Tuesday, June 30, 2009

What the ???! (with an update)

I have a routine appt later today with my OB/GYN to get a pap smear and breast exam to help get everything in order for the one-day workup in Colorado, which is scheduled for next Tuesday.

My period was due yesterday...and it failed to make an appearance. I had lots of anxious thoughts about what if it comes too late and then I'm not on the right cycle day for the one-day Colo testing...and what if things get pushed back and then the dates don't line up right to cycle out there before I start my fellowship in Sept...what if... what if... what if...

Just on some weird lark, I took a pregnancy test this morning. Those of you who've been reading a while know that my husband Will bought practically a crate of HPT kits during IVF #4.

So...um...I just don't know what to make of this.

Do you see a second line too? Or am I completely losing it?

Thoughts? Reactions? Surely it's just another faux pregnancy? Could we actually have something living inside me? Unless I'm psychotic, these tests appear to be positive....and I'm...um...PREGNANT?!....for the fifth time in two years. Third time naturally. Gack! Don't know WHAT to think or feel! Some kind of combo of happy and completely bewildered, mixed with massive amounts of caution and disbelief.

Blogworld, I know I've been rather absent of late, off in a corner licking my wounds after the latest loss. But please comment!!! I need to know that you're out there! I'm just overwhelmed and wondering if I've finally lost my mind and am hallucinating the second line...


p.s. call into RE to find out what my final beta level was...I know they were following it down after the chemical...please don't let this be a remnant of the previous loss!!! Could it go all the way down to less than five and then shoot back up again?

****Updated to add******
Talked to RE's office. My beta on May 27 was 17.4. On June 3rd it was less than 5. Assistant didn't know if that means it could have been zero or somewhere between 5 and zero...Enquiring (neurotic) minds want to know!

Beta, estrogen, and progesterone, have been drawn....waiting....waiting....waiting...

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Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Wednesdays with Will: sanctuaries

I took this picture one evening near a restaurant on the far east side of Manhattan (suitably called the Water Club since it overlooks the East River). The "sanctuary" is easy to miss as it holds two tiny trees and no bird houses. At the time I had two thoughts: either this was a successful foray into dry humor or it was an honest gift from one of the many millions of us NYers who live in even smaller abodes.

Anyway, I was thinking about sanctuaries today when I was at the gym. For me, the gym has become a sanctuary of sorts. I don't have my blackberry and I can't aimlessly surf the net. I love to listen to audiobooks and this gives me a chance to spend a solid hour with just myself. To be honest, I have never in the past been a gym rat, but this year, I've begun to love doing strength training and aerobics. And, best of all, a leisurely hot shower rounds out the experience.

I guess that I am beginning to realize the importance of scheduling in dedicated "sanctuary" times for myself.

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Monday, June 22, 2009

Follow-up with the RE

Will and I finally met last week with the RE to talk about the failure of IVF #5. It was a good meeting but punctuated with sentences from the RE that began with information about stats or various procedures and protocols, and then would end, "but I know you already know all about that."

I guess we've been around the bend with this IVF business enough times that there's not a whole lot of new ground to cover. Still, it was good to meet. The RE seems to think this latest attempt to trigger early was not worth it given the small number of eggs we retrieved (um, I agree). He still maintains that there should be a normal egg in my ovaries somewhere, but he's starting to sound less sure of this. And he doesn't have any better answers than we do on why - 37 embryos into this - we haven't stumbled on a golden egg or two yet.

Despite all of our failures during multiple cycles, our ever-optimistic RE still doesn't think we're at the place of donor egg yet, although I think all three of us are feeling that we're getting close to the end of the line.

So...he outlined a few options:

1. Do another straight IVF cycle - this time he's thinking maybe an estrogen priming protocol.

2. Do PGD "just to see what's actually going on in those embryos." He sounded more encouraging of this than in the past. Although he still thinks it will lower our chances, he thought it might be worth a try just to get a better diagnostic picture.

3. Try to do a blast transfer rather than the "transfer as many as possible" strategy we've been using.

4. Go ahead and use our frozen embryos. (We've been holding off on this - after all, time is ovary. We have six day 1 embryos frozen from cycle number 2, with no idea of quality - of course, examining how all the other embryos have turned out, we can guess, and it doesn't look good).

