Some Good News Sunday, Sep 14 2008 

I bet you thought you were lost for a minute!

Yes, this is the right blog, just with actual good news for a change.

Our last visit revealed a crappy lining and only one follie responding to a combination of Clomid and Follistim. We were instructed to wait for a +OPK and trigger if we didn’t get that by Saturday.

S started to surge on her own yesterday so no trigger shot was needed, first bit of good news. Then, Dr. M squeezed us in today for the IUI because he was worried her surge would be short again. I didn’t even have to ask or argue. More good news.

Then, the ultrasound revealed a much improved lining, not perfect but much much better. Dr. M told us to keep S on the Estrace, no arguing or questioning again. Whoo hoo!

We saw the one perfect follie ready to burst at 22, up from 15.5 the other day. But then we got the best surprise of all. Somehow, that little pitiful 9-10mm follie had blossomed into a 22!!! Bonus follie, YAY! Even more amazing, the third sad follie had increased to a 16! Dr. M felt there was such a good chance of it being mature by tomorrow that he offered to do another IUI for us on  Sunday. He is coming in just for us!

So, we will end up with at least two, possibly three follies and back to back IUI’s this time around. He is keeping her on Estrace and is adding a funky cocktail of progesterone’s two to three times a day to keep her LP nice and long.

He said he is rooting for us and doing all he can to make this a success. I believe him this time.

I know anything can happen but that little bit of unexpected news is good enough for right now. 

I think I will be able to sleep tonight, for the first time in a long time.

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Mostly Bad News Thursday, Sep 11 2008 

Okay, so that didn’t go too well.

In a nutshell; S had DOR-diminished ovarian reserve. She is not in POF-premature ovarian failure, which is good. We will never get great numbers of follies from her, not even using IVF, which is bad.

Her lining was 4.5, very very very bad and one of the three follies had grown after 5days of Follistim very very very very bad.

Dr. M was incredibly nice, sympathetic and patient. He believes S needs a break, either entirely or just from stimulated cycles. (Anyone need Follistim?) He thinks her stress level is out of control and, while not the reason she isn’t getting pregnant, is a big factor in why her cycles are getting so short and screwy. He suggested switching to me or just doing timed insemination’s if this cycle doesn’t work. He says she is just programmed this way. My eyes filled up and voice cracked, can’t you reprogram her? He looked genuinely sorry that he couldn’t. He even gifted us our hcg today.

We have doubled the Estrace and will trigger Saturday night if S doesn’t get a+OPK before then. He thinks the one good follie is worth trying with.

S is pretty upset. She feels broken and angry. It is true that Dr. M should have found all of this before cycle 7 but we can hardly go back in time. I was pretty upset at first too. But then I found myself relieved.

We hadn’t done anything wrong, missed any steps. Knowing we don’t need to stress about monitoring, shots and medication costs is kind of freeing. Not having expectations that can never be met is kind of nice too. We will just use OPK’s and have a single IUI until we decide to switch to me.

I am sad but relieved, scared but hopeful. I want so much for this to work for us but especially for S. I don’t want her to feel like she won’t ever get to carry and birth a biological child. It would break her heart and mine along with it.

This wasn’t how this was supposed to go. Nothing is the way it should be and I am the saddest I have ever been and the most lost I have ever felt.

I have my game face on for S though, she needs me.

We need a miracle this cycle. I want to see my wife smile again.

Did We Fix It? Wednesday, Sep 10 2008 

Tomorrow we find out if the Follistim helped save this cycle.

This will sound awful. I feel awful typing it.

I don’t want to know. I don’t want to go. I want nothing to do with tomorrow.

I cannot take anymore bad news, disappointment or failure. I really can’t. It’s not just TTC that has driven me to the edge, it feels like everything is a mess. I’ll spare you the details but, you would hard pressed to tell me otherwise.

I just need something, a sign, something to remind me that this too shall pass, that things will get better. 

I need something good to happen, desperately.

I’ll be there tomorrow, heart in my throat.

Seriously?!?!?!?! Saturday, Sep 6 2008 

Okay, I give the F*ck up. I am waving the white flag.

Today we had an U/S to see what we had brewing in there. In the first 10 seconds I knew we had a problem. Dr. M’s brow furrowed and he he said you are taking Estrace, right? Your lining is still really thin. ( It was so bad he didn’t even tell us the number )

Okay, thin lining’s can be perked up. However, it was very strange given we started the Estrace a full day early this cycle and we have been adding home remedies to combat this. Next we heard the cyst is completely resolved, good news. But then the brow furrowed up again.

Of the 4 antral follies we found on CD2 3 are developing. Sounds good, right? Nope. As of today, CD13, they are 10’s and 9’s. Not even half of what they need to be on a Clomid cycle. WTF?

Even Dr. M was baffled. He actually sighed and sat down on a chair. She is a tough one he says. The he tells us we have two possibilities; one, this cycle is a bust=no response or two, we wait and see if they grow. Then he did something interesting. He looked directly at me and waited, saying nothing.

You gotta love the guy. He knew that I wasn’t going for either of those so he just waited to see what I would ask for instead. It was kind of amusing. I told him we didn’t want to waste the 3 follies we had and asked if we could add in some Follistim to boost them. No joke people, he smiled then laughed and said he considered suggesting that but wasn’t sure how we would react to more injectables. I can’t decide if he is afraid of me, hates me or respects that fact that I have done my homework. The plus side, he gave us 300IU of Follistim, our gift with visit, like the Lancome counter.

We do 100IU of Follistim a night until Wednesday when we have yet another vag cam viewing. He has us injecting on the upper/outer arm this time so I have to give S the shots every night. Good times.

I am staying pretty calm as is S but I am really ready to say F*uck it. No matter what we do or don’t do we get screwed every cycle. Miss perfect cyle is now a medical mystery! It’s not her fault, I know she is confused and frustrated too.

Maybe the universe is telling us to give it up already.

If you pray or send good vibes and have any to spare, please send us some good thoughts for Wednesdays scan. I really really really need to hear some good news. Thanks

I Walk the Line Sunday, Jul 27 2008 

I have become a tightrope walker this past week. I am carefully walking the thin line between being realistic and positive. I didn’t think it would be so hard. I was doing so well, until I saw the tears.

I found S crying last night. What if it didn’t work was all she said. I started to say of course it worked but she cut me off. You always say that. OUCH. It’s true though. I always say it worked. I guess I think the more I say it the more it will be true. I climbed up on the tightrope and began to walk.

Somehow I managed to be positive and encouraging without promising anything. Somehow I tempered the excitement of a host of symptoms with the reality that meds do have side effects. I think I did okay. I managed to stay up until the tears stopped.

S has managed to rack up quite an impressive list of symptoms; hot flashes, extremely swollen, tender and painful breasts, bloating, headaches, cramping, back pain, sensitivity to smells, weird cravings for ice cream at all hours, constant urination…. it all looks good on paper, doesn’t it?

I want to jump for joy at every cramp and tight fitting article of clothing. I want to smile knowingly at the request for ice cream in bed at 10:00 this morning. I haven’t though. I know that all of those things can also be attributed to Follistim, hCG triggers and Prometrium. It’s really evil. Side effects should be banned.

There is part of me that is dying to know what is going on in there. I have always been a knowledge is power kind of girl. It is 9dpo on the left side and 8dpo for the  right. We are 10dp trigger. Testing is a lifetime away, it seems. That might be a good thing.

The other part of me wants to stay blissfully unaware. I can daydream ’till my heart is content without the cold, harsh reality of another stark white test intruding. I can imagine that S has our dream, our miracle, growing inside of her.

 I want more time to dream, wish and hope. I want to imagine the two pink lines and the digital shouting pregnant. I want to picture S growing bigger every month. I want to imagine the birth and how it will feel to hold our child for the first time. I want to dream the perfect dream awhile longer.

For the first time in my life I believe that a little ignorance is bliss.

I Hate Dr. M Monday, Jul 14 2008 

Do you remember when you were little and said that you hated someone? You were always admonished that you “didn’t hate” the person, you were just angry, upset etc. Well, I am all grown-up and there aren’t any teachers around and I need to get this out so…

I HATE YOU Dr. M! I REALLY REALLY HATE YOU! I think you are a pompous ass who cannot handle a woman questioning your methods. You do not have our best interests in mind and I wish we had never come to see you. I think you are a crappy RE with a shitty track record and belong back in school where you can learn what every other RE on Earth already knows and brush up on your people skills to boot. Screw you!

Okay, so, Saturdays appointment clearly did not go well. On CD 1 when we spoke to Dr. M he said he wanted to do 250IU of Follistim with a target of 4-8 follies at trigger. 8 may seem high but given that we had at least 3 on our Clomid cycle he really wanted to up our chances. We were both pleased that he was finally being aggressive. At the CD 3 U/S he said 150IU of Follistim and 4-6. He did agree that depending on the CD 6 U/S we could up the dose, the step-up protocol.

Saturday brought us 4 follies, 2 on each side with the larger ones on the left. We were a little disappointed, mainly because for thirty dollars worth of Clomid we had at least 3 so why spend thousands for only one more follie? We could have just upped the Clomid. Dr. M said that depending on her blood work results he would up her dose and try to get us to 6. We waited and waited.. no call. S callled him and left a really heartfelt message; this may be our last shot at this, we need every follie  we can get, we know the risk of HOM but given our track record don’t feel that is an issue. What were my numbers from today? Oh, we would like to do back to back IUI’s as well, just to cover all the bases.

His message: NO. Your numbers are perfect ( never mind that “perfect” is not a freaking answer) I will see if I feel a need for a second IUI later this week. Umm.. where was the explanation, the reassurance that she didn’t need more? Something other than no. Tell her something so she won’t worry. She was upset but more embarrassed I think. Rejected by the RE. What an ass. I was so angry I thought I might vomit.

After that we thought some retail therapy might perk us up. While S looked for tops I found myself face to face with the baby section. I hadn’t planned on walking that way, it just happened. I wandered amongst the rounders and racks. I touched the softest blankets and smiled at the adorable outfits and wrinkled my nose at the seriously heinous ones. I was doing okay until I found myself face to face with the most adorable thing I have ever seen. I usually don’t go for the whole little girls in pink but… oh my. It was the tiniest Ralph Lauren Polo dress, complete with tennis pleats and a plaid collar. All ready for the country club. I started to tear up, I willed myself to let go of it but I couldn’t. S found me there a few mins later. She hates pink but was moved by this little dress all the same. We both stood there, each holding a pleat , eyes shimmering, and hoping with all our hearts for our dream to come true. My dear friend is expecting a baby girl in a few months. We bought the dress for her.

For those wondering how the Follistim is going, I would say pretty well. The shots do not hurt, S says. She has been tired and had some headaches but nothing much else. She usually bruises easily but only has one small mark so far. She is an amazing woman and so much stronger than she knows. I love her so much.

Our next follie check is on Tuesday. I am praying that two more magically appear by then. I am praying for patience, calm and grace when face to face with Dr. M.

“Keep your heart open to dreams. For as long as there’s a dream, there is hope, and as long as there is hope, there is joy in living.” Anonymous

Mother Nature’s Little Helpers Friday, Jul 11 2008 

S’s second Follistim shot is on board. We let it sit at room temp much longer today and there was less stinging. Hooray!

I have been thinking a lot about what we do each cycle to increase our odds. Not just medication wise, but things like pineapple, POM Juice etc.  I usually have to nag S a bit to try any of these but she does it, mainly to humor me. I appreciate it though. It feels good to be doing something to increase our chances. It’s a nice distraction while waiting to test. I think it helps the semi-control freak in me feel as though I am helping things along.

We usually do pineapple and POM juice. We are adding green tea during stims and eggs throughout, not at the same time though 🙂 We will be keeping her feet warm with socks all during the TWW.

So, if you are up to sharing, please let me know I am not the only one who does this stuff and share your “little helpers”.

I hope you all had a great week and have wonderful weekend plans.

IUI #5, Cycle #6 is on! Thursday, Jul 10 2008 

S and saw our very favorite RE today, haha. He was actually very nice, concerned and patient this time. He knows we are concerned. The ultrasound wasn’t nearly as gross as S  thought it would be so that helped. Her lining was great but we were a bit surprised to find a small cyst on her right ovary. We haven’t done a medicated  cycle in two months so everyone was a bit confused. We were both concerned about her producing properly on that side but were assured it was safe to begin.

He gave us our odds of multiples, 25%-30% twins, less than 10% triplets. Whatever, as long as we don’t need our own TLC show, we are fine with multiples.  I told him very clearly that failure was not an option this cycle. When he began his little “there is always next month speech” I cut him right off. No next month. This is it. He managed a smile and said I was putting a  lot of pressure on him, making him nervous. I smiled as prettily as possible and told him that was the plan and that I would have my eye on him. He probably thinks I am insane. I am really fine with that 🙂

We went to our friendly neighborhood IF pharmacy to pick up our Follistim, HcG trigger and Prometrium. We made it a point to look away when we were rung up. I haven’t a clue how much all of that cost and I would like to keep it that way.

We rushed home to refrigerate our goods. I have to say, you hear Follistim pen, trigger and pills. You think, okay, a few things are in that bag. Um, no. A whole lot of things are in that bag. Take a gander at what one little Follistim cycle will get you in your magic bag. I know it’s not as much as an IVf cycle but….we were a bit surprised.

Holy Crap!

Holy Crap!

 S got a bit teary when she saw it all. She looked positively scared when she spotted the needle for her IM trigger. She feels so much pressure but it all comes from her. In all honesty, she has been utter perfection all along, it’s the bad samples and the RE’s timing that have been our issues. We have solved all of that this cycle. New sperm bank/donor, scared of me RE. Problems solved!

We read the directions a million times so as not not to jeapordize the goldmine of meds we were dealing with. She was so nervous about the injection but after a bit of hesitation did it perfectly. (For those wondering S reports she felt a tiny stick and a bit of burning after. Rare to feel burning I hear, she is just sensitive we think) I was so proud of her. I think she was proud of herself too and that makes me incredibly happy.

We have a scan on Saturday to see what she has cooking in there and to see if our dosage needs to be increased.

I am praying everything is just perfect and that somehow we can mange another vial of the new fish. I am thinking we should try for back to back IUI’s this time. Call me crazy or paranoid, but given our clinic’s history of crappy timing… I think we should cover all the bases.

I am full of hope again, which is good, but oh so very nervous too. We have so much riding on this cycle.  Please, please, let this be the one.

“Hope” is the thing with feathers– That perches in the soul–

And sings the tune without the words– And never stops–at all

 Emily Dickenson

Relief Wednesday, Jul 9 2008 

Wow! Last nights marathon session of catch-up posting was quite the release.

No one IRL really knows we are TTC, and certainly no one knows the details. S’s mom knows we have tried at least once and I think my mom knows but hasn’t really asked anything specific. All along we planned on keeping things quiet. I used to joke that we would just show up with a baby. I had considered a blog  but just couldn’t bring myself to type it all out. It made it all too real. I am so glad I did it though. No matter what kind of closet you are in, it always feels so much better to be out!

This cycle is a big one for us. It will be S’s sixth attempt and while I know that is really not that long, it feels like an eternity when I see her so defeated and sad. This cycle will cost a small fortune and that is on top of the approx $10,000 I estimate we have already spent. It’s insane isn’t it? Why the hell isn’t this covered by insurance? Viagra is covered but fertility treatments are like the liposuction of coverage. I will never understand health care in this country, never.

Tomorrow is CD 3, vag cam for S and possible Follistim start. She is dreading the ultrasound and is positively disgusted at having to do one while AF is here. I reassured her as best I could but I am pretty sure I saw her shudder. I will just hold her hand, look directly at her and distract her from the ickiness of it all. It will all be worth it when we get to hold our baby.

Dear RE will not even have the option of a screw up this cycle. He is going to hate me but I don’t really care. My wife is scared, hurting, confused and heartbroken right now. I will not allow anyone to drop the ball or fail her in any way this time around.

This cycles motto is: “Failure is not an option”

IUI#4 Tuesday, Jul 8 2008 

S had agreed to the HSG and as we suspected, she was prefect. As a bonus it didn’t even really hurt her, just uncomfortable and freaky she reports.

We went ahead with another TI, hoping the HSG would be enough of a boost. We went back to our old donor using the last of our credit with that bank, but vowing to find a new one if we needed it. We also agreed to switch RE’s if this cycle failed.

We got a perfect +OPK on CD 12 and had our IUI scheduled with on call guy the next day. S was worried that he would be rough. He doesn’t look at all warm. We were pleasantly surprised. He was great. Kind, warm and confused by our failed cycles. He wouldn’t even defrost our sample until he checked her out. S had a perfect lining and a perfect follicle ready to go. We had much better post thaw numbers and everything went smoothly. He joked that he would show Dr.M a thing or two. Oh how we hoped so. Crinone in hand we went happily home so I could stuff S full of pineapple.

I had such high hopes for this cycle. I allowed myself to dream of our nursery, I saw the two pink lines, the doubling betas. I didn’t even let S mention the words negative or failure or next cycle. I was so sure this was it.

BFN.

This one sucked the worst of them all. I choked on grief all weekend long. We are baffled, utterly confused, heartbroken and miserable. S actually cried when AF arrived today. She feels like a failure and nothing I say helps. It hurts to see her hurting. It hurts to have empty arms and broken dreams.

Where do we go from here? Well, we don’t have time for the new RE since we are already on CD1. We have decided to change banks and therefore donors.

Our Re was genuinely sorry when he called today. He knows how much money we have spent and how upset we are. I know he knows that two of those cycles failed because his office screwed up. I am pretty sure he knows I want to wring his neck.

He agreed that the new bank is better and a donor switch is a great plan. He finally, finally, agreed to injectables plus a trigger and better monitoring. He values his neck I suppose.

CD 3 ultrasound to determine stims start is on Wednesday. We managed to come up with the huge chunk of money, we don’t really have, to spend on new fish that must fly across the country. We just need to pray that it begins to rain Follistim sometime bewtween now and Wednesday. I haven’t a clue how we will swing this but I have faith, as always.

Our dream will come true.

“Listen to the mustn’ts, child. Listen to the don’ts. Listen to the shouldn’ts, the impossibles, the won’ts. Listen to the never haves, then listen close to me… Anything can happen, child. Anything can be.” Shel Silverstein

Up next, IUI# 5, Follistim, trigger, aspirin, progesterone, new donor