This is a Nightmare Wednesday, Jul 16 2008 

I have finally managed to stop crying. If that doesn’t tell you how well our appt went today I don’t know what will.

Remember how Dr. M said he was trying to get us 4-8 follies and then changed to 4-6? Remember how we had 4 lovely follies gearing up for greatness on Saturday? Remember how he REFUSED to increase the meds? I sure do.

Today S’s lining was great, a promising start. He even seemed to be agreeable to b2b IUI’s. But then, it got kind of quiet. I started looking closer at the screen. We had lost a follie on the right. He was stammering and stuttering bs about it not being a “good egg” and how it was good that we lost it. I had had it. No, it is not good, we just spent thosuands of dollars to get what thirty dollars got us 5 months ago! He was taken aback but tried to cover by commenting on how the Clomid thinned her lining. Yeah, because you gave her Estrace too late to save it. He really didn’t have much to say, shocker.

He announced we will trigger tomorrow with and IUI on Thursday. Um, small problem asshole. You told us to have the sperm to you by Friday/Saturday, it won’t even arrive until noon on Thursday. At this point S and I were just staring at each other in total despair. He though he would be helpful and mention that he didn’t think she would ovulate early so Friday would be fine too. Yeah, you didn’t think that the last few times either.

He tried to make things better by spouting off facts and figures about better egg quality on injectables and if we got pregnant it would all be worth it. I yelled that is was a pretty big if! He tried so hard to talk me down but I refused to be soothed…. nothing he said mattered to me.

I finally asked if all the follies would be at least 16 before trigger. I told him we refused to trigger with anything less. He said one would be 20 and one at least 16. Umm…what about the third one? Well, it probably won’t be mature by trigger so really, we have two follies. At that point I burst into tears. I was so angry I thought I might actually slap him. S was crying, trying to calm me down while covering herself up. He finally said to get dressed and he would write down the schdule for the next few days.

The minute he left I started retching. I actually fell to my knees sobbing. I couldn’t belive we had spent all this money, energy and subjected S to nightly needles for two fucking follies. We both cried, me still on the floor, as she dressed and then cried all the way into an office so someone could show me how to stab my wife with that huge needle tomorrow night. Guess who? The 8 months pregnant nurse, that’s who. I cried even harder. I could hardly see what she was doing. It hurt so bad, still does.

As we set the appt for our IUI he came up and patted me on the shoulder and told me not to stress out about this. I glared at him while S had tears running down her face. He turned and said, if you mange to get the sperm here on Thursday, I’ll go ahead and accommodate you any way I can. I mumbled fuck you.

We are devastated beyond belief. I have to manage the trigger shot, I am so scared of doing that to her, pray that the sperm arrives on time, pray that she doesn’t ovulate early and that by some small miracle, this works.

I don’t know what to do anymore. I can’t fathom going on after this mess. He has really ruined us; financially, spiritually and emotionally. I don’t think we will ever hold our baby. The only thing I have ever wanted to be is a Mommy.

What the hell do we do now?

“The work goes on, the cause endures, the hope still lives and the dreams shall never die.” Edward Kennedy

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Terrified Tuesday, Jul 15 2008 

I have never been scared during a cycle. Anxious, excited, hopeful,nervous sure, never scared. There is a lump of fear stuck between my throat and stomach. Nothing can move it. I am utterly terrified.

S is a wreck. She is appeared crying and trembling at my side an hour ago. This really is our last shot for who knows how long. We have bled ourselves dry for this cycle. We just dropped a thousand dollars on sperm… a thousand dollars we could hardly part with. We did it though, hearts in our throat we ordered from the new bank. Poor S will subject herself to another vag cam viewing tomorrow and together we will subject ourselves to the much  disliked Dr. M.

If someone asked why we do all this, I would say for love. For the love of a child not yet conceived and because we have so much of it to give.

Pardon the TMI, but I think I might throw up. My mind plays on a loop all the F-ups of dear Dr.M the past 6 months. What if what if what if what if???????? I cannot stop the what ifs. I can’t sleep, I am actually ill.

I am trying so hard to cover every base this cycle it’s absurd. Injectables, trigger, monitoring, green tea until ovulation, aspirin, POM juice, pineapple after IUI, warm feet in the TWW, red warming foods, eggs,prayer, positive thinking,visualization, new bank and sperm and finally, a picture of a Native American fertility charm taped above our bed.

Nothing ventured, nothing gained, right?

Please bring us some wonderful news and a cooperative, understanding Dr. M tomorrow. Please bring us our miracle. PLEASE.

“And the day came when the risk it took to remain tight inside the bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.”

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

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

IUI#3 Tuesday, Jul 8 2008 

Our RE doesn’t believe in Femara. I was rather surprised since I know so many people who have used it. This did nothing to boost our confidence in him but agreed to try the Tamoxifen he offered us instead.