Given these four choices, what did we decide on?

We told him we were thinking we'd choose option 5.

Which is, to go out to Colorado and give it a try there this summer.

Our RE was supportive of this move (when I'm being cynical, I think he'd like us to go elsewhere so we can go ruin some other poor clinic's stats!) He understands that we're drawn to Colorado's microarray and CGH technology to get a read on the embryos. And that we're just curious to mix things up by trying something different. And he understands that I have some rare time off which would make an out of town cycle possible. He also said, God bless him, that he would be happy to do my monitoring for that cycle before I fly out there, which I greatly appreciate.

There you have it. The summary of WTF #5.

One-day work-up scheduled in Colorado for July 7. Tentative plans to cycle there in August.

Here's to moving forward.


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Sunday, June 14, 2009

Sundays of grace #16

Crawling out from the rock I've been hiding under to post a few things I am grateful for:

1. This one could be number 1, 2, and 3 because it's so pivotal. I am so very very grateful to Will for hanging in there through all this, remaining by my side and meeting me every step of the way as we go through our lives, and most recently, through the infertility process. I know it is not easy, not for either one of us. I really admire his courage to stay present with the hard emotions and remain open to our hopes for the future. I am so very glad he's my companion in this life. Thank you for being my husband, Will. I love you.

2. The dissertation progresses. It is aaaaaaaaalllllllllmmmmooooosssssstttttt done. The process has been like pushing a gigantic boulder up a steep slope with the movement forward sometimes seeming imperceptible. I expect to turn in the final draft later this week with the oral defense scheduled for early July. I cannot wait. I am so very ready for this to be off my plate and to have this degree completed.

3. Summer. It is here. It is beautiful today, mild and sunny. At least the snippets I've gotten to see on my way to and from the hospital and office. I am grateful for the change of seasons, for the reminder that life moves onward in its own steady progression. I hope that means that we too will move forward from our current infertility stalemate. We are ready to have a baby, however we get there.


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Saturday, June 6, 2009

Not much to say

We haven't been posting much, but we are still here. Planning vacations, struggling to comprehend another loss.
Not sure about Will, but I at least am in a strange place. I wouldn't even say I'm mourning this latest loss exactly (at least not in the way that I fiercely mourned the last three). I haven't cried once. I just feel depleted and unsure which direction to go in from here. I haven't been able to bring myself to schedule the follow up appointment with our RE because I can't imagine him having anything to say either. What do you say after all we have been through? Maybe I don't want to hear his continued optimism that we're going to get there if we just keep going. When I look at our results so far, his hopefulness seems almost delusional. How many cycles are we supposed to endure? What makes sense at this juncture? At what point does determination become a ridiculous obsession?
In the event this cycle were negative, we had planned to go to Colorado for their one-day work up. This trip was postponed because I was waiting to miscarry the day the appointment was scheduled for. The miscarriage is now almost complete, but I'm currently unsure if it still makes sense to go out there or not. Could the Colorado folks really have something that is so much better/different than the clinic we are already at? It is so much more expensive and will involve a significant life disruption. Given these realities, it is hard to agree to it when it seems so unlikely that the number 1 clinic in the U.S. (Colorado) will be so very different from our (number 2) clinic.
So that is it. Not much wisdom here of late, just lots of questions of when is enough enough. I am very tired and feeling a bit beaten down by the process, but at the same time, I still can't accept that maybe we aren't going to have children who are related to me/us.
While I wait, I have been just laying low, hoping that some clarity will develop on how and when to proceed.
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Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Wednesdays with Will: looking toward summer

Mo will be one step closer to finishing her dissertation today. It is kind of nice that it will coincide with the beginning of summer as we have been looking forward to making plans. We have tons of "weekend" getaway ideas and would like one big "blow-out" vacation. Yesterday I was talking with a friend who is not familiar with the financial toll IVF has have taken. He asked me to give him two reasons why we shouldn't take a big trip this summer. I smiled and quickly responded "cost and cost". He reminded me that absolutely that is not a good enough reason. He is right.

So what do we want for a vacation? Adventure, inspiration, vastness, sun, and each other.
No matter where we go we will have a blast. And who knows, maybe this will be our last chance before a baby. Either way, we need to live now.

We'd love to hear about any cool trips you all have planned...


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