April 29, 2010


Today did not go quite as expected. This is thanks in part to the estrogen (I think) and in part to the fact that my ovaries seem to like to stick their tongues out at me in defiance at the most inopportune times.

It started out well enough. I had my lining check, and it was 9mm. Yea! And there was a triple stripe. Yea! And it looked like my ovaries were quiet, according to the monitoring RE. Yea yet again! (I need them to be quiet, because we didn't use Lupron or BCPs on this cycle.)

Then I got to the office. And realized that while I'm usually the most dressy one there, all the rest of the women had decided to wear suits today and even some of the men were more dressed up. I knew two of our VPs and two of our directors were coming in for their annual visit today, but I didn't remember everyone being that dressy last year. So I had chosen to wear an outfit (dress pants, button down shirt) that isn't really anything out of the ordinary for me.

Thank God for my one co-worker, who was in white jeans and a muscle shirt; at least there was one person there more casually dressed than me. And honestly, the VPs and directors weren't in suits or even in ties, so I'm sure no one else but me even gave it a second thought.

But still, being all hormonal, this did not bode well.

On top of that, one of my co-workers had suggested that we should all bring our families to the team dinner tonight. That meant 3 kids under the age of 2. I knew R couldn't handle that, so I planned to go solo. I knew at least one other co-worker's fiance couldn't make it, so I took some comfort in the fact that at least there would be two of us sans significant other.

Except that she told me her significant other was able to change his plans. At which point I began to cry. Sitting right there in my cubicle, with mascara running down my face. Thinking that I was going to be the only underdressed, solo one at the table.

She knows about the cycle, and about my unfortunate start with the extra patches. So she leaned over and quietly said, "Hun, how many of those patches are you up to now?" I held up four fingers. She shook her head in sympathy and handed me a Kleenex.

I knew I had to get out of there for a few minutes, but there is no place for privacy in our office space or in the bathroom. So I wound up sitting in my car (needed someplace with a/c) in the parking lot, wailing into the phone to one of my BFFs about being underdressed, solo for dinner and something else that I can't even remember now. Yes, I know it's ridiculous. After a few minutes, it sounded ridiculous even to my own ears, and I started to laugh about it and pulled myself back together.

What can I say? Me on hormones isn't a pretty thing.

Then just as I was packing up to go to said dinner (most of them were already there), I got a call from RE's nurse. Lining check looked great, but progesterone was at 1.5 and LH was at 23.

Meaning I am starting to ovulate. Even though I usually don't ovulate. Even though I have Never. Ever. had a d21 progesterone level above 1.0 without medication support. The one time I don't want my ovaries to cough up an egg, they decide to get with the program and function (sorta) like they should.

Since the progesterone is only at 1.5, it means I haven't ovulated yet, so fortunately the cycle can still go forward - one day early. And, I needed to start the progesterone suppositories today instead of tomorrow and rush to the pharmacy to pick up some oral estrogen, because that level isn't quite as high as it should be.

So I had to back out of dinner at the last moment in order to race home to start shoving pills up you-know-where. I've got nothing left in me today except what feels like the need for a very good cry, so I left it to Kleenex co-worker to make an excuse for me...

April 22, 2010

Just to Clarify

From some of your comments recently, I realize that I've left a bit of a wrong impression.

It's not that I don't have hope for this upcoming cycle - I do. Actually, that's kind of the crazy thing about it: I have more hope than I probably should, and that's freaking me out a bit. So what's coming across as a less-than-hopeful attitude is actually fear.

You see, I consider:

1) We're at the Big Guns Clinic
2) Our RE is the founder of said clinic
3) We have a ridiculous number of embryos that tested chromosomally normal
4) They're from a protocol that's different than our first 2 cycles, so maybe that will make the difference
5) My thyroid levels are finally stable
6) I'm on 80 ml of Lov.enox this time - I found a study that showed women who have a history of RPL and 2 clotting factors have much greater success on 80 ml as compared with 40 ml. I've only been on 40 ml in the past.

So I think about all of that, and a large part of me thinks "How could this NOT work?" I have to admit, having had 5 pregnancies in the past (so actually getting pg doesn't seem to be our issue as much as staying that way is), I even catch myself tending to think "when we get the positive beta..." instead of "if".

But the reality is, even with all those things in our favor, it could not work. So I think I keep reminding myself of that to keep the hope in check. I've even spent a fair amount of time (far more than I should) visiting blogs of fellow IFers who have had to endure the unthinkable - losses of babies in the second or third trimester. I know I've had a lot of losses, but they've all been first trimester. Somehow I tend to think that losses after that point are even worse, because you start to let your guard down and think "This could really work", and you feel movements and see your belly grow, etc.

So, yes, I've been reading about preeclampsia stories and cord accident stories and incompetent cervix stories and placental abruption stories. Bracing myself for what may be to come. Reminding myself that if it does happen, others have endured and survived. I guess somehow that helps me to think that I would be able to, too.

Because that's just how IF screws with your head. With mine, at least. But in my own weird sort of way, I do have hope. Really. I promise.

April 18, 2010

Yin and Yang

One of the things I've been most grateful for these past 7 years is that R and I have always been on the same page or able to quickly get to that point. The other thing that ranks up there at the top of the list is our ability to switch from yin to yang roles when need be.

You see, it's mainly R who has been the optimist in this process. Especially when we were first starting out, he was so confident that everything would work out, that we would get the results we hoped for. And I needed that, because by my nature I tend to be a bit more of a glass-half-empty kind of gal.

His optimism lasted a good long while, even through the canceled cycles, the failed cycles, the failed adoptions. Then when we hit miscarriage #4, after seeing that promising heartbeat for three appointments in a row, the optimism faded. He struggled more than he ever had in the past, and he didn't bounce back like he had with all the other disappointments and rounds of bad news.