Our RE was OOT on CD 3 and on call guy wouldn’t call in the RX. What is wrong with this man??? We finally got started on CD 5. S only had a few hot flashes at night but otherwise S tolerated it well.

Our scan showed two great follies, one on each side. Her lining was better than last time but we knew it could be better so back on the Estrace she went. I still had concerns about her treatment but didn’t want to make waves. I should have. Always make waves if you are worried. We weren’t there to make friends and have tea. We were there to get help conceiving a baby and he was failing miserably.

“Have you started using your OPK’s yet?’

“No, your nurse said to wait for today’s scan.”

“Okay, I doubt you will get a + for a few days but go ahead and start today.”

Three hours later we get a +OPK. Even S had lost her patience with him. She called and had him paged. He was surprised? Hello? You were just in there, vag cam and all… why are you surprised? Monday insem, it was late Saturday…… are you sure? Yes, trust me. I snorted.

Because of the timing we ran to pick up the fish right before the insem. No lab, no counting, the nurse would thaw the sample right in the office. S decided to use the last OPK for fun, we like the smiley face, it’s hopeful. It was also negative. I promise you I almost lost it right there. Poor S was in tears and angry as hell. Can you blame her?

We marched into that office ready for battle. My mind was racing with insults, demands, threats. We refused to hand over the sample until they did an ultrasound.  We were not wasting $500, again. She had ovulated on both sides. S cried right there on the table. The nurse look horrified and RE looked scared, he didn’t dare look at me.

After much discussion it was decided that we should try anyway. S had O’d less than 24 hours agao so the eggs were viable. We were not at all hopeful and rightly so.

BFN.

There were no tears, just anger and disappointment.

Next up, at home insemination!

IUI #1 Tuesday, Jul 8 2008 

We began TTC in February 2008.

We chose a great anonymous donor via sperm bank and had agreed that S would go first since she had  great cycles and no known fertility issues. Our RE suggested a TI cycle with baby aspirin and progesterone supps.

We started checking OPK’s around CD10 and waited for the happy face, we waited and waited and waited. I guess S was more nervous about our first attempt than she let on. We didn’t get that happy face until CD21. Oy.

I rushed to call in our +OPK and the on call doc said to come in Monday. It was early Saturday, I was instantly alarmed. I explained that she has a short surge, it was a late O etc… he insisted it would be fine. I wasn’t convinced but I could hardly force the man to inseminate my wife, but boy how I tried. I worried all weekend but tried to stay calm for S. 

We arrived at the lab excited and nervous to pick up our freshly thawed fish. As we paced I overheard ( that means i leaned over so far I almost fell ) them telling our RE that the post thaw numbers weren’t what they should be. I started to panic. They reassured us that there was enough to get the job done but we should get a credit. A credit? We didn’t want a credit, we wanted a baby. Breathe in, breathe out.

Up on the table my poor S went. She was so nervous. I grabbed extra pink sheety things to make sure she was as covered as possible. Ultrasound before insem…… she had already ovulated. I was so upset and he could tell. He was still convinced we were okay and that S had ovulated only hours ago.

Our first TWW was hell. She was a totally different person, weird cravings, swollen breasts, odd dreams, nice high temps though. I was convinced it had worked. Beginners luck, right???

WRONG. BFN.

We were devastated and I was furious that my concerns had been dismissed. We were semi apologized too for the shitty timing and got a credit for the bad sample. 

Next up, Clomid! 

A Little About Us Tuesday, Jul 8 2008 

Hi and thanks for stopping by. Since I am starting this blog somewhere in the middle of our TTC journey I thought I should fill you in on how we got here.

S and I met at work almost 5 years ago. I had stuffed my feelings regarding my sexuality down deep and was sure if I said long enough and loud enough that I just wanted a nice man to marry it would fix everything. Then I met S. There was no going back.  S was even more in the closet than I was, never even admitting that she might like women. I will spare you all the drama that followed but am happy to report that everything worked out just fine. There was confusion, heartache and family drama galore but S and I were married in a proper Jewish ceremony in August of 2007. As our first anniversary nears we are looking to have a civil ceremony now that it is legal in our home state. 

S and I have always wanted to be parents. In fact, I never wanted any kind of a career, much to my mom’s dismay. I just wanted to stay home and take care of the people I love. I love to bake and craft and keep house. Taking care of people is what I do best, well, that and worrying. S works with special needs children and once upon a time I was a preschool teacher. Clearly we wouldn’t be getting pregnant by accident so we set off to decide the best course of action to begin our journey to mommyhood.

I have PCOS and a clotting factor. I knew getting me pregnant and staying that way would require some work. S has perfect 28 day cycles. To the RE we went. We outlined a treatment options for me and for S.

It had always been the plan for me to go first, see how things went and if we weren’t successful after a bit switch to S. I kind of had my heart set on it but knew it would be a challenge. After a lot of tears and discussion we decided that smart idea was for S to begin since, and I am quoting our RE, “I have no concerns about you getting pregnant, S.” 

And with that our journey began…..