that time ago.

I am really not doing well after this latest failure. Everything is setting me off. The obvious, That Story Collider, Paris, the failure itself: the not o obvious, Beat Infertility, kin's (relative) lack of language. 

Thursday, November 12, 2015

IVF #3- The End

Nothing fertilized.

I'm calling tomorrow about the schedule for transferring Surya-Scott and then... moving on. 

The Dr called me himself and suggested that next time we do icsi (where they directly put the sperm into the egg) but honestly, we've fertilized 7 eggs and only have had 1 make it to day 5. I'm not convinced it will work. (work defined as getting a pregnancy).

Grand Total:

3 IVFs, 19 eggs retrieved, 7 fertilized, 7 made it to day 3, 1 made it to day 5. 

Sometime in December I think we'll see if any lead to pregnancy. 

Not going to lie, my instinct it no. 

We actively looking at egg banks and dipping our toes in the adoption waters. 

I am heartbroken. I know there are larger tragedies in the world (hell, that I have this blog is the result of one of them) but I so crushed.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Fair to Middling


Not good, even for me.

Not bad, even for me.

Fair to Middling

We were working with 12 follicles. I'd like to know why there was such a disparity between follicles and eggs (both this time and last time, but not the first time). Then again, it doesn't really matter. This was our last IVF (I know, never say never, but I feel physically and emotionally done with this)so there is no really need for a lessons learned:

IVF #1: 10 R, 8M, 4F, 1 blast = normal
IVF #2: 4R, 3M, 3F, 0 blast
IVF #3: 7R, ?, ?, ?

Not feeling too hopeful.

I'll let you know what tomorrow brings.

Monday, November 9, 2015

Deserving #MicroBloggingMonday

Deserving is a complicated idea, isn’t it?

Criminals deserve punishment, right? Heroes deserve praise; hard workers deserve a promotion.

It isn’t that simple when deserving is attached to something that can’t be earned by meeting a certain criteria. Who deserves a happy marriage? Who deserves a steady, high-paying job they love? Who deserves a child?

More to the point, who doesn’t?

I have had people tell me I deserve a baby and that I deserve an easy pregnancy. They say: you’re a good person and a good mom, your pregnancies have been so very hard in the past. You deserve for this to be easy.

Sometimes I feel like I DON’T deserve those things- That Blue Sunday’s diagnosis was a test that I somehow failed and that IF is a punishment for that failure. Or perhaps the T18 was a punishment for something else- for when I was mean to someone, or because I had a storybook life up until that point (I actually married my junior prom date, people!) 

This idea, being deserving something awful, was mentioned to me in relation to the deaths of babies in more than one place this week. I know parents who feel that they deserved for their child/ children to die. They believe on some level that the death of children they love, want and cared for was a punishment for their past.   

They feel responsible for losing a child they love.

I think everyone can logically say that there is no past sin big enough for a good person to deserve death of their child. (I would argue that no one should have that hell be their reality, regardless of how "good" they are). No child's fate should be determined by parental morality.

I know it is easy, and natural, to say “you deserve X, Y, Z”. When you’re talking about something that can be given- a prize, a raise, a pat on the back – this is easy. But when you’re telling someone that they deserve an intangible- a happy life, good friends or something that cannot be given- a child, a good job- remember this:

Deserving works both ways: if you tell someone they deserve something good but that good thing isn’t something they have, you may be confirming a nagging thought they don’t deserve it at all. 

Sunday, November 8, 2015

IVF #3 D10 (Final Monitoring)

I've done my monitoring- blood work and ultrasound- and already have my results for the day. Over all, things are looking good I am doing one more day of meds tonight, trigger tomorrow and then retrieval on Wednesday!

So without further ado here are the specifics:

IVF # 3 D10 estrogen level: 2088- my highest ever, even higher than IVF #1 Day 12! (2074) This will likely be my last estrogen level, even though I will take medication one more night (IVF #1 D12 was trigger day). Max estrogen in IVF #2 was 1672.

Follicles were looking good as well: 21, 19, 19, 18, 14, 14, 14, 13, 13, 10 10 Both 10s are 0.1 away from being 11. Overall there are 10 measurable- 12 if you count the 2 almost-11s! There are 4-8 others less than 11. No wonder I feel terrible. 

I'm a little disappointed that I won't have monitoring tomorrow morning, since I can't make a straight comparison to any month, since I've always had an ultrasound trigger day. 

In IVF # 2 my final day of monitoring was Day 13: 21, 21, 15, 15, 14, 14, 14, 14, 10. Only 4 of those had eggs 2 mornings later at retrieval. They told me they assumed that the 2 big ones would be empty- so is that true this cycle? Or is it because there was more medication involved? I will say though, they thought maybe 6 or 7 eggs and were really surprised getting 4. So I guess that was unusual all the way around. Additionally, my estrogen was 400 points lower one day closer to retrieval. 

IVF #1 my final monitoring was Day 12: 22, 22, 21, 21, 18, 15, 14, 13, 12. Ten measurable and 10 were retrieved- 8 mature. I am really hoping that this cycle follows that pattern. 

I guess I'll say more on Wednesday!

Saturday, November 7, 2015

IVF # 3 Day 9

It's Saturday- the 9th day of sims (though I have only done 8 so far- I shoot up in the evenings).

I had monitoring in the morning because my life is awesome and nothing says "happy weekend" like driving out of town at the crack of dawn to get probed and needled. 

I know I sound super cranky, but I think things are going well. My estrogen is sky-high, I've gained 10 pounds and I am a wreck.  I think the cycle is doing well, I am not. 

Anyway here are the stats:

IVF #3 D9: Estrogen: 1579 (IVF #1 1053, IVF #2 358.2 one day earlier)

 Estrogen over time graph because I am having an affair with excel:

Follicles were: 18, 18, 17, 16, 14, 13, 12, 11 with 2-4 small on both sides (8 measurable 4-8 small)
IVF #1 follicles were: 17, 16, 14, 14 and 3 with 10-20 small

I'm a little concerned that there are 2 at 18, but still 1 at 11. This is a wide range. They are having me in again tomorrow. I am hoping those big ones stay put for a bit and let the 13, 12 and 11 catch up. 

More tomorrow morning (oh joy).

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

I Just Don't Know

I don't know how to think or feel.

I am sure it's the (massive) amounts of hormones racing through my system, but I feel hopeless tonight.

My results were good for me. They are poor-responder good- but that's where I am, so I should feel OK.

My estrogen level on Day 6 (meaning 5 days of stims) was 514.7.

Last cycle (4 eggs Retrieved, 3 Fertilized, 0 at day 5) it was 358.2 1 day later on Day 7 (6 Days of stims- they had me stim for an extra day before bw/us because my Day 4 was so low) 
IVF #1 (10R, 4F, 1 at day 5) it was 450.4 on the same day. 

This is also the day of IVF when they do the first follicle check. Here is where my heart sank a bit (a lot)

There are three measurable follicles- 11, 12 and 14 with 2-4 non-measurable- all on the right. Lefty has nothing measurable and 2-4 non-measurable. Bottom line: 6-11 follicles.

Again to contrast: 

IVF #1: Left: 1 measurable (11) 3-5 non-measurable. Right: 0 measurable, 5-7 non-measurable .
Bottom line: 9-13 follicles

IVF #2: Left: 0 measurable, 2-4 non-measurable. Right: 1 measurable (11) 2-4 non-measurable
Bottom line: 5-9 follicles

So there were more follicles on round one, though this time there are more measurable follicles. My concern- and what happened last time, is that one follicle becomes dominant and we have to trigger before there are more follicles available.

I guess we will know more on Saturday when I go back again.

I hate this.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

IVF #3 Day 5 Estrogen Priming Protocol

So we are now in the heat of IVF #3. I can't believe I just typed that. IVF #3. How did I get here?

Anyway, Recap:

I'm doing the estrogen priming protocol this go-round. For me, this means before my cycle started I ditched the birth control pills for estrogen patches and injected ganerlix (A.K.A. the blue box one that burns like a mo-fo). Overall time line was:

CD 24 (IVF #3 D-7) Put patch on lower belly
CD 25 (IVF #3 D-6) Leave patch on, inject ganerlix
CD 26 (IVF #3 D-5) Leave patch on, inject ganerlix
CD 27 (IVF #3 D-4) Change patch, inject ganerlix
CD 28 (IVF #3 D-3) Leave patch on
CD 29 (IVF #3 D-2) AF starts in evening (Wednesday)

IVF #3 D1 (CD 3) 450 gonal-f, 150 menopur
IVF #3 D2 (CD 4) 450 gonal-f, 150 menopur
IVF #3 D3 (CD 5) 450 gonal-f, 150 menopur
IVF #3 D4 (CD 6) 450 gonal-f, 150 menopur

My estrogen level was drawn yesterday (after 3 days of sims) and it was 176.6!

Last cycle (4 eggs Retrieved, 3 Fertilized, 0 at day 5) it was 83.7 and IVF #1 (10R, 4F, 1 at day 5) it was 141.9. Sooooooo this is good! I'm feeling (gulp) hopeful.

More bloodwork and ultrasound tomorrow morning. I'll try to update in the afternoon.

Monday, November 2, 2015

Honoring the Lost: Kid-centric holidays #microbloggingmonday

Here we are again- the kid-centric holidays.

They are, for me, a LOT less difficult now that I have a child of my own here in the world with me. Hub and I marveled about re-finding joy in Halloween and we have already begun Christmas shopping for kins. (And I really don't like the 2 month lead-in to Christmas).

There is always a tug of loss, however. Families with multiple kids, kids who are 3.5, as Blue Sunday would be now- They give my heart a cramp.

People who are clearly and blissfully unaware of loss are everywhere talking about kids. You can always tell people who have never had a child tragedy: They ask "Is he your first?" at the company party. Not just implying that there may be a second, but not careful of the language that makes the question hard to answer for those who have lost. My company is led by someone who lost a child. He asked: "do you have any others at home"? when meeting kins. Subtle, but the babylost understand.

This year, in honor of my Blue Sunday and 3 lost babies of friends of mine- I am adopting a wish list of local children involved with our states Department of Children and Families.  I was hoping to find infant twins, a boy between 6 and 12 months and of course a 3 year old.

Would you believe there they were? 4 needy kids who will receive gifts because of 4 others gone too soon. It is easy to let this become a why MY baby moment (or my friends' babies). These kids are often abandoned, many are waiting adoption or foster care. Some have been forcibly removed from their families. I choose instead to focus on the joy and small comfort a child will receive when ours cannot.

The days I feel most like a mom to my Blue Sunday is the days I choose, shop for and drop off something to the child I gift to by proxy.

A car seat, bath towels and toys, 9-12 month clothes, a play tool set.

A memory, a moment. Love.