Suddenly it was up to me to be the optimistic one, because one of us has to be, or what's the point of continuing to try? So we swapped places, and for the last year and a half I've played the role of cheerleader (hard to believe, I know, given the tone of most of my posts) while he struggled to believe.

And now that this cycle started and I began to hyperventilate a bit, at the moment I needed him to assume the role of optimist, there it was - his trademark confidence that this will all work out. It's wonderful to see that in him again; I didn't realize how much I'd missed it.

April 15, 2010

You Were Right

Turns out, quadruple overdosing yourself on estrogen isn't that big of a deal, at least not on the very first day of an FET cycle.

The nurse e-mailed me this morning to say no problem, just stick with the schedule from here on out. A lining check ultrasound has been scheduled for 4/29, and the transfer date couldn't be changed, so it's still set for 5/5. I've decided to just go with it and try not to freak out about the date too much.

So, in 20 days, I will officially be incubating. The first beta is one week from yesterday. It falls on a Friday, and there are no labs open on Sunday, so I assume I will have to wait until that following Monday to get the official results. Though I always give in and start POAS a couple days before the first beta anyway.

I shouldn't be surprised by how fast all this happens, but somehow I am.

I just realized today that it's been nearly 3 years (FET in June 2007) since the last time we made a formal effort to get pregnant. I can't believe it's been that long! I guess I forgot a bit about how much shorter FET cycles are compared to fresh cycles.

April 14, 2010

A Cycle-Cancelling Screwup?

No luck on getting the FET date changed with the lab, but I'm wondering if the cycle will still happen at all next month:

Does anyone know what happens if you put on four estrogen patches when you're only supposed to put on one?? Seriously? (Aside from turning into a royal *itch overnight, I mean.)

When the nurse called me yesterday, she said to start the patches as soon as I could get them. I swear I heard "patches", plural. I know there definitely weren't specific instructions to just use one and then work my way up from there.

And when I got the patches, the directions on the prescription information taped to the boxes said "Apply 4 patches every other day."

So I stuck 4 on my hip last night. Then this evening, she faxed over my calendar. It says to use 1 patch on the first day, then 1 patch two days later, 1 patch two days after that, then 2, then 3, etc. So I'm not supposed to use 4 patches for almost two weeks!!

I pulled off 3 of them as soon as I read that, but I'm wondering if this has already royally screwed up the cycle? I will call tomorrow to find out. My nurse is probably already tired of me, so I'm sure she'll be thrilled to hear about this...

April 13, 2010

Hope, and Fear, and Hyperventilation

Our FET is approaching at a rapid pace. I thought I was ready. A few weeks ago, I was in a very Zen place.

Now, I'm an example of just how much infertility can screw with your head and make you seem like a crazy person to friends and strangers alike.

It started with a visit to the hematologist last week. RE doesn't want to manage the Lovenox, so a local hema doc is doing it. I was hoping I could just call and get another script, but since the last time I saw him was 18 months ago (before the retrievals), I had to go in again. With the retrievals, I was only on Lovenox for a few weeks, so there weren't any follow ups.

With the transfer, if the beta turns up positive, apparently there will be follow ups. Early. Ridiculously early. As in 4 weeks pg early.

He told me this, and I started to have a mini-meltdown. Because, you see, when he said "I want to see you around 4-6 weeks, closer to 4 weeks, to make sure you're not bruising or bleeding excessively", my infertility-addled brain thought, "By going in there at 4 weeks, you're signaling that you're arrogant enough to think you're going to be taking those shots for a while to come. Which means that you're just opening yourself up to fate reaching out and smacking you back down once again to prove you wrong. Which means that going to see the hematologist at 4 weeks = way to guarantee yet another miscarriage."

I stuttered, I stammered, I teared up. I pointed out that rarely do I make it beyond 6 weeks. He acquiesced and said I could just come in whenever I feel ready. Probably figured it was just easier to give in than to risk seeing what full-blown hysteria looked like.

Then CD 1 showed up on Sunday. The fact that it arrived wasn't much of a surprise since I had to do progesterone suppositories for a week to bring it on, but Sunday was a few days earlier than I had expected it to start.

I was supposed to start the patches and Lovenox last night, but there was a mixup because the clinic thought I had the patches when I didn't. So I got those today and slapped four of the clear little suckers on. As long as it doesn't generate some sort of weird rash, I'm all for patches instead of injections. And I've got plenty of real estate (i.e. flab) on which to stick them. Finally my hips come in handy for something.

The nurse called me today to talk about the cycle schedule and some of my paperwork. Transfer is tentatively planned for May 5th. Three weeks from tomorrow. Aaack - so soon! Another mini-meltdown ensued with me hyperventilating and calling one of my best friends to say I couldn't possibly be ready to face the reality of this in three weeks.

She had just managed to calm me down when another thought struck: May 5th is the 6th anniversary of our first miscarriage. Perhaps doing a transfer on that day isn't such a great idea. But the nurse is trying to find out if the transfer date can be pushed to the 6th or 7th anyway so that I don't have to take quite as much time off work. So rather than call her back in a panic and completely erase any doubt about my sanity or lack thereof, I decided to wait and see if she is able to get the date changed.

On the bright side, a transfer that week means we'll stay in Colorado and hide out during Mother's Day weekend. (We're celebrating two weeks early with our mothers for other reasons.) And I have decided that once the first 24 hours after transfer pass, we need to go stay at a place in the mountains where I can just relax and take cues from nature about how to get life to grow.

So at least there's one upside to that infertility-addled brain - it also makes the leap from "vacation" to "treatment-enhancing medicinal rest" without a second thought. Now if only we could claim it as such on our taxes